Chevrolet Cobalt

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This article is about the North American car. For the Brazilian car, see Chevrolet Aveo (T200).
Chevrolet Cobalt
Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe.jpg
Manufacturer Chevrolet (General Motors)
Also called Pontiac G4 (Mexico, 2005–06)
Pontiac G5 Pursuit (2006, Canada)
Pontiac Pursuit (2005–06, Canada)
Pontiac G5 (2007–10)
Production 2004–2010
Model years 2005–2010
Assembly Ramos Arizpe, Mexico (Ramos Arizpe Assembly)
Lordstown, Ohio, United States (Lordstown Assembly)[1]
Designer Phil Zak
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Body style 2-door coupé
4-door sedan
Platform Delta platform
Related Chevrolet Cobalt SS
Chevrolet HHR
Saturn Ion
Engine 2.0 L Turbo LNF I4
2.0 L S/C LSJ I4
2.2 L L61 I4
2.4 L LE5 I4
2.2 L LAP I4
Transmission 5-speed F35 (MU3) manual
5-speed Getrag F23 manual
4-speed 4T45 automatic
Wheelbase 103.3 in (2,624 mm)
Length 180.5 in (4,585 mm) (coupe)
180.3 in (4,580 mm) (sedan)
Width 67.9 in (1,725 mm)
Height 57.1 in (1,450 mm) (sedan)
55.5 in (1,410 mm) (coupe)
Predecessor Chevrolet Cavalier
Chevrolet Prizm
Pontiac Sunfire (G5)
Successor Chevrolet Cruze (Cobalt)
Buick Verano (G5)

The Chevrolet Cobalt is a compact car initially introduced by Chevrolet in 2004 for the 2005 model year. The Cobalt replaced both the Cavalier and the Toyota-based Prizm (discontinued 3 years earlier) as Chevrolet's compact car. The Cobalt was available as both a coupe and sedan, and is based on the GM Delta platform also shared with the Chevrolet HHR wagon and Saturn Ion. Also available was a high performance, Super Sport variant.

A Pontiac version was sold primarily as the Pontiac G5 in Canada for its entire run (where it was briefly known as the Pontiac Pursuit and later Pontiac G5 Pursuit), as well as the Pontiac G4 in Mexico for 2005–2006, and in both Mexico and the United States under the G5 name for 2007–2009. In all cases, the G5 replaced the Cavalier-related Pontiac Sunfire. While the Cobalt was available as a 2-door coupé and a 4-door sedan in all markets it was offered in, the G5 was only available as a coupé in the United States while a sedan version was sold alongside the coupé in Canada and Mexico.

As with their predecessors, all Cobalts and its Pontiac equivalents were manufactured at GM's plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico and Lordstown, Ohio. The United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies the Cobalt as a subcompact car.[2]



The front suspension is independent with MacPherson struts, while a semi-independent torsion beam is used in the rear. The wheelbase is 103.3 in (2,624 mm), longer than its competitors, and the width is 68.4 in (1,737 mm). Weight is average in-class, at 2,681 lb (1,216 kg) for the coupe and 2,747 lb (1,246 kg) for the sedan. For 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy was increased to 24 mpg‑US (9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg‑imp) city/34 mpg‑US (6.9 L/100 km; 41 mpg‑imp) highway with automatic transmission, and 26 mpg‑US (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg‑imp) city/37 mpg‑US (6.4 L/100 km; 44 mpg‑imp) highway with manual transmission. The engine output was increased to 155 hp (116 kW).

Year-to-year changes[edit]

