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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Review

The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt is an adequate performer with good fuel economy and plenty of available cabin tech features, but competitors have similar qualities.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy ratings
  • Plenty of trunk space in sedan and coupe
  • Pleasant to drive
  • Tight rear seats

New for 2009

  • Gained optional Bluetooth and USB port
  • Cobalt SS sedan was introduced
  • Sport model discontinued




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Overview

When it was new, reviewers said the Cobalt had a decent standard features list and good interior quality, though they complained about the cramped rear seats. The base Cobalt has standard air conditioning, an electric rear defogger, a radio with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary input jack. It can also come with a USB port and Bluetooth. The base Cobalt doesn’t have standard anti-lock brakes or electronic stability control, but that’s not uncommon for a 2009 small car. Reviewers said the Cobalt’s front seats have enough space, but that the back seats are cramped and uncomfortable. On the plus side, reviewers said the Cobalt has huge trunk space for a small car.

In terms of performance, reviewers recommended the SS trim, which has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It makes a lot more horsepower than the base model, and is fairly fuel-efficient. The base model has a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, and many test drivers were pleased with the Cobalt’s pleasant ride and good fuel economy ratings.

The Cobalt’s safety score is above-average.

See the full 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Hyundai Elantra has a roomy passenger cabin and one of the largest trunks in the class. That helps put the Elantra in the top tier of its class. Although the Elantra doesn’t come with many standard features, like the Cobalt, it can be equipped with class-competitive safety and tech items. On the downside, test drivers considered the Elantra’s performance dull, and the Cobalt bests the Elantra with higher safety scores and fuel economy ratings.

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe is another highly-ranked car in the class. Its hatchback body style means it has a lot of cargo space, plus roomy seating for five. Although the Vibe doesn’t offer as much available interior tech features as competitors, it does have a strong list of standard safety features that includes electronic stability and traction control. You can even get a Vibe equipped with all-wheel drive.

Compare the Cobalt to the Elantra and Vibe » 

Best 2009 Compact Cars

  • #1

    2009 Scion xB

    $4,182 - $6,525 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2009 Scion tC

    $2,951 - $6,856 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #22

    2009 Chevrolet Cobalt

    $4,485 - $6,709 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2009 Compact Cars rankings »

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