what can be done to this? just drive it as is, stop trying to make it something it's not, god thats almost as bad as when you see modded neons. so terrible. the only person you'll be fooling is yourself
Just because its not a Bimmer doesn't make it a terrible car. It is exactly what it is, a cheap car with decent gas mileage. I'm assuming its the 148HP 2.2L Ecotec and its an automatic? Like I said, I would stay on top of maintenance. With on time maintenance it should run a long long time. If you really feel like throwing money into it, I would look into improve the suspension. Maybe put a sound system into it if you are into music.
Like everyone else has said, I'd stick with some wheels and a drop.
A decent set of coilovers to spin the car down will be in the 1k range. A decent set of wheels will be right at 1k as well. I can't remember what bolt pattern the Cobalt is off hand. My buddy had a supercharged one. It was fun to work on, but jesus it had some recalls. Every 2 weeks the car was in for some broken interior piece.
I know you don't want to hear it, but save your money and just drive it. You'll be much happier when you sell it down the road with a fat stack of cash you've been saving.