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Old 10-22-2007, 02:10 PM   #1
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Time to leave the dark side?

I've driven a Toyota Corolla for about a year and a half now (first an '03, now an '07) and I've never like the F-eign thing. I only got the car because I know it gets good gas milage and that Toyota's are known for keeping their value fairly well. As it's always been my intention to trade it in when/before the warranty runs out, this latter issue is key. After reading all the posts here about how American cars are now just as good as foreign ones, I've decided to put a question to all you GM enthusiasts. What is GM's version of the Corolla?

Meaning, if I were to trade in my Corolla for a GM car, what would be the closest match. Important factors are: fuel efficiency, dependability, low depreciation, and ease of maintenance.

As I mentioned before, I don't like my Corolla. I don't like the style, exterior or interior, so I'm not looking for something that looks similar.

My girlfriend does like this car, so I need a good case in order to convince her that we should trade in the car we just got 8 months ago and have had no problems with. Other than the missing hubcap which Toyota wants $90 to replace (yes 90 freaking dollars for one hub cap!).

P.S. I just bought a Chevy "Built for performance, Engineered for Excitement" shirt, and I don't even own a Chevy! Help me out here guys.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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I dont know how close these cars are to size of the corolla but they're pretty close.
First idea is a 4 door cobalt. That is the closest in size and price. Then if you want extreme economy there is the aveo that would also be the cheapest. My friend has a pontiac G6 and i like it a lot. It has more interior space than you would expect, and you can get a 2.4 Liter 4 banger if you want fuel economy. This is also bigger than the corolla but the new malibu looks beautiful and you should definitly look at when it comes out.

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Old 10-22-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
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How about a 69' Chevelle?


I can guarantee it won't depreciate at all. Dependability, if it has been restored and has a nice crate motor you should be all set. As for fuel mileage, well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pencil.Fight View Post
I've driven a Toyota Corolla for about a year and a half now (first an '03, now an '07) and I've never like the F-eign thing. I only got the car because I know it gets good gas milage and that Toyota's are known for keeping their value fairly well. As it's always been my intention to trade it in when/before the warranty runs out, this latter issue is key. After reading all the posts here about how American cars are now just as good as foreign ones, I've decided to put a question to all you GM enthusiasts. What is GM's version of the Corolla?

Meaning, if I were to trade in my Corolla for a GM car, what would be the closest match. Important factors are: fuel efficiency, dependability, low depreciation, and ease of maintenance.

As I mentioned before, I don't like my Corolla. I don't like the style, exterior or interior, so I'm not looking for something that looks similar.

My girlfriend does like this car, so I need a good case in order to convince her that we should trade in the car we just got 8 months ago and have had no problems with. Other than the missing hubcap which Toyota wants $90 to replace (yes 90 freaking dollars for one hub cap!).

P.S. I just bought a Chevy "Built for performance, Engineered for Excitement" shirt, and I don't even own a Chevy! Help me out here guys.

Your best bet is to look at a Saturn ION. Guy at work just baught one and they are very nice and well done. Even some gimicks like MP3 player jack on the radio and such. Other choice is the Pontiac G6, Ford Fusion, uhh low end Chrysler 300, Dodge avenger.. Thats pretty much all I can think of under the low 20k's and 4 door with decent gas mileage.. low depriciation all depends on the market so that changes monthly.. even with your corrola.

Dependablility all depends on the maintenance you perform (with a few exceptions.. like any daewoo for example). If your the type that just wants to change the oil and air filter for the life of the car.. well thats not maintenance so now your testing certain aspects of the vehicle and thats another topic. ANY CAR and I repeat ANY CAR(except daewoo) will last 150k miles + with proper maintenance.
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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I'm not worried about the size or number of doors of the car. All I'm looking for is a car that will get me from point A to point B without my having to worry about it breaking down and costing me extra money. This car is my "economy" car, the Camaro will be my fun car. As such, I'm not looking specifically for any performance features in this car. They would be an added bonus, but overall cost is the overriding factor.

