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carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
10/25/10 7:36 p.m.

I just rented a Cobalt for a few days while my car is in the shop. I had a small fender bender (thankfully just the fender) on my S2000. It was a hit and run while I was out of the car.

I've driven more than my share of Neons and their cousins like the PT Cruiser and have always put them at the bottom of the food chain, but this Cobalt is in a world all it's own. It almost makes me feel like Neons are Ferraris.

The only good thing about the Cobalt in comparison to the Neons is the engine seems smoother in the upper rev range.

It has less than 5,000 miles on it and already feels ready for the trash heap although to look at it you'd think it was a new car. Truly a disposable car.

Cobalts are the Neons for the new millenium.

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
10/25/10 7:41 p.m.

rentals especially low end ones get the snot kicked out of em PDQ.
I prefer the midsized ones as they tend to be in better shape than the bottom barrel replacement rentals.

Vigo
Vigo HalfDork
10/25/10 7:43 p.m.

Actually, i dont think run of the mill cobalts have anywhere near the enthusiast following or potential that the neon does. Nor will it ever.

Having said that, i think if you want to hit a new low, chrysler is there for you.. try renting a CVT Caliber. Ruined my life for one week a few years ago.. lol

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/25/10 7:46 p.m.

yea.. bottom of the barrel rentals are NEVER nice cars.

Kramer
Kramer HalfDork
10/25/10 8:36 p.m.

I can vouch that a CVT Caliber is the bottom of the rental heap. Along with that Hyundai I rented once.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese HalfDork
10/25/10 8:49 p.m.

I had a rental Cobalt while my Astra was in the shop. It wasn't bad, and I got to see a bit of parts binning, but jeez, couldn't you try to do something about the hard plastic bits that you actually TOUCH?!? Our Astra has a soft touch upper dash, door panes, heck, just about anything that you might ever touch is soft.

From the couple of reviews I've seen of the Cruz, the interiors haven't really improved all that much. You can see a bit more of the Delta II parts bin bits, but it doesn't seem to be that well executed.

To contrast, the Fiesta feels fantastic, especially given the price point.

A rental car rant I have is the general unavailability of manual transmissions. It really robs any soul that an econobox would have. You just can't connect like you can in a manual.

WilberM3
WilberM3 Reader
10/25/10 8:53 p.m.
Kramer wrote: I can vouch that a CVT Caliber is the bottom of the rental heap. Along with that Hyundai I rented once.

the hyundai accent i just rented didnt like my LFB 'tarmac rally' practice either. man they got mushy fast.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
10/25/10 8:56 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: yea.. bottom of the barrel rentals are NEVER nice cars.

Troof.

My girlfriends Corolla is an ex-rental. I couldn't understand why anyone would ever want one until I drove her best friends Corolla S. Night and day. Between the rental Corolla and rental Cobalt that I've driven, I'll take the Cobalt.

RoosterSauce
RoosterSauce New Reader
10/25/10 9:01 p.m.

Cobalt. I don't know how they drive because I refuse to spend any amount of time in that horrid interior. Junk.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
10/25/10 9:18 p.m.

The interior is a new low for any car manufacturer.

As far as rental cars being abused I've was making an apples to apples comparison. Rental Neons vs. a rental Cobalt.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Reader
10/25/10 9:24 p.m.

Had a rental cobalt a year ago when my first miata was totaled out. I thought the ecotec had good low end punch and no top end, and the fuel economy gauge was fun. Other than that, it was pretty much a rental car, marshmallow suspension and cardboard seats.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof Dork
10/25/10 9:41 p.m.

A Neon? Get a grip.

I wanted one until I test drove them. They make a Cavalier feel like a good car.

Knurled
Knurled HalfDork
10/25/10 9:43 p.m.
carguy123 wrote: I've driven more than my share of Neons and their cousins like the PT Cruiser and have always put them at the bottom of the food chain, but this Cobalt is in a world all it's own. It almost makes me feel like Neons are Ferraris.

You realize that this is saying that the Cobalt is about two orders of magnitude better than a Neon. (Which it is)

Knurled
Knurled HalfDork
10/25/10 9:45 p.m.
Vigo wrote: Having said that, i think if you want to hit a new low, chrysler is there for you.. try renting a CVT Caliber. Ruined my life for one week a few years ago.. lol

Guy I work with is very pleased with his wife's Caliber with CVT. It's an odd driving sensation, but the fuel economy is ridiculous for something that boxy.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
10/25/10 10:32 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
carguy123 wrote: I've driven more than my share of Neons and their cousins like the PT Cruiser and have always put them at the bottom of the food chain, but this Cobalt is in a world all it's own. It almost makes me feel like Neons are Ferraris.
You realize that this is saying that the Cobalt is about two orders of magnitude better than a Neon. (Which it is)

No, I was saying exactly the opposite, the Cobalts are so bad they make the Neons feel like Ferraris. Cobalts are the disposable car of this century (so far).

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/26/10 12:07 a.m.

You guys do know that the ever-vaunted NA Miata has a "junk" all-plastic interior with no soft-touch crap, right?

