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Chevrolet Cobalt



  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Whether it is a Cobalt SS, Neon, Civic, Ion, etc., they all cost about the same in their sport configuration. These cars are for the tuner minded who like the compact size, weight, and style.

    A lot of people who buy and build imports, and even the new American pocket rocket cars, don't particularily care for Camero's and Mustangs. The import tuner is known to put $10-20,000 into their 4-cylinder engine for an edge on the other drivers.

    The Celica was ok, but it didn't sell very well. I think the Cobalt and other coupes looks better than the Celica. I may be wrong by not looking, but I think the Cobalt SS, Ion, Neon, can also out perform the Celica in handling, excelleration, etc.
  • ndsax707ndsax707 Posts: 30
    Bingo. The Cobalt SS is at the top of it's class in handling. Those 18" wheels must really be hurting its performance...

    Motor Trend Feb 2005

    "The Cobalt SS is the fastest regular production front-drive car through the slalom we've tested in three years, rocking through the cones even faster than the new Corvette Z51. The SS out cornered the VW R32 on the skidpad, outgunned the Mini Cooper S 0-to-60 mph, and outstopped the Subaru Impereza WRX 60-to-0 mph."

    The Celica GTS is $22,500, has 180 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. The Cobalt SS costs about the same, has 205 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, and has superior handling. It's a no-brainer.

    More about wheel sizes...
    Loren claimed NASCAR uses tires that flex and they are 15". Don't see them as not gripping. NASCAR and every other major racing body limits wheel and tire sizes to promote competition and increase safety, not to maximize performance. NASCAR's limit is 15". LeMans Prototypes have an 18" limit. Look at the following list and tell me again why your 14" Miata wheels perform better than 17" wheels would. I'm not talking about practicality, just performance.

    Car - Tire size front / rear

    Ford GT - 18/19
    Dodge Viper - 18/19
    Carrera GT - 19/20
    SLR McLaren - 19/19
    Corvette - 18/19
    Enzo - 19/19
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    First of all, while slalom and later G tests are good indicators of handling, it is not the end all. Have you seen a road test, or track test between the Cobalt SS, Acura RSX and Celica GT? I would not buy the Celica GT-S but would instead go for the GT. Less HP, but almost the same torque. Unless drag racing or on the track, GT will have adequate torque to sport the back roads. A Celica GT will hold resale value better, as it is not a modified economy coupe and is a Japan make. The Mustang V6 has 205 HP without all the supercharger stuff going on. Cost the same or less than the Cobalt SS. I did not say that NASCARs could not handle better with larger tires, say on a road course. I did say they are not flying off the track just because the tires are less in size. If you want to pretend your car is a LeMans racer, fine, pay the extra money for the tires. My Miata, with 14" wheels will take all the turns on tight twisty roads at around double speed if ya want to, so how much faster do you need to go? Porsche 944 came with 16" wheels, and I bet ya it out handles the Cobalt. Corvettes use to come with 16" wheels. Heck a lot of performance cars came with 15" wheels. A Celica still has 15" wheels. As for the max on Miata, I think it is 16" size before the car slows down and performance suffer, for the first gen. cars, and 17" are OK on the second gen. cars. The suspension is pretty tight on those race cars. I doubt it will be the same on a Cobalt, so will it really be doing better at handling the unsprung weight - nahhh. I assume it out later G tests the VW due to the high profile of the VW compared to the Cobalt. The modern day tires have really helped the scores for later G tests. That said, there is a lot of bumps in the roads, and power shifting going on, and a whole lot of other elements once actually driving the car on the road. Good that it does well in the later G. Hope it does well on the road too. I am sure it will perform well. GM has made cars that did well on the road. CobaltSS may be just perfect, in its class. That said, where's the value? If you want a street car racer, why not buy a used Camaro SS which still more power than the current Mustang GT, or a used Corvette ( they have big tires, now-a-days ). Now a Corvette is Americas sports car. The Corvette and Mustang are also RWD. Mustang RWD and under $20K. And that is Americas Pony car.
  • ndsax707ndsax707 Posts: 30

    I think this really comes down to us having different automotive philosophies. I think you're older, wiser, more experienced, and attracted to cars with above-average abilities and modest but attractive styling. I'm younger, smarter, and better-looking. No, I'm kidding. I'm attracted to cars that are at the top of their class in performance, and sporty and aggressive in appearance.

    I am still learning about different cars and trying to experience them all for myself. I love driving and I love pushing the car and myself to the edge. Faster is never fast enough. I'll sacrifice practicality and convenience for performance any day as long as it's within reason. Firmer ride, bent rims, more expensive tires? Screw it, give me the 18"ers any day. I like how they look and I like how they drive. I believe you that your 14" Dunlops give you everything you need out of your Miata. For me that wouldn't be enough. The ultimate car for me has always been the Corvette. But until I can afford to keep one as my weekend car, I'll be interested in getting as much performance as I can out of my sporty daily driver. You're content to let good enough alone, but I'm always looking for more.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Yes, from experience, which means some years of owning cars, I see the Cobalt as going down the same path as previous modified small cars of recent years. You pay more for the added soup to the point where you could have purchased the next car up. And yes, the most fun Cobalt will be the SS model and it will do a quick zero to a speeding ticket. Actually, if performance for the dollar is the deal of the day, the Camaro SS was and is still the hot ticket, I would think. The 5.7 liter 310HP is more than a match for a 4 cylinder anything! Just saying that when you get into top pay for the little car, you never get the return on cash paid... or should I say in recent years, a good return. Now a Nova or Plymouth Duster 340 would pay out big time if bought back in the 60's or 70's, but I don't see this FWD and super charged 4 cylinder cars as having the same lust to them looking years ahead. I could be wrong on that. Never say never. The Cobalt could catch on as some sort of new cult street racer. If I was paying that much for FWD cars, I would be looking more for Acura RSX quality. For visual bang for buck, there are plenty, like the Stang. As for better performance from the 18" over a 16" on a Cobalt, I bet ya it is all for show. I think the term is that they look sick, which I now understand means something good and not that the car has sudden gone ill. Let's see bad is good, and sick is healthy.... ahhhh, I can't keep up with reverse speak. If one is looking for cornering capabilities, you can look to the Miata. FWD cars, at the limit may not give ya what you want. But then again, I think that on the street, one has limits as to chances to be taken, and becoming yet another national statistic 1144 at an early age is not something to look forward to. If young people do buy this car to take it to the limit, the insurance company will find that limit very fast. Faster than a speeding ticket, is the premium to be paid on insurance after a few cars are wrapped around trees. Don't know what the top end speed of the Cobalt SS is, but would not want to see a wreck in one over 100 MPH without a full roll cage. For $20k, you can also buy a used Corvette. Serious power and handling, and of course buyer beware as it is a beast. And you can race the Cobalt on the track after they are finished playing with the cones. - Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    There is a big difference between a loaded car and stepping up to the next level of car. For me if I was to buy a loaded Aveo or Cobalt I would not want to step up to the next level because that level is a base model car. For instance if I had a loaded $14,500 Aveo, why wouldn't I just jump into a Cobalt? Because I wouldn't want a base Cobalt. I would want the loaded $19,500 Cobalt. But if I am interested in a $19,500 Cobalt, I may as well jump into a base Malibu. But again I wouldn't want a base Malibu, I would want one that has all the features. Where do I go from hear? I am not going to a Park Avenue Ultra now..
  • And the automakers know that, its why they do this whole pricing strategy in the first place.

    Does anyoneknoe if they will replace the 2.0L S/C with a S/C version of the 2.4L? They showed a version in Germany that does 250hp!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I see that " poncho167 " likes the fully loaded cars in each line. I am sure the dealership and GM love you. They would hate to see me come on in, as I am just the opposite, as in cheap. You are a better consumer, no doubt. I find some options annoying, as well as, expensive and un-needed. Yeah, there are some cool things which would be nice to have though. If they would make electric windows with power always on, I may even enjoy those. As it is now, I have two cars without power windows, and love it. No fishing around to find a key to roll up windows, or a passenger dying in the heat. You always get your money back on air conditioning, and auto transmission, so I guess that makes sense, though most come standard anyway. I would try a stick first to see how good it is for that make, then decide on stick vs. auto. Sunroofs take up headroom, can squeek or leak, and I don't see them as anything all that great. Get a targa top or drop top if sun and wind is your thing. I have a Miata, which is good for top down on good weather days, but I got the convertible since the car is made that way. Ya know, it seems to be the last 4 cylinder RWD sports car now. Gone is the 240sx, rest its soul. I read the review on the Cobalt SS, and it is as I thought it would be, a good car, but not an RSX. Cobalt in regular flavor is what I would buy, unless the SS could be found for half price in three years time, and owned by an older driver.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    While I know this is not a comparison discussion, a few questions were asked, so I will answer them quickly and let you guys move on ...

    (1) I did not drive a Cobalt before purchasing my Mazda3. We had a horrible experience with a 1995 Cavalier (four head gaskets in 52,000 miles) and have sworn off GM products -- for now. By contrast, this is my sixth new Mazda vehicle since 1991, and I have been a very pleased customer.

    (2) My 2005 Mazda3 is a five-speed hatchback/wagon/whatever they're calling it this week. I moved up from a 2000 Protege sedan and I love the flexibility and sportiness of this car, not to mention the horsepower increase from 125 to 160. I would not buy an automatic car.

    (3) My Mazda3 is almost two months old and has a little over 2,000 miles on it. We've already had a few days above 90 and my air conditioning works fine -- whatever problem there was appears to have been limited to early 1994 models (most of the people complaining about it over on the Mazda3 discussions purchased their Mazda3s in October through December 2003). And I'm a big guy (280 pounds) and it takes quite a bit to cool down my big ol' bod, especially since I'm normally commuting 19 miles each way in a business suit.

    (4) It's Velocity Red. :shades:

    Enjoy your Cobalts; I'll see you at the next traffic light!

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Some people have reported a whine sound from the electric assist steering on Mazda3 cars. I see GM is moving to electric steering as well -- any strange sound coming out of Cobalts? What's so good about all this electric stuff? First throttle-by-wire, which some have problems with and now the steering assist by electronics. I just want good feel like I get from my Miata. Steering always good, no noise, no artificial feel there at all. I take it throttle-by-wire is not on the Cobalt, or am I wrong. Looks like Cobalt will be a good little car for those getting one. I think that the Mazda3 inside and outside looks more interesting. Not saying that Cobalt looks bad. Just think that a little more character, and attitude needs to be added to the style. Some personality. As for Mazda3, it is the sedan and not the hatchback I am talking about. There are some in the 3 series a bit over-the-top in fashion. Velocity Red, you say? Ah yes, speeding while stopped. I owned a Stealth in Firestorm Red, and you could see it for miles. Have fun in your Mazda3 and for those in Cobalts, have lots of fun too!
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