I figure cost with these items: The cost of the car (obviously), fuel efficiency, cost to insure, short-term risk of maintenance issues in the first 45-60,000 miles (reliability), and the amount I can trade it in for 3-5 years down the line (depreciation). If all those are as good or better than my current Corolla, the only other things it needs are 4 wheels and an engine. I would prefer a Chevy or Pontiac, but it's not a deal-breaker.

AirGoya: I got the shirt at a place called Steve and Barry's at an outlet mall in Auburn, WA(SuperMall my ass!). Their shirts were 2 for $15, so I also got a "Viva La Camaro" shirt.

Kyle: I would LOVE to have that car, or even better, a '69 Camaro. Once I get my 5th Gen, I'm going to start working on the rest of the collection: One Z28 from each generation.
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:11 PM   #6
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Best bet then would be the Cobalt, or if you can spring for a little extra, the Saturn Astra is superb. They sell like hotcakes in Europe. Very fuel efficient and well put together. Since it is new in the U.S. I can't say with certainty what reliability and resale value will be, but it is the nicest compact GM makes, and I think it will suit your needs well. Also, being a hatchback it is very practical as well. Insurance costs should be minimal, especially since pretty much every safety feature you want is standard. The base XE 5 door model starts at about the same price as a nicely equipped Cobalt, and has most of the features you'll really want as standard. I'd give it a look.

Avoid the Ion at all costs. It is one of the worst cars GM has made, and it is being discontinued after 2007 due to its replacement by the Astra. Resale value is non-existent. Nearly all cars have an MP3 jack on the radio now, so that's not really a feature worth mentioning.

If you don't mind going with a Honda, the Fit would be an excellent choice. It has very good fuel economy and by reputation I would imagine good resale value and reliability. Just beware that it is smaller than a Corolla, but it is packaged very efficiently so interior space is still pretty good. It can also be pretty hard to come by. It is being redesigned next year and should be even better, so if you can hold off until then and you can manage to find one, it could be a good choice too.

Hope that helps!
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:50 PM   #7
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Subaru..... look into a lagacy,forrester ,or impreza. very reliable, AWD, and great mpg.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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As I mentioned before, I don't like my Corolla. I don't like the style, exterior or interior, so I'm not looking for something that looks similar.
Oh yeah! Gotta love my Corolla!
jus kiddin'!!!

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What is GM's version of the Corolla?
Umm, probably their Saturn line. I think that's the American equivalent to most of the Asian counterparts.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:39 PM   #9
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In reference to Subaru, I think that might be a bit too pricey, and the AWD hurts mileage. Reliability is superb though.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:10 PM   #10
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If you are looking for a reliable and fun car from the Genaral I have always liked the HHR. It has a 4 banger is FWD and will hold 4 full size adults and the best part it a GM.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:58 PM   #11
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If you are looking for a reliable and fun car from the Genaral I have always liked the HHR. It has a 4 banger is FWD and will hold 4 full size adults and the best part it a GM.
I think the HHR is the nicest looking one out of what I'd consider GM's Corolla competitors-

Chevy HHR
Chevy Cobalt
Pontiac G5
Saturn Astra (Forthcoming)

The Aveo is a bit smaller than the Corolla, and I doubt you'll like it any more than the Corolla. The Aveo is a Yaris competitor...
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:43 AM   #12
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GM has tons of cars to choose from. The interiors are become far more impressive and up to date. We drove something like 8-10 GM (Chevy) vehicles at the state fair. They all blew me away...very nice interiors. Here's my picks.

1. Malibu. Look at it. The d@mn thing looks great. And the price? Starting at $19,950...not bad.

2. Cobalt. Probably less expensive. Very nice drive and handling.

3. Aveo. Small. Compact. Small. Less expensive of the line. ECONOMY.

4. Pontiac G6. You want to step up? Go for the G6 GXP. Look through my pictures in the Dallas state fair thread. It's the black one w/ the wing on the back. THAT was a sweet G6. Very well done.

