Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chevrolet Cavalier



  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Where's the VW Jetta on the above list?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Neons, Lancers, Rios, and Aerios are all coming at big discounts right now. If I had a choice to pay $12K for a Cavalier LS or to pay $13K for an Aerio or Neon, I would definitely go for one of the latter. Even the Neon is a fairly new design (2000 model year) and has better crash scores than the Cavalier. They also come with a longer powertrain warranty as well.

    The Lancer has a $2000 rebate right now, meaning you could probably get one for $15k or so. You would pay a little more, but the car is light years ahead of the Cavalier in refinement, space, and comfort IMO.

    The Cavalier is a nice car if you're just running around town or commuting a short distance in it. I commute 80 miles daily, and the Cavalier would kill me because it's too uncomfortable to drive personally. To each his own I guess.
  • The VW is not on the Edmunds list of under 15K sedans.
  • I agree that the Cavalier would likely be a no sale for most 80 mile per day commuter requirements - unless one drives illegally with ear protection. ;)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Actually, the noise levels in the car didn't really bother me. What did bother me was the sitting-on-the-floor driving position (I am 6'3 and am used to my PT's higher-up stance now), the limited room inside, and the cheap feeling of everything from the doors' way of closing to the interior that felt like it would break off in my hands if I were too rough with it.
  • What did bother me was the sitting-on-the-floor driving position (I am 6'3 and am used to my PT's higher-up stance now),

    Isn't that a problem for almost every car in the class? Is that really an issue unique to the Cavalier?

    the limited room inside

    The 96 body design is roomier than the earlier one. Again, is there a car in the class that is roomier? (seriously, researching that on 15 cars is time-consuming.)

    and the cheap feeling of everything from the doors' way of closing to the interior that felt like it would break off in my hands if I were too rough with it.

    Well, maybe the 2002s+ are different, but the 97 has been durable in this regard. I think the chintzy material is GM standard, up to at least the $33K Montana.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Not every car in the class has that legs-splayed-out stance as the Cavalier does. Sit in a new Protege, Civic, Elantra, or Lancer and you will see what I mean. It just seems the seats are very close to the floor, and when you're tall it really kills thigh support for you.

    Also, the Cavalier is pretty roomy for the fact that it's almost 10 years old in its current design. It's not airy inside though, like the cars listed above or even Toyota's Echo.

    The 96s are not durable in the regard of the interior. My best friend has one, and it's a total rattle trap. A 1998 base coupe I test drove felt the same way, and this was about 3 months ago. Maybe it is a GM thing, but it's unacceptable nonetheless.
  • It was a good discussion, but I don't have much to further it. Just a comment rather than just letting it trail off....
  • I recently purchased a 2000 Cavalier 4-door LS (4sp. auto). The previous owner flat towed the car. Does anyone know if the odometer (digital readout) registers mileage when the car is towed in neutral? The car has 48,000 miles on it, but I am not sure if that is actual mileage.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    If all 4 wheels were touching the ground when the car was being towed, then the mileage will add up from that.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Right now in British Columbia it is possible to purchase this car for $ 8740 plus taxes, or $ 10000. Not a bad deal IMHO.
    Using a GM Visa I could take another $ 1000 off that, making it an even better deal.
    I'm willing to bet that the car would go 200k miles with few mechanical problems.

    Would I like driving that car? H..ll no!
  • I am a Chevy Cavalier owner of both a 1993 LS and 1997 4 door sedan. I have to tell you that I had more problems with the 97 than the 93. I had the transmission, head gasket, and water pump replaced within 2 years. My 93 has close to 180,000 miles on it and most of the parts replaced were due to old age. The 93 is faster and I get close to 40 mpg on the highway!!! (I once drove from Cedar Point, OH to Browns Mills, NJ and still had a quarter tank left or 563 miles!!) I just wish the 93 had more room in the back, because in essence it's a 2 seater! So I can relate to some of the other owner's problems and gripes, but it also depends on how alert the builders were the day that particular car was built, if you have a great running vehicle you probably had all the assembly people awake, alert, and on the ball! If you had problems think that you may have gotten the "5:30, last of the cars for the day, on a Friday" ! In other words they wanted out and only half their hearts were in it, and despite that most line are automated, some human interaction is needed to "tweek" the fine tuning or tightning before sent of the assembly line. I now have a brand spanking new 2004 and I love it, and I want to see if my babying it from day one with "over maintaining" it will make a difference, but so far it's been the best of both worlds the roominess of my 1997 and the power, agility, comfort of my 1993. So lets hope the Ecotec engine is the dream that it has been so far!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Believe it or not, most people I know with Cavaliers (including myself, in the past) have had trouble with the new ones. Mine was loaded with rattles, and needed the engine computer reprogrammed due to a CEL that wouldn't go out at 34K miles.

