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Chevrolet Cobalt Real World MPG



  • Consumer reports ratings mean little to the average consumer. Remember the Cavalier always had some of the worse write up's and still was a top seller for GM for years. What sells these cars is Price. People look for cheap cars and that's what keeps them selling.I work with many people who travel long distances to and from the job and always look for the cheapest new car they can get. There great commuter cars or first new cars for the kid going to college or a second car to bang around town in.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Consumer reports ratings mean little to the average consumer. Remember the Cavalier always had some of the worse write up's and still was a top seller for GM for years. What sells these cars is Price. People look for cheap cars and that's what keeps them selling.I work with many people who travel long distances to and from the job and always look for the cheapest new car they can get. There great commuter cars or first new cars for the kid going to college or a second car to bang around town in.

    While I do agree with the majority of your post's content, especially the last sentence, I have to respectfully disagree with the actual subject line itself. By working with a room full of mechanical and electrical engineers and engineering managers, I can assure you that these guys all take CR's opinions into consideration whenever they are cross shopping vehicles. But not solely. They do more research than simply read CR's rating of a vehicle that they are interested in. But again, they do actually take CR's reviews seriously and use it as a part of their overall evaluation of a prospective vehicle. And I really don't think it's just engineering types that do this. CR isn't the automotive bible, but it's still a respectable resource for many people in the U.S. With that said, you are indeed correct in that many other people are simply looking for cheap transportation--regardless of a vehicle's reputation on paper so to speak. When the total cost of ownership gets low enough, pretty much anything will sell fairly well for a few years.

    Ron M.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You said, in part:

    Unfortunately for GM, Consumer Reports has the sedan's reliability rated below the industry average;

    This is an "Emperor has no clothes" issue these days. CR used to report on test cars that had 10 defects per vehicle whereas today car quality has improved so much, across the board, that you are talking more like 10 defects per 100 vehicles. This year in order to create more of an appearance of differences in quality than actually exists, they use a scale of poor to excellent where a poor vehicle, like the Cobalt, has 40% more defects than an average vehicle, and an excellent vehicle has 40% fewer defects than "average." If 10 defects per 100 vehicles is average (sorry, I don't have the exact number that is average), that means that Cobalts have, say, 14 defects per 100 vehicles and a Corolla has 6. Sounds like a big range, right? But if you average it out per vehicle, it is a range of 1.4 defects per vehicle vs. .6 defects per vehicle. SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH IN MY OPINION TO BASE A PURCHASE DECISION ON. Note that these are "non-serious" defects - the Cobalt is "excellent" in engine and other major areas.

    CR isn't dishonest - but they make all their money on the car buying issues and guides. These were meaningful "bibles" in the '60's and 70's in terms of opening people's eyes to the problems in Detroit and the fact that Japanese cars weren't junk. BUT that era is long gone, although CR's influence isn't.

    I've bought mostly American cars since 2000, and as odds would have it, the imports I bought during the same period had more defects than the domestics (with the exception of 2001 Focus).

    I think it's better to look at overall price, features, and costs and availability of dealer service. In these areas, I like the Cobalt a lot - it has good crash test results (excellent body integrity), great gas mileage (35 mpg consistently on my 70 mile daily freeway commute), and I LOVE that powerful 2.2 liter engine.

    It feels pretty good to support American industry post-911 too. We have a LOT of deficit to pay off over the years, and it would be good to recycle our $$$ over here. I get a kick out of buyers who want to break our dependence on "foreign oil" by buying small import cars that only get a few mpg better than domestics - the money they are shoving out the door to Japan o their car purchase far outweighs the dollars they are saving the US on foreign oil imports.
  • ...I think we've lost track that this discussion is for Cobalt owners to post their actual MPG. Remember? :surprise:

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I was probably the last guilty party to post "off topic."

    However, I think that Edmund's decision to break the threads into WAY too many subsections is too inflexible. Now I have to scan dozens of threads for stuff that was in just one thread. And there are only a few posts, most getting stale, in many threads. In the oldStuff often veers off topic, but is still interesting.

    Have you considering consolidating the threads but requiring people to choose one or more "tags" before making their post - you could have gas mileage tags, repair tags, purchasing tags, review tags, etc.
  • Hmmmm..interesting idea. However, the best place to post your suggestion would be in the Forums Software discussion.


    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • gman55gman55 Posts: 5
    After 12,000 miles with 80% on the hwy, I'm stuck at 31 MPG with the automatic in my LS coupe but I'm also averaging 75mph. (I have to. Thats the average hwy speed during my commute...really!)
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It's nice that you drive in an area with so little traffic congestion that the flow goes that fast during commute hours.
    You still don't have to drive 75 in a 65 zone. Just don't drive in the fast lane if most people are going faster than you and let them pass, waste their own gas and take their own risk of getting speeding tickets.
    Of course if you really wanted to go 75 anyway and are just using "everyone else is doing it" as an excuse, then don't worry about fuel economy.
  • gman55gman55 Posts: 5
    That's 75 mph in the "slow" lane. I 've seen 65er's that use the left lane and that really causes all sorts of problems when the 80+ idiot's come barreling in on them. I usually give a wide berth to them when I see their headlights bearing down on me.