Stay w/ one of the big three...preferably GM if you can. Chevys are so much nicer now and are a lot more reliabe. Just check out the warranty. They are willing to back up those cars. Poniac has some nice ones. Saturn has also come a long way. But, of all these, I love that Malibu.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:23 AM   #13
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Definitely time to leave the dark side And you shan't be dissapointed!

If you can swing it - Go with the new Malibu. It's a beaut, and a sure winner

If you can't, or don't want to (you mentioned the Camaro). Then you can't lose with the Cobalt. If you can get past the plastic (which really isn't bad at all), that little bugger is quick, even in base trim. It's got the Ecotec 2.2, which yields both 34mpg, and 150,000+ miles of enjoyment. Afterall, it's designed, to not have to change your coolant untill then, and plugs are good for 100,000 miles, though I wouldn't risk it.().
Trunk room is generous. I can easily fit 3 adult bodies, er, people in there.

If you want a purely economy car, you can try the Aveo...but, well - I didn't fit in it comfortably. I'm about 6'...so Cobalt it was.

The G5 is basically pontiac's Cobalt, rebadged. and more expensive. Saturn has the ION...I almost nabbed one of those, but no-go. they "sold out" .
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:50 AM   #14
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I have a Cobalt, and it is indeed quick. The plastic is pretty cheap, but the engine is powerful for the class and has a nice power curve. I seldom have to take the thing about 4000 RPM unless I really want some fun, but otherwise around town it is really easy to drive smooth and steady. Good passing power. My commute is fuel efficiency hell. It is half going up and down hills at 80mph, and half bumper to bumper traffic. Even after all that (and with my lead foot) it averages 26 mpg. When my fiancee drives, it averages 30 no problem, even in mixed driving.

The trunk is huge, but a caveat is that the trunk opening itself is rather small, especially on the coupe, so filling that huge cavern is a bit difficult Rear seats split 60/40 and fold down.

Maintenance costs are very low. Due to an improved oil filter design, you can go 7000 miles between changes. Its scary at first, but then once you realize the car can do it, it is very nice. Chevy dealers tend to have low service rates also, if you're into services at the dealership. It is also insurance friendly, especially if you get one with ABS and side curtain airbags, which I highly recommend (when I got mine it was optional on the bottom trim and standard on all others. I don't know what it is now, but either way they are very affordable options).

Depreciation hasn't been too bad so far, and with further reductions to fleet sales it should be even better as time goes on.

So I can vouch for the Cobalt by personal experience. I'm affording it without a sweat on a college budget, and I commute an hour each way to work every day, so I drive it a LOT. I hear very good things about the HHR and the new Saturn Astra, so by all means check those out as well, but I can personally verify that the Cobalt is a very solid choice.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:16 PM   #15
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Wow, thank you all for the suggestions. I've researched and priced out all of your suggestions and have decided Chevy is my best bet. The Malibu does indeed look like a nice car, but the price puts it out of the running. If I want that Camaro, the last thing I need is to have my expenses increase!

Basically I'm between the Cobalt and the Aveo. The Aveo I priced was about $650 cheaper and gets a little bit better gas milage (34 HWY to the Cobalt's 33), but if the Cobalt's as superior as it sounds like I may have to just look that way.

As I said before, I haven't decided on getting rid of the Corolla yet, I'm just researching my options so I can make the best choice. If I can trade it in for a Chevy and actually save money, I would be sold.

I know in an earlier thread we were talking about dealer costs VS MSRP, does anyone know where I could find this information in regards to the Cobalt and Aveo? Dragon, I know you're planning on grabbing a Cobalt pretty soon, what research have you done? If you don't mind sharing....
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:01 PM   #16
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Of course not. I'll do anything to "save" the lost souls of the car world.

I've been to edmunds.com, automotive.com, kelly blue book, (kbb.com), uh..auto.consumerguide...and to 2 dealers.

So far it looks like, with a 400-100 dollar trade in, and whatever incentives they're throwing in, I'm getting an '08 Cobalt, with side curtain airbags, and a spoiler(ooh) for 12k....not bad, at all. IMHO.

