The new Chevy Cruze was recently released for sale in the U.S. and the Cobalt will be discontinued at the end of the year. So what does the Cruze have that the Cobalt didn’t? Well lets just say a lot. The Cruze’s powerhouse is exactly the opposite, a 1.8 liter naturally aspirated inline 4 cylinder DOHC engine (LS only), or a 1.4 liter turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engine (LT and LTZ), both only putting out 138 horsepower. Pretty bad considering the Cruze’s turbo engine is only .6 liters smaller than the Cobalt SS turbocharged’s that puts out 260 HP, almost doubling the Cruze’s power. Even the Cobalt’s base model had 155 HP. Also, only the Cruze LS, the lowest model, offers a manual trans., only automatic transmissions are available on the LT and LTZ, manuals aren’t even available on these models. In the Cobalt however, every model had manual transmissions and automatics were optional. The Cobalt also gets 1 more MPG on the highway (and maybe more with a manual, except for the SS) than the Cruze.
The Cruze does have some upgrades though. A race built Z-link rear suspension, a less plastic looking interior, and on star navigation. But the Cruze still lacks the performance the Cobalt has. The Cruze’s top speed is only 121 MPH and the Cobalt SS turbo’s is 160 MPH. The Cruze also takes 9.2 seconds to get to 60 MPH, a very long time compared to the Cobalt’s 5.7 seconds. The Cobalt also beats the Cruze in the 1/4 mile drag by 2.6 seconds. Just look at the stats, the Cruze may look more agressive than the Cobalt, but there’s nothing aggressive about it. A Cobalt could easily beat a Cruze in any race.
If Chevy would have just upgraded the Cobalt’s interior it would be just fine and they still would have sold thousands of them even if they left them the same. But instead they made a less impressive Cruze that is no match for the Cobalt in any way. This will probably turn out the same as 2004 did for Chevy, the release of a less impressive truck leading to less buyers. You would think they’d learn that making a vehicle to replace another that’s perfectly fine doesn’t work by now, but obviously not.