6 Best & Worst Chevrolet Cobalt Years (Facts & Stats)

The Chevrolet Cobalt is a classic compact car that was produced from 2005 to 2010. 

This model is known to be responsive, predictable, and comfortable. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at all of the best and worst model years of the Cobalt.

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Chevrolet Cobalt Are:

The best Chevrolet Cobalt model years are 2010, 2009, and 2008. The worst model years of this model are 2005, 2006, and 2007. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Chevrolet Cobalt?

2010 Chevrolet Cobalt

The 2010 Cobalt is the 6th and final model year ever produced.

Changes include shuffling of certain standard and optional features.

This car has respectable fuel economy, an ultra-smooth ride, a relatively quiet cabin, and great performance.

Available in both sedan and coupe body styles, this model has a total of 4 trim levels: XFE, LS, LT, and SS.

The XFE, LS, and LT trims come with a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower) while the top-spec SS trim is fitted with a 2-liter turbocharged engine that produces a whopping 260 horsepower. 

According to the EPA, fuel economy for this model is around 30 MPG for combined city and highway driving (while the SS trim is only rated at 25 MPG for combined driving). 

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 79 / 100

2010 Cobalt, Edmunds Review:

“I purchased this car as a commuter vehicle and it has not disappointed. I needed to be able to squeeze 3 kids in the backseat in a pinch, but knew that 95% of the time it would be me driving to or for work alone. To be clear, it is a cheap car – the interior is not fancy, it comes with very few features and it does not have the performance of the 250hp sports car. However, it does get from A to B reliably…”

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt

The 2009 Cobalt is a classic sedan that is known for its high level of comfort, reliability, and durability.

There have been minor styling upgrades and changes to feature availability and trim levels.

There are 4 trims available: XFE, LS, LT, and SS.

The newly introduced XFE (short for “Extra Fuel Economy”) is known for its stellar fuel efficiency ratings. The EPA claims it can achieve up to 37 MPG for highway driving and 30 MPG for combined city and highway driving.

The premium-level SS trim is more potent as it is equipped with a turbocharged 2-liter engine (260 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque). It only comes in a 5-speed manual transmission.

Owners have acknowledged the following aspects as the best parts of this car:

  • Fuel economy
  • Value
  • Handling
  • Steering
  • Interior
  • Appearance
  • Comfort
  • Acceleration
  • Driving experience

Experts, on the other hand, have praised the SS trim in particular for its turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, and Brembo front brakes, among other features. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 75 / 100

2009 Cobalt, Edmunds Review:

“We have had a 2009 Chevy Cobalt for 9 years and it has 225000 miles on it. The only Major thing we have had to do is replace the strut assembly. All we did was to change the oil regularly as well as checking the fluid levels…”

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

The 2008 Cobalt is a strong model year that has received only a few complaints online, owing to its manufacturing quality and overall reliability.

This is also the year that the premium SS trim was introduced, bringing the total trim count to 4 levels: LS, LT, Sport, and SS.

Depending on the trim, the EPA has declared that you can get anywhere from 25 MPG to 27 MPG for combined city and highway driving for this model year.

The LS and LT are fitted with a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine (148 horsepower), the Sport has a slightly larger 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine (173 horsepower), while the top-spec SS has a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine (260 horsepower).

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 76 / 100

2008 Cobalt, Kelley Blue Book Review:

“It’s actually a really decent starting car when you first get your license. It runs smoothly, not really any problems with it at all. Recommend for people wanting a cheap and easy car.”

Consumer Scores For Best Chevrolet Cobalt Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
J.D. Power
Consumer Rating
2010 Chevrolet Cobalt4.2 / 5.04.4 / 5.079 / 100
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt4.4 / 5.04.1 / 5.075 / 100
2008 Chevrolet Cobalt4.2 / 5.04.1 / 5.076 / 100

Related: Chevrolet Cobalt Alarm Going Off? (15 Common Causes)

What Are The Worst Years For The Chevrolet Cobalt?

2005, 2006, and 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt

The 2005, 2006, and 2007 Cobalt models are the most problematic model years ever produced.In fact, CarComplaints.com bestowed upon these models both “Beware of the Clunker” and “Avoid Like the Plague.”

The most prominent issue experienced by owners is intermittent power steering failure. The issue was so widespread that GM was forced to issue a recall.

“Power steering locks in and out by itself causing the car to shift hard and doesn’t want to idle but when steering is working correctly it runs like a new car please help.” – CarProblemZoo.com

Another common problem is the key getting stuck in the ignition and various other electrical gremlins.

“My key sometimes gets stuck in the ignition when I turn the car off. I have to then turn the car back on, move it into either reverse or drive, back up or drive forward a tiny bit, then put it into park again and turn it off and try to take the key out. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes I have to do it 2 or 3 times for it to work.” – CarComplaints.com

Another major complaint is that the vehicle would shut off whilst driving, and this issue was linked to a defective ignition switch for which GM subsequently issued a recall which affected 2.6 million vehicles.

“My car suddenly stalled on a major highway just out of the blue. Fortunately I was travelling at a fast enough speed that I had enough propulsion to pull over two lanes and get onto the side of the road and restart it.” – CarComplaints.com

  • The 2005 Cobalt had a total of 400 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 1,943 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2006 Cobalt had a total of 304 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 2,795 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2007 Cobalt had a total of 159 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 1,849 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Power steering failure
  • Transmission grinds when shifting
  • Key gets stuck in the ignition
  • Shifting issues
  • Power steering turns off intermittently
  • Steering locked up while driving
  • Power steering motor failure
  • Smell of gas inside vehicle

Related: How Long Do Chevy Cruze Last? (12 Important Facts)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2010 Chevrolet Cobalt497476
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt541,0646
2008 Chevrolet Cobalt1161,1545
2007 Chevrolet Cobalt1591,8496
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt3042,7956
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt4001,9436

What Problems Do Chevrolet Cobalt Have?

  • Power steering failure
  • Transmission grinds when shifting
  • Key gets stuck in the ignition
  • Front lower control arm and bushing damage
  • Shifting issues
  • Power steering turns off intermittently
  • Steering locked up while driving
  • Power steering motor failure
  • Smell of gas inside vehicle

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Chevrolet Cobalt?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Pontiac Vibe7.9$5,361 – $6,951City: 20 – 26 /Highway: 26 – 32
Volkswagen Jetta7.9$5,370 – $8,183City: 21 – 30 /Highway: 30 – 42
Honda Insight7.8$6,139 – $7,246City: 40 /Highway: 43
Hyundai Elantra7.8$4,338 – $4,942City: 26 /Highway: 34 – 35
Nissan Sentra7.8$4,513 – $5,713City: 21 – 26 /Highway: 28 – 34
Toyota Corolla7.7$5,437 – $9,025City: 22 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 35
Volkswagen Eos7.7$6,502 – $12,531City: 21 – 22 /Highway: 29 – 31
Chevrolet Cobalt7.6$4,749 – $8,916City: 22 – 25 /Highway: 30 – 37
Subaru Impreza7.5$4,625 – $8,327City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 27
Mitsubishi Lancer7.4$4,191 – $7,838City: 17 – 23 /Highway: 25 – 31
Chevrolet Aveo7.1$4,091 – $5,353City: 25 – 27 /Highway: 34 – 35
Dodge Caliber7.1$4,412 – $6,298City: 21 – 23 /Highway: 25 – 31

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

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  • Ian Sawyer

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