Cobalt by Chevrolet; New Car Joins Crowded Compact Segment
Byline: Arv Voss, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Chevrolet enters the already-crowded subcompact-car arena with its all-new Cobalt lineup, which includes four models powered by two different engines. The standard or base-model Cobalt, the LS and LT trim, are available in either a five-passenger coupe or sedan configuration, and are powered by a 2.2-liter Ecotec, inline DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine that develops 145 horsepower and 155 foot-pounds of torque mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox, or a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
A racy Sport Coupe version is available as the Cobalt "SS" - it's moved by a 2.0-liter, DOHC supercharged engine that pumps out 205 horsepower and 200 foot-pounds of torque, with gear changes handled by a five-speed manual transmission.
The Cobalt offerings are all built exclusively at GM's Lordstown, Ohio, facility, based upon a strengthened Delta architecture, the stiffness of which provides the basis for more precise build quality with tighter tolerances and enhanced response in handling. The overall design form is that of a pronounced wedge in both the coupe and sedan models, with a sloping hood, arched roofline and raised, short deck. The lines are clean, contemporary and appealing.
The SS Cobalt takes on a more aggressive look drawn from its big brother Corvette and the signature four round taillights. The interior layout is spacious for a subcompact vehicle. Functionality is enhanced by the 60/40 split folding rear seat backs that fold forward, extending an already roomy trunk space.
The test Cobalt was a four-door sedan, executed in LT trim with an automatic transmission. The exterior finish was sprayed in Blue Granite metallic, while the interior was done in a neutral, two-tone light beige and dark brown with faux wood trim accents sprucing up the doors, center stack and shifter surround.
The base sticker was set at $18,195 with optionally priced features and equipment boosting the final total to $20,600. …