By on July 11, 2007

x07ch_cb011.jpgFair disclosure: I wanted to love the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged (SS-S). My first car was America's Beetle: the Chevette. Watching the transplants take over the U.S. compact car market, I've always hoped The Big 2.8 would raise their game and kick some serious small car butt. To their credit, The General really swung for the fences with the SS-S. Unfortunately, it's game over; the Cobalt SS-S can't meet 2008 emissions regulations. As GM sends the Cobalt SS-S to the big dugout in the sky, is it love's labor lost or no big deal?

One look tells you the Cobalt SS-S wasn't made for grown-ups. Its 18' alloys, voluminous body skirt, whale-tail spoiler, Corvette-esque taillights and seven-speaker sound system (with trunk space sacrificed to the woofer Gods) are thirty-something anti-matter. With a color palette that includes fluorescent lemon meringue and laser red explosion, the SS is baby bling made metal.

GM certainly needs a car to reach this market segment; those krazy kids turn into button-down Camcord buyers one day. If kitsch is the key, the Cobalt SS-S driver is a Malibu pilot in the making. No other car sold in the U.S. comes equipped with so much factory rice. In that respect, the supercharged Chevy's styling is no bush league effort; it's a clear case of mission accomplished.  

x06ch_cb017.jpgOn the inside, The General did its best to stay on message. GM's blingmeisters fitted the good ship Cobalt SS-S with a boost gage on the A-pillar, a slick, short-throw shifter and a small bottle of NOS in the glove box (just kidding, although I forgot to check). And… that's about it. The SS-S' instrument panel is much the same as the base Cobalt's; although the SS-S' dash sports a pair of chrome-lined circles showing you what you'd expect them to.

It's all down market from there. The silver-painted plastics on the SS-S' dash and door-sills seem carefully designed to repel human flesh. Close examination of an '05 Cobalt SS indicates that it's only a matter of time before the gloss will disappear, exposing the ugly black plastic underneath. Otherwise, the seats are bearable, the driving position tolerable and the rear sightlines horrible, thanks to a wing that would give a dolphin a serious case of fluke envy.

The Cobalt SS-S holsters a 2.0-liter supercharged and intercooled inline four good for 205 horses and 200 ft.-lbs. of torque. The SS-S' force-fed powerplant is the antithesis of smooth, but it pulls like a wannabe Subaru Impreza turbo, minus the turbo-lag. The American coupe accelerates with genuine conviction all the way from 1500 rpm to the 6500 rpm redline. Or not. I couldn't stand the trashy thrashy sound long enough to find out.  

x06ch_cb010.jpgNor do I have the biceps to replicate the SS-S' startling (if claimed) zero to 60mph sprint time of 6.1 seconds. Floor the front wheel-drive Cobalt SS-S and the tires scrabble for purchase like a mountain goat on roller skates. Mashing the gas in the bends is only marginally less frightening than caning the car in a straight line- unless you find understeering towards the scenery a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

The SS Supercharged improves on the base on SS models' handling via a lower ride height (down a quarter inch), beefier anti-roll bars, stiffer springs, larger brakes and 18" alloys shod with 215/45 Pirellis. While the extra tuning and rubber turn a competent corner carver into an extremely competent corner carver, the SS-S is still a seven-tenths car. Respect the torque steer monster and the Cobalt's a willing dance partner. Push it any further and the mosh pit awaits.

The Cobalt SS-S' brakes are the kind of sharp, fade-free anchors that give sporting drivers the confidence they need to succeed. The SS-S' rack and pinion steering is its Achilles heel. While the tiller isn't as loose as a '67 Dodge Charger (nothing is), the Chevy's numb helm denies the sporting driver enough feedback to work around the rest of the cars dynamic shortcomings (i.e. have fun).  

x07ch_cb010.jpgThe Cobalt SS-S was a valiant effort. The General could have built the Cobalt SS and called it good. Uncharacteristically, they decided to rise to the challenge of the Dodge Neon SRT-4 and the Honda Civic Si with unapologetic styling and as much bang-for-the-buck as they could muster. Unfortunately, Chevrolet failed to realize that a true driver's car is more than the sum of its parts. Blazing straight line acceleration and tunerz-style flash may gain attention, but you need genuine finesse to win genuine respect.

