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Chevrolet Cobalt

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  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Why no, it's my first initial. But thanks for playing.

    M(eade) Daffron
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Some Malibus are fleet no doubt, but the Chevy Classic fills a lot of the space so the Malibu is a lot more retail than the old one. I see many sedans and Maxxes on the road now, I doubt any of the Maxxes are rental/fleets.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The Malibu has been a top seller for years, even the previous model. Unfortunately GM along with a couple others, started using those big rebates to attract buyers. So if what you say the prices for a Maxx are too high, maybe your right. The rebate brings the car down to were it should have been, and any additional money off the list price through buyer negotiating is a bonus.

    One other hot car in the sub-compact catagory is the Chevy Aveo. I have read and seen many good things about this car, and have driven it as well. This car in my opinion is the bargain of the decade. It is also the top selling compact in its class.

    Resale value is mostly determined by rebates, incentatives, rental fleets, and realiabililty. Rental fleets are the worse culprit because they litterly flood the market with used cars at bargain prices.

    I would really doubt a vehicle would lose 50% of its value in three-years, unless it was a car (like a Yugo) with known problems.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...regularly loses over 50% of its value in 3 years, under average usage conditions.

    There's a 2005 model for sale at a local car lot with 20K miles on it, advertised for just under $14,000. Looks sharp too, I've seen it. Sticker price would have been around $21,000.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Well I suppose you very well could get 50% off in three-years, but keep in mind that not all these advertised sales are as good as they sound.

    I wouldn't want to buy a used rental car, but cars coming off leases generally are in good shape and have a warranty left. Car Max used cars are known to be pretty good, or otherwise they wouldn't sell them.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    It is very easy to lose 50% or more in three years on US cars. Some do near that in a couple years. The Cobalt may do better. Who knows - no one knows. As for Aveo/Daewo cars, they look like toy cars to me, but to each his own. The Cobalt looks like a lot more car. In the $13K to $15K range, Cobalt looks like something to consider. Hope that the resale is better than some of these Buicks and Pontiacs I see in the paper for sale for $9995 or $10,995 as rental or lease returns. That has to hurt! Best not to get an overly loaded or pricey model of Cobalt, if you plan on selling in two to three years. If it is a keeper for seven to ten years, what the heck, resale is not as big a deal. As for the talk about the Malibu, I can not shake out of my mind, the image of a beautiful '68 Malibu when I hear the name. Then the harsh reality of an econo car sets in. How sad. GM can and hopefully will do better. Let's get some of the ol' Body by Fisher design thing going again!!! Saw a few sharp looking Camaros today.... oh darn, that ended in 2002. The Corvette or CTS is pretty cool, but I am but a poor boy. The Cobalt is more in my price league, unless buying used.... yeah, at half price!
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The dealer is offering them at half off! What do you think the customer gets on a trade-in on these cars? It must hurt - hurt bad. You save another $2,ooo or more buying as a private sale car. The wholesale must REALLY be low on some of these cars. Oh well. -Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    It would almost make more sense to never buy new, if you no the past history of the used car you were buying.

    The Aveo my be a toy car to you, but its not any more so than the one's from Kia, Hyundia, Suzuki, Ford, Toyota, to name a few. It's actually better built then most.

    I can afford a great driving luxorious car like a Buick LaCrosse, Grand Prix, or even a CTS, which I have considered, but I am just to conservative to spend that kind of money. I never look at resale when purchasing a car because I buy what I like, and keep them a long time.

