For 2009, General Motors is offering an even more fuel-efficient version of their no frills, Chevrolet Cobalt XFE , this car is a step in the right direction for the American automaker, the 9% improvement in fuel economy is also an answer to the upcoming CAFE regulation put in place by the U.S. Senate. Although it is the base model Cobalt, and we do mean base, lacking power assisted creature comforts like windows and door locks, there isn’t even an automatic transmission option.
However, the checkbook friendly Cobalt does come with a air conditioning, an AM/FM/MP3 stereo and a sporty wing on the trunk. The 2.2 Liter ECOTEC four cylinder is up 7 HP from last year’s model, for a maximum output of 155 HP. The added power is necessary in order to turn the more economical 3.74:1 final drive, the extra gearing means that the XFE can run at a lower RPM, and burn less gas, when cruising on the highway in 5th gear. This is only one of the fuel saving features that make the Chevrolet Cobalt XFE a segment best in the fuel mileage category; better than the Ford Focus , Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic . The $16,000 entry level Chevrolet model gets an EPA estimated 36 MPG on the highway.