The Cool Car Guy’s Take On The Fuel-Efficient Chevy Cobalt


Hey Cool Car Fans,

A client and friend of mine, Dawn, called me a week ago to ask me about getting the right vehicle for her 20 year old daughter Jennifer.

It needed to be fuel efficient, safe and affordable. Jennifer likes to snowboard, so the vehicle had to have the ability to get up the Rocky Mountains without having to hang out in the slow lane. Front-wheel drive would be fine based on the price point they wanted to stay around.
The first two vehicles that came to mind were the 2007 Chevy Cobalt LT or the 2007 Ford Focus SE in a four door sedan. That may come as a surprise, if you are an avid reader of Consumer Reports, since about the only vehicles that publication recommends are Toyota’s and Honda’s, which is why I’m not renewing my subscription with them. I just can’t take the bias anymore of Consumer Reports for Honda and Toyota when I buy, sell, trade and lease vehicles everyday in every make, every model and every price point.

08Cobalt3I spend around $50,000 a year repairing vehicles, from putting in new batteries, new tires, brakes, to major repairs. I have had to put money into rebuilding a transmission on a Lexus with 110,000 miles and I’ve seen Ford Explorers with 225,000 miles that were still running without serious issues. So for me, the bias is out the window, except that there are a few select vehicles (Land Rover, early 2000 – 2003 VW Passats) and a few others that you will spend way more money on average repairing them than other models. I like to tell people that there are some vehicles you want to own and others you definitely want to lease.

08Cobalt4When you get into these little late model four banger engines though, you shouldn’t have any more problems with a Ford or Chevy than a Toyota or Honda. Yahoo Auto’s pointed this out today in an article called Top 13 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars. You can get a Chevy Cobalt that gets similar fuel economy to a Toyota Corolla for about $4,000 less than a Corolla. According to the Yahoo Auto’s article, it would take about 8 years in fuel savings to make up that difference in price, if you were to purchase the vehicle just for the fuel economy of the Corolla.

What’s great is that if you purchase one used with a few miles on it the savings is even greater because you still have warranty available from the manufacturer without going new. These vehicles are affordable in the used car market because they show up in the rental car fleets and in other fleet leasing situations, which causes them to depreciate quicker. However, you’re not going to save a bundle on small cars right now compared to what we are seeing in the truck and SUV market that are extremely soft.

The supply and demand issue though still allows someone to get a great deal on a vehicle that is still under warranty, like the one I’m delivering next week has around 28,000 miles on it and the manufacturer’s warranty from Chevrolet is still intact for $11,000, which is over $4,000 less than a new one.

What about Fuel Economy? With gasoline prices almost $4.00 a gallon now, that’s a big issue for most people. The Chevy Cobalt LT has a 2.2L 148 hp I4 engine with plenty of power to get up the mountains, but still gets 31 – 33 Highway (mpg) and 22 – 24 City (mpg) for scooting around town. The LT comes in a four-speed automatic transmission with power windows and locks, a/c and driver, passenger and side airbags to boot.

The bottom line is that if you’re looking for a decent gas mileage vehicle at a great price that still has warranty left on it, don’t be afraid on looking at Chevy, Ford or some of the other brands outside of the Toyota and Honda crowd. You can save money on fuel and on the price of the vehicle, while still getting a great deal of bang for the buck!

Financing is available with approved credit. I have access to 40 credit unions and 20 lending sources to help you get qualified, so don’t be afraid to contact me if you have a few credit challenges.
_________________________________________________________________________ John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with JFR & Associates in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! jboyd@coolcarguy.comStaunton Hill movie

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