    My 1992 S10 pickup is basically worth nothing, but gets very good mileage, is reliable, and is paid for. The Cobalt would be a great main driver, but I would have to get a loaded one. I think I could get out of a dealer on a $19,500 Cobalt for somewhere between $15-16,000, after nagotiation, rebate, GM card earnings, tax & title.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    If you have the money to buy a larger, safer car, why on earth would you buy a skateboard? You are now driving an S-10 truck? My word, get something safer than that. The Daewoo/Aveo looks too tall for the width, and well, I won't say it again..... For driving in town to the grocery store, it may be just the ticket. Good golf cart. If you have the money get the CTS and have fun! Life is too short to only save money. Maybe a used CTS? Or like you said, buy a new Cobalt. Cobalt I can see people buying for everyday use. The Aveo for the run-around-town car. Looks like a lot of Korean cars, like the Hyundai, are pretty cheap in larger sizes. I was impressed when I looked at Hyundai, as to how much better quality they are today. Some of their engines do need improving / better gas mileage. Anyway, back on subject, the Cobalt is not bad I guess, and you are not trading cars every three years. I was a fool doing that all too many a time when younger. I could have saved a lot of money by not buying as many cars, buying better cars, and getting more for the owned car. Oh well, live and learn. And now it is only cash, and no credit, so that saves too. Ya know, the S-10 as a second car to scoot around town in, or go to the lumber store, the more I think about it, is not so bad. I just can see why people that have money buy less car in some cases than is needed for safety and comfort. If they are happy though, in the end that is all that matters I guess.
    Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The S10 is a pretty solid vehicle. I have been in four accidents with it, none my fault, three of them with people running in to me, all were miner damage.

    I had been thinking of going mid-size or bigger, but the Cobalt is a class best in crash testing, and is lighter than the Malibu making for better mileage.

    How about using my saved money from a Cobalt purchase on a motorcycle?
  • alternatoralternator Posts: 570
    If I had been run into three times already by motor vehicles, I don't think I'd like to place my chances for a long life riding a motorcycle!
  • ndsax707ndsax707 Posts: 30
    Losing 50% in three years seems like a lot, but that's actually generous for some cars. I purchased a used 2001 Pontiac Grand Am in 2003 for about $10k from the local Pontiac dealer. Two years old (~24,000 miles) and about 50% off the original price. I thought it was a good deal, but now I'm trying to sell it and Carmax offered me about $4,500 for it. So this car is four years old, has 61,000 miles, and is worth about 25% of its original value. My girlfriend's '98 Corolla is worth about the same. That is very very poor for the consumer of American vehicles.

    I believe the comment stated above about fleet sales saturating the market is very true. I think the Cobalt will have moderately better resale due to the better quality of that car, but with all the rental Cobalt's I've seen around I doubt it will be significantly higher. I think the only hope for decent Cobalt resale values, if that's important to you, is with the SS. Little to no fleet sales, less volume produced, and it's a high end / specialized car.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Yes, GM resale is a problem. Another part of the puzzle in solving GM woes is this lack of value of its cars down the road. The gentleman selling the Grand Am may get closer to $6,200+ for the car, if he sells it himself, and the $4,500 may be low for a trade-in value. Never tried to have a sales lot buy my car, but I assume it is pretty low on the wholesale side of things. In four months time, the car will be 5 model years old, so the price is dropping again soon. Actually, the real disaster is in buying those luxury cars new. I imagine these days, the loss to be around $12k or more the first drive off the lot. I figure if you buy a used car, and get say three years out of it, for a difference of $5K, that ain't too bad at $1,666 per year. I have a '98 Corolla, which was a bit over $15k out the door, so in 8 years time, if I sold it for $5,000, it wold cost just over $1,250 per year. Being a Toyota, I could drive it another 8 years, but I may trade it, and/or my Miata this year anyway. As for trade-in, I guess it is worth around $3,500 with 81K miles on it. The resale values were even higher on Toys back in the 90's. Seems like you lost under $1k a year. I think buying a used car at 50% or even as low as 33% the original value makes sense if the car is good and straight. Nearly all modern cars last a good 100 to 150K without the engine and tranny falling out. One problems though, in Calif. is the $85 an hour labor cost on repairs, though I found a mechanic that does basic repairs for $45 an hour. I bought a Miata'96 with 36k miles on her in 2002 for a third of a new one, and added roll bar and such, so it tips in over $8,000 cost, but I am sure it is still worth $4k to $5k retail, so after driving it for three years, it should not cost me more than $1,333 per year, plus a few little repairs. Heck, considering if I bought it new, the first year depreciation would have been much more than my three years, and if I bought a new GM I would have lost so much money, I could actually, after driving the Miata for three years, give it away, and would have cost me less. It makes no sense to buy a $21K new if it is worth $10K in two to three years.
    Loren
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    If you own a Chevy Cobalt SS, a magazine reporter would like to hear from you. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com with your daytime contact info and a few brief thoughts about the car by Tuesday, May 24, 2005.