    BTW I "hit" the downtown area about 5:30 in the am, so I miss most of the really bad congestion.
  • grosloupgrosloup Posts: 239
    Sometimes driving slower than the traffic's flow is extremely dangerest. Don't change your driving habits in that commute driving, but keep alert and share the road with those idiots. It might be more expensive on gas I agree but it would be a lot worse if you were involve in a crash, you could get injured and your car insurance would go sky high. Pay a bit more for gas and lot less for insurance.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Oh please. It is not dangerous or "extremely dangerous" to drive the speed limit. It's not like driving 30 mph or being stopped in the road. Traffic does not flow all at one synchronized speed like the Blue Angels in flight or something and everyone deals with it.
    Do you really believe that people are going to rear-end you while you are going 65 MPH in the slow lane or one of the middle lanes? Technically, even in the fast lane if that's the speed limit, but as a concession it's better to just stay out of that lane and let others pass on your left.

    People just want an excuse/rationalization/justification to speed and to put the blame others for it. "It's not my fault. I felt pressured to drive 80 because that's how fast everyone else drives."

    Just take responsibility that you want to drive fast and pay the gas and tickets and higher insurance and not complain about it if you get caught and ticketed or hydroplane on slick roads in the rain because your driving priority is to always drive as fast as the flow of traffic regardless of speed limits or road conditions.
  • grosloupgrosloup Posts: 239
    Let me tell you (jaxs1) what happened on the 28 of august 1999. I was driving in the right lane with my little family at about 67 mph. leaving the left lane free for "The Blue Angels" because YES the traffic was on a synchronized speed assuming at a speed of 80 mph. (maybe more) but REALLY SYNCHRONIZED I got rear-ended by a car following me to close and changing lanes because I was a slow driver at 67 mph? First thing you knew my vehicule was going sideways (same as a P.I.T. maneuver), I rolled over, slid on the roof and went in the ditch. The result.... my 3 year old son died instantly that day in my arms, today my wife is paralyzed and I got my left leg amputated. ask me if I really believe that people could get rear-ended while going 65 mph. in the slow lane? I really don't know what to tell you. I'm letting you figure it out.
    From that day on I'm always asking myself. That day, If I would had follow the flow at a Blue Angel Synchronized Speed would I still have my son, would my wife still be walking and dancing and could I still play baseball or kick a football?
    That's why I still say that it's EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to drive the speed limit if you're in a fast moving traffic.
    On that day my entire life capsized because I was following the speed limit. Go figure!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    So in that scenario, you would place the fault with the person driving 67 straight in one lane rather than with the reckless driver who can't change lanes properly?
    Even if you are driving "with the flow," there is still always someone who wants to go faster and will cut around other people to pass. Then what? Always drive faster than the fastest person behind you?
  • grosloupgrosloup Posts: 239
    Your right, I was hit by a reckless driver who couldn't change lane properly, but since that day I'm still blaming myself for what happened. It's hard to accept. I was thinking of suicide after the accident, doctors said I was on a Post Traumatic Stress but then I realized that my wife needed me more than anything else in this world. It was hard to overcome this and still today almost 8 years I still think about that day because my son is gone for ever and I'll never be able to have any children). If people drive faster than the fastest person behind you. Were and how will it end. Driving is supposed to be a pleasant thing not stressfull. People are driving faster and faster every day. Why?
    Thank's jaxs1 it made me feel good just talking about it with you cause you understand. Take care.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Arguing that excesive speed is necessary, "because everyone else is doing it so I'm justified doing so to avoid causing an accident is as bogus as Hitler's justification for annexing Austria. You're not at all part of any solution; you're a willing part of the problem.
  • grosloup, your story is tragic and you have my deepest deepest sympathies.....I do agree with you, going with the flow of traffic is probably best......going 80mph doesn't help fuel economy, however. My 2.2L Cobalt gets 37mpg at 65mph, but considerably less at 80mph. Best fuel economy is obtained at 60mph, which is, as you've suggested, often dangerous to maintain.
  • does anyone know of any websites or online stores where i can find some LED tail lamps for me 2006 cobalt LS 4 door.....
  • Bought my 2005 LS Coup 5-speed for $15K in June 2005. It now has 18.5K miles on it - it's my commuter car. I drive 52+ miles per day; some open highway, some stop & go city. Have NEVER gotten more than 28MPG! I've tried shifting with the in-dash shift light, which makes me feel like I'm driving with my grandma, and have abused it as well, it makes little difference. I know living 90 miles north of Philly, our fuel is full of additives, but it can't cause me to get 5 MPG less than everyone else is espousing on this forum. (We check the tire pressure and adjust once month.) For a light, peppy 5-speed, I'm not impressed. :confuse:
  • What kind of airfilter do you have in your car?I have a SS Supercharger 2007 and I put a cold air intake kit on my cobalt with a K&N air filter,I gianed about 5 miles to a gallon more.If you dont want to spend the money for the whole kit you can just get the filter this will help.Also what octane gas do you us? If I put regular gas in my car I will also go to the part store and buy some octane boost this will also help. Let me know if you try any of these and if it helped your car.As for the shift light my car does NOT have one.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    I've put almost 70,000 miles on my 2.2L ecotec 5 speed 2003 Alero, it has smuck 60 series 15s, keep em at 32-35 psi. Have ave just a tick over 30 mpg. Not bad probably weighs a little more than a Cobalt. Wife's 2006 2.4L ecotec automatic HHR (50 series 17s) ave about 26 mpg over period of 14K miles so far. It weighs about 3,150 lbs. The 2.4L recommends premium, but runs just fine on 87 octane.
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