differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier? - General Forum

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differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, January 02, 2012 10:56 PM
I don't know who have driven both of these before but is there a big difference in the overall quality between them? Now I'm talking about the N/A Cobalts


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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, January 02, 2012 11:27 PM
Same basic mechanicals between the two. Meaning that someone who theoretically has only ever worked on Cavaliers their entire life, would be able to easily figure out a Cobalt. Engine management systems are the only major difference between the two.

Reliability wise, the Cobalt would probably rank slightly higher for engine/transmission, and definitley lower for steering/suspension systems.

Body wise, the Cobalts I have seen have slightly higher paint quality and smaller panel gaps, Also, most of us know where the Cavy's tend to rust out. I have yet to see a rusted Cobalt anywhere.

As far as the interior quality differences, that's subject to personal opinion. Yes Cobalts have less squeaks, rattles, and cracking issues, but on the other hand, not everyone wants a single large chunk of plastic for a dashboard. IMO, the Sunfires, especially 2003+, have a better quality interior than either.
Also, I have seen quite a few base model Cobalts with the fabric on the seats wrinkling and the foam literally disintegrating into powder.




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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 12:23 PM
You're more likely to survive getting t-boned in a cobalt.


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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 12:37 PM
The Delta bodies have a better side crash test rating.






Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 4:43 PM
Roofy wrote:

Same basic mechanicals between the two. Meaning that someone who theoretically has only ever worked on Cavaliers their entire life, would be able to easily figure out a Cobalt. Engine management systems are the only major difference between the two.

Reliability wise, the Cobalt would probably rank slightly higher for engine/transmission, and definitley lower for steering/suspension systems.

Body wise, the Cobalts I have seen have slightly higher paint quality and smaller panel gaps, Also, most of us know where the Cavy's tend to rust out. I have yet to see a rusted Cobalt anywhere.

As far as the interior quality differences, that's subject to personal opinion. Yes Cobalts have less squeaks, rattles, and cracking issues, but on the other hand, not everyone wants a single large chunk of plastic for a dashboard. IMO, the Sunfires, especially 2003+, have a better quality interior than either.
Also, I have seen quite a few base model Cobalts with the fabric on the seats wrinkling and the foam literally disintegrating into powder.


cobalts are rusting like crazy up here already,rockers real bad, i agree with everything else said. both cheap gm car, hate driving my moms g5 tho, can't see a dam thing out the back/side blind spots, although i'm sure you would get used to it the ebrake handle if u got a center arm rest is dumb. Id much rather drive the sunfire although the g5 is moucho better on gas.



Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 4:58 PM
^^^^ Really?!?!?! I'm in Ohio and have yet to see a rusted Cobalt! Weird!




Currently #4 in Ecotec Forced Induction horsepower ratings. 505.8 WHP 414WTQ!!!
Currently 6th quickest Ecotec on the .org -12.453 @ 116.45 MPH!!!

Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:43 PM
The ecotecs in Cobalts have several different variations, depending on what year and trim.

Outside of the SS lines, they make more power and are less prone to the same issues the ecos from 03-05 have (ahem - TC guides, lifters, etc)
Some are also direct injection.

Transmission remains about the same. modified Getrag 5-cog gearbox. Pressure place assembly is different, but rest is about the same.

Body structure and crash test ratings are much better. This car was made during the beginning of GM's model line reform, so the quality is actually MUCH better than the cavi/s.fire.

The chasis is 100% new. MUCH more rigid. Suspension setup and geometry is better because of it as well. Steering is tighter.

I can tell you now, I've compared a S/C sunfire and a SS cobalt on the track. Cobalt handled better hands down.

Less prone to rust, and ESPECIALLY water leaks.

I will agree with maintenance though - it's about the same as a J-body.
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Thursday, January 05, 2012 12:03 PM
The wife use to have a low milage 2007 cobalt and the suspension was crap, it cornered okay but at like 50-70000km, it made poping noises over bumps, etc, sounded like a strut mount was broken, got it checked out, nothing wrong. front and rear brakes squaled ALL the time, pads/shoes were 70-80%, cleaned them, etc, etc, still squaled. Her brother has a 05 cobalt ls, similar problems, plus his steering is loose, the steering wheel moves freely 1-2" before the car starts turning. so trying to keep the car striaght on the highway, you are back and forth 1-2" with the steering wheel if that makes sence.
My old 06 SS/SC, completely differant car, handled amazing, steering tight, brakes were great, even better after GMPP brakes, etc.
The 2000 z24 handles good too, can't corner like the SS/SC but handles better than the 2 cobalts ive driven, both cobalts had 40-70000km, my Z24 has 180000km, bought it at 170000km
My wife now has a 05 mazda 3 and it handles great, brakes great, etc, just not as much power as my z24 with the 2.0


2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires - **SOLD**
2014 Kia Forte Koup SX 6spd - 1.6L Turbo - My new car
2015 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD - Wifes Car

Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Saturday, January 07, 2012 4:56 PM
GM_Mike wrote:

I don't know who have driven both of these before but is there a big difference in the overall quality between them? Now I'm talking about the N/A Cobalts

Not really on the "perceived quality" especially considering that the interior of the Cobalt has hard plastic everywhere. But panel gaps on the body is about less than a MM smaller and the trunk hinge does not carry a goose neck other then that, visually it corners were cut.