As GM's recent application of the SS moniker to a bevy of heavy, front-driven Chevy's proves, enthusiasts looking to GM for some of that kind magic are looking in the wrong place. That's a shame. The Cobalt was so close to greatness it hurts.

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39 Comments on “Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged Review...”


  • avatar
    drifter

    The news from tubes is that, GM is working on a top-secret Aveo SS featuring Cobalt Engine. Also, they will be offering Korean Delivery program, where you can pickup you vehicle at the factory in Seoul followed by a weekend of driving in Korean suburbia.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Good write-up… You maybe should have mentioned that the MSRP on this vehicle put it into Si territory; that’s probably another reason it went on the chopping block. I had a brief desire for a Cobalt SS (non-supercharged) 2.4 liter; most of the cars in inventory locally were $20K-$21K — for a COBALT? I just couldn’t see myself walking into a dealer at that starting point, when IMHO, I wouldn’t pay any more than 17K OTD…

  • avatar
    Humourless

    Whoever decided to put 18″ wheels on that car should be quietly taken behind the shed and treated like an old cart horse. Given its target demographic, those wheels make precious little sense given that:

    a) They’ll likely be swapped out anyway.
    b) Cost for replacement rubber is generally higher than a more realistic wheel size (always an issue for people who are buying “affordable” cars.
    c) Weight.
    d) They’re unnecessary, unless the car also comes equipped with 14″ rotors.

    The upgraded Neon SRT-4 came with smaller diameter wheels (16″ versus 17″), a nod to the fact that on sport compacts bigger is rarely better past a certain point.

  • avatar

    Close examination of an ’05 Cobalt SS indicates that it’s only a matter of time before the gloss will disappear, exposing the ugly black plastic underneath.

    I see why VW/Audi interior materials are superior now, they expose white plastic instead of black.

    That’s way more better.

  • avatar
    ronin

    Rebates applied to this model, and with discounts you could/can get it for under 20k. A $2-4k advantage on the SI, or the MS3… Hard to hit this value/performance ration in 2007.

    I will maintain this is the true heir of the SS/ muscle cars. A basically cheap, pedestrian coupe with a big engine and able to go fast in a straight line.

    It has just as much bling for its generation as the jacked-up rear end, fat rear slicks, big hood scoops and racing stripes, as the muscle cars of their own era.

    Whether or not this car is to anybody’s taste, it does not try to be yet another munich-mobile. I’m glad that somebody, somewhere- and who better than a yankee company- is just wild and crazy enough to still market a car like this.

    Oh, wait.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    Saab turbo’s the 2.0L Ecotech and keeps up with emissions with 210 hp, why couldn’t GM supercharge it and do the same?

  • avatar
    jaje

    I’d say a Saab sells for more than $13k with big rebates so they an afford to have stronger emissions controls.

    I’m dismayed at this “world engine” – I’ve driven several Cobalts (of course they were rentals) and it’s NVH is not so much of an improvement over the Cavalier’s old engine. It seems GM designs it’s four cylinders with the potential to install them in agricultural machinery, hence it’s ecotractor misnomer.

  • avatar
    nmcheese

    If I recall correctly they benchmarked the 4th gen Volkswagen Golf/Jetta when designing this platform. As a current gen 4 GTI owner and someone that drove a G5 Coupe (Same car minus the supercharger) for a week as a rental I have the following observations:

    Steering: GM seems to be equating heavy, direct steering with a ‘Germanic’ feel and calling it good. Both the G5/Cobalt and the Saturn Aura (a more recent rental) exhibit this trait. While there is little feedback from the front wheels, there really isn’t much in the 4th Gen VW platform either. Neither option is sporty feeling, but heavy weighting and damping does seem to reduce torque steer effects of a front weight bias front wheel drive car, something the average consumer will see as a positive. As a daily driver it makes for a calm and relaxed driving experience. Name one front wheel drive car with proper steering feedback. If I want feedback and fun I’ll take the Miata that shares driveway space with the GTI.

