145hp in the compact car segment isn't bad, others have more, and that spirited handling/weight would come from the light weight advantage (if at all... new models continually get porkier and porkier). Combine that with good steering and brake feel and you've got a recipe for fun -- not necessarily speed. You don't need to be tooling along at 5000rpm or 150km/h just to have fun.
Restated. Though I wouldn't be surprised if the Cobalt/Pursuit had steering/shifter/brake feel that'* just shy of sporty.
I used the "Build your Pursuit" website feature... added every option and the sticker came out to $27,000 ... who would pay that?!?!?!? :P
With this addition, the G6, and the possible demise of the Bonneville... what direction is Pontiac trying to go?
Since those are Canadian dollars, one could get themselves a decked-out Mazda 3 for that money, and the 3 represents the benchmark in terms of sporty econocars (all-out, much more expensive "econocars" not included). I would hope that the Pursuit/Cobalt even comes close to the 3.