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Chevrolet Cobalt XFE

Rafay Ansar

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Chevrolet Cobalt XFE
IN FLEET: Aug. 11-25
AS-TESTED PRICE: $16,325
DRIVETRAIN: 2.2-liter I4; FWD, five-speed manual
OUTPUT: 155 hp @ 6,100 rpm, 150 lb-ft @ 4,900 rpm
CURB WEIGHT: 2,780 lb
FUEL ECONOMY (EPA/AW): 29/32.0 mpg

SENIOR EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER:

With the XFE, you get low-rolling-resistance tires, an economy-calibrated engine and a fuel-saving 3.74:1 final-drive ratio, which GM says nets a 9 percent fuel-economy improvement. Otherwise, this is essentially the same car Chevrolet sold in 2008 as a bare-bones LS (no power windows or locks, manual tranny, cloth seats) with another $600 slapped on the base price. That's still a good price for a decent entry-level car with niceties such as air conditioning and a quiet ride. As buyers freaked out by fuel prices rush for high-demand Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas, smart buyers will make their way to the Chevy lot for their choice of inexpensive Cobalts.

SENIOR WEB REPORTER GREG MIGLIORE:

This is bare-bones driving. But going back to basics can be good, and if this is your price range, it's a decent car. The gearbox is good, and shifting smoothly is a breeze. The engine has some pep to it, too. The interior is basic, but GM has come a long way in making the insides of its cars look better, this one included. The gas mileage is solid, which is the idea behind XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy). Cobalts seem overshadowed in this segment and even in GM's lineup. But this is a workmanlike car with nice features.

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR CHERYL BLAHNIK:

This car doesn't have amenities such as leather power seats, power windows or power mirrors, but it does fine as a daily driver. I can certainly see people, especially those with long commutes, looking into this. It's not very hot-looking, but the manual transmission gives it the bit of sportiness its exterior is missing. And it's relatively peppy off the line.
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