    Suspension: The Cobalt/G5, at least in their non SS form, give a smooth ride over even really rough roads, even with the optional 17″ wheels on my rental. The main downside to the big wheels is road noise, which was excessive. Cornering in the G5 was surprisingly flat. The main plus for VW here is the silent cruising possible with the standard 16″ wheels on the GTI. The VW has noticeably softer springs as well, which gives some lean in the turns, but ultimate limits of grip seem to be about the same.

    Interior: Initial impressions of the G5/Cobalt were good – it looks similar to the VW they benchmarked and panel gaps are generally close and uniform. The new stock GM radio is great, even with the XM radio complexity and is at least equal to the stock VW unit in design and performance. The silver plastic trim is done poorly though, and didn’t line up on my rental. Maybe the basic black is better, or at least the flaws are less noticeable. Also, GM used the same rubber coating technique as VW did – meaning parts look and feel great when new, but look like a dog’s chew toy after a couple years. This is more common among the Germans than any one points out. My 1998 BMW 540 had the same flaking trim, as do various recent other BMW, Audi and VW products I am acquainted with.

    Overall, my opinion of the G5/Cobalt is that they met their benchmark, at a fair price (check the used values on a 1-2 year old Cobalt for an even better deal) however they are still one generation behind. The 4th generation VW platform had its problems, some of which the Cobalt inherited via the copying process (little steering feel, rubberized trim issues).

    Final note: the 5th generation VW platform fixed all my complaints with the 4th and will probably be the next recipient of my daily driver funds. If GM wants to remain competitive they may want to work on cloning a Rabbit.

  • avatar
    phil

    “you need genuine finesse to win genuine respect”
    Exactly right! This phrase should be plastered all over GM HQ. Balanced and on the money review, thanks.

  • avatar
    Megan Benoit

    Name one front wheel drive car with proper steering feedback.

    I think that most Hondas accomplish this… my Integra had great steering feedback, probably better than nearly any car I’ve driven since then. The new Si is good also.

    Great review, Samir. I’m with you — when they announced this, I was pretty stoked at the prospect, but after driving the base model and realizing the plastics in the SS weren’t really any better, I decided to pass. It’s a good amount of power and fun for a relatively small amount, and decent gas mileage also. I’d just rather pay the extra cash for a MKV GTI and get the DSG and nice interior. :)

  • avatar
    NickR

    The news from tubes is that, GM is working on a top-secret Aveo SS featuring Cobalt Engine. Also, they will be offering Korean Delivery program, where you can pickup you vehicle at the factory in Seoul followed by a weekend of driving in Korean suburbia.

    That? Cracked me up. I wish it wasn’t actually a possibility.

    While the tiller isn’t as loose as a ’67 Dodge Charger (nothing is)

    As an owner of a just such a Dodge until 4 years ago, I can attest to that. With the speed shop assembled 440 pulling hard at 100mph, driving it was definitely an adventure. Somewhat less precise than a SeaDoo.

    Anyway, back to the Cobalt SS. Apart from the Fokker monoplane on the trunk and the CHROME! wheels, I think it’s a relatively handsome coupe. A decent mini-muscle car.

    However, the tepid review is no surprise. A former co-worker drove a Cavalier in college and wanted to upgrade upon graduating. I remember her coming back from her lunchtime visit to the dealer and referring to the car as cheap and uninspired. Coming from a Cavalier owner? Ouch.

    Cobalt SS-S can’t meet 2008 emissions regulations

    The company that gives us a compact 427 inch V8 boasting 505 net horsepower can’t accompish that? Are you kidding me? Heads should roll for that reason alone.

    I noticed in some of the data linked to from TTAC in a different thread that the Cobalt is down 36% this year. A year when smaller cars are never more popular. Time for a refre…oh forget it.

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    They problem with making cars affordable with rebates, discounts, free tummy rubs, is that is causes then to depreciate at a super charged rate. Any discount you got now you are going to pay for on the other end.

