Refreshed Chevrolet Cobalt is presented in Brazil with new Chevrolet face

The Brazilian Chevrolet Cobalt may sound like a curiosity, but it is sold in most of Latin America, supplied by its Brazilian and Colombian factories, and is also available in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. In Russia, it was sold until later this year and in China it was registered in the patent office, according to CarNewsChina.com, but apparently never reached Chevrolet dealers. Most probably because it was one of the most hideous things GM has ever created since the Aztek, even if roomy and relatively cheap. The company has made good efforts to correct it. And the result has been presented last Wednesday, with a new face, new rear and some improvements inside. Compare both below (the old one always first):

Chevrolet-Cobalt-2014-1 Chevrolet-Cobalt-2016-1

Now check the back:

Chevrolet-Cobalt-2014-2 Chevrolet-Cobalt-2016-3

Minor changes with a major effect on style. The car will most certainly sell better than the previous one.

Apart from the appearance, the new sedan, which presents the biggest luggage compartment among cars produced in Brazil, with 563 l, has preserved its offerings in three versions, but ditched the former entry level trim and added a more expensive one. Besides the LT (currently the cheapest) and LTZ, there is now also the more upscale Elite version.

Chevrolet-Cobalt-2016-5

The LT comes only with an old 1.4 Family 1 that has been pushed to its limits by the competent Brazilian engineering team. Even so, it generates a mere 75 kW of power and 127 Nm of torque. The only option of transmission for this engine is a 5-speed manual.

Chevrolet-Cobalt-2016-9

In the LTZ trim, there is the option of a 1.8 Family 1 engine that is slightly more powerful, with 79 kW, and much stronger, with 168 Nm of torque. It offers the option of a 6-speed automatic transmission, the GF6-2.

The video below, created by GM, presents the car as a safer and more sophisticated product. But it offers no traction or stability control (not even as an option). It lacks a LATCH or an Isofix child seat connectors. And brings the OnStar system as one of its main breakthroughs. When you realize this system is offered since 1995 in the USA, you can calculate the gap that exists between developed and emerging (or sinking, when it comes to Brazil or Russia) markets.

In Brazil, the car will be sold for R$ 52.690, or US$ 14,022, in the LT trim. The LTZ goes from R$ 57.590 (1.4) to R$ 59.990 (1.8), or US$ 15,327 and US$ 15,965, respectively, and the Elite costs R$ 67.990, or US$ 18.094. Enough to buy a tenth generation Honda Civic in the American market. Below, the interior of the new Chevrolet. Even with its synthetic brown leather and the new MyLink 2 infotainment system, it still feels too expensive.

Chevrolet-Cobalt-2016-10 Chevrolet-Cobalt-2016-8

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.