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Chevy Cobalt vs. Ford Focus



  • I don't seem to share the same complaints about the cobalt. I currently own a cobalt LTZ. I have no complaints about the electronic power steering. The "auto" feature isn’t as bad as it seems. The parking lights turn on automatically; day or night. The headlights turn on at the slightest hint of darkness. And the instrument panel lights turn on way before I even notice it's getting dark.
    It also came with Pirelli p6's, which aren't exactly cheap tires. I do admit that the sun visors are a bit cheap. My girl friend always complains that the mirror doesn’t come with a light so she can do her touch-ups of make up at night.
    And the car came with leather, so I don't have that "hairball" effect. And the radio and pwr steering controls on the steering wheel is a plus.
    If you're going to get a cheaper version of the cobalt, of course it won’t come with much of the good stuff. Even fully loaded, the car still sells at a good price. It’s a great car to own but my advice is...spend a little extra, for the extras.
  • I have a 2001 Ford Focus about to hit 150,000 miles... I loved it. I've only had to pay for routine maintenance, brakes... that's it.
  • pjm16pjm16 Posts: 13
    I love that the Cobalt has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System(TPMS), but if you buy new tires like i did (even though the factory tires we're new) the TPMS has to be relearned in order for the DIC(driver info center) to read the correct position of the wheel. I have learned the hard way. My dealer where i purchased the Cobalt told me only after i asked. He said that the place where i got the new tires should have done it, but didn't, and now i have to take my car back to dealership so they can "Relearn Position" of each tire! :)
  • mosfetmanmosfetman Posts: 1
    I just bought my first car on my own my parents bought me a ford ranger as my first vehicle and it kept breaking down and all i did was put money into it so i decided to get a new car and i got a 08 chevy cobalt ls and i love it even though it only has a 2.2 instead of the 2.3 in the focus it still has a good amount of power and incredible handling the only thing i dont like is that it has an extremely plentiful amount of trunk space but not a big enough opening to fit anything large and the seats in the base model are extremely light and will be easily stained so i had to get seat covers and another reason that i decided to go with the cobalt instead of the focus is because my sister has one and it is always in the shop but she didn't buy it new so it could just be cause the original owner ragged on it and it is also a older version so it really would be unfair to judge it just on those grounds
  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    your owners manual has the procedure for the relearn. next time you have a tire repaired or rotated have it at the ready. ;)
  • nvaznnvazn Posts: 1
    My 2000 Focus ZX3 151,650 miles on it, and I have been averaging 33mpg. Other then normal wear and tear the only things that have been changed are the thermostat and rear wheel bearings.
  • dromedariusdromedarius Posts: 307
    I own a 2000 Focus, which isn't much different than even the new 2008s, and I rented a 2007 Cobalt and find both to be solid vehicles. I still feel they are a step down from the Civics and Corollas, especially in fuel economy, but used they are a TREMENDOUS deal. I had a 2001 Chevy Prizm which I totaled this past April, and while the Focus can't touch it fuel mileage wise, the Focus was MUCH cheaper and had a LOT more options. You can buy a lot of gas for the $3k or more price difference in used Civics/Corollas vs. Foci/Cobalts.

    PS: mosfetman - Please consider using punctuation. I wanted to read your post but it was nearly incomprehensible as I am unable to decipher a 300 hundred word sentence.

  • Your Cobalt is a 2008, what was your Ranger. Was it used when you got it? Wait a while and your Cobalt will start coming apart. Check out Consumer reports which doesn't listen to any of this biased stuff we all write. They don't take money from advertisers (Ford or Chevy) and just report statistics. They show the absolute best and the absolute worst used cars (cars you need to avoid like the plague). Although Ford didn't do much better in the "best of the best" category than GM, they only had one car in the worst of the worst category. GM dominated the worst of the worst with 19 out of the total 32 cars in that category being GM. This disappointed me because I thought they'd improved over the 80's/90's era where they were really bad. Every mfr has gotten better since then, including GM. They just need to improve way more to catch up. I know more people who have GM cars who's glove box doors, sun visors, door handles, etc. have either fallen off or broken off in normal use. Sad.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Consumer Reports is not a legitimate rag when it comes to auto's. They have a flawed way of taking surveys using paid subscribers opinions only. Who knows why they are responding or not responding. What are their demographics?

