23 March 2009
Cobalt = rubbish
while my Bug is in the shop, i have rented a Chevy Cobalt (the "or equivalent" of the Ford Focus i selected when making my online reservation).
what. a. piece. of. crap.
i think it's actually not too bad looking, the front of it aside. but it's all downhill from there. when first getting in, it just felt cheap. the seat adjustment controls (manual on this car) were non-intuitive, and you can't even access the one that controls the angle of the seat unless the door is open (!!!).
like all GM cars i've driven, the controls and road-feel are vague, plus the decent (but horribly uneven) acceleration seems unmatched by its brakes -- yes, i can get up to speed quickly, but i have little confidence the brakes are up to the task of stopping all that forward momentum.
and the sight lines! until i adjusted the steering wheel ALL the way up, it obscured nearly the entire speedometer -- only speeds under 10 and > 110 were visible. and the rear-spoiler is perfectly positioned to obscure the turn signals of any car behind me.
who designs these things? i have to think that GM engineers are at least competent, but are somehow hamstrung by management. is driveability not a requirement? is a successful Chevy design nothing more than a checklist of features? it reminds me of modern house designs in that regard.
i dunno if Chevy is "too large to fail", but the Cobalt certainly isn't "too good to keep making."