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  • drivehard1drivehard1 Posts: 20
    Does anyone know more about the SS coupe and Sedan coming out soon, when will it be out, anyone have pics, will it look like the SS supercharged, This may be a vehicle that i would be interested in, GM may finally be starting to turn things around.... Did I just type that?
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    More info here -

    http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/NASApp/domestic/vehiclesel.jsp?year=2006&regionID=1&divisionID=3-

    I believe production starts in June. They have 17" wheels, 2.4 Ecotec and sport suspension. I do not think the exterior will look like the SS Supercharged.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    SS sedan and coupe states -

    'Fascias, sport, front and rear, body-color, includes front halogen fog lamps"

    SS Supercharged states -

    "Fascias, sport, front and rear, body-color, includes front halogen fog lamps and extensions"

    Appears that they are the same, except the SS sedan and coupe do not get the extensions.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Why would you want or need 17" wheels on a Cobalt?
    Does this mean low profile tires, bent rims, added weight, added cost, and blown tires.
    Ah the new fads are a big money maker. I am sure a tuned suspension and 15" wheels would be just fine. OK, to entertain those needed to fill the tire well look, maybe the 16". Unsprung weight is not a good thing. The car is not going to go faster, just run harder on the pavement. Just put some good Toyo Ts1 tires in 15" wheel size and ya got it! Or if handling is the game, double wishbone suspension all around and RWD. OK, too expensive, just go double wish bone on rear like the Celica.
    Loren
  • ndsax707ndsax707 Posts: 30
    You obviously like cars, I just think you're a little misguided sometimes. Why would anyone want 17" wheels on a Cobalt? Here's a few reasons...

    1) Looks - which is purely subjective. 22" tires would be silly, as would 13" tires. I think 16 - 18" look good on most cars. Chevy seems to agree. The SS Supercharged has 18" tires. It gives the car a visual nudge in the direction of speed and style.

    To your comment about filling in the wheel well of the vehicle - I doubt the outside diameter of the tire changes much when OEMs offer different sized tires for the same car. The wheel gets larger, the sidewall of the tire shrinks, and the outside diameter of the wheel stays the same. The wheel well gap remains unless the suspension is also modified. [EDIT] - I just checked the Cobalt website. The current options are 195/60-15 (24.2" dia.), 205/55-16 (24.9" dia.), and 215/45-18 (25.6" dia.). So I guess I lied about the overall diameter changing, though it still doesn't change much.

    2) Performance - As the sidewall shrinks in size (as noted above) it also gains rigidity. This greatly improves the handling of the car. Instead of the tire rolling over on its side during hard cornering, the tread retains more contact with the road, which increases the tire's grip and reduces the body roll felt inside the car. It also provides better turn in response.

    As you stated correctly, unsprung weight is bad. However, are 16" - 18" alloy wheels going to be heavier than 15" steel wheels? I doubt there's a significant difference.

    I'm guessing your Miata tires are in the neighborhood of 195/50-15 (about 22.5" dia.). If you upgraded to 205/35-17 I think you would notice a big difference in the handling of your car, and the overall diameter of the wheel/tire combo would change by less than 1/32".
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    By your username, I take it you're a Mazda fan.

    Well, I am too. I just purchased my sixth new Mazda since 1991.

    It's a Mazda3S.

    It has 17-inch wheels.

    Also, from Edmunds' review on the 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata ...

    "... the Mazdaspeed Miata offers several other tastefully integrated modifications. It has a lower sport-tuned suspension with gas-filled Bilstein shocks and 17-inch performance tires."

    My 3 handles MUCH better than the 15-inch-wheel equipped 2000 Protege that it replaced.