I probably would have leaned more towards the Aveo, cause the inside looks a little better than the Cobalt's. But on the test drive, my right knee kept hitting the center console, cause it kind of sweeps up from the ground...and I'm a reletively tall guy (6'). The Cobalt is a little bigger, but the big deal was, the center console connects at a more 90 deg. angle, rather than a sweep. So my knees have plenty of room. AND if you read a report that says the cobalt has generous room to slide your seat back, they're not kidding - with the previous story in mind, I can slide the seat back all the way (not leaving the rear passenger any room). and now I can't touch the pedals! :eek:.

The seats are probably the most comfortable seats I've ever been in, they feel firm at first, almost too firm, but then you realize, it's not stiffening your back as much as it's supporting it, I love the seats.

The shifter is comfy, and the tranny(auto) is smooth all the way up to redline (reccomend not trying that on a T.D. ). The engine is peppy. Not a beast, but this little 2750 lb. car goes, and goes fast! Cornering is great, just be careful, it takes the corners too good. I almost broke (not crashed, we don't say crash) the 24-hour test cobalt....don't ask. THEY say 0-60 in 9 seconds...I say it's quicker, .

Everything is cleanly put together (body seams, and fit inside), road/engine noise is very limited at highway speeds (Dragoneye terms = 80). You can easily hold a conversation without raising your voice. The cabin is roomy (sedan; coupe, not so much) for a car of that size. The rear seats, 20/40 fold down, via two "switches" in the trunk. The trunk is HUGE, as I said before. But the opening is "small". I'd say it's reasonable - but I can see why it's small to some.

And fuel economy rocks. During the 24-hour test, I floored it plenty of times, and I still averaged (according to the car <DIC>) about 27mpg...A 13 gallon tank, and at 45 mph...you're only revving at 1500 :eek:, at 70, your only turning 2000!

Well, now my fingers hurt BUT, I love this car!!! (of course, I'll love the Camaro more)
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:06 PM   #17
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I just bought a Nissan Altima, gets really good mileage and has plenty of giddy-up. This is the car that my kids get in, eat McDonalds and throw little pickles at each other in.

Just wondering, why are you considering trading it in anyway? Seems that you have a late model vehicle and it runs-- Why not just hold on to it and use it as a second car so you don't rack the miles up on your Camaro?
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:16 PM   #18
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Dragon: Yeah, I'd have to check out both of them. I'm a little under 6', so I might fit more comfortably in the Aveo.

With the Consumer rebates ($1750 for the cobalt and $1000 for the Aveo), both cars are right around the same price now. I'm not sure how much I could get for my Toyota as a trade compared to what i still owe on it, but that brings me to Eisenhower's question.

Eisenhower: I know it's a late model car with relatively few miles on it, but I just don't like the car. The truth is, the only reason I didn't get an American car when I bought this one is that I had heard all around that American made cars couldn't stand up to Toyotas or Hondas. Now I find out that that's no longer true. I'd like to trade in for a less expensive Chevy so I can save that much more each month towards my Camaro and paying off my student loans.

I'll go in and talk to a dealer or two this weekend, and if it doesn't prove to be financially logical to make the trade, I'll keep the Corolla for a few more years.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:48 PM   #19
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I'm happy you've "seen the light"...but, in all seriousness, don't go buying one car or another only because it's American or not...(I'm not saying that's what your doing, but it's obviously playing a role.) If your Corolla still runs fine... but if you really don't like it, then that's a different story and I'm talking out my a$$ ...

