The Fuel Thrifty 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE


One of Chevrolet's best selling cars is its subcompact Cobalt. The Cobalt XFE model offers best in class fuel savings.

One of Chevrolet's best selling cars is its subcompact Cobalt. The Cobalt XFE model offers best in class fuel savings.

For students needing a car while on campus, your choices abound. From a well used family vehicle to a late model used car, the used-car market for buyers remains strong. However, thanks to the demand for smaller cars, the compact market is overpriced. Clearly, paying $5000 for a seven year old Dodge Neon is a bit much, especially one with more than 80,000 miles on the odometer.

On the other hand, the new car market is in tatters due to the tough economy and the almost overnight shift in consumer tastes from V8 powered vehicles to almost anything with four cylinders. While the demand for smaller cars is up sharply, prices are generally not, making the purchase of a new set of wheels an excellent option for some college students.

The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE

When shopping for a new car, many students look at entry level models, knowing that these are the types of cars which they can afford and are usually the most fuel efficient. The under $15K price tag of various Scion, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, and Chevy models makes this segment interesting, one filled with a variety of cars — some rather stripped, others fairly well equipped.

Leading the way in fuel economy in this category is the Smart Fortwo, a two seater mini minicar that gets 40 mpg on the highway. Unfortunately, the $11,750 Smart can barely hold enough gear to transport students with all of their stuff from home to college and back again. Slightly larger, and seating at least four passengers are the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, and the Chevy Cobalt to name a few. Speaking about the latter, the Cobalt XFE retails at $15,070 before incentives are included and for 2009 the model will get 26 mpg city and an excellent 37 mpg on the highway.

Your Fuel Efficient Cobalt

The Cobalt’s fuel efficiency is its strong point, thanks to low resistance tires, special gearing, and computer tweaking which, together, helps to squeeze out an extra 3 mpg highway miles for the XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy). With a cloth interior, standard air conditioning and AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3, and with a 2.2L I4 powered engine, the Cobalt comes with many of the features drivers crave. Mated to a five-speed manual transmission, the best fuel numbers are achieved with this combination.

All Cobalts meet required safety conditions including dual frontal airbags and a “good” rating for front impact. Side airbags, antilock brakes, and stability control are also available on select models. Quality for the Cobalt is average, bettered by more established models such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. GM says that they sell 200,000 Cobalts annually, making it the second most popular car in the entire GM fleet.

Shop For Incentives

Buyers looking for a good deal on a Cobalt may want to consider end of the model year specials for the 2008 Cobalt. Achieving 36 mpg on the highway, the 2008 Cobalt XFE could offer the best value when incentives are taken. Consider taking the rebate and finding your own automotive financing in order to save money.

Some colleges forbid or actively discourage students from having cars on campus, while others are tolerant and understand the needs of their future alumni. Check with your insurer before buying any car to learn what costs you’ll have to pay to keep your car at school.

Adv. — Is your family experiencing a financial shortfall this academic year? Scholarships, grants, 529 money, and part time work may not be enough. Learn about private student loans by visiting, your portal for college financial assistance. We have free tools for your download and updated information about current college financing requirements.


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Categories: Campus Cars