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Chevy Cobalt vs. Ford Focus

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
edited April 2014 in Chevrolet
Let's discuss these all new (Chevy) and refreshed (Ford) domestic sedans.


  • Not enough meaningful data yet on the Cobalt to make much of a comparison other than the fact that I think Chevy blew it big time by not offering a hatchback version.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Cause hatches sell like hotcakes. Take the Malibu Maxx for example.

  • I actually know nothing about how the Maxx is selling.. personally I think it is pretty butt ugly, but 5 door hatches certainly are popular enough that most of Chevy's competitors offer one.
  • Maxx is being way outsold by the Malibu Sedan. Maxx forum confirms this.
  • Of course the Malibu is in a different category than the Cobalt and will in general attract a different buyer. The younger crown in general tend not to be turned off by hatchbacks. Still I think Chevy might be selling a reasonable number of Maxx's, even with the weird styling and the odd shifter.
  • The real winner here (to me) seems to be the Mazda3. It Looks better than either the Cobalt or the Focus, and in @ form, has more power (with the exception of the Cobalt SS).

    The Cobalt's interior looks promising, if a bit generic. The 05 Focus interior is just embarrassing - bland, and with HORRIBLE seat fabrics. Ford uses decent fabric in the Escape XLS, and they should have used it here. I'm also NOT a fan of the Focus' pot-bellied dashboard stereo. If it stick out that far, make it into a flow-through console.

    On the outside, the cobalt reminds me a little of the direction Nissan took the maxima when it lost its way in the 90's. Kind of round, but not really inspired by much. The doors, especially around the C pillar, really really emphasize the globular nature of the Cobalt. The Focus fares better, but still has a few to many lines and bumps IMO.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    you hit the nail on the head here about the mazda3. it's based on the next generation focus (the one in europe, not the one here).
  • Agreed, and in fact all the Japanese and Korean small car makers... We will have to see about the Cobalt, but Ford needs to realize that if they are going to remain competitive in the small car market they can't just do face lifts every 5 years; they have to do complete redesigns. The fact that they did a redesign and we are not getting it is even worse.
  • agreed on that. the mazda 3 is a no brainer. as far as the cobalt goes, it kinda looks like a cavalier to me. anyone no if its based on the same platform?
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    The Cobalt only resembles the Cavalier on the exterior. The interior is light years ahead of the Cavalier and it rides on the Delta platform shared by the ION and the 5 speed manual transmission comes from the Saab 9-3
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    I don't know what you are looking at, but there is a difference in looks, both interior and exterior, between the Cavalier and the Cobalt. Looking at the interior of the Cobalt, it looks like a Ford interior. I think the interior of the Cavalier is laid out better.

         Also, the interior of the Cobalt is smaller in size.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Was quite impressed with the Cobalt SS. The car looks more substantial at the LA autoshow than just a beefed up compact. The interior looks light years over just about anything Chevy has done in years. The overall presentation of the car looks like a job well done. That, and Car and Driver says the car felt much more liveable and refined than other competitors (aka the Dodge SRT-4), it could be a big winner.


    Now if the other Cobolts are done with the same degree of success, and GM can get the reliability of these cars to be somewhat close to the Japanese, then they might have something.


    The recent recall of over 300K Focuses still makes me question their reliability.
  • lostlost Posts: 64
    Dude, the focus recall is for rear door latches. I seem to remember a HUGE recall on Honda vehicles last week. The focus has had a VERY good record since 2002.
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    What are you talking about. Did you even read my post? I said the "Cobalt only resembles the Cavalier on the exterior" and I also said that "the interior is light years ahead of the Cavalier".


    If you put a Cobalt and Cavalier next to eachother (without name tags) on a lot and asked someone who cares nothing about cars but knows of the Cavalier would most likely think the Cobalt is an updated Cavalier.


    And as far as im concerned the interior of the Cobalt looks nothing like that of the Focus. Where the hell did you get that from?
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    I think you better read what I said. I stated the interior looks like a Ford not that it looks like a Focus.
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    In that case I guess an apology is in order. I'm sorry I thought you referred to the interior of the Focus. :-)
  • My second Focus 4 door a ZX4 "S" is much improved over a 2000 4 door LX we owned several years ago. My wife always takes the car away from me, leaving me to drive her Honda Pilot EX-L sometimes. This redesigned Focus is the best low-end car around. Fun to drive , and with durable looking interior materials. As for the assembly gaps (low quality for some,or industrial strenght to me). Great car.
  • The cobalt is not even remotely close in looks inside or out to the cavalier. I drove a cavalier, and chevy didn't even make the cobalt to be anything like a cavalier. The exterior has no resembalence to a cavalier, the back is much more square and the front has no comparison whatsoever. Comparing a cobalt to a cavalier is like comparing a civic and an accord - totally different shapes!
  • daniel10daniel10 Posts: 1
    I would agree i own a cobalt and it is 10 time better than any cavalier it has more head room more horsepower as well as better interior . on looks issue i think it looks like a civic in the front .
  • I agree with the person above me I own a cobalt and even though the price range is around that of the cavalier (on the base models) I would have to say that the cobalt out does the cavalier on so many levels the cavalier looks as cheep as they come. when buying a cavalier you get what you pay for but when buying a cobalt you get so much more. Bottom line Sunfire's and Cavalier's suck [non-permissible content removed]. I would know because I just traded in an 03 sunfire on my cobalt. The cobalt is SO SWEET it really gives imports a run for their money you can read any car review and it will say the same thing. The cobalt ranks right up there with the civic and the carolla but it has more horse power. Research it on any car review and you will get the same thing. I read about 10 cobalt car reviews before purchasing the car and they all had nothing but good to say about the cobalt, and when reading the car review on a cavalier and sunfire they both had many negatives. All the important car critics out there say that Chevy has indeed out done themselves with the new cobalt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cavalier suck COBALT RULES!!! And buy the way there is nothing wrong with the interior of the cobalt it does not look cheap it looks very detailed for the money. my BF's 350 doesn't have as much chrome on the interior as my cobalt!!! and as for the person who is talking about the mazda 3 having so much more power than the cobalt. I looked up how much power a mazda 3 has and I quickly figured out why it's called a mazda 3, because it has 3 more horse power than the cobalt. 3!!!!! Thats it. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! :mad:
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    OK folks, let's look at some of the "better" points of the Cobalt compaired to the Cavalier. These will be on the coupe models only.

