High-Mileage Chevy Cobalt XFE MIA

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

There's been much ado about GM's quiet launch of the 36mpg iteration of the Chevy Cobalt, both in the autoblogosphere and in promotional, warm-n-fuzzy TV spots (much like the made-of-unobtanioum Chevy Volt). But the XFE isn't listed on the "Shopping Tools" portion of the Cobalt microsite, nor on gm.com's "Find A Vehicle [any vehicle]" page. So I rang-up a friendly Chevy dealer who was embarrassed by his XFE-gnorance. Once he appreciated the model's existence, he said he didn't have any, there were none in Houston, and there was zero product information. "That must be a 2009 model," he countered. When I mentioned the XFE's web page on the 2008 Chevy website (sans XFE photos, BTW), there was a brief pause. "They don't give us information as quickly you can get it." Well that sucks.

Sajeev Mehta
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  • Eamiller Eamiller on Jul 24, 2008

    Based on the 2008 and 2009 pricing sheets from GM, the XFE is just likely a designation for the MT equipped Cobalts. These are the model designations: 1AK37 Cobalt 2-door LS 1AK69 Cobalt 4-door LS 1AL37 Cobalt 2-door LT 1AL69 Cobalt 4-door LT 1AP37 Cobalt SS Turbo Coupe 1AP69 Cobalt SS Turbo Sedan There is also the 2LT option code for the enhanced option package. There is no option code or description for the XFE. Therefore it is not a model nor an option code, but rather a designation. This was likely a running change made to the 5MT equipped vehicles. XFE is purely for marketing (even if it is done poorly).

  • Jammer Jammer on Aug 04, 2009

    I just got a 2009 Cobalt XFE. I was very impressed with my sales guy as he located me the car I wanted and had it delivered to the dealership near me. There was $2000 cash back from GM, but the sales guy told me their was ANOTHER $1000 cash back because the car had sat on the other dealership's lot too long. I admire how honest my sales guy was because he could of pocketed that $1000 and I would not of known any better. HOWEVER: My dealer (sales person) had almost no idea what the XFE was and had none on their lot. To make matters worse he could not figure out how to search for ONLY XFE Cobalts. I was the one that discovered that one only need search for a manual transmission and in every case it was an XFE. He knew almost nothing about the car right down to him swearing to me the car did NOT have a cd player in it- But as I knew, when the car was delivered I pointed out that, just like I thought, the car comes standard with an AM/FM CD stereo with XM radio. I was quick to show him his mistakes too. But all around he was the best sales guy I could of bought from, he was most honest in not trying to pocket the extra $1000 cash back. Also I got a GM employee discount, so all in all I got a $16000 car for under $13,000. It cost a grand total of $12,6XX and that is counting all options,all taxes, registering etc. A couple weeks I got my back tag in the mail, then a few days latter the dealership sent me a container of fresh cookies in thanks of the purchase. Man, ' wantta talk about feeling appreciated? A great buy, it cost me far less than any other subcompact with this high of gas mileage- EPA 37MPG Highway, it even beat the imports in it's class (non hybrids) yet just like others here, my sales guy knew almost nothing about this model and GM corporate was not calling him back, I had to figure out and show him how to search for XFE- it's done by searching for a Cobalt with a 5 speed stick.. in every case I seen they all are XFEs. Also GM's site never got around to sending my online request until weeks after I bout my car. Indeed GM is showing very poor relations when it comes to the Cobalt XFE, it's almost like they don't want it to sell. The don't advertise it, they don't help their dealers with info. The customers have to tell them what they want and were lucky if the dealership even knows what one is talking about. Then their hard to find on most lots. I love this car more than anything else I have ever drove. I have never got under 34 mpg, and often get the high mark of 36.3 MPG. This is the best mileage in the subcompact non hybrid class at this time. For those that can not afford a hybrid I will say Im in love with this car. It's note worthy to say this car can coast for a long ways in neutral. I have traveled for miles off of a small hill in neutral and coast right in to my driveway. A real gas sipper that's American made.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Aug 04, 2009

    Yeah your story is why I hate to talk to salesmen - I usually know the product lineup better than they do. Pathetic that they spend their working hours selling cars and that they customer could walk on the lot and know more. Don't they study their products? I had the same trouble in '99 when we bought our CR-V AWD. The salesman argued that there was no such thing as a 5-spd CR-V. I argued there was and I had to show him the corporate website. Needless to say I didn't buy a car from him (that and the 14% interest rate he was pushing. We got a ~6% later from our credit union). He went on to say he would (not wanted or could I) come get my car and demo the 5 speed for customers and wash it before he returned it. Ahhh - no you won't. Had he promised me some absurd low price and interest rate - maybe... I could have cut off his access to the vehicle if needed and still had the low cost. Anyhow - can the Cobalt be purchased as a hatchback? I had a 1987 Accord hatchback and it was a GREAT car for my needs then or now. 325K miles on it last I saw it. A coupe hatchback version of the Cobalt like that Accord would be a really great small car that I would consider buying.

  • Jammer Jammer on Aug 04, 2009

    joeaverage: Yeah I can relate to what your saying. I stuck with the same sales guy because he was by far the most polite, honest, and down to earth guy that proved to me he was trustworthy and would tell me out right he he did not know how to answer my question. I rather deal with a guy like that than have a dude B.S. me and tell me all rebates expire in in 5 hours etc. I had already caught a different sales guy in two lies and he acted as if he could not come down on the price, lied and told me the rebates expired that day and he treated the women like they were all models and I was just a cash strapped middle aged man. In reality I had a large cash settlement from my car insurance company and I was looking for an all out cash deal. That guy blew it fast. So while it was true the next sales guy did not know anything about the Cobalt XFE, he was honest with me and treated me much better. Because of this I stuck with him. However when I rated the dealer's performance I gave him all high marks but was honest and checked NO- he was NOT knowledgeable about my car at issue. I don't blame the dealership, I blame G.M. I seen plenty that showed me that G.M. was making it very difficult for the dealers to get information on this car, and they set up their website in a way the dealers did not know how to search for the car on other lots! As far as a Hatch Back goes- This applies to the Coupe for sure: The answer is Yes and No. While it's not technically a hatch back, it is the next best thing. See the trunk has plenty of room, and a spare tire and tools can be store below a false compartment. If one does not need to use the back seats, the owner can push the back seats forward which makes for a larger storage area from the trunk to the back of the front seats. It's perfect for my needs. Oh, I find the $275 spoiler option really makes the back end look like a sports car! I like that option a lot. I'm very happy with it, and I disagree with most reviews of the car. I like it better. Standard features are great, yet some simple things, like a spare tire can cost extra ($75). I got the car at the bottom of the line all included price of $12,6XX. Not too shabby a price for a brand spanking new fun to drive car with almost 37MPG REAL performance Just today I averaged 36.5 miles per gallon after I noticed my tire pressure was low and fixed the problem- I have no doubt 37mpg is possible. If you can wait, in mid 2010 the same plant location in Lordstown Ohio will start building The Cruise which is supposed to get about 41 or 42 MPG. It looks a lot like the Cobalt and should sell for the same price. At this rate hybrids will have to come down in price to be competitive. I'm happy to see American cars finally compete better with the imports. Maybe GM has finally "smelled the coffee", at least I hope they have. I'm happy they pulled out of bankruptcy so soon.