Now I I am reading some responses that need clarifying. Side impact on the J had a 1 star rating on the two door, BUT, the last time it was tested was in 1995. GM went to "Dynamic Impact Standards" in 1997, updated in 2000, and re-updated in 2003. NHTSA never retested even when it had the side airbags. Cobalt really didn't do much better with the early version, having 2 stars and later 3. It finally went up when it was tested with side airbags. Basically the structure is not that good, basically it took airbags to cushion the blow on those dummies.

The chassis is not 100% new either, Cobalt's chassis has been seeing duty in Europe since 1991. It was updated in 1998 and in 2004 on the Opel. Think of the three Gens of the J so to speak. Suspension geometry is like the 2nd Gen Js. Only here stabilizers were added and so where less crappier tires (grip). Lastly, the steering has an artificial feel, it works, but over boosted.

Lastly, comparing the Z/GT versus the boosted SS in suspension tuning. The SS will win as it had Sachs monotube shocks, 24mm F/R sway bars and most importantly Ultra High Performance summer tires. Z/GT had to make do with standard Delco shocks, 22 or 24mmF--18 or 19mmR sway bars, and all-season performance tires.

Cobalts are about 200-400lbs heavier depending on trim versus a J. Are also smaller as they considered subcompact as opposed to the Js are compacts per EPA.

All in all, basic Cobalts versus Js, by chassis figures and perceived quality was a down grade.



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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Saturday, January 07, 2012 9:10 PM
I have a 2007 G5 GT and a 98 cavalier base. (also had a 2001 sunfire se) side by side the cavalier has nothing on the G5 other then better gas miles. In everyway you can think of the g5 is nicer then the cavalier. The g5 feels more solid, better road handling, safer, stops faster, better steering,on bored computer and the seats are better I bought the g5 brand new off the dealer lot It has 74k on it and only issue i has was a service air bag warning come on. No rust on it at all put that is do to i dont drive it in the winter its parked in a garage.

for the cavalier not much was different in the 03-05 cavaliers other then the motors. i have owned it 5 years it had 93K on it when we bought it. it had 180K on it when it was sold. The cavalier def was a good little car. it never broke down never really need much of anything for that matter. In the time i had it i did egr valve and a waterpump. everything else was normal maintenance. It was great on gas had a great turn radios I could get into some tight spots with that car. the G5 turns like a truck. But a few bad things on the cavalier were. the inside was very cheap. the gaps on the dash big enough to fit my finger in. lights starting burning out in the dash. rust was starting to take over. hubcaps rattled so bad i took them off the car, also the cavalier being lighter it would get thrown around a lot if it was windy

so for the 2 cars
if it a better build more solid car cobalt
better gas miles cavalier
more features cobalt
better safety cobalt
newer platform cobalt
cheap A to B car cavalier
better style depending on trim level cobalt can get a LT with leather fog lamps rear spoiler chrome exhaust tip and few other little things

For me I would pick my G5 over the cavalier any day. the cavalier and sunfire where great cars put the are outdated. If my friend was looking at a cavalier and asked what i thought i was tell them to pick one up. i have 5 friends that drive jbodys ranging of all years and models. my sister has a 02 Z24 with the ls sport kit on it. that car has been nothing but issues. def dumping it when shes done with school.
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Saturday, January 07, 2012 9:20 PM
My g5




and my cavy pic taken at 150k was replaced by a saab needed 4 doors



Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Sunday, January 08, 2012 11:43 AM
Really nice looking G5! What all do you have done to it (since you don't have any info in your registry)?



