Chevrolet Cavalier Reviews & Ratings

Read real experiences from Chevrolet Cavalier owners like you.

Find ratings and reviews for any car
Chevrolet Cavalier (67 Reviews)
What is the problem my cavalier 1998 will not go in gear first it was sitting right and then it stop completely what is the the problem
We got this one brand new, for an economy car it has lasted us till now, I now finally had to do some big maintenance related things to it, the oil was starting to leak out and had to replace the water pump, radiator, and thermostat. ran with its original parts till now. 2015 great little economy car.
2002 Chevy Cavalier Coupe LS 2.2L SOHC, not Ecotec
PROS: Will not stop running, dependable (163k). 2.2L engine bottom rock solid. Decent 30 mpg on hwy. Tight turning circle, easy to parallel park. Rides reasonably well.
CONS: Car interior is cheap and not large enough for a teenager. Ditto, trunk. Various design defects: drivers window (replaced but still doesn't work), famous for bad fuel pump design (replaced), exhaust attachments to back of car, rotor wear, tons of fluid leaks!!, electrical accessory problems galore (it IS an old GM car), throws bushings and struts left and right. Transmission going bad now.
BEST USE: Basic transportation but have a maintenance budget. No useful back seat access. Car for 1 or 2 people. Must service car at rec. intervals (I did). Very ugly car without a spoiler on the trunk. Huge improvement. Put one on.
I bought the car in 2009 with 55K miles, now has 184,000. Runs like brand new, run only full synthetic oil. Replaced struts, spark plugs twice. Needs a new cooling fan motor. Had the AC/ Heat control unit short out twice (the rear defogger don't work). Fuel mileage is pretty good, but I did get better out of other cars. Headlights have always been too dim on the 03 to 05 models for me, Had a 96 had bright lights. Lug nuts kept hogging out the steel wheels, very poor steel in my opinion. With proper maintaining, the car is pretty good over all. 11 years old, almost no rust. (had a ford contour at 6 yrs, rocker panels rusted out.) Engine can be hard to work on compared to the old 2.2L pushrod motor. Overall Rating: Good Car.
Almost 200,000 mi and still runs great. Replaced, struts, gas pump. Fuel and gas gauge quit at 100,000 miles. Now odometer stopped working. Finally latch on trunk rusted away, and rocker panels are falling off. The car keeps running like new. Too bad the body is falling apart.
I bought mine three years ago with 124,000 and now have 165,000. I have had very few problems with it, mainly standard maintenance. May not be the best car I've owned but would rate it good.
Bad engine. Very expensive to fix at just 75,000 miles.
This is the best car I've ever owned. 105,000 miles before any service outside of routine was needed, and even then it only needed rear struts and a wheel bearing. That is most likely because I haul more stuff in that baby then most people do with their trucks. I think the big difference is that I have owned this car since day one. To the guy that states he uses only high test, that probably why he had to do some many engine related repairs, the owners manual even states that running high test can cause damage to the engine. After years of driving used cars I got tired of inheriting other peoples problems, so I bought mine new, and I can tell you I will never buy another used car. All of those people that say they babied the car, said they bought it used and it's likely it did not receive the same level of care that you provided. I have never needed to replace any of the lights in the car, and I just replaced the battery last fall, as I was worried it may not make it through another harsh Canadian winter. Also might I add that I did not take the vehicle to the dealer one time for "scheduled" maintenance. I instead changed the oil every 5k miles with Amsoil Full Synthetic, and that's about it. Hell I didn't even wash the thing for over 6 years and there wasn't a spot of rust on it until last spring after a year living on the Coast in Canada, even then it was underneath the door not even visible unless on a rack. My wife's car on the other hand cost 4x my car (VW Passat 4-motion) and though it still runs well we have spent thousands replacing and repairing parts on the car, and has more rust than mine year older Cavalier.
to the person that said riding lawn mower rides better ....not being rude ...but its the lawn mower causing ur bk pain sweetie... but then again you must be talking about a dif car!!!! save a horse ride a cowboy
well i have good things to say about mine!!! to the person with a bad back im waiting back surgery, and this is a comfy car!!! my one and only issue is the cracked dashboard... but come on a new cover is only 130.00 come on be hones't its a GREAT CAR very roomy COLD AIR HOT HEAT .....I MEAN I WAS NOT BUYING A LIMO :) HAD HER 2 WEEKS IM IN LOVE
I inherited this car from my grandfather, he baught it new and being that he still lives in 1950 this car has absolutely nothing in it, I'm surprised it has A\C. The only realy good thing is the great gas mileage and the half way decent audio quality, that is if you can pick anything up in it, I only pick up about a quarter of the stations I can pick up in my Dodge truck or Jeep. Other wise I can't stand the car. It is entirely too small inside, sits way too low to the ground, hard to get in and out