“The morning glory that blooms for an hour differs not at heart from the giant pine that lives for a thousand years.”
Sometimes, the cars we love have a decades-long history, such as the Camaro or the Corvette. But sometimes, the cars that we love are only here for a few years. Though their time was short, their impact was not diminished.
One such car was the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, which was only produced from 2005 to 2010. The SS was a sport compact version of the Chevy Cobalt, and it was GM’s first dipping of the toe in the tuner market. Only three versions of the Cobalt were designated SS in that five-year period.
The Cobalt SS made a strong impression thanks to its power and performance, but it underwhelmed in the looks department. The SS wasn’t an ugly car, but it wasn’t flashy either. Those who took a chance on it were pleasantly surprised by what it had to offer, but others stayed away thanks to its conservative appearance.
General Motors ultimately discontinued the line in 2010, and the Cobalt was replaced by the Chevy Cruze. No high-performance option has yet been introduced to replace the SS.
You can still find great deals on the Cobalt SS at Chevy dealers in Albany, NY and around the country, and buying this car is a great investment. Here are a just a few of the reasons why we love the Chevrolet Cobalt SS:
It Had More Power than Its Popular Contemporaries
What made the Cobalt SS so popular was how powerful its engine was and how well it handled. The first SS was introduced in 2005, and it attached a Roots-type supercharger to the drive train shared by the Saturn Ion, which featured a 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. With the supercharger added, the Cobalt SS put out 205 horsepower and 200 pounds per feet of torque. It could go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
The following year, the Cobalt SS was introduced with a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter LE5 engine. The 2005 model was available only as a coupe, but the 2006 model came as a coupe or a sedan.
In 2007, GM canceled its plans for a supercharged SS and renamed the 2.4-liter engine the Cobalt Sport. No SS model was available for the first six months of 2008. However, the last SS was introduced in the third quarter of 2008, and it featured a 2.0-liter NF turbocharged engine that put out 260 horsepower and 260 pounds per feet of torque. It could now go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, and it had a top speed of 160 mph.
The last SS model also had an improved suspension system and a shifting system that allowed you to change gears without lifting off the throttle, improving the performance and handling. Even if the car looked like something that your younger brother would drive to class, it handled like an amateur race car.
The final SS was far more powerful than competitors such as the Subaru WRX and the Honda Civic Si. The WRX for that year had a 2.5-liter EJ255 engine that put out 227 horsepower and 236 pounds per feet of torque. It had a five-speed manual transmission, but didn’t have the no-lift throttle system that made driving the SS so much fun. The Civic Si for that year had a 2.0-liter K20Z3 i-VTEC engine that put out 197 horsepower and 139 pounds per feet of torque. It was the same engine that had been used in the model since 2006.
It Offered a Cheap Way to Get a Supercharged Car
Not only was the Chevrolet Cobalt SS powerful and fun to drive, but you could get all that for a fraction of the price of some other sports cars that offered similar horsepower and torque.
The first 2005 model went on sale for just less than $22,000, which was comparable to many other coupes that did not have the same horsepower. When it was reintroduced in 2008 with a more powerful engine, the price went up but not much. The 2008 model was available for just under $25,000.
Compare that to the 2008 Subaru WRX, which first went on sale for just over $27,000, and the 2008 Honda Civic Si, which first went on sale for $29,500.
The Cobalt SS has continued to maintain its value over the years. Edmunds puts the value of a 2008 Chevy Cobalt SS at between $7,000 and $8,000, depending on the trim level and the location. You can still find great deals at Chevy dealers in Albany, NY and beyond, and the SS still has many more great miles left in it.
It’s Likely a Future Classic
The Chevy Cobalt SS is not quite old enough to be considered a classic yet. The minimum age for a classic car is 10 years, but most are much older than that. However, thanks to its short life span, its notable performance, and its almost cult-like appreciation, the Chevy Cobalt SS is destined to become a future classic.
The SS may not have a stellar reputation for its style and its luxury amenities, but SS owners are fiercely loyal and steadfast in their defense of the car. Here, it’s what under the hood that matters, and SS owners know that you can’t judge a book by its cover or a car by its sedate exterior. SS owners hang onto their cars for as long as possible because they know they aren’t going to find the same power and perks for the same value. Therefore, it won’t be as easy to find SS models on the secondary market in the coming years, and that scarcity will contribute to their value.
As cars become more eco-friendly, we also suspect that many drivers will be clamoring to find older muscle cars that threw caution to the wind and ignored environmental preservation in favor of a thrilling ride.
The Cobalt SS represents a unique period in Chevy’s history, and it is a sought-after car for those in the know. You don’t have to spend over $100,000 on a high-end sports car to get the type of ride you want. If you are on a budget, you can enjoy power and performance by investing in the Chevy Cobalt SS.