    :shades:

    Meade
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Low profile tires are more likely to have damaged rims, and tires. The ride is rougher, the cost of tires is higher, and you would gain less in performance as compared to GM putting a more sophisticated suspension. As for looks, large wagon wheels on cars have that ricer car, or SUV image to me. I have 14" mags with Dunlop A2 185/60 tires and it is just fine for daily driving and back road runs. You can easily more than double the yellow signs on turns, and in many a case, unless you know what is up ahead, you can get into trouble fast. On the straights it does not matter on tire size. NASCAR uses tires that flex and they are 15". Don't see them as not gripping. What I do is to add some extra air to the tires, if it is going to be mainly all twisties on a run. Some tires have a stiffer sidewall, so you can have a higher profile while maintaining more safety for the rims. Good tires, like Yoko EVS100 or Toyo Ts1 will make a difference. When you get really wide tires you can get the tramline effect. If you need a Cobalt for the track, it may make perfect sense. It also takes more power for larger wheel sizes. Why not just buy a used Camaro SS? Good gas mileage, more power than the Cobalt SS. Actually more HP than the Mustang GT. With a normal size for a smaller car, such as 15" or 16" you can get light weight wheels and save lots of pounds compared to steelies. Less unsprung weight the best. And you can afford to buy new tires more often. The Tire Rack has some neat deals, IMHO. Were they putting electric steering only in the base models and not the SS? Does anyone really want electric assist steering or throttle-by-wire in cars? Come to think of it, I did see some very large wheels on car at the National Auto Museum in Reno and other auto shows. Not sure about the flexing on wooden spokes :surprise: I think the hot car may be the Mazda3. That is once it is no longer hot inside. Seems they have an issue with weak air conditioning. Once that is solved, or they care to do so, the car I bet will win over the Cobalt in cornering fun. This will be one interesting road test shoot out when the Cobalt and Mazda3, with other cars, go head to head. Mazda3 needs a coupe version of that sedan. Hats off to Chevy for including a coupe.
    Loren
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Hey Meade, that Mazda3 is pretty neat. Do you hear any whine noise from the electric steering? Is the air OK? Is that a stick? Did you try out a Cobalt before buying the Mazda3? If so, how did it compare? Yeap, I guess some day I will have those 17" wheels. Not on a '96 Miata though. I don't think Cobalt included that telescopic steering wheel, which is something I could use with my short arms. My Miata is a second car, mainly for sporting around a couple times a week. I seem to use my other car more. Someday I would like to have a daily driver for going to the store and for play. The Mazda3 or a Cobalt if they perk up the style a bit, may be a good choice. I would miss the Miata club runs though. Think they would notice the 3 was not an MX-5? Bet they would :cry: I like the RWD so will be considering a Mustang as well. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how Cobalt compares to Mazda3 and other cars. Buying a Cobalt used would be the way to go. Buy low - lose less!
    Loren :shades:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I'm sure that you meant no offense, but since the ricer terms arose from an ethnic slur we ask that they not be used in our Forums - thanks.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    OK, I should have said then, you don't want car to look over done for an small car, and trying to be something it is not - having too much over-the-top look to it. Sorry if someone took some of read of what this California term means. Japan is fine, people are fine as a whole, cars are fine. Sorry to offend anyone. Reference was to car look, and nothing to do with people, or origin of the make. Will use over-the-top styling now as the terminology.

    Did you know that the Corolla still sells for $14K with a stick? Has anyone driven the new Corolla and the Cobalt the same day for a comparison? Or the Civic? And did they end up buying a Cobalt? It looks like Hyundai is coming in under the radar with increase numbers of sales. They look alot like Japan makes, so many people have yet to notice that they are out there in ever increasing numbers. Right now it looks like the advantage of Cobalt is in the HP dept, but with so many other cars going head to head, perhaps GM should look to some other advantages as selling points, maybe free maintenance for four years, complete upgrade package in the car for say $15K, or something else not coming to mind at the moment, just to differentiate their car from the rest. I am afraid it will be lost amongst all the rest. Going RWD would be a possibility, if the cost was not so high, and in snow country, I know you guys and gals would need the traction control and other stuff for the RWD. Anyway, at some point, if not in the Cobalt size, they should be moving to cars with RWD. I think 2008 is the date for Monte Carlo RWD, but I am not sure on that one. Still think a smaller one, like maybe Malibu size in RWD, with an inline 6 would be cool and if sold for say under $21 may compete with BMW on the low end. Just a dream? I just don't think the course GM is taking will work. They must upscale and make really different looking and performing cars to survive. Let Korea and Japan fight it out on the low end cars.... but wait, it looks like Japan may be moving more towards mid to top line, and hybrids. How much of Daweo does GM own? Maybe it should be the low end badge like the Aveo as a GM Daweo and RWD mid-sized cars as GM Holden. Will there always be a Chevy and Cadillac - perhaps so. The Pontiac and Buick lines? If they downsized to four to six models, other than Cadillacs, and called them GM's without the badging of Chevy,Pontiac or Buicks would that hurt sales??? Brand loyalty with GM, some say so!
    Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I have no need for 17" wheels, but 16" wheels would make sense for a better ride. Why wouldn't a Cobalt owner want larger tires like every other car on the market. Years ago they made fun of the 13" tires, then the 14", now auto writers say the 15" tires are too small and lame.

