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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With all current incentives it looks like a base Cobalt xfe can be had for around 10k. It's hard to beat that kind of price on that car. I looked one over at the dealership and couldn't find notable differences between this xfe model and other cobalts. I've seen some here speculate that vvt is already on this car but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'd need to check the build sheet to be certain.

What I'd like to figure out here is if it is worth waiting until next model year for the VVT (don't care about bt or mp3 input). Any idea on what kind of efficiency and power increases the vvt will offer? I drive about 25k miles a year highway so I won't be going through the revs very often.

I'm in no rush to get a new car as the Riviera treats me right and "only" gets 28 mpg out of the "ancient" supercharged 3.8. It will be a change stepping out of the heated leather, auto climate control, auto dimming mirrors, power seats windows sunroof, etc. but I'm a simple man and I'm sure I'll adapt.

I'll drive an xfe today and report back on highway rpm and other driving dynamics.
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I drove a Cobalt LS XFE today. The car is about as base as you can get with manual seats, locks, windows, transmission and mirrors. Unfortunately I've not yet driven a standard Cobalt to outline the differences with the xfe package v. the pre xfe car.

On the outside the xfe appears nothing more than a standard LS. The only difference was the tires, the xfe rolls on Goodyear Integrity's and the "regular" cars are on Continental ContiTrac's of the same size. I didn't see any special notations on the Goodyears that would indicate a lower rolling resistance. The suspension is your typical FE1.

Under the hood I did not come across anything special. I did see big fat EGR tubing so that may have something to do with the increased efficiency.

For what it's worth the salesperson said the gains in economy came down to ecu programming, gear ratio changes and other "things" they didn't want the competition to know...right.

If I were to only listen to some folks on the site I would have thought the interior would be absolute trash. In all honesty it's quite fine for the price. The armrest is soft and it's the only place I'll be touching so I'm pleased. I was quite surprised I could so easily fit into the car as I'm 6'4" 300 lbs. The coupe allows for good shoulder clearance whereas I can not get comfortable in an 06+ Impala due to the b-pillar digging into my shoulder (I have the same clearance issue in a cobalt sedan). My extra wide feet were in a comfortable position on the dead pedal and throttle. I had no issue manipulating the pedals.

On surface streets the car gets around fine. Before I get into tranny talk I should note that I rarely drive manual and when I do it's usually an old camaro without a fancy hydraulic clutch and 5th gear. As for the cobalt, first gear is very short and really only good for parking lot creeping. Fifth can lug the car around fine at 35 mph and up. I noticed that the shift light comes on very early, at around 2000 rpm or slightly less...the odd thing is in 3rd gear that the light turned on at 2000 rpm and then off again at 3000 rpm. The shifting action in 1-4 was fine but the transition into 5th wasn't as smooth as I would have liked and seemed to be too far of a throw vs. the 2-3.

Another oddity occurred when I got on the highway. I went wot onto a highway onramp and somehow the rev limiter kicked in when I was only at 5500 rpm. It startled me because I was actually watching the tach to make sure I wouldn't hit the limiter. Acceleration was surprisingly good relative to my Riviera although the cobalt was down 100 hp 130 ,ft/lbs tq and 1000 lbs. I didn't notice anything trying to hold back quick acceleration The ecotec let you know it was working under hard accel. Once on the highway I found that there is a lot of wind noise at 65 mph+ which seems to come from around the a pillars. At 70 mph the engine is ticking over at 2500 rpm and at 65 mph the revs are nearly the same... What are other 5speed cobalts turning? If a 5 speed Cobalt owner could chime in on any differences they note that would be great.

Wow, I never thought I'd write that much about a Cobalt. :fall:
 

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Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

although when I do go through the gears I'm sure hitting vtec is very intoxicating.
VVT or variable valve timing is different than Vtec which usually has duel cam profiles.
 

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Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

vtec comes on at around 5grand and stops at around 8 on most hondas. VVT on gm cars its on all the time and you wont hear it like you do with hondas vtec. you will feel the car pull stronger in the high rpms thats about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

VVT or variable valve timing is different than Vtec which usually has duel cam profiles.
Well it's a bit dim ;) of you to focus on my one bit of sarcastic honda humor, I figured the ;) would give it away. I'll remove it to avoid further confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

If you like your Riv, why replace it?
I'd save 220 gallons of fuel a year and considering all associated costs I'd be near breakeven after 2.5 years or so. If there would be a major failure with the Riv (trans) that would really move the timeframe up.

I took an xfe for a pretty solid drive today, I'll add it to the op.
 

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Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

Unless you don't live in an area where you get runover on the highway if you're doing less than 65mph, the Cobalt will be lucky to do much better than what you already have. The 4 banger and 4 speed will start eating some gas if you consistently travel faster than 65mph. You proabably do live in that type of area if you are actually getting 28mpg consistently in your Riviera.
 

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Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

Not sure you care, but the rumor is that the 2.2 and 2.4L engines will be getting the FFV E85 option added to '09 models as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unless you don't live in an area where you get runover on the highway if you're doing less than 65mph, the Cobalt will be lucky to do much better than what you already have. The 4 banger and 4 speed will start eating some gas if you consistently travel faster than 65mph. You proabably do live in that type of area if you are actually getting 28mpg consistently in your Riviera.
I'm getting that figure with about 90% highway driving like a typical Buick owner for the most part at 65 mph. Winter gas knocked me down 2 mpg. The new epa tests give me some hope that the cobalt can get real world mid-30's.
 

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Wonder why GM decided not to offer the LTZ with the "XFE" thing? I'm sure if you sat in one it wouldn't feel like it was that much of a downgrade from your Rivi.
 

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Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

Unless you don't live in an area where you get runover on the highway if you're doing less than 65mph, the Cobalt will be lucky to do much better than what you already have. The 4 banger and 4 speed will start eating some gas if you consistently travel faster than 65mph. You proabably do live in that type of area if you are actually getting 28mpg consistently in your Riviera.
I took a then-new '07 2.4L/4T45 Cobalt SS up to Colorado, drove 65-75MPH and had some fun in the mountains. The entire trip I never got below 30MPG and averaged over 32MPG for the whole trip.

The XFE he's looking at (which is a 5-Speed) should have no problem getting 34-35MPG if his Riviera gets 28MPG.

I'd say go for it now and get that $3K rebate. I don't think the '09 will be able to do much better on the highway, but city economy could get a bump as well as power. There could be $1,000 rebates on the '09s, but with gas prices as they are and if GM starts advertising hard it could be a big seller without rebates.
 

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Don't think you will getting 35 mpg:bounce:.
Figure the average driver is, what, 150-200 pounds? So it's like he is always driving with a passenger. That shouldn't take more than 1 mpg off his highway economy compared to a lighter person.

I'm not an automotive engineer, that's just a guess. But I haven't had noticeable changes in my fuel economy by driving one or two extra people around.
 

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Once on the highway I found that there is a lot of wind noise at 65 mph+ which seems to come from around the a pillars. At 70 mph the engine is ticking over at 2500 rpm and at 65 mph the revs are nearly the same... What are other 5speed cobalts turning? If a 5 speed Cobalt owner could chime in on any differences they note that would be great.
Yeah. For me, at 65 its about 2500 and 70 is about 2850ish. I usually get between 34-36mpg on the highway going 70 too, so hopefully the XFE will get 36-38!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah. For me, at 65 its about 2500 and 70 is about 2850ish. I usually get between 34-36mpg on the highway going 70 too, so hopefully the XFE will get 36-38!
Is that with your '02 cavalier?

My girth seems to be helping my mpg, my combined overall average is 1 mpg higher than the "old" original highway EPA rating and 3 mpg higher than the "new" highway rating. More momentum I guess?
 

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Re: Cobalt XFE v. 2009 Cobalt

GM has already confirmed that in a recent press release. It's a go!


So the Cobalt gets it as well as the HHR?
 

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Is that with your '02 cavalier?

My girth seems to be helping my mpg, my combined overall average is 1 mpg higher than the "old" original highway EPA rating and 3 mpg higher than the "new" highway rating. More momentum I guess?
I actually purchased a 2007 cobalt, thats what im basing it from
 

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I'm in no rush to get a new car as the Riviera treats me right and "only" gets 28 mpg out of the "ancient" supercharged 3.8. It will be a change stepping out of the heated leather, auto climate control, auto dimming mirrors, power seats windows sunroof, etc. but I'm a simple man and I'm sure I'll adapt.


Are your crazy?

NO WAY, those Rivieras are super nice cars, how many miles does yours have?


There is no way I would trade out of a nice well equipped older big car for a s***box compact car with a manual transmission?

Dont get me wrong, the Cobalt is a fine little car, I really like the coupe and I am glad that they made improvements in the MPG that it can get, but I would not give up a 28mpg late model luxury coupe for one.

Not unless gas was $10.00 per gallon, rationed and the Cobalt got 100mpg, then maybe...


Think about this, you are going to be making payments for much much much less car, I would rather spend the couple of thousand that it would cost to replace whatever breaks on the Riviera than spend that making payments on a base Cobalt.

If it was a scenario where you were driving something like a beater 1988 Cutlass Ciera with 250K and rusty rockers, ok, but not a 98 Riviera.

Sorry, but I would rather have comfort and style over a small MPG increase.
 
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