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Old 05-09-2015, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I will now eat my hat (bought a Cobalt)

Ah, the Chevrolet Cobalt. A car that I've ranted about here and other places. A car which I've claimed had a lousy interior, was a poor effort by General Motors and even quoted a GM exec as exclaiming that it was terrible.

I just bought one.

And I still think the interior is lousy.

I'll back up a bit. Norm, my 2004 Ford Taurus, had 186k on the clock and for the last two years had been doing what old Ford Tauruses do: falling apart. The dreaded cam syncro went, the struts and springs were shot, pretty much everything in the front end went, the fuel pump was dying, and the heater core sprung a leak (willing to bet the water pump was next). I fixed stuff as it came up, but the result was essentially me making a car payment on a car worth $500. It wasn't ending, either.

This is not to say I didn't like, nay, love the Taurus. For most of its life I loved having it. It was comfortable, drove very well (they are quite underrated in this aspect), reliable (up until around 160k), and got fairly good fuel economy for what it was.

Its time had come, however. Norm had gotten a taste for my wallet, and I do far too much driving to have to constantly worry about it.

Over the past few months I've been looking for a replacement. And while doing so I've noticed that every lot has a bunch of Cobalts and G5s for very reasonable prices (prices that, importantly, I could afford). It became pretty hard not to look at them, especially with the fuel economy figures reported here. I also know a few owners, who seemed reasonably happy with them.

I test drove a handful while shopping around. I began to like them, despite their cheap interiors (Alright, alright. This is the last I'll harp on that. The fact is, GM should have done a much better job there).

Long story still absurdly long, today I drove home in a 2010 Cobalt LT, in a very lovely color. It's an automatic (yes I know, boo. Though I've had a little practice in the past, on a supercharged Cobalt SS incidentally, I have too little experience to be comfortable with a stick shift dd), with 56k on the clock. And I'm happy with my purchase, with only a few minor nitpicks (the instrument panel lights come on far later than I'd like, for example).

So team Cobalt, now that I'm one of you, will you forgive me for ragging on it so much and let me join your team?

FYI
2004 Ford Taurus, 3.0 OHV: 18 city/25 hwy
2010 Chevrolet Cobalt Sedan, auto: 24 city/33 hwy

Also, will everyone please stop buying the Douglas Xtra-crap tires from Walmart? Seriously, these things are the worst. I'm all for buying American-made things, but I will take damn near any Chinese tire over these. I absolutely can not wait to get them off of this car.


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2010 Chevrolet Cobalt LT sedan
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Post a video of when you really do eat your hat.

You seem to have upgraded quite nicely in the fuel economy department. Your Cobalt is looking good!

What mods do you have planned?
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's a good-looking car. Should've gotten the manual though! You would pick it up fast.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Very nice looking car! Hope it gives you good service for many years.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hope it gives you good service. I've been anti GM forever, back to powerglides and foot wide rust holes in 6 months.

They deserved it.

Now with the Japanese raising the bar, the US manufacturers have followed suit. I only hope the production workers stopped sabotaging their own product.

That's suicide.

I just tossed some significant coin at a new car, made in Thailand. I'll do my share to preserve and maintain my baby, but only time will tell if I made the right choice or not.

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Old 05-10-2015, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyDiesel View Post
Post a video of when you really do eat your hat.
Hmm. I'll have to decide which of these I dislike the most. Many choices...
Quote:
You seem to have upgraded quite nicely in the fuel economy department. Your Cobalt is looking good!
Thank you. Yeah, I'm guessing this one is going to require very little effort to beat EPA estimates too. Though it's peppier than Norm was, so I've found it hard to keep my foot out of it

Quote:
What mods do you have planned?
I'll find a place to stick my scanguage, and put an ecomodder sticker on it. That's it for now. I have a short warranty, and I'll use this period to see what it can do for fuel economy stock.

Plus, Chevrolet seems to have done a good job with it in terms of fe. There's not much grille for me to cover, and the hubcaps can't be all that bad as they used them on the XFE. The mudflaps may get trimmed eventually.

Does anyone know if the wing on the trunklid is detrimental to these?

I may look into aftermarket tail lights, as the passenger side is cracked. I'll probably just pull one from a junkyard though. I'm always happy for an excuse to roam a junkyard

Quote:
Originally Posted by ME_Andy View Post
That's a good-looking car. Should've gotten the manual though! You would pick it up fast.
Thanks! Truth be told I probably would pick it up quick, but I didn't feel comfortable attempting to test drive a stick shift car. Maybe I'm just a wimp (probably).
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Last edited by The Other Andy; 05-10-2015 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joggernot View Post
Very nice looking car! Hope it gives you good service for many years.
Thank you very much! It's going to get very pampered, so it should last a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Hope it gives you good service. I've been anti GM forever, back to powerglides and foot wide rust holes in 6 months.

They deserved it.

Now with the Japanese raising the bar, the US manufacturers have followed suit. I only hope the production workers stopped sabotaging their own product.

That's suicide.

I just tossed some significant coin at a new car, made in Thailand. I'll do my share to preserve and maintain my baby, but only time will tell if I made the right choice or not.

regards
mech
I was reading about your Mirage. Congrats! I like those little things. Is yours meeting expectations fuel economy wise?

This Cobalt is actually my 6th GM product, so I'm not really anti-GM. I'm not a "fanboy" however, and am willing to call them out when they half-arse something (just as I'm willing to call out Honda for their transmissions and Fridgeline). I want the American automakers to succeed.

I will mention that I've known a few workers from the (now shuttered despite taking a bunch of state money) Janesville plant. They were very proud of what they built, and the idea that they would have sabotaged it is difficult to believe. I'm sure it happened (every workplace has its screwballs) but imo the vast majority of issues came from the office buildings.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah Ford closed their Norfolk truck plant a few years back. Ford charged me $600 to ship my 99 F150 from Norfolk to Newport News, in 1999. Mitsubishi charged me $810 to ship the Mirage half way around the Planet.

Go figure.

I talked with a GM service manager who told me it used to take most of their time, just doing warranty claims but in the last 15 years the number of warranty claims dropped 90% (before the 2008 market collapse) and they had to compete for drive in customers versus the former captive market.

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Old 05-10-2015, 07:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I owned a Taurus from that generation. I know what you mean about it being a good driver. My wife and I ran all over California in ours and were never uncomfortable. It was an effortless drive. I traded it in for a new 03 Mustang GT...hated it. I am an experienced stick shift driver, but I had trouble being smooth on the shifts with that car. It bucked and jumped and was way more dramatic than a V8 needs to be. I think that generation Taurus was a great car as long as you had less than 120K on the clock. Beyond that be prepared for surprise engine failure.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I liked the cobalts I had as rental cars, I liked the interiors and the gauges however in e rental cobalts I never received better than 24mpg in the automatic sedan

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