All rentals are POS's. They put cheap crap in them on purpose. Because they're rentals!! At least the Turbo Cobalt SS gets Recaro's...

CanadianTercel
CanadianTercel New Reader
10/26/10 1:31 a.m.
Javelin wrote: You guys do know that the ever-vaunted NA Miata has a "junk" all-plastic interior with no soft-touch crap, right?

Sure but atleast it strives to do things well that make up for the fact that the dash is made of hard plastic. You aren't taping on the HVAC when you do FTD eh?

Haven't driven a cobalt or rode in one yet, but from what I hear, front struts, bushings, failing power steering racks, they seem terrible. My friend owns a Nitro-yellow green ACR neon (1 of 64 produced) and has had tons of neons, they've got balls and are quite disposable cars. I take a bit of a love hate like to them.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
10/26/10 5:52 a.m.
carguy123 wrote: I just rented a Cobalt for a few days while my car is in the shop. I had a small fender bender (thankfully just the fender) on my S2000. It was a hit and run while I was out of the car. I've driven more than my share of Neons and their cousins like the PT Cruiser and have always put them at the bottom of the food chain, but this Cobalt is in a world all it's own. It almost makes me feel like Neons are Ferraris. The only good thing about the Cobalt in comparison to the Neons is the engine seems smoother in the upper rev range. It has less than 5,000 miles on it and already feels ready for the trash heap although to look at it you'd think it was a new car. Truly a disposable car. Cobalts are the Neons for the new millenium.

Thank you.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
10/26/10 6:00 a.m.
Javelin wrote: You guys do know that the ever-vaunted NA Miata has a "junk" all-plastic interior with no soft-touch crap, right? All rentals are POS's. They put cheap crap in them on purpose. Because they're rentals!! At least the Turbo Cobalt SS gets Recaro's...

All rentals are cars you can actually buy, so it's no excuse. There are many cars with hard plastic bits in the interior, but some look much better than others. GM hard plastic is at the bottom of the barrel. It LOOKS cheap. That said, cheap Chrysler interiors, like the Caliber, aren't any better. But I'll agree that Neon interiors were superior to the Cobalt and the Caliber.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/26/10 6:41 a.m.

My wife and I rented a Cobalt when I had to go to Yuma, Az. for one day. Rediculous flying across the country, 8 hours on the ground, fly back. We took some vacation time and saw Arizona, the nether regions of California and ended up in Las Vegas.

The Cobalt sucked! Big trunk, but the opening to shove stuff into it was too small for our luggage so it had to ride in the back seat. Cruise etc. buttons were tiny compared to those on my Toyota and the Civic I rented two days before. It was buzzy, rattly and an automatic.

If one were rolled into my driveway with a big bow on it, I'd have to look at the price of scrap.

Dan

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 HalfDork
10/26/10 6:48 a.m.

I've not sampled a Cobalt, and likely never will. I did have an opportunity to become acquainted with a first-gen Neon, and frankly I was very impressed with the car's stability at speed and overall handling. So let's quit all this Neon bashing and get back to bashing the Cobalt!

pete240z
pete240z SuperDork
10/26/10 7:25 a.m.

In the past two weeks I have rented:

Mazda3 - okay car. I found the engine rev limits at 7,100rpm which was kinda cool. I was not impressed in the handling dept. not much torque or HP here.

Nissan Versa - Not a bad car and kinda tossable. If you manually shift before the rev limit kicks in and do it a couple of times; the trans has a hard time shifting into the next gear and then "chirps" the tires as it goes into second gear.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/26/10 8:11 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: All rentals are cars you can actually buy, so it's no excuse.

Again, that's not necessarily true. Many manufacturers will make a cheaper rental-spec interior to save costs that you cannot buy at the retail level. Using a rental car as the basis of judgment for any car isn't fair. At least go test drive a real one at a dealership.

Exception Disclosure - The Fiesta and 2011 Mustang 'Vert we rented in Canada both seemed identical to the real ones, which was probably on purpose.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
10/26/10 8:17 a.m.

As someone else has said the Cobalt wasn't designed to be a rental car it just happens to be a rental car too due to it's price point. Actually they have rental cars in most price points. I can even rent a Ferrari, not that I would.

I have owned the Mazda 3 and the 6 and really liked them. I haven't tried the Versa and probably won't unless I accidentally rent one.

It was interesting that when they told me all they had was the Cobalt in my mind's eye I immediately pictured a beat up read car. So when the clean white one came around the corner I was initially impressed. As I drove around I realized why my impression of a Cobalt was a red beater, that's mostly what I see. Usually a chain smoker behind the wheel.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
10/26/10 8:27 a.m.
Javelin wrote:
bravenrace wrote: All rentals are cars you can actually buy, so it's no excuse.
Again, that's not necessarily true. Many manufacturers will make a cheaper rental-spec interior to save costs that you *cannot* buy at the retail level. Using a rental car as the basis of judgment for *any* car isn't fair. At least go test drive a real one at a dealership. Exception Disclosure - The Fiesta and 2011 Mustang 'Vert we rented in Canada both seemed identical to the real ones, which was probably on purpose.

I did drive one. I can't imagine a rental interior being any worse.

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