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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Edmunds Reviews 2005 Cobalt SS...



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By John Huffman @ Edmunds.com -- Link To Article
Date posted: 01-19-2005

With the new 2005 Cobalt SS Supercharged, Chevrolet has created something truly unique: The sport compact muscle car. By size and specification it's a sport compact, but by temperament and ability it's a good old American muscle car.

The Cobalt replaces the archaic Cavalier in Chevy's lineup and it's on the same "Delta" front-wheel-drive platform as Saturn's Ion. Chevy, however, uses steel body panels and gives the Cobalt coupe just two doors instead of the Ion Quad Coupe's four. Also like the Ion, all Cobalts have a MacPherson strut front suspension, a semi-independent torsion beam in the rear and electrically assisted rack and pinion steering.

Although the Cobalt SS Supercharged shares these basic elements, it's powered by a 205-horsepower, supercharged 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder and uses the same five-speed manual as a Saab 9-3. Ordinary Cobalt coupes and sedans are powered by a normally aspirated 145-hp, 2.2-liter Ecotec backed by a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. And to make things even more confusing, a non-supercharged SS model with a normally aspirated 2.4-liter Ecotec will debut in mid-2005 as a 2006 model. It will be available as a coupe or sedan.

SS models also get four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, an interior with standard leather upholstery and phony metal trim instead of phony wood, a mild body kit, an oversize rear wing and cool-looking 18-inch wheels wrapped in P215/45R18 Pirelli PZero tires. The only significant option is a performance package bundling an effective limited-slip differential with truly great Recaro front seats. Don't buy a Cobalt SS without them.

Sizewise the Cobalt SS Supercharged, which is only available as a coupe, is barely small. It's 5.1 inches longer and 1.3 inches wider than a Honda Civic Coupe. However, the Cobalt's 103.3-inch wheelbase is just 0.2 inch longer than the Civic's.

At nearly 3,000 pounds the Cobalt SS isn't light either, and it feels heavy on the road. Plus its acceleration is tempered by those big, heavy (25 pounds each) wheels. Chevy says it will trail the Ion Red Line, which is powered by the same supercharged engine, in the quarter-mile by two-tenths of a second.

To put the muscle car thing in perspective, however, consider that the Cobalt SS Supercharged weighs less than a five-speed 1987 IROC-Z, and almost matches the output of the Camaro's 5.0-liter V8. Fact is the Cobalt SS is likely quicker than the IROC, although it'll get spanked by a 230-hp, turbocharged Dodge Neon SRT-4 which costs about the same.

The Cobalt SS also drives much like that old Camaro, and we mean that as a compliment, mostly. It tracks beautifully, pulls hard through corners and its electric steering has a heavy, numb feel reminiscent of the third-generation F-body. That kind of steering worked in heavy muscle cars cranking Huey Lewis and the News, but the 2005 tuner market wants, and expects, improved feel and feedback.

With its excellent torque down low (its peak is 200 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm), the supercharged Ecotec even feels like a small V8, pulling with authority. It would be nice if it sounded like a V8, but blower whine has an appeal of its own.

We're also fond of the Cobalt SS' stiff structure, and its firmly tuned suspension that produces a tight ride and flat cornering. On some California mountain roads the Cobalt SS proved to be an entertaining drive, but there's a bit too much understeer dialed into the chassis. This is partly due to its beam rear suspension, but it's really a balance issue. One look under the hood and you can see how the engine actually sits in front of the axle line, putting too much weight too far forward.

Inside, the Cobalt SS is straightforward and attractive, but it still suffers from quality lapses in part fitment and plastic casting flash. The dials are easy to read, the AutoMeter boost gauge is a neat touch and the steering wheel and shift knob are encased in leather. Carrying on the Camaro tradition, the rear seat is tight.

If Chevy is going to build a mini-muscle machine, it ought to embrace the concept more completely: Drop the vision-blocking rear spoiler in favor of a classic Camaro ducktail and throw on some rally stripes. The $21,995 Cobalt SS Supercharged may use parts from around the world but its feel is as American as the Super Bowl. And that is something unique.

Last edited by ekool; 01-25-2005 at 07:42 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 10:46 PM
 
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Well it looks like they like it, but for some reason they also want to make it more like the late 80's camaro lol, somebody's got their mullet still. I also like the fact that they mention the SRT-4 will spank it, but that's ofcourse comming from a srt4 owner hehe.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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I think its odd that they don't include the cars weight with the front recaro seats. Chevy doesnt have it listed with the front optional seats. I imagine that it takes a good amount of weight out of the car.

I'v found that edmunds while less biased than other magazines (Car and driver for one) still likes to throw out some punch shots at the american cars. The comparison to the Iroc Z? That was a bit uncalled for. Why don't we just compare the civic to a 1974 Honda Accord?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 12:25 AM
 
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Well since i own a 1987 Camaro this should be no problem getting use to the Cobalt SS.

By the way i do not have a mullet. LOL



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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87camaroPA
Well since i own a 1987 Camaro this should be no problem getting use to the Cobalt SS.

By the way i do not have a mullet. LOL
Hehe I was just kidding about the mullet part, hope no one got offended.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo
Hehe I was just kidding about the mullet part, hope no one got offended.
No i was just making a point you can't judge a person by there car.



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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unless its a Miata...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekool
Unless its a Miata...
Well kinda true but i have seen some crazy fast Miata's.



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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 03:34 AM
 
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I wonder if they are gonna make a 2 dorr SRT4? That would be interesting?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coconut84
I wonder if they are gonna make a 2 dorr SRT4? That would be interesting?
I seriously doubt it...DCX has made a lot of comments that they are pretty against making more coupes...which is why the new Dodge Charger is a 4 door and they won't be making any 300C's into coupes.
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