The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt ranks 20 out of 35 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 59 published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Cobalt, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The Cobalt delivers a smooth ride and attempts to provide upscale features in its cabin, but it’s overall appeal falls short of the top-ranked cars in its class.
Road and Track leads those who call the 2008 Cobalt, a replacement for the long-standing Chevy Cavalier in Chevy’s lineup, “a thoroughly modern, class-challenging contender,” in the affordable small car class. But still, the Cobalt ranks in the middle of the class because it doesn’t match the performance and comfort of other small sedans. The Cobalt’s ranking is also hurt by criticisms concerning a cramped rear seat and a coarse base engine. What the Cobalt does provide, however, is competitive gas mileage in the presence of $4 gas.
The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt is a carryover model that comes as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. For 2008, Cobalt dropped its SS trims and added safety equipment. All Cobalts now have side curtain air bags, and the Sport trims now feature StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control. If you’re in the market for a new affordable small car, consider the Honda Civic, also available in sedan or coupe trims.
* The Cobalt family is a serious presence in the compact-sedan segment.” — Car and Driver
* “The Chevrolet Cobalt will satisfy the needs of drivers looking for economy of price, economy of operation, and a nice, quiet ride.” — New Car Test Drive
* “Solidly built, suitably refined, and attractively priced, it’s an American car that can compete with its foreign rivals. Although by no means a driver’s car, The Cobalt is quiet and refined by the standards of the class.” — Motor Trend
* In contrast, BusinessWeek’s reviewer notes, “In real life, I would shop around and test-drive competing models before going with the Cobalt.” — BusinessWeek
Cobalt Performance – 7.6 (Good)
The Cobalt’s solid performance score is the result of its smooth, responsive ride. New Car Test Drive says, “The Chevrolet Cobalt is quite pleasant to drive, especially the Sport model.” Continue with our full Performance Review for more information on the Cobalt’s performance specifications. continue
Cobalt Exterior – 7.5 (Good)
The 2008 Chevy Cobalt’s simple style earns a good score, but others in the class are more stylish and distinctive. The Sacramento Bee thinks the Cobalt’s design is “understated, but attractive.” Meanwhile, USA Today thinks the Cobalt looks “just saucy enough, embracing neither the juvenile, in-your-face look nor the generic small-car appearance.” Check out the Chevy Cobalt Photo Gallery to see the car’s profile in black, or continue with our full Exterior Review for further comments on the Cobalt’s clean design. continue
Cobalt Interior – 6.4 (Mediocre)
According to our analysis, the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt‘s interior isn’t spacious enough and offers inadequate seating comfort. USA Today says the Cobalt is “too small inside, especially in back, even judged by little-car standards.” But it does offer high-quality cabin materials and sufficient cargo space. Check out the Chevy Cobalt Photo Gallery to assess the car’s dimensions, or continue with our full Interior Review for more information on the Cobalt’s 13.9 cubic feet of available cargo space. continue
Cobalt Safety – 9.5 (Excellent)
The Chevrolet Cobalt is “as good as, if not better than, most of its competition on the safety-equipment front,” according to Motor Trend. The 2008 also scores well in government crash tests. Check out the full Safety Review for crash test results and details on the Cobalt’s safety equipment. continue
Cobalt Reliability – 6.0 (Mediocre)
The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. This score is based on trending the past three years of historical initial quality and dependability data from J.D. Power’s automotive studies, specifically the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). Cobalts come with Chevy’s three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty. Continue with our full Reliability Review for additional information on the Cobalt’s reliability