  • avatar
    stimpy

    So true, Megan. And it's not like you have to shell out HUGE extra jing for a classier ride. Deals can be had at every dealer. I just got an A3 w/ DSG and Open Sky for $25K – just because it came to the dealer as a demo. When I bought it off the showroom floor, it only had 90 miles on the odo and it does everything a car can do light years better than this ricer wannabe. And when I decide to sell it, you best believe it will retain WAY more residual value.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    I can tell you right now that not one person in this car’s target demographic really cares about the quality of the interior plastics. I’d say the priorities of potential owners are: speed, price, looks, moddability and not necessarily in that order.

    I guess as a 23 year old male I’m in the target market for this car and it seems like a decent buy. I’d take this over a more refined, less flashy/fast car like a Jetta any day. Of course if you can get both more refinement and more hp in something like a Mazda 3, it’s hard to make a case for the Cobalt, but I don’t think the 3 was out when the Cobalt was designed.

    It’s probably the improvements made by the competition that led GM to let this car expire. I’m sure they could have gotten the emissions issue worked out if they really had to, but why bother when the car is being outclassed by its competitors. When this car debuted the only thing close to as fast in the class was the Neon SRT-4, which had a revolutionary amount of horsepower for a compact of the time. A Cobalt SS made sense in 2003 (or whatever year it debuted), not so much in 2007 with 263hp Madza 3s running around. I fully expect GM’s next effort to outdo this car

  • avatar
    dolo54

    “Name one front wheel drive car with proper steering feedback.” ditto with Megan. Every time I go from driving a friend’s car or a rental back to my Integra I feel like all of sudden my steering is guided by lasers. I have yet to drive a car with better steering feedback.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Unfortunately GM all too often makes cars that sound like a 200 lb canary…”CHEAP!!!!!!”
    When I first sat in a Cobalt SS at an auto show that fake-o-sliver on all the plastic was abandoning ship fast and the gal standing next to it was noting the paint bubbles on the fender.

    I wonder if some of the cheap factor is related to another Detroit tendancy I’ve noted.
    Why does nearly every MSRP have to read $xx,995?
    Does trying to get down to a specific price point drive away some of the much needed quality? Does that need an answer?

    Dear General, Ford and triple noggined bowser,
    Most people don’t plunk down the whole wad at once. They are comparing cost per month not MSRP. Duh.
    Considering how many people pop an extra $30/mo for better internet or more cable channels is it any wonder that a lot of them will spring for a better car for a few extra buck per calendar page?

    Think about it.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    This is your classic “close enough” GM car, and the explanation why they are dead men walking. The wheels are the corporate mags, it doesn’t even get its’ own look, even with the 18′s the wheels look too small because they couldn’t figure out how to lower the springs a full 1.5″, the specialty after market seats are good, but the rest of the interior is blaaahhhh, and the horrific thrashy 4 cylinders that Gm continues to mfg. along with the “rip the wheel out of your hands” torque steer makes driving aggressively a dispiriting exercise. For some reason all of GM’s attempts to build a passable copy of a ’94 Civic have failed. But when the corporate motto on small cars continues its 40 year tradition of “Gawd, we hate small cars”, what else is new. Ya think Lutzy ever drove one of these before they loosed ‘em on the market?

  • avatar
    beken

    I so wanted to see GM make a competitive small car. This review points out what’s wrong with GM. All the go-fast and look fast parts are there, but somehow, somebody forgot to sweat the details.
    Nice try, GM, but not quite good enough. It would be great if GM went back and improved the car going forward, but I won’t hold my breath.

    Maybe GM can borrow the steering mechanism from…oh…a MINI?

  • avatar
    Drew

    I suspect that those who are attracted to this kind of car (fast, cheap) are the late-teens early twenties type.

    They can’t stretch their budget to GTI or MS3 territory, but they still want something fast. Finesse is far down the list.

    To that extent, I think that the SS-S was a honest attempt to appeal to this market. If the emissions issue is true, then how about Gm putting the turbo 4 that they use in the Sky/Solstice in the next SS-S. They could detune it to about 220 HP if they felt the SS-S is too downmarket for the full 260HP. Even at 220, it would have few competitors.

