Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
bobo

CR Tests Cobalt SS, RSX, Scion tC, and Eclipse

35 posts in this topic

The current issue of Consumer Reports tests sporty coupes, and the Cobalt SS Supercharged comes out first of the four tested vehicles. For all sporty coupes, the rankings are:

1. Subaru Impreza WRX STi (recommended)
2. Mazda RX-8 (recommended)
3. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
4. Subaru Impreza WRX (recommended)
5. Chevrolet Cobalt SS
6. Mini Cooper (recommended)
7. Acura RSX (recommended)
8. Scion tC (recommended)
9. Hyundai Tiburon GT (recommended)
10. Mitsubishi Eclipse GS 4 cylinder

Excerpts:

Cobalt SS: Opting for the SS trim transforms the middling Cobalt into a responsive, sporty car. The supercharged engine provides strong performance and quick acceleration, and its exhaust note is invigorating. Handling is good and the firm ride isn't overly stiff. The cabin is nicely detailed and the trunk is roomy, although it doesn't offer the same versatility as a hatchback. The Cobalt sedan's reliability, however, has been below par.

The Cobalt has a firm but steady and controlled ride. Road imperfections are transmitted to the cabin as hard kicks. The ride remains steady at highway speeds, and wind and road noise mix with the sporty exhaust note. We noticed some interior squeaks.

In corners the Cobalt is nimble with little body lean, but its steering isn't very quick or communicative. At its handling limits, the Cobalt feels very secure and forgiving, with good tire grip giving way to controlled understeer. It posted the group's highest avoidance maneuver speed. However, the wide 42-foot turning circle is a nuisance.

The SS's 205-hp, supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is much stronger than the others in the group. The five-speed manual shifts well despite long throws and a fairly heavy clutch. It returned 23 mpg in mixed driving.

Braking performance was flawless, with very short, straight stops. Headlight performance was good, but the low beams leave a dim area in front of the bumper.

Seats and door inserts that match the car's body color add a sporty feel. Most parts fit together well, but some of the switchgear feels flimsy.

Drivers sit upright, with good foot room and abundant head room for most. The tilt-only steering wheel and close-set pedals marred the driving position for some. Forward visibility is good, but the wide roof pillars and tall spoiler create large blind areas.

The well-padded seats have cushions that sag after extended driving time. Seat adjustments are manual, including lumbar control. The seatback recline lever is tight to reach with the door closed.

Adults will find the rear seats snug, with insufficient head room. Access tot he front cabin is good, but the long, heavy doors swing open too easily, a problem in tight parking spaces. Rear cabin access is hampered by the front safety belts.

The gauges are legible and the controls are simple, with large buttons and dials. Complaints include the unlighted steering-wheel controls, flimsy seat controls, and hidden remote trunk release.

Acura RSX: The RSX is a fun-to-drive, nimble car with a smooth engine that loves to rev, and an excellent shifter. Fuel economy is impressive and its versatile hatchback design completes an enjoyable package.

However, the ride is choppy and transmits a lot of road noise. The engine performs adequately, but the RSX isn't as quick as some competitors. Opting for the quicker RSX Type S might be worthwhile. Rear seating is tight. Reliability has been very good.

The RSX has a stiff, nervous ride. Impacts from road imperfections are muted, however. Road noise is pronounced and the engine sounds polished, but at full throttle it's a bit buzzy.

The Acura feels nimble, with limited body lean. Its steering is quick, well-weighted, and provides good feedback. At its handling limits the RSX is stable, nicely balanced, and predictable, with good tire grip. It posted a notably high speed in our avoidance maneuver. However, it has a relatively wide turning circle of 40 feet.

Its 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is smooth, but not as quick as the Type S or the Cobalt SS. Overall fuel economy is very good at 28 mpg. The shifter is excellent, with short, crisp throws.

Scion tC: While not exciting, the Scion tC is a well-rounded, competitively priced coupe with a lot of standard equipment. It's one of the few coupes with a usable back seat. Its ride is relatively comfortable and quiet. Handling is sound but not really sporty. Acceleration, shift quality, and fuel economy are commendable. First year reliability has been average.

The tC has the group's most comfortable ride, with good isolation from bumps and ruts. The ride is controlled and steady, but fairly stiff for rear passengers. On the highway, the ride is smooth and relatively quiet. The engine hum is mostly civilized.

The tC was agile, with limited body lean and precise, responsive steering. The driving experience, however, is more like that of a small sedan than a sports coupe. At our track, the tC is mostly predictable with understeer that changes to a bit of oversteer after lifting off the throttle. It posted a good speed in our avoidance maneuver. The 37-foot turning circle is tight.

The 160-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder provides adequate performance and returned a very good 26 mpg overall. The five-speed transmission is easy to drive smoothly and the clutch is easy to modulate.

Mitsubishi Eclipse: Despite its curves, the Eclipse is unexciting to drive. It lacks agility and quickness, two critical ingredients of a sporty car. The Eclipse has a cramped, uncomfortable cabin. Its hatchback design offers some cargo-carrying versatility. Its four-cylinder engine provides moderate performance, but the GT's V6 is much quicker and quieter. The Eclipse's stiff ride doesn't translate into sporty handling. This new model's reliability is unknown.

