#TBT: GM’s entry in the sport compact wars, the Chevy Cobalt SS

By Robert Bowen
Mar 14, 2024 | Chevrolet, Cobalt, Cobalt SS | Posted in Buyer's Guides | From the Oct. 2013 issue | Never miss an article

Photograph Courtesy GM

For most consumers, Chevy’s Cavalier was a totally forgettable denizen of rental car fleets and subprime borrowers. For more than 20 years, the nameplate graced ever more downmarket cars as its technology and styling failed to keep up. Sure, there were a few half-hearted attempts at making a Cavalier that was also fun to drive, but there were a lot …

This content is available for GRM+ members and Grassroots Motorsports magazine subscribers only.

You can read it for free in 111 days or subscribe to GRM+ to read right now.

Subscribe now

Already a member?

Login to read

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Chevrolet, Cobalt and Cobalt SS articles.
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/21/17 8:54 a.m.

You know, I was just thinking about these the other day. For a little while there, they were part of our world. Then they kind of disappeared.

What does the hive think about them?

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/17 8:59 a.m.

I still think they look great, especially with blacked-out windows, and they are a real performance bargain. If I ever get the scratch for a track rat, this would be my choice over a riced-out Civic.


Dbussey1 Reader
6/21/17 9:21 a.m.

If I wasn't in the middle of a move, I would have been on a plane to retrieve the low-miles Ion Redline in WA that popped up on here a couple weeks ago.

They strike me as an affordable do-everything car if you can locate an example that hasn't been abused yet.

chuckles HalfDork
6/21/17 9:24 a.m.

Mine is an excellent track day car, dead-reliable, surprisingly quick. I love it.

Trackmouse SuperDork
6/21/17 9:48 a.m.

As a longtime Super Street reader I remember the issue that came in the Mail with a cobalt on the cover. 2006 if I remember right. At the time that car had the Tsukuba time attack record. I was blown away that a fwd Chevy could do that, let alone run and drive...

parker Reader
6/21/17 10:21 a.m.

I love mine but I'll be posting it for sale soon as I need to reduce the fleet. Four door, non-sunroof, LSD, bright red.

266,xxx mostly trouble free miles. I did have to replace the turbo, clutch and timing chain at about 200,000. Fastest car I've ever owned but not as much fun as my FR-S.

759NRNG HalfDork
6/21/17 10:43 a.m.

ZZperformance.com is the center of all things cobalt.....with proven results. Worth a look....Loose C has.

NickD SuperDork
6/21/17 10:57 a.m.

I think the biggest problem with these cars was the vast majority of the owners. Most of the Cobalt SSs I see are missing a large chunk of the front bumper, driving on 3 different brands of tires and don't have a dent/rust-free body panel. They got bought by kids who couldn't afford to maintain them, or just couldn't be bothered to, and were subsequently run into the ground.

chuckles HalfDork
6/21/17 11:52 a.m.

Mine is a 2010, bought new late that year. The LSD was still optional. I have read that about half the turbo cars ('08-'10) had it. I had mine installed by Werks Performance near Chicago, another excellent shop.

NGTD UberDork
6/21/17 12:05 p.m.

I know a guy that has a pristine white Supercharged one. It is spotless and I don't know that he would ever let it go.

I was always more interested in the turbocharged model.

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners