Cobalt could make GM's rivals blue
For lovers of American cars and anyone else hoping the Big Three automakers thrive long-term, the arrival of Chevrolet's new Cobalt is an event of potentially huge significance.
Priced from the mid-to-upper teens, the Cobalt squares off directly against two of the most potent offerings from Japan - the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
If the Cobalt succeeds, a huge swath of U.S. car buyers will have a viable option for ``buying American.'' But if the Cobalt fails, one will be justified wondering whether there's any future for General Motors in vehicles smaller than sport utility vehicles.
My first impression: the Cobalt stands a good chance for succeeding.
For this sedan looks good - even Japanese in some regards - and drives well.
One of the first things you'll notice getting into a Cobalt is the car's solid exterior door handle. This nice touch sets the tone for the Cobalt, which manages to retain some of a big American sedan's nicer features (for instance, the trunk is extremely large). Though a tad heavy on plastic, the Cobalt's interior is attractive and extremely well designed. Leg room is better than for most cars of the Cobalt's size. Seats are also comfortable and easily adjusted, while gauges are simple. The radio (which can play either CDs or MP3s) is also nice and simple, and sounds excellent.
Lastly, climate controls are perfect - three traditional gauges to adjust temperature, fan speed and mode.
On the road, the Cobalt handles extremely well. It feels like a little car in the city and a medium-sized car on the highway. Excellent cornering is likely due in part to tires bigger than on many smaller cars. The Cobalt's four-cylinder engine is reasonably powerful - zippy enough to get you out of a jam, but somewhere short of exciting.
The bottom line: This is no Chevy Cavalier.
In fact, I'd consider the Cobalt a worthy rival to the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. And that's a high standard indeed.
By Eric Convey
/ Motor Mouth via: http://business.bostonherald.com/bus...rticleid=70435