    To the extent that eventually the SS-S buyer will be shopping for a Camry/malibu type car, a bit more effort to make the SS-S a “gateway drug” to the rest of the GM lineup is a good idea. A bit nicer interior, a bit more refined. But with minimal impact on the bling and go.

    Although, I do agree that the 18s are stupid.

  • avatar
    dzSS

    I actually drive a black 06 SS-S (the only colour that doesn’t appear completely cartoonish in my opinion). The review is spot on.

    It does turn a few heads, even without the ‘upgraded’ for 07 chrome wheels, and provokes the occasional ‘Nice ride’ comment. But I always have the same answer when asked how it drives.

    Its a chevy.

    It shakes and rattles (from the day I drove it off the lot), the fit and finish isn’t as good as its competitors, and as others have already stated, it feels like a ‘close enough’ effort. They also should have put in a 6-speed. For me, it could only compete and win on price. It was thousands of dollars less than a comparably equipped Civic Si or GTI, and it is pretty fun to drive if you can look past the shortcomings.

    This is the car GM should have updated the Cavalier with back in 2000. Instead, they let the Cavalier (along with the Sunfire) rot to the point that their only option was to replace it (too late) to overcome the tarnished image.

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    Im reminded of the movie “Vacation” where Eugene Levy says, “…you think you hate it now….wait ’til you DRIVE it.”

    This car (cobalt, in any form) makes me appreciate the Ford Focus (especially the SVT). The Focus makes me appreciate the Mazda 3. Notice I didnt mention the Neon? Yeah, that was on purpose.

    There is an upside to all of this though: for under 18K, you can buy a VERY decent and durable car in 2007. You gotta love capitalism!

  • avatar
    bill h.

    “Its a chevy.”

    dzSS: I hope that doesn’t presage what we’ll say about the new Malibu in a few months! Let’s hope that one turns out more Aura-ish than Cobalt-y.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    dzSS-Wow! An owner who doesn’t have an irrational need to plant the flag and defend the truf. Kinda’ freaked me out.

    GM’s approach is what I call “playing for the bronze”. It’s to hard to go for the gold so let’s just try to get on the podium.
    What they do not get is that those guys NEVER get on the podium. Why? Because five or six others are fighting hard for the gold and anyone going for less is doomed to the middle of the pack.
    Playing to win guarentees you nothing, but it is the only way you will even come close.
    “Alternate Reality Bob” is always whining about the public “giving us a chance”.
    I suggest getting your chance the way Toyota and Honda did Bob…earn it.

    Easy Bunter, think calm relaxing thoughts.
    OK, I feel better.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    nmcheese:
    July 11th, 2007 at 10:03 am

    If I recall correctly they benchmarked the 4th gen Volkswagen Golf/Jetta when designing this platform. As a current gen 4 GTI owner and someone that drove a G5 Coupe (Same car minus the supercharger) for a week as a rental I have the following observations:

    I had a Cobalt rental for two weeks and noticed the schizophrenic steering and the tuggy-tug-tug of torque steer. I was in the snow, so I ended up flooring it a lot.

    On my particular vehicle, the plastic on the turn signal stalk had cracks and was splitting open horizontally starting from the headlight toggle switch itself.

    I thought the interior was decent, but it was an obvious facsimile of the VW MK4 interior (though lower quality), down to the shutter vents and the shape of the dash.

    The movement of the tachometer seemed a bit damped and a split second behind…not a big deal, but unaccecptable in a car that is supposed to be sporty.

  • avatar
    ktm

    Many of you are confusing steering feedback with steering response. Steering feedback is nigh on impossible with a FWD car given that the wheels are the drive wheels as well as provide steering control.