    You are correct m1miata, going to too big with tires will only make the ride rough and potentially cause a bent rim.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    While my Dad's car is a Camry, and could use a larger wheel, the current 14" does the job just fine. With Toyo Ultra 800 tires, you do not hear the tires at all. Very smooth ride. Yes, 15" or even 16" may be better. I had 13" wheels on an Opel Manta Rallye, and they had one heck of a time back when, balancing those wheels. I wish it did have 15" wheels. The Celica still comes with 15" wheels and it will out handle most cars on the road. Cobalt will look just fine and drive just fine with 15" wheels, and I guess 16" if it makes those doing reviews and the rest of the herd happy. The 17" and 18" will just slow the car down, add cost for tires replacement, and if in a low enough profile make the seem like it has no shocks. For marketing, yes, they should have 18" to 20" wheels and those huge bass woofers and such. Yeah, it sells, so go ahead and do it. - Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I too had an Opel Manta years ago. Mine was a 1974 model, light green, with an automatic transmission. I bought it from a friend for either $100 or $200, I can't remember, and used it for my winter beater back in the 1980's. The car got reasonable mileage for a one with over 100,000 miles. That 1900 cc engine was one of the biggest of it's time along with the BMW 2002. The automatic was the worse part. I ended up giving it away.
  • avemanaveman Posts: 122
    I guess I think the wheel choices Chevy is going with is mostly pretty good. The 15" inch wheels offered on the LS model are the perfect size for my needs.I don't know about Cobalt for 2006, but the HHR will offer a sport suspension option on some models. That option will come with 17" wheels. While I sort of wish that option was available with 16"" inch wheels, the standard suspension is probaly better for my needs.I do not need the power of the SS model, but the upgrades to the VVt engine do make it tempting.The move to larger wheels is pretty much industry wide for sportier cars.I wonder what the insurance penalty will be for the 2.4 engine. I do hope to see an upgraded 2.2l soon , to improve fuel milage figures.
    Then I hope to see a diesel option for Cobalt.. To me these steps will be needed to shoot the Cobalt to the top of the sales charts.I am not sure what the barriers to diesel for USA are but it would good for GM not to be slow to break the barrier.If I had the cash now, would I buy an LS Cobalt.. I probably would.When I can afford a new car,, in about a year, Ihope the Cobalt is still at the top of the list.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Cobalt, once into or beyond the base price of say a Mustang or even the soon to be gone Celica, really make sense? I still don't understand someone wanting a Cobalt SS, which will be a souped up economy car, when they could be in something up the next tier. If they want light weight and quick handling, it has to be Celica. For looks and overall package, including a V6, the Mustang with a stick seems pretty good. Well, that said, if the gas is now flowing into the tanks better. Ah yes, the new car blues have befallen some new Stang owners. My bet is that Cobalt will have some quirks along the way too. And then there is the Acura which starts around the price of the Cobalt SS. Just thinking it is trying to move into too high a territory and will be fly out of bounds.
    Loren
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Posts: 677
    at a Chevy clinic I attended, the reason for huge wheels ("17 - 18") on Cobalt and Malibu was purely marketing, which strongly believed the huge rims gave the cars the urban "bling-bling" look that supposedly everyone wants.

    meanwhile the engineers were stating smaller (16") wheels and upgraded tires would make the cars perform much better.

    I guess it depends on whether you are buying the car for show or go?

    And for that matter, how important should exterior styling be, given that we are __inside__ the cars most of the time while driving them?
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