    CR had their big apology not to long ago about their outsourced child safety seat debockle. Seems the company that tested the seats gave 8 out of 11 bad ratings when it turns out their testing procedure was flawed.

    It would follow CR when it comes to toasters, lawn mowers, or DVD's players, but for auto related information I would go to companies who that is their specialty like Car & Driver, Motor Trend, etc.

    Chevrolet's recent dash glove box recall on the HHR because it may open during a crash is part of the reason why some cars/trucks don't rate as good with such minor part failure. It's not like the vehicle isn't going to start in the morning which some people corrulate with a reliability study when it has no barring. I will take a GM product against any vehicle made for longevity and the ability to get me to my destination any day.
  • I gave up on CR years ago. The Japanese cars are always better than GM, Ford, etc. They neglect to mention the astronomical "routine maintenance" on Toyotas and Hondas -. $300 "15,000 mile service" and so on. They also don't mention the serious oil sludge problems with Tototas that were always the fault of the owner until they finally lost a class action suit. A new Solara I bought in 2006 rode stiffly and exhibited lots of convertible flex. It was just flat uncomfortable. The Cobalt rides like a Lincoln compared to the Solara. I was lucky to dump it at 300 miles to someone who was impressed because it was a Toyota.

    The subscribers of CU tend to be more environmentally conscious than the average person and that may affect their opinions on cars and other products. Motor Trend and the other car magazines admire and test cars that I have no interest in for the most part -high powered sport coupes and so on. Their comment on the Cadillac DTS is 'Elvis would love it but he's dead". This is patently ridiculous on a car that gets 28-30 mpg on the road, is capable of hauling 5 or 6 people for days at a time with no back strain, and rides "like a Cadillac". They much prefer Corvettes and Challengers. I totally ignore car magazines and I learned my lesson on the Solara. If I can't drive the model of car before I order it I won't order it until I can.
  • You are soooo mistaken about the civic an corolla. I will take my focus ST any day over either. My focus has the 151 hp 2.3 and I get 36 hiway milage. Mixed driving for me back and forth to work I am getting 32-35 in the summer time. 30-31 in the winter. The japanese vehicles are over rated because of the attitude and perception of people.

    As far as consumer reports : BUNK. They are human beings. They have biases just like any of us. While I agree the cobalt will fall apart on short order because it is the way gm (God's mistake) does things.... it sure isn't because CR said so!
  • I've rented both the Focus and the Cobalt. Both are perfectly good small cars. I bought a 2009 Cobalt because I wanted a coupe and I thought that the design was better looking -less boxy. If the reverse had been true I would have probably bought a Focus. I don't expect my Cobalt to fall apart. I've seen old Cavaliers with a hundred thousand miles and more. The Cobalt is built on a platform that is used internationally and I would expect that it would last a normal lifetime (100k miles) without serious problems. It is no better or worse than the Focus which has a good reliability rating. It is my opinion that neither Ford nor GM make any particular car in their line up "better" or "worse" than any other. Cost doesn't seem to be a criteria for build quality.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    100,000 miles is nothing for a Cavaliar. I have seen/heard of many people who have had 180,000 to over 200,000 miles on these cars. Like any car if its maintained it should last.

    Earlier this year I saw a first generation Cavaliar still on the road and running fine. It believe it was a 1984 model year.

    In the Midwest where I live, Chevy is known as a long lasting car. Buy a Chevy and it may be your last car purchase. My 1992 S10 p/u is still running strong but is rusty.
  • I have a 1986 Silverado 4WD short bed in my garage with 140,000 miles on it. The first owner drove it 100,000 miles, kept it in a garage, and followed all the prescribed maintenance. It runs perfectly, doesn't sqeak or rattle, has no rust, and looks good with its original black paint. I put on a new dash pad and reupholstered the bottom seat cushion, put on new pinstripes and side moldings and it looks good enough to put in a show. I'm sold on Chevrolets and you are right. With good maintenance, most cars and trucks will go 150,000-200,000 miles without major repairs.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I now own both a 2009 focus and 2009 cobalt - stick shift and auto respectively. I split the driving between the two cars for my commute. Here are some of my observations:
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