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The Chevy Cobalt can be had in LS, LT, and SS trims. This one is the SS, featuring significant performance enhancements.
The Cobalt SS features an air intake in its front air dam, to help feed the turbocharger.
Unlike its model mates, which use a 2.2-liter engine, the SS gets a 2-liter turbocharged direct-injection four cylinder, putting out 260 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
The Cobalt SS looks like a boring economy sedan, although the small rear spoiler hints at its performance characteristics.
Brembo brake calipers sit at the front wheels.
Chevy tuned the springs and dampers, and added stabilizer bars, helping the Cobalt SS achieve impressive handling in the turns.
The interior doesn't deviate much from the car's less expensive model mates, although the SS has sport seats.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel has buttons for the audio system and cruise control, plus a button to change the trip computer display.
Red rings in the gauges confuse as to where redline is on the tachometer.
The SS also gets a gauge showing the amount of turbo boost, something you won't be looking at when its needle is really moving.
The five speed manual is decent, but not as good as some manual gearboxes we've used. Honda, in particular, makes a nice one.
XM radio is included, with an interface that makes it easy to choose channel categories.
We didn't expect to see a USB port on a car from GM. This new addition to GM electronics works as an iPod adapter and USB drive port.
The stereo includes preset equalizer levels, but we generally preferred customizing them with the bass, mid, and treble settings.
The standard Pioneer audio system sounded very good, helped along by this big subwoofer in the trunk.