The Chevrolet Cobalt is classified as a compact car and was initially introduced by Chevrolet in 2004 as the 2005 model. This car replaced the Cavalier and Prizm as this automaker’s compact car. The Cobalt was made available as a coupe and sedan, and it is based on the GM Delta platform, which is also used by the Chevrolet HHR and the Opel Zafira. There is also a high-performance version of the Cobalt available. There was a Pontiac version of this vehicle sold as the Pontiac G5 in Canada, and it was also known as the Pontiac Pursuit and the Pontiac G5 Pursuit for a short time.
The Cobalt was sold under the G5 name in the United States and Canada from 2007 to 2009. The G5 replaced the Cavalier-inspired Pontiac Sunfire. This compact car was available at a two-door coupe as well as a 4-door sedan in all of the markets it was sold in. The G5 was only sold as a coupe in the United States, while a sedan version was sold alongside the coupe in both Mexico and Canada. One of the Cobalt’s primary flaws when it was first released was its ignition switches, which were determined to be faulty and ultimately linked to a number of crashes and even fatalities. GM continued to produce Cobalts with the faulty ignition switches even after the problem became apparent, until 700,000 units were recalled for this very issue in February of 2014.
All of the Cobalts and related Pontiac vehicles were manufactured at GM’s Lordstown Assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified the Cobalt as a subcompact car. The Cobalt uses a front suspension with an independent design with MacPherson struts, and a semi-independent torsion bar was used for the back of the vehicle. The wheelbase of the Cobalt in 103.3” or 2,624 mm longer than many of its competitors. This vehicle’s weight is average for its class.
The 2009 version of the Cobalt had a fuel economy increase to 24 mpg or 9.8 liters/100 km, 41 mpg with automatic transmission, and 26 mpg with manual transmission. This car has undergone a number of changes throughout the years, including in 2006 when a non-supercharged Cobalt SS was added to Chevrolet’s lineup. This version of the Cobalt used a 2.4 liter naturally aspirated Ecotec inline-4 engine. The Cobalt LS was designated as the base model, the LT was marketed as the mid-range model, and the LTZ was the high-end model.
When it comes to safety, the Cobalt received an overall top score of “Good” for front collisions, though it did also receive a “Poor” score for side impacts without side curtain airbags. Side curtain airbags became a standard feature for the 2008 Cobalt though, though its overall structure remained the same. Torso type side airbags are unavailable for this vehicle, and the side airbags are limited to the curtain type. It was determined that 2005-2008 model Cobalts has the highest fatality rate in the small 4-door car class, with a total of 117 deaths per million registered years.
GM issued a recall for 98,000 Cobalt coupes in early 2007 for 2005-2006 model vehicles after it was discovered that they did not meet the federal safety requirements due to lack of adequate padding in a certain area of the car’s trim. This flaw resulted in a dangerous vulnerability to head injuries for both drivers and passengers, though GM stated that the vulnerability would only affect those who did not wear their seat belt. Despite its numerous flaws and recalls, the Cobalt is still one of Chevrolet’s most popular vehicles to date.