During the short life of the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, the car unfairly became the butt of jokes for my friends and me. Even though we all knew that it was capable of laying waste to whatever we were driving at the time, it was hard not to mock the seemingly endless yellow examples, driven by an anabolic-addled young construction worker, with his right hand at 12 o’clock, and a bumper sticker professing ancestry from one of the PIGS.
Four years after GM forgot about the best front-driver they ever made, they’ve introduced two FWD machines with the 2.0L Ecotec turbo engine. Both are Buicks. The Regal GS, despite claims of it being “wrong wheel drive” is a very nice car for real world situations. Following the GS is the smaller, more affordable Verano Turbo, seen above.
The Verano Turbo uses a detuned 2.0L Turbo engine, with 250 horsepower rather than 270. No matter. A Trifecta Tune should take care of whatever power deficit exists. In stock form, 60 mph comes up in 6.2 seconds, faster than the claimed figure for the Regal GS. There’s a 6-speed manual gearbox, but no Brembos or Hi-Per Strut suspension like the hot Regal. Then again, the only thing distinguishing the Verano Turbo from the base car is the little badge seen above. This is the Cobalt SS I always wanted; a nicer interior, no yellow paint, no giant wing and a proper back seat. And it’s totally discreet. Forget the V6 Camry. This is my candidate for the best sleeper money can buy.