newer engines aren't necessarily better. my first car was a 3 cyl geo metro that was rated 50mpg. I would love to have that thing back again. also, the civic VX which incorporated lean burn was (and still is) one of the most awesome small cars out there because of the motor technology.
the later model cavaliers had the ecotec motors in them. can't remember the year they started with them though. maybe 2000 or 2002 (2005 was the last year of the cav)
Be the change you wish to see in the world
Depends on priorities. Lean burn can give you better fuel economy, but at the expense of emissions. Even when new, the VX fed wouldn't pass Carb regulations. Now, with increasing population and vehicles on the road, more states are adopting the Carb levels. IIRC, it's 14 now.
It isn't just emissions. Safety standards have improved also.But mainly, the horsepower wars have played a big part in reducing fuel economy. Many family cars now available, are faster than sports cars of the '70s and early '80s.
Back to the ecotec, I love the top access oil filter cartridge. Wish more of my cars had that.
The aerodynamics and manual already give your cobalt an advantage over my HHR. I've tried a WAI without any change in economy. I do use it during the winter since it seems to speed up the warm up time. In the past, I had an air dam under the bumper made from landscape edging. I've been meaning to install a sturdier one.
Does the Cobalt have a habit of developing noises from the front end, mainly the anti-sway bar and its linkages?
these cars along with hhr and pt cruisers and neons all have problems with the control arm bushings which i need and my strut bearing plates are making noise so i think i might be creating drag by not fixing them yet.
once i get the time to replace the bushings and align it i'll find out lol