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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Sunday, January 08, 2012 2:56 PM
i dont really come on here to often so i never set the reg up. its a 2007 GT 2.4 5speed motor it has trifecta tune gmpp intake rksport ram air hood (scoops work) gmpp cat back touring exhaust. front DC tower bar rear progress sway bad 2inch drop eibach pro kit. body ss sc wing ss sc front lip evo mod front bumper retro headlights hid fogs put wider tires now there 225 45 17 i think lol or 235 45 17s i dont remember. 1/4 its a high 14 sec car. the best was a 14.9. last time at the track my tune was messed up so it wasn't running right. its all fixed now though.
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Sunday, January 08, 2012 3:24 PM
I'm looking at maybe a G5 also but it's kinda hard finding a 5 speed GT


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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Sunday, January 08, 2012 3:33 PM
They are hard to find i ordered mine from the factory. i waited 5 months to get the car lol. keep looking though they are out there. but if you are going to get a GT then you def need the 5speed the 4speed and the 2.4 are not a good combo.
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Sunday, January 08, 2012 8:48 PM
Also, to the OP, the base 2.2 cobalt and 2.4 cobalt (G5 GT) are different cars suspension,braking wise, etc... I dont think the 2.4 SS/G5 GT have the same set up as the SS/SC but its similar, they have bigger brakes, 4 wheel disc, 5 lug vs 4 lug nut, 17" wheels, I believe the suspension is better aswell but not sure of the exact specs, I test drove a 2.4 SS before I bought my SS/SC and it was a nice car, handled/drove nice. Only drove the 5spd, no auto.

IMO:
SS/SC > SS2.4/G5 GT > Z24 > Base cobalt



2000 Cavalier Z24 5spd - Intake, Dynomax muffler, Hawk Pads, Powerslot rotors, Sportlines/Koni reds, Neon Coil, MSD 8.5 Wires - **SOLD**
2014 Kia Forte Koup SX 6spd - 1.6L Turbo - My new car
2015 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD - Wifes Car

Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:20 PM
Yea unfortunately I might not be able to afford the SS/SC model. Although there is an ion redline for sale I'm going to try to get approved for.


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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, January 09, 2012 6:18 AM
the Redline are a a little faster due to being lighter then the cobalt's. the 2.4 SS (g5 gt) are different from a base cobalt. the suspension is all different the exhaust is bigger you get a 140mph cluster vs 120mph. Better brakes, bigger sway bars, If you do get a 2.4 don't get the auto im telling you lol. my friend had a auto G5 GT it was no fun to drive.
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 6:57 AM
What I found was funny with my mom's cobalt was that after the power steering recall was done the steering felt tits. It is nice and heavy, direct, and @!#$. Unlike before the recall when it felt like you were driving through a deadmans arms. Way Way more steering effort than my cavy which when it has the snow tires on feels like you could turn the wheel by blowing on it hard.


1994 Saturn SL2 Home Coming Edition: backup car
2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport Coupe: In a Junk Yard
1995 Mazda Miata R-package Class=STR
Sponsored by: Kronos Performance

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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, February 06, 2012 4:49 PM
Agreed on all that really, I got 3 cavs, 01,02,04 in the family, and a 06 cobalt LS, 04 cav got rearend and crushed the bumer right off, cobalt, just a hole in it, held up the impact wayy better. Had it since new, 117K and not a problem yet but a purge valve.
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:59 AM
i personally feel the cobalt is a lesser vehicle. i drove one all the way to texas from iowa and it was next to a total nightmare. absolutely @!#$-bag visiblity out the back. the doors are heavy as hell and annoying to open/close. as for the interior, i prefer the j-body but the cobalt's is fine except for the annoying placement of the ebrake handle like gary mentioned.

dont even get me started on the cruze.. its even worse yet.



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Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, February 20, 2012 2:18 PM
i had a 06 G5 for a rental in BC when i went and to be honest i wasn't overly impressed its blindspots were terrible the performance sucked (i would say because of the mountains) steering wasn't to impressed either

so far still like my cavalier

as for cruze my brother has one and so far its not that bad not sure if i like the transmission (6spd auto) the crappy part is you can't get the 1.4 turbo in 6spd standard unless you buy an eco version seems gay to me. it seems to handle pretty good and wonder what its like with a bigger turbo on it say maybe a saab turbo might wake it up a smidge if i can pick a used one up cheap it migh tbe a worthwhile project




JBO since July 30, 2001
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, February 20, 2012 3:51 PM
funny you mention a bigger turbo, like 4 hours ago zzp posted a pic of one.


1994 Saturn SL2 Home Coming Edition: backup car
2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport Coupe: In a Junk Yard
1995 Mazda Miata R-package Class=STR
Sponsored by: Kronos Performance

WPI Class of '12 Mechanical Engineering
WPI SAE Risk and Sustainability Management Officer
Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, February 20, 2012 6:18 PM
bigger turbo? the cruze guys have been talking about how their transmissions break at 200hp or less



Re: differences between a Cobalt and an 03-05 Cavalier?
Monday, February 20, 2012 7:04 PM
Mike (Needs Boost) wrote:

bigger turbo? the cruze guys have been talking about how their transmissions break at 200hp or less





1994 Saturn SL2 Home Coming Edition: backup car
2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport Coupe: In a Junk Yard
1995 Mazda Miata R-package Class=STR
Sponsored by: Kronos Performance

WPI Class of '12 Mechanical Engineering
WPI SAE Risk and Sustainability Management Officer
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