    Go and drive a RWD, manual rack-and-pinion equiped vehicle if you want an unfiltered sense of steering feedback.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    ktm I suspect you are trolling… but I’ll bite. I’ve driven plenty of rwd rack-and-pinion vehicles. I can’t say many (any?) of them allowed me to feel where the wheels were in relation to the body like an integra. For instance, I was driving my friend’s sl300 last week. Great car, but not even close.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    I’d concur with that/ Not only the Integra, but also the Mini Cooper and the Mazda MP3 are good examples of well-sorted FWD cars with good or even excellent steering feel and feedback.

    Conversely, I’ve driver some absolutely atrocious RWD cars (mostly older ones, I’ll admit) that give no inclination of which way the wheels are pointed.

  • avatar
    quiksilver180

    In other words… buy a new Impreza ;-)

  • avatar
    noley

    The bone stock Cobalt is such a lousy excuse for a car that I can’t imagine one with enough power to appeal to testosterone poisoned teenage boys. This car was a joke when launched and it’s good to see it go.

  • avatar
    labrat

    Now that the Cobalt has taken the typical GM scourging, I figured I’d throw this out there-

    In the November ’06 and August ’07 issues of C/D, the editors took a number of cars out to Virginia International Raceway to record the fastest lap times over a 4.2 mile road course. The Cobalt SS didn’t do all that badly. Results for the LL1 class (under $30,000 base):

    Nissan 350Z Track 3:12.5
    Mitsubishi EVO MR 3:13.5
    Pontiac Solstice GXP 3:15.7
    Mazdaspeed 3 3:16.0
    Mazda RX-8 3:19.0
    Cobalt SS-S 3:20.6
    Mustang GT 3:20.9
    Mini Cooper S 3:22.9
    VW GTI 3:25.1
    Honda Civic Si 3:26.5
    Mazda MX-5 3:29.3

    All of the cars that finished ahead of the Cobalt are substantially more expensive, especially considering the GM cash back offers. Say what you will about panel gaps and material quality, this car does a good job of kicking ass on a budget.

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    Well, that all depends on what your definition of kicking ass on a budget is. I don’t think anyone is arguing that it isn’t a fast car, the question is whether it is worth the money. It also depends on the track. The point being that all such a test proves is that a professional driver is slightly faster on a specific track. Thats great, but:

    1. If the car doesn’t feel as solid and easy to drive, a non-pro driver (read: me and you) aren’t going to push it as far. Thus, in reality, the car you feel comfortable pushing 9/10ths will be faster that the 7/10ths car

    2. I wouldn’t track my new car (that often) anyway. I’d rather have the nicer daily driver and environment for rush hour than a car that is a few tenths quicker.

    3. And this isn’t a knock solely on the Chevy, but many of the new cars in the segment. Having a blown or turbo’d engine leads to too much torque steer and expensive bills in the long run.

    This isn’t to say that the chevy isn’t a good car. You may not car about anything other than having the fastest stoplight car for the money. If so, go for it. I,personally,want a quick car that let’s enjoy the back roads I prefer taking to work. So, I’ll take the civic or the se-r spec v. If I want to win at the stoplights, I’ll buy an old cavalier or civic for $500 and slap a blower on it or boost it till it blows up. At least then I won’t care if it does.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Well…good-bye to what could have been the soulmate of the cheap (in more than one way) but fire-breathing Dodge SRT-4. Haven’t we loved our cheap speed? When I really started following cars in the late-80s, we all drooled over other cheap-speed mobiles like the Laser/Eclipse/Talon turbo models, turbo Probes, and even the light but quick and understated Sentra SE-R.
    I agree with others on this site – this car is so close! Dodge left the SRT-4 very unrefined and there is zero to no chance the replacement can ever carry the brand again. I know we all scream the same thing – GM…do something about the interiors (you know, the place where we spend all of our driving time!) I wonder if even 500 bucks spent in the right places can get us a Cobalt with a few extra bits of soft-touch plastics, less shine, and better materials in the dash and seats.
    I know the interiors of all cars seems to have declined over the years. I remember sitting in family member’s early-1990′s Nissan Maximas which were loaded with decent materials, comfortable seats, and no rattles. It was amazing when the cars were sold over the years that the interiors still looked and felt new. Now, even BMW and Mercedes are overloaded with rattles and hard, high-shine plastics. I do commend GM for the interiors of some of their newer cars for looking more modern, but the feel of the materials is lacking.
    So…what’s next for cheap speed? Nissan seems hell-bent on never making a decent SE-R again. The Probe-twins are long gone. The Eclipse has turned into a bloated boat and whoever approved the Orange Push-Up interior should be canned ASAP. SRT-4 = gone. Mustang GT? Maybe but crude and without cash on the hood, it can get expensive. Mazdaspeed3? Oh yeah – no kidding with this one – this is probably the torchbearer now. Mazda? Don’t give up with this one!
    Huge request. Can we let “bling” die a quick and sudden death? Thank you.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    FWD cars with decent or good steering feel:

    Integra
    RSX
    ’06+ Civic
    Prelude
    Celica (not all though)
    Paseo & manual steering Tercels
    Protege
    Mazda3
    Mazda6
    Sentra SE-R (’91-’94)
    Focus
    Rabbit/GTI (the really old ones)
    Mini Cooper (old and new)
    Clio (previous generation)
    207
    and I’m sure there are more

  • avatar
    jurisb

    wake up ! you comment on GM here as if gm did the engineering sweat here. the job was done in germany by german engineers in german company called opel. there comes the ecotec engine, there comes the tranny, opel astra platform,etc. even the radio has nothing to do with gm. the only thing is gm steering wheel ripped off the trucks and licked up coupe design on the old body. this car is based on prev gen astra body. Why instead of pretending having engineering muscles , not really pump those engineering muscles yourself by ACTUALLY BUILDING a GM PRODUCT within the company.why should gm deserve a credit for a good steering or engine if no single gm enginner had anything to do with it? stop stealing hardware, if you are born to be softies. gm ,admit- we are not worthy, we are not worthy, we can only , rename and use global parts bin.

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    jurisb: You know that GM has owned Opel since 1929, right?

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Name one frontw-wheel drive car with proper feedback? I say “Audi.” But of course, it required substantially reworking how the front wheel’s suspension worked and, just as importantly, the cost of an Audi A4 is a good ten grand more (or so) than the Cobalt SS.

    Still the General really needs something like this car, so I hope the first person’s post about a “top secret Aveo SS” is accurate. After driving a Cobalt SS in 2005, I told a few of the people who’d be in the target demographic about it and almost always got the response back of “What’s a Cobalt?” And when I offered my explanation that it was GM’s competitor to the Honda Civic, was usually just met with a laugh of incredulity.

  • avatar
    niky

    posted by Humourless

    The upgraded Neon SRT-4 came with smaller diameter wheels (16″ versus 17″), a nod to the fact that on sport compacts bigger is rarely better past a certain point.

    Not to mention the fact that you can get better 0-60 times with taller tires… :D

    RE: MP3… when this car finally rots away into rust, I’m going to have this steering wheel mounted to my wall and framed. It’s ruined just about everything else for me.

    posted by carlisimo

    FWD cars with decent or good steering feel:

    Integra
    RSX
    ‘06+ Civic
    Prelude
    Celica (not all though)
    Paseo & manual steering Tercels
    Protege
    Mazda3
    Mazda6
    Sentra SE-R (’91-’94)
    Focus
    Rabbit/GTI (the really old ones)
    Mini Cooper (old and new)
    Clio (previous generation)
    207
    and I’m sure there are more

    The Focus, yes, even more so with the new one. The Protege yes, the Sentra SE-R… maybe it’s just wishful thinking… I’d like to say yes, but in recent drives, mhmmmm…. The Mazda3 has decent steering response, but it doesn’t have much in terms of steering feel compared to the Mazda6.

    Strangely… I think the Accord has pretty good steering feedback… that rack feels like it’s rolling in massage oil. :)

    And… no… I can’t say that there’s any steering “feel” with the new Civics or Fits… really artificially floaty. They’re okay for electrics, though.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Just another iteration of what Detroit calls a ‘kid-car’. They’ve been making them ever since the original (and best), the 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner, was an unmitigated hit.


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