The Chevy Cobalt rolled off the line in 2005 and took over as the brand's compact sedan, replacing the Prizm and the Cavalier. It is slightly bigger than the Cavalier and also features SS variants of the model. The Cobalt is available as both sedan and coupe, and is constructed on the GM's Delta platform, which also hosts the Chevy HHR, Opel Zafira, and Pontiac G5. The base Cobalt premiered with a 2.2L inline-four cylinder engine capable of 155 horsepower. The Cobalt SS received a hearty supercharged four-cylinder capable of 205 horsepower. A year later, Chevy introduced an SS Cobalt that saw a dip in HP down to 171 and was referred to as the base SS, with the supercharged version being branded as the Supercharged SS. The base SS was done away with soon after, with the 171 horsepower engine being used for the Cobalt Sport. SS Supercharged Cobalts got a nice surge with 260 horsepower.
Three trim levels are currently available for the Chevy Cobalt: the SS, LT, and LS, with the LS being outfitted with luxurious accessories and amenities, such as XM satellite radio, a CD player, and a tilted steering wheel. Other options like remote entry, OnStar, and leather upholstery are offered for the higher trims (SS and LT). In 2007, the engines were bolstered, as the 2.2L Ecotec saw it rise to 148 horsepower and the 2.4L version get a slight bump up to 173. A year later, the Cobalt was given a makeover. The SS coupe and SS sedan became known as the Sport Coupe and Sport Sedan. The SS engine was now rated at 260 horsepower and fuel efficiency was improved to 25 miles per gallon. XM satellite radio, side-impact air bags, and an MP3 player became standard Chevy Cobalt parts, and StabiliTrak as well as stability control system were introduced to the model too.
Starting in 2009, the Sport Sedan and Sport Coupe were removed from the lineup and replaced with the 2.2L engine. Inside the vehicle, Bluetooth capability was now standard, and a reconfigurable performance display, which allows the driver to change the performance settings of the model, was introduced as well. Since its premier, the Cobalt has made waves due to its peppy performance, top-quality parts, and compact style. It has received numerous awards, most notably being named a Consumer Guide Best Buy (2006) as well as one of Automobile Magazine's 50 Great New Cars. The Cobalt has also been a strong performer when it comes to sales. Since 2005, the model has averaged approximately 183,500 units sold per year (with 2005 being the high at 212,667 and 2009 being the low at 104,724). Thanks to a strong backing from Chevy with the results to back it up, the Cobalt has impressed critics and fans alike.
Invoking a modernized sleekness into a compact package is no easy feat. Compacts are just not normally designed to be this sporty but the Cobalt enjoys a look and style that is very much its own animal. With an aerodynamic look that is hard to forget and the kind of performance mostly reserved for higher-priced sports cars, the Chevy Cobalt has become a top-selling icon in what has been a short period of time. Performance wise, it flexes enough muscle to give its drivers the necessary confidence to hit the open road with fashion and authority. Chevy churns out American classics each generation, and the Cobalt may be the latest example of that.
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