  • 2006: A non-supercharged Cobalt SS was added to the lineup. This car was equipped with a 2.4 L naturally aspirated Ecotec inline-4. The LS became the base model while the LT was marketed as a mid-range package; the top level trim was now the LTZ. In addition, as with most other GM vehicles that year, GM's Mark of Excellence symbol was added to both front fenders near the doors.
  • 2007: Both engines were retuned for more power while retaining the same fuel economy. The 2.2 L Ecotec was now rated at 148 hp (110 kW) with the 2.4 L Ecotec rated at 173 hp (129 kW). Other changes include a new console, new steering wheel and new radio head unit that features an audio input jack. In addition, all models except the LS and LT1 now used a 5x110 wheel bolt pattern. The LS and LT1 retained the standard 4x100. In addition, the 2007 model year marked the introduction of a new 32-bit computer that replaced the 16-bit unit from 2006.
  • 2008: The 2.4 L naturally aspirated, high-output SS coupe and SS sedan were renamed to just "Sport Coupe" and "Sport Sedan" respectively. The new Cobalt SS features a 260 hp (194 kW) turbocharged engine, replacing the Supercharged engine which was offered from 2005–2007. At mid-year, the fuel economy was increased to 25 mpg‑US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg‑imp)5.5–7.5 km/liter city, 36 mpg‑US (6.5 L/100 km; 43 mpg‑imp)9–11 km/lite highway on the LS and 1LT, coupe and sedan models with manual transmission; now labeled with XFE badging (X-tra Fuel Economy).[3] XM Radio, side-impact air bags for improved safety, and MP3 player were now standard instead of optional. StabiliTrak stability control system was introduced. Other changes include the adding and removal of several exterior and interior colors. The new SS (turbocharged) coupe launched near the end of May 2008, as it was a facelift from the 2005–2007 version.
  • 2008 (Special Edition Package): The special edition package for the Cobalt was introduced on August 16, 2008, which featured all the options that was available on the previous SS models except the turbocharged 2.0 engine. Instead it was once again built with the 2.4 naturally aspirated engine similar to the Cobalt Sport models. The special edition package could come with a sunroof, GM ground effects kit, the Getrag F23 5-speed manual transmission, and additionally the 5 lug wheel bearings that the SS editions featured. The special editions were all had a "Special Edition" badge and came with unique variations of colors, and racing stripes.[citation needed]
  • 2009: The 2.4 L naturally aspirated "Sport Coupe and "Sport Sedan" models were both deleted, along with the 2.2 L L61 engine. Both were replaced by the 2.2 L LAP engine thus providing better fuel economy and more power, as well an SS sedan being added to the lineup. Three exterior colors were changed, and the neutral interior color deleted. Bluetooth capabilities were added, as well as the option for a reconfigurable performance display.[4] The RPD, only available on the SS coupe, can read out various engine output data and alter performance settings.


According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) the Cobalt receives an overall top score of "Good" for front collisions.[5] However, it receives a "Poor" overall score for side impacts without side curtain airbags,[6] and an "Acceptable" overall score with side curtain airbags.[7] In 2008 side curtain airbags became standard but the Cobalt's structure remains the same and consequently in structure/safety category of the IIHS's side impact test the Cobalt receives a "Marginal" score. Side airbags are limited to the curtain type, torso type side airbags are unavailable.[8] According to the IIHS's injury measurements taken from the side impact test the driver's torso is given a "Marginal" score.

The IIHS also found 2005-08 model year Cobalts had the highest fatality rate in the small 4 door car class, with 117 deaths per million registered years compared to its class average of 71.[9]

2010 NHTSA sedan crash test:[10]

  • Frontal Driver: 4/5 stars
  • Frontal Passenger: 5/5 stars
  • Side Driver: 3/5 stars
  • Side Rear Passenger: 5/5 stars
  • Rollover: 4/5 stars

Before 2009 the Cobalt only offered stability control as an option on Sport models.[8]

Defects and recalls[edit]

In early 2007, 98,000 Cobalt coupes from the 2005–06 model years were recalled after it was discovered they did not meet federal safety requirements because of a lack of adequate padding in a specific area of the vehicle's trim. This resulted in an unacceptable vulnerability to head injuries, though GM claimed the vulnerability would only affect motorists not wearing a seat belt.[11]

On March 2, 2010, GM announced a recall of 1.3 million compact cars in North America, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, because of power steering problems.[12] GM plans on fixing older models before fixing current models, as the car was replaced by the Chevrolet Cruze in late 2010. The Pontiac G5 and its international variants were also affected, though GM had already ended production of the Pontiac brand by that point. The following recall is due to extreme heat causing damage to the plastic fuel pump lines. On September 28, 2012, GM announced a recall of 40,859 cars including the Chevrolet Cobalt from the 2007-09 model year because of a potential fuel leak.[13]