    1. More headroom: Cobalt front 38.7 inches Cavalier front 37.6 inches. Not too much of a difference to be a big deal.

    2. More horsepower: Cobalt 2.2L 145HP Cavalier 2.2L 140HP. Not too big of a deal since the Cobalt weighs about 374 pounds more than the Cavalier. You'll need the extra HP.

    3. Both vehicles have almost the same interior volume and cargo space. Both vehicles are about the same in overall length.

    4. If the Cobalt is supposed to be in the economy class, than why is it $3300 more than the Cavalier?

    I've owned three Cavaliers and enjoyed all of them. In fact, I still drive a 1998 Z24. Looks and runs great. I cannot say that I like the Cobalt as a replacement for the Cavalier. This is my opinion. I know that some others just love their Cobalts. Everyone has their own likes. I just don't see the big deal about the Cobalt.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    If nothing else, the Cavalier has some of the worst crash test results of any car in the US. The Cobalt is one of the class leaders.
  • gmoudygmoudy Posts: 67
    You'll need to show that to me. I looked up several crash test reports on the Cobalt and they all stated that it was not tested yet. The Cavalier has a 4 star frontal crash rating.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,994
    a 2000 explorer drifted out of it's lane and hit a cobalt . the cobalt driver was killed. don't forget the star rating is vs vehicles in the same class.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Motortrend compared the sportiest models of several econos and rated Focus ST ahead of Cobalt, which was dead last - not sporty enuf. I agree.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    gmoudy - go to or

    explorex4 - I'm sure someone in an explorer has killed someone in just about every car out there, don't single out the Cobalt.

    ambull - I didn't really understand that comparison. The base Cobalt is not meant to compete with the Corolla XRS or the Focus ST. It competes with the regular Corolla and the regular Focus. If they're going to take the top of the line 'sport' models of these cars, why not use the Cobalt SS? If there is no sport-sedan version of the Cobalt, why include it, just makes it look bad.
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    They didn't compare the base Cobalt; they compared an LT I believe. They didn't do an SS because it's a coupe and they were comparing sedans. They compared the sportiest Cobalt sedan available. They didn't compare any Civics because none were sporty enough, so maybe they should have excluded the Cobalt too, but left it in because it is a new model.

    The sportiest model would be the 2006 SS? sedan with the forthcoming 2.4 Ecotech, but that's not available yet.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,994
    i wasn't trying to single out the cobalt. i just happened to see a story in the paper about the acccident. a 4 star rating for any car of that class does not buy you much safety.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    ambull - They should have left it out. The LT is and has always been a 'luxury' trim. There is nothing sporty about the car, it does not compete with those other cars - it shouldn't have been in the competition

    exporerx4 - Even a 5-star rating doesn't buy you much safety against a 4500+ pound truck. It's very unfortunate.
  • huntleyhuntley Posts: 14
    As a 54 year old male who does minimal driving, I am trying to decide on whether to purchase a Ford Focus ZX5 ($16,800) or a Kia Spectra SX (14,800). I have narrowed my choices down to TWO vehicles. According to Consumer Reports, the Ford Focus is rated number one, whereas the Kia Spectra is "out of contention" due to poor crash results :cry: . Owners of the Kia Spectra have said the car suffers from "nose plow" when braking, as well as "understeer" and a noisy engine at highway speeds. I tried BOTH vehicles and found that the Focus had a better seating position, but cheap looking interior materials. The Spectra's interior looked superior and the handling felt similar to the Focus, even though it had a much lower stance. This is a difficult decision. I also drove the Mazda3 but ruled it out because I found the seats were as hard as concrete. I tried the Cobalt and those seats were the same. The most comfortable seats are in the Focus and the Spectra. Because of Kia's poor history and "pooh poohing" from the auto industry, I am reluctant to purchase one, plus I have never seen one on the road. Even the salesperson at KIA told me the car was a hard sell. Could someone please offer some advice and suggestion to help me make my final choice? Are both cars silly looking for a 54 year old male? One added piece of info . . Kia and Ford are both conveniently located near my home.
This discussion has been closed.