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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Review

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Amyot Bachand
A surprising little car
Chevrolet engineers managed to create a sporty compact car that can rival the Mazdaspeed3 and Honda Civic Si. The Chevrolet Cobalt SS showcases a number of skills and sporty dynamics which the regular model had yet to achieve. This turbocharged Cobalt sure is a solid performer, but the biggest surprise comes from its handling and braking capabilities -- two key attributes for any aspiring sports car.

The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS offers very interesting value in terms of performance.

WRX-like spoiler
What better way to catch the attention of tuning enthusiasts than to add a huge spoiler on the trunk? Just look at what Subaru does. In this case, either you love it or you hate it. Personally, I think that the Cobalt's rear spoiler garners too much attention and significantly affects rearward visibility. It also produces a lot of vibrations. Fortunately, this apparatus is optional.

Of course, many other upgrades define Chevrolet's hot coupe, including a more aggressive front fascia and a drag-reducing body kit. Without the spoiler, the Cobalt SS is a stealthy little athlete, which is perfectly fine for a lot of drivers. Catching the competition off-guard is always fun.

Another thing I didn't like about the spoiler is that it makes the trunk lid heavier to manipulate, which is a shame considering the generous cargo room available.

Inside the driving cockpit
Thanks to a wide set of doors, access to the front buckets is easy. The latter, which are decorated with the "SS" logo, are nicely sculpted and supportive. You can find a decent driving position with the help of numerous seat adjustments.

The company wanted the Cobalt SS to include boldly-styled instruments. The titanium-faced sport gauges sure are attractive, but the speedometer proves hard to read at a glance; the digits are too small and not contrasting enough. As for the turbo boost gauge (on the front left pillar), forget about it. Just use your ears!

Meanwhile, the rear seats are rather difficult to reach despite the folding/sliding mechanism of the front perches. Your friends won't be too happy when you take them for a ride. That's because the Cobalt SS is a 2+2 type of car.

Storage is limited and, while fit and finish has improved, the overall layout still looks a bit too "plasticky".

The seats are decorated with the "SS" logo and are nicely sculpted and supportive.
Amyot Bachand
Amyot Bachand
Automotive expert