    A friend still has a 1996 2-door with 135K that has been through $1000s in repairs, including a brand new transmission at 100K, ignition, fuel injector, water pump, and a couple batteries.

    Someone else I know blew 3 head gaskets within 10K miles in their Cavalier with less than 70K miles on it. The person finally dumped it and got something else, getting tired of repairing the car every time they turned around.

    The current Cavaliers are a throwback to the 80s in the small car class. They are uncomfortable, unreliable, and unsafe. The only good thing about them seems to be the Ecotec engine.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    what are you doing on this site.
  • Whoa. Unreliable and unsafe? You make it sound like they're Yugos or Pintos.

    In my experience, Cavaliers are quite reliable. In the first one, we paid for a clutch, struts, and an alternator.

    There have been no repairs on the 97 except for regular maintenance items, most of which occur at 5 years (plugs, wires, coolant, tranny fluid (based upon where I live), etc.).

    As for safe, I've had to execute emergency maneuvers in both vehicles I've owned (on snow and in heavy rain) and the handling with ABS (standard equipment) and OEM tires was exceptional.

    Now the IIHS doesn't think much of the Cav, but the NHTSA shows it to be about, to above, average. I think one will find that most GM vehicles fail to get the highest marks.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I would have to disagree with your comments.

    While I think the current Cavalier is very dated, it's not unreliable and it generally carries an "average" rating in magazine reliability ranks. Powertrian is solid as a rock.

    We leased a 99 with the old powertrian for 3 years and had 1 trip to the shop for a rear end rattle which turned out to be a faulty shock.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    A friend still has a 96 base coupe with the 3-speed auto tranny. His has blown an ignition, a transmission, fuel injector, and head gasket since he has had it. Also, the paint on the hood is peeling off now. It's got about 136K on it, but I still think it would have held up better than it did.

    I saw on that the leftover 03 Cavaliers have a $4500 rebate on them. I guess that's pretty good, since a loaded LS Sport would end up costing about $15K loaded, if you're willing to compromise on the aging chassis and safety as compared to other cars in this class. I bet a used 01-03 would be even cheaper if you could find it. Beware of resale value on the new ones, and definitely buy GAP insurance on any of them or you will lose your shirt if you car's totalled anytime soon.
  • rae52rae52 Posts: 99
    14,000 miles and 1.5 years later, ALL IS WELL with my '02 Cav LS automatic!!! Anybody else care to share experiences with their late-model cavs?
  • My daughter owns a Z-24. She is finally going to sell it and let someone else take over the headaches that this car has caused. She had the engine rebuilt at 70,000 miles for $2800 and just recently had the transmission rebuilt to the tune of $2500. Now she has ignition problems that the tranny dealer claims he didn't do. (The car started fine before he touched it.) Maybe someone had a similar problem. Every couple of starts the starter clicks like it has a weak battery, then after several tries it starts up fine.
  • My 2002 Cavalier has the 2.2L and 4 speed automatic.

    Sorely needed was a drain plug on the transaxle for routine fluid changes. (Nine quarts of Dextron is hard to drain - and messy - without a drain plug.)

    A 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" X 1/4" thick piece of steel was welded to the pan by a professional weld shop. Then I drilled and tapped for a 3/8" tapered pipe plug.

    Whoops. The weld had a flaw, and the transaxle
    leaked badly.

    After removing the pan again, I went to a different weld shop for the fix.

    The second weld shop explained what the problem
    had been. It was the galvanized coating on the
    pan. This makes it extremely difficult to weld
    either with a torch or electric weld.

    At the second weld shop they even tested the pan
    for 24 hours by filling it with oil and letting
    it sit. This to insure that their repair was

    I'm sure glad that I didn't try to use my amateur
    welding talents. I had no idea what a coating of
    galvanize would cause.
Sign In or Register to comment.