Review: Chevrolet Cobalt XFE

Posted on 30. Sep, 2009 by in Auto News

With my previous Chevrolet Cobalt XFE encounter in mind, visiting three dealers in search of a XFE tester came as no surprise. Ironically, the dealer earlier with "Mr. Big Volume associated" (aka Bill Heard) had a Cobalt XFE-badged, who survived last month Cash For Clunkers buying spree. As the surprisingly respectful staff at this once infamous Storefront, the XFE was a refreshing breath of air circulation. It's still a Cobalt, but it is the most economical car, charge the battery hybrids spite. What is a car something special … well, something special.

The Cobalt XFE claim to fame is the 37 miles per gallon EPA rating, reaching a figure of common sense engineering. Not explain what (optional) drag-inducing spoiler on our two-door tester: laminar airflow-seekers look elsewhere.

But the rest of the package is cobalt banal. Sure, the split grille has a swept back appearance borders and the C-pillar is at an elegant sports coupe, but there's nothing like a (non-SS) Chevy Cobalt. But effectively with the XFE full, that's the point. The small plaque reminds one and all just what makes GM unloved compact so special.

And if it dragged a penchant for slightly optioned, purely functional mode vehicle traveling in your heart, for the Cobalt LS XFE-cum-to prepare your sensitive side. Yes, the inner brittle polymers of the same waste of GM stock by trade, but the dashboard does not like his Crafted from a single piece of plastic look. The seat cover can be made from recycled milk cartons, but they have the same stuff on the doors for visual warmth and comfort on long journeys. The Corvette-worthy tiller and decent gear the job done with Jon Stewart-like modesty. There's even a CD/MP3 stereo with a decent set of horns at each corner, and XM radio, so they never take a coffee break.

And the Cobalt XFE concerted works, provided you do not see the benefits more money for a Honda Civic. Or what you do not sacrifice a Hyundai dealership. Items like the missing center armrest, chrome or bubbling on the interior door handles will not win any friends. And although the "upshift" idiot light gets old after the first mile traffic, makes a useful instant MPG meter the pain go away with every drop in engine vacuum.

The positive numbers came on the economics in a steady state cruise at 65 mph: 39 miles per gallon. What is surprising, even if it is not, credit the daddy long-legs gear and low resistance tires. Not to mention the low grunt (a flat £ 150-ft of torque) allow these low speeds (2500 rpm at 70 mph) in the proud tradition of the Detroit turnpike cruising. But do not forget the iPod: turn green tire into the howling hounds of hell on rough roads.

But it's fun, in this fuel economy tires: even if the £ 2700 Cobalt XFE is not a sports car par excellence. With 155 horses and a reasonably precise shifter, there's plenty of potential hoonage at school-zone speeds friendly. But this is all because the redlining Ecotec four-banger networks in more thrash than the competition, what the impression of an underhood Anthrax concert controlled one the right foot.

Also credit the foolproof fun of cobalt pothole-friendly (mushy) chassis and tires with less grip than an Iraqi dictator: enough for daily commuting, but slightly exceeds their comfort at 7/10ths. Think about it: You can use the XFE to an inch of his life to travel and not piss off the neighbors (your life?).

More to the point, which is bottom-drawer Bowtie wonderfully raw, fast. But almost hybrid-like mileage at the expense of the Prius styling clichés, foreign engineering of rare-earth batteries and gee-whiz gadgetry Dashboard almost mandatory for today's eco-warriors come. In the cobalt, there are a number of chrome rings for the gauges and playful Stick Shift ready to take requests: thrift or fun?

And that is as it should be. GM channeled her inner Civic CRX HF this time, and hopefully it will stay the order for the upcoming Chevy Cruze (Civic but with levels of craftsmanship). If "The Civic, the fuel Hates" returns, the Cruze is condemned to the fate of its Cobalt / Cavalier ancestors. There is too little and too late, even with the Chevy Volt the halo effect. Less than half of the (theoretical) price of a GM hybrid counts for something But not enough.

Back to the present: my (mandatory) price objections to the Cobalt near-17k sticker forced an admission that the dealer is a loss leader just XFE: ready for weekend $ 13,995 on advertising. No wonder that the window sticker was MIA, under the all important EPA numbers with. Pity checkbook to that, because the Cobalt XFE is absolutely worthy of an economy-minded buyer.

Star Ratings

Performance (3 stars): Not as silky as the competition, but it slips along well enough.

Ride (4 stars): More than compatible for this class.

Handling (3 stars): Light to drive, easier to roll control.

Exterior (2 stars): There is a spoiler on a dull, compact rental car worth designed for fuel efficiency. That makes sense.

Interior (3 stars): Relatively comfortable bucket harmless design, to get general sense, what you pay for. Unless you pay RRP.

Fit and finish (2 stars): Sparkling chrome accents and lousy polymers mean that GM still does not play to win.

Toys (1 Star): You want more than a CD player, and A / C? Pass on the XFE and get the nicer models with thirstier engine.

Desirability (4 stars): Its hard not to be a small car with the basics, like a decent gear and great MPGs.

Mileage: 25/37

Tested Price: $ 16,765 (soon to be $ 13,995)

Total (4 stars): And you paid how much for your hybrid?