The Eclipse has a stiff and nervous ride. Bumps and ruts enter the cabin as rubbery kicks. Even at highway speeds, the ride is nervous. Wind and road noise are persistent over the droning engine.

The Eclipse lacked agility, with noticeable body lean and vague, reluctant steering. At our track, it reached its handling limits early on, understeering in most turns but proving ultimately secure. It posted the lowest speed of the group in our avoidance maneuver. The 42-foot turning circle is wide.

The 162-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine provides adequate performance but isn't very sporty. The five-speed manual is clumsy and has long shifter travel, and the clutch engagement point is too high. Fuel economy of 23 mph overall or regular fuel is good.

Even average-height drivers found seating to be uncomfortable. Limited head room, long clutch travel, and a tilt-only steering wheel add to the awkwardness, and a low driving position and high beltline create a claustrophobic feel. Furthermore, the side mirrors are mounted to far back to view easily.

The poorly contoured front-seat cushions lack sufficient support. The rear seat isn't even adequate for small children. Leg room and head room are virtually nonexistent. Front cabin access is difficult; rear access is awkward.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll be honest. I'd rate the Acura RSX above the Cobalt SS and I'd personally buy the RSX over Cobalt SS. However, I do agree with CR that the RSX & Cobalt SS are better choices over the tC. The RSX beats the tC hands down in my opinion. no contest. As for Mitsubishi... the new Eclipse needs to be the last Eclipse. It's time for MMNA to start planning its exit.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a Cobalt comes out first, why not reccommend it?

[post="39209"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

CR's recommended vehicles need to have at least average reliability, and they say that so far, the Cobalt has been below average.

There is a sidebar to the article that mentions that they receive one milion responses out of the six million surveys sent to subscribers. The Malibu MAXX and Cadillac STS are now recommended. However, the Silverado and Sierra have fallen to below average in reliability and are therefore no longer recommended. The Corvette and GTO are also below average.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest. I'd rate the Acura RSX above the Cobalt SS and I'd personally buy the RSX over Cobalt SS. However, I do agree with CR that the RSX & Cobalt SS are better choices over the tC. The RSX beats the tC hands down in my opinion. no contest.

As for Mitsubishi... the new Eclipse needs to be the last Eclipse. It's time for MMNA to start planning its exit.

:withstupid:

Although... I think a 94 GA GT with the H.O. Quad4 and a 5spd could beat all of those bitches... Muahahahahah... :lol: :D
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think everyone on this website should order cr just to help improve GMs numbers with them.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cobalt sedan's reliability, however, has been below par.


Hmm...didn't know 2 extra doors could affect reliability. :rolleyes:
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm...didn't know 2 extra doors could affect reliability.  :rolleyes:

[post="39330"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

They didn't specify 2 door or 4 door, the Cobalt got the lowest score of any small car, 86% worse than average, I looked through the book quickly and it wasn't pretty for the Cobalt. Problems with fit and finish, suspension and air conditioning etc etc etc.I know CR can be a**holes and a lot of the stuff doesn't make sense like how they can recommend the Maxx but not the Malibu,the Monte Carlo is a best pick but not the Impala, but I was still dissappointed to see the Cobalt do so poorly. Now all the people who turn to CR for info are going to see the big black circle beside Cobalt that says stay away. GM dropped the ball and continue to have trouble with launches. What are they smoking in Lordstown?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd go- For fun, the Cobalt SS.. DD, the RSX... THough if I had to pick just one, it would be the SS...
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't specify 2 door or 4 door, the Cobalt got the lowest score of any small car, 86% worse than average, I looked through the book quickly and it wasn't pretty for the Cobalt. Problems with fit and finish, suspension and air conditioning etc etc etc.I know CR can be a**holes and a lot of the stuff doesn't make sense like how they can recommend the Maxx but not the Malibu,the Monte Carlo is a best pick but not the Impala, but I was still dissappointed to see the Cobalt do so poorly. Now all the people who turn to CR for info are going to see the big black circle beside Cobalt that says stay away. GM dropped the ball and continue to have trouble with launches. What are they smoking in Lordstown?

[post="39612"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I noticed that the Balt' had some issues when it first came out...though I heard they
worked em' out.....

I don't know if I would be too worried about CR, I noticed they seem to be getting some blacklash lately...
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CR's recommended vehicles need to have at least average reliability, and they say that so far, the Cobalt has been below average.


Of course, it's american.

There is a sidebar to the article that mentions that they receive one milion responses out of the six million surveys sent to subscribers.


Which pretty much makes the ratings worthless, that's roughly a 16% response rate... NOT GOOD!

However, the Silverado and Sierra have fallen to below average in reliability and are therefore no longer recommended.


Of course, no doubt to give the asians easier thoroughfare into the market. Just like the mainstream media, they now have asian trucks to reccomend, so they NO LONGER NEED american offerings, those were just reccomended for lack of a better offering.

The Corvette and GTO are also below average.


:rolleyes:

Good thing the Maxx made it though, just in time to be canned.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QUOTE(Snate @ Nov 6 2005, 12:26 PM)
Hmm...didn't know 2 extra doors could affect reliability. 