btw, forgot to add a little point: Corolla (according to your sig) = 126 hp.....Cobalt = 148 hp, and 152 lbs/ft of torque
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:41 PM   #20
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Yeah, it's not really about American or import. My first and favorite (still) car was a Honda. However, imports tend to be more expensive than American cars. My main factor is cost, so that's where American Vs. Imports comes in. I'm in the process of making up a cost comparison sheet to see what kind of deal I need to strongarm the dealer into in order for this to save me money. With this sheet in hand i will walk into the dealer and say "If you can give me $xxx for my trade and this car for $xxx, we've got a deal. Otherwise, I'm going to drive my Corolla home." I don't plan on spending hours negotiating this time. I'll just be looking for a yes or no. If I can get a car that I like better and at the same time save more money for my Camaro, why not?
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Old 10-23-2007, 04:55 PM   #21
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That's the best way to shop for a car anyway. Set a firm price for the car you're buying and what you expect for the trade in, and don't walk off the lot paying a dime more than that after everything is factored in, including interest, taxes, everything. Being upside down on the loan complicates things, but if you can save enough on the new car, it could possibly be worth it. Edmunds.com has some good tools to show exactly what you can expect to get a certain car with certain options for in your region, so I would go and play around with that. Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:30 PM   #22
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Wow, thank you all for the suggestions. I've researched and priced out all of your suggestions and have decided Chevy is my best bet. The Malibu does indeed look like a nice car, but the price puts it out of the running. If I want that Camaro, the last thing I need is to have my expenses increase!

Basically I'm between the Cobalt and the Aveo. The Aveo I priced was about $650 cheaper and gets a little bit better gas milage (34 HWY to the Cobalt's 33), but if the Cobalt's as superior as it sounds like I may have to just look that way.

As I said before, I haven't decided on getting rid of the Corolla yet, I'm just researching my options so I can make the best choice. If I can trade it in for a Chevy and actually save money, I would be sold.

I know in an earlier thread we were talking about dealer costs VS MSRP, does anyone know where I could find this information in regards to the Cobalt and Aveo? Dragon, I know you're planning on grabbing a Cobalt pretty soon, what research have you done? If you don't mind sharing....
If it's between Aveo and Cobalt with a price difference of only $650 then DEFINITELY get the Cobalt. The Aveo is going to be no more fun to drive than your Corolla. Trust me I know.. :::grumblegrumbletradedacamaroforthisthinggrumbleg rumble:::
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:43 PM   #23
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I probably would have leaned more towards the Aveo, cause the inside looks a little better than the Cobalt's. But on the test drive, my right knee kept hitting the center console, cause it kind of sweeps up from the ground...and I'm a reletively tall guy (6').
How different is the center console in the '08 Aveo vs. the '05 Aveo? I haven't seen them side by side.

I'm also 6' tall. And not a small guy. But my Aveo has more than enough room for me and I don't hit the console.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:02 PM   #24
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Alright, I've finished my research. Looks like I'm leaning towards a Cobalt LT (2007 or 2008) with side-curtain airbags, ABS, and Power Locks with remote keyless entry. I haven't made any extra payments on my Toyota so I'm upside down on that a bit. I want to get out of the whole thing with a total of $15,000 (my Corolla paid off and Cobalt keys in my hand) and less than 7.99% APR.

I seriously doubt that they're going to accept my offer, but I really don't need a new car anyway. I've really got nothing to lose. I'll walk in their with my deal and give them a time limit (they'll keep you there all day if you let them!) to accept or pass.

Now I just need to check with my insurance company to see how much I would save by driving a Cobalt rather than a Corolla. If it's enough of a savings, I may be able to make my proposed deal a little less insane.
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"Some legends just live in your dreams, others never let you sleep!"
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:35 AM   #25
Mr. Wyndham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllwynX View Post
How different is the center console in the '08 Aveo vs. the '05 Aveo? I haven't seen them side by side.

I'm also 6' tall. And not a small guy. But my Aveo has more than enough room for me and I don't hit the console.
To be honest, I haven't seen an '05 Aveo...But the '07/'08 just didn't feel right to me. A little too tight. I could move the seat back to alleveate the knee problem, but then I felt too far from the wheel by the time I was back far enough. The Cobalt just seemed to have more room for me, and when all you've driven is Minivans...well - It's hard to go from Truck-size room, to Aveo...


And Pencil. Honestly, that doesn't sound like a terrible offer. There's a 1750 cash back deal going on untill 10/31. No rush or anything
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