2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

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$14,410

starting MSRP

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Frontal crash-test ratings
  • Little road noise
  • Comfortable ride
  • Attractive, if basic, interior
  • Responsive automatic

The bad:

  • Backseat space and entry/exit
  • Seat comfort
  • Noisy engine exhaust
  • Some cheap-looking controls

5 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Coupe and sedan body styles
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Optional OnStar
  • XM Satellite Radio

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Launched for 2005, the front-wheel-drive subcompact Cobalt comes in sedan and coupe body styles. Cobalts are powered by a choice of two four-cylinder engines, with the most powerful making 171 horsepower in the Sport model. Last year’s SS and supercharged SS trim levels have been dropped. The Cobalt’s competitors include the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla. Changes for 2008 include new standard safety features and standard satellite radio.

Cobalts come in LS, LT and Sport trim levels. Distinct interiors and wheels help differentiate the models. The Sport coupe and sedan get 17-inch wheels, a performance suspension and a 171-hp four-cylinder engine.

Exterior
Chevrolet says the Cobalt coupe has an “elegantly tapered reverse C-pillar leading the eye to Chevrolet’s signature four round taillamps.” Both body styles feature a horizontally split grille with a gold bow tie badge. A power sunroof is optional.

A Chrome Package is now available on LT sedans that includes chrome accents on the front grille, body moldings and door handles.

Base models are equipped with disc brakes in front and drums in the rear, and Sport models have all-disc brakes. Built on a 103.3-inch wheelbase, the Cobalt measures a bit more than 180 inches long overall and 67.9 inches wide. LS and LT models ride on 15-inch tires. Sixteen-inch wheels are optional on the LT.

Interior
With front bucket seats and a 60/40-split folding rear seat, all Cobalts seat five occupants. Chevrolet says higher-than-usual seating positions are intended to give sedan occupants a more commanding view of the road. Occupants can access the trunk area from inside the car.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, an electric rear defogger, a tilt steering column, a driver information center and a CD player with an auxiliary input jack for iPods or other MP3 players. XM Satellite Radio is now standard on all models, and OnStar is standard on 2LT and Sport trims. It’s offered as an option on the 1LT trim. Heated leather seats and MP3 playback capability are optional. On models with an automatic transmission, an optional remote start system allows drivers to start the engine with a key fob.

Under the Hood
LS and LT models use a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that makes 148 hp and 152 pounds-feet of torque. Sport models hold a 171-hp 2.4-liter engine. Both engines are available with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard on 2LT and Sport models and optional on LS models. Cobalts with the automatic gearbox and ABS also have traction control. Side curtain airbags are now standard on all models, but side-impact airbags for the front seats are not available.

Driving Impressions
The Cobalt offers good front passenger space and reasonably spirited performance, even with an automatic transmission. It’s agile around town and stable enough on the highway, but you must pay attention to remain on course. The ride is surprisingly good, with only larger bumps and holes causing trouble.

Backseat space is awful, with marginal headroom and virtually no legroom unless the front seat is well forward. Getting in and out is a battle. The handbrake is in an awkward position when the center armrest is down.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior design 3.9
  • Performance 4.1
  • Value for the money 4.2
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 4.1

Most recent consumer reviews

1.9

Worst car I ever owned

This car has only 86,000 miles security system has it locked there are a whole lot of people with this issue and no one can solve the problem so my car just sits worse car ever

3.0

Constant Front End Issues & Rust

Struts, Sway links, Tie Rods, Control Arms, Ball Joints, even a Rack & Pinion. All have been fixed at least once, some multiple times. Lost a pair of brand new 70,000 mile BF Goodrich Tires to excessive inside wear after about 10,000 miles, due to a recurring issue with the left front control arm. Another thing to consider is the rocker panels & hood are heavily prone to rust. Replaced the hood, but rocker panel replacement takes a clear back seat to the multitude of other [recurring] issues that have to be prioritized first. The positives are the gas mileage, and the motor really doesn't give you issues in my experience. I'd rate it 7.5/10 as a budget neighborhood vehicle, but if you do a lot of driving this car gets a 5.5 /10. Absolute money pit.

5.0

Best car I ever owend

This car met all of our needs it has Am Fm Xm CD player radio Also on star cruise controls radio controls on steering wheel as well As oil life tire pressure sensors and trip Mileage

See all 99 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
72 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
60 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/100,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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See all 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt articles