They didn't specify 2 door or 4 door, the Cobalt got the lowest score of any small car, 86% worse than average, I looked through the book quickly and it wasn't pretty for the Cobalt. Problems with fit and finish, suspension and air conditioning etc etc etc.I know CR can be a**holes and a lot of the stuff doesn't make sense like how they can recommend the Maxx but not the Malibu,the Monte Carlo is a best pick but not the Impala, but I was still dissappointed to see the Cobalt do so poorly. Now all the people who turn to CR for info are going to see the big black circle beside Cobalt that says stay away. GM dropped the ball and continue to have trouble with launches. What are they smoking in Lordstown?


The reason the coupes are split from the sedans is because SEDANS are the majority of sales... They just throw GM a bone on the coupes.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone on this website should order cr just to help improve GMs numbers with them.

[post="39291"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


This is a great idea...
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the biggest problem GM has always had is that most of its owners are unemotional about what they drive. Ask a happy Impala or Buick owner what they think of their vehicle and they are most likely to shrug. If CR can only muster a 16% response rate, we have to ask ourselves - what 16% would bother to respond? Clearly, it would be the people who are either very happy or very unhappy. If the majority of GM people are somewhere in the middle, I would venture to say they just don't bother to respond to the survey in the first place. I have seen many an import buyer justify hundreds and hundreds of dollars of service as mere "maintenance." I believe there is a certain reluctance on the part of consumers, who have been led to believe Toyota has been handed down from God, to admit their vehicle may not be as perfect as they were led to believe. This would translate into consistent high ratings numbers by CR and others because only certain types of people bother to respond. To be truly accurate, the surveys should be random and compulsory, to ensure a more accurate cross section of buyers out there.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If CR wants to remain relevent, they need to come clean on a number of issues and give some statistics & insight into their workings. How about starting with "# of surveys" per model, that way when some slow-selling vehicles are marked heavily one way or another, and we see that it's based on like 10 responses, we can ignore it like the BS that it all so plainly is. Why don't CR supporters see this clever rouge as the smoke & mirrors marketing that it is??
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well hey howdy hey: I went from my above post to this thread:

>>"if the lowest common denominator is willing to take Consumer Reports’ reliability surveys and predictions as gospel, without requesting margins-of-error, why should the magazine bother to publish the number of responses it receives per vehicle (even as this number is statistically critical before results can be compared across vehicles, as readers no doubt do)? Moreover, if no one demands the organization’s demographics before questioning the external validity of a survey to which only a nonrandom, self-selective subscriber sample responds, why should Consumer Reports make any concessions to accuracy? While we are on the subject, veteran automotive journalist and Autoline Detroit host John McElroy last week suggested this to Consumer Reports Senior Director of Auto Testing David Champion, who admitted the disclaimer: “our job… is to serve our subscribers… the people that we are helping (are) the same people that are filling-in the survey” (see the episode here, with RealPlayer). To us, it sounds like a comment on external validity that should, in the interest of accuracy, be given prominent place."<<

-- http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...wtopic=2720&hl=

Thank you, automobear! Everyone else in the CR daze- wake up!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because they're sheep.... They're the same people that believe the import rhetoric hook, line and sinker. CR worries me... IT seems that they have gained A LOT of popularity around here... I hope they are as discredited as you all say. Anyone have any media bashing them?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which pretty much makes the ratings worthless, that's roughly a 16% response rate... NOT GOOD!

[post="39853"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I think the ratio is much lower than that. CR covers multiple model years in the survey.

One million responses in total, or per model year?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CR is the worst piece of published filth and BS on the magazine stand. Seriously, what kind of dumb-fudge, half-wit trusts CAR reviews from the same people that recommended them their TOASTER? Nail Car and Driver and Motortrend all you want for being biased, but AT LEAST they PROFESSIONAL car guys, not house-wives with a journalistic license.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Front page reads: "Cobalt Bests Mazda RSX, Scion tC & Eclipse In Consumer Reports Comparo"
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CR is pretty much a joke. Read it for about 5 minutes and you can see plenty of inconsistencies. The best are the identical cars like the Matrix/Vibe where the japanese one will suddenly be much more reliable and higher quality.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My sister just bought a 2006 Cobalt LT sedan a week ago. Silver metallic exterior matched with light gray interior. I was positively surprised by how nice the interior looks. Satin Nickel trims are elegantly used on instrument panel, door switch plates and shifter handle. The dashboard is made of hard plastic, but the texture, color and luster are pleasant to eyes. Interior of LTZ and SS look even better. Handling and ride quality is very good for a car under $20k. Suspension is a little soft, but comfortable. The hydraulic bushings used on Cobalt LT absorb bumps well. There is a Toyota Corolla in the family, and so far everyone agrees that Cobalt has a better interior, handles better and rides better than the Corolla. The XM radio is another positive surprise. She has no intention to buy it, but almost all well-equipped LT in the dealer’s lot come with it, so she ended up paying for it. It turns out that there plenty of channels and sound quality is CD-like. Every one listened to it, loves it.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0