Faulty ignition switches in the Cobalts, which cut power to the car while in motion, were eventually linked to many crashes resulting in fatalities, starting with a teenager in 2005 who drove her new Cobalt into a tree.[14] The switch continued to be used in the manufacture of the vehicles even after the problem was known to GM.[15] On February 21, 2014, GM recalled over 700,000 Cobalts for issues traceable to the defective ignition switches. In May 2014 the NHTSA fined the company $35 million for failing to recall cars with faulty ignition switches for a decade, despite knowing there was a problem with the switches. Thirteen deaths were linked to the faulty switches during the time the company failed to recall the cars.[16][17]


Years Engine Power Torque
2005–2006 2.2 L Ecotec L61 I4 145 hp (108 kW) 155 lb·ft (210 N·m)
2007–2008 2.2 L Ecotec L61 I4 148 hp (110 kW) 155 lb·ft (210 N·m)
2009–2010 2.2 L Ecotec LAP I4 155 hp (116 kW) 150 lb·ft (203 N·m)
2006 2.4 L Ecotec LE5 I4 171 hp (128 kW) 163 lb·ft (221 N·m)
2007–2008 2.4 L Ecotec LE5 I4 173 hp (129 kW) 163 lb·ft (221 N·m)
2005–2007 2.0 L Ecotec LSJ S/C I4 205 hp (153 kW) 200 lb·ft (271 N·m)
2008–2010 2.0 L Ecotec LNF Turbo I4 260 hp (194 kW) 260 lb·ft (353 N·m)


Model Year U.S. Sales
2004 4,960
2005 212,667
2006 211,451
2007 200,621
2008 188,045
2008 Special Edition SS 5000
2009[18] 104,724
2010[19] 97,376
2011 127,472


Main article: Chevrolet Cruze

In 2009, Chevrolet launched the Cobalt's eventual successor, the Chevrolet Cruze (based on the new Delta II platform), in Europe, with launches in other markets (including the US) following in 2010. The Cobalt ended production on June 23, 2010.[20] With the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand by GM in 2010, the Buick Verano is marketed as the G5's successor in Canada, while the Cruze serves as a de facto replacement for the Pontiac G5 in America.



  1. ^ "Cobalt ranks second in sales". Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  2. ^ "Gas Mileage of 2008 Subcompact Cars". Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  3. ^ "Chevy squeezes more miles out of Cobalt" (Press release). Orlando Sentinel. 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  4. ^ "GM's Reconfigurable Performance Display an option for '09 Cobalt SS and HHR SS" (Press release). Motor Trend. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  5. ^ "IIHS-HLDI: 2005–08 Chevrolet Cobalt – FRONTAL OFFSET TEST". 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  6. ^ "IIHS-HLDI: 2005–07 Chevrolet Cobalt – SIDE IMPACT TEST WITHOUT OPTIONAL SIDE AIRBAGS". 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  7. ^ "IIHS-HLDI: 2005–07 Chevrolet Cobalt – SIDE IMPACT TEST WITH OPTIONAL SIDE AIRBAGS". 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  8. ^ a b "2008 Cobalt – Safety Features | Chevy Cobalt". Chevrolet. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  11. ^ "GM announces Cobalt recall" (Press release). The Vindicator. 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  12. ^ Reuters (2010-03-02). "GM recalling 1.3 million vehicles over steering problems". Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  13. ^ "GM recalls 40,859 cars for potential fuel leaks". USA Today. 2012-09-29. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ Tim Higgins and Nick Summers (23 June 2014). "If only they had listened". Time Australia. 
  15. ^ GM recall was delayed by internal miscues CNN Money, February 28, 2014
  16. ^ "GM fined $35mn for delays in recalling faulty cars". Detroit Star. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  17. ^ Vlasic, Bill (2014-03-28). "An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a G.M. Flaw". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  18. ^ "Deliveries December 2009". General Motors. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  19. ^ "December 2010 Sales: General Motors – Cheers & Gears Forums". Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  20. ^ "GM taking some unusual risks in bringing its Chevrolet Cruze small car to market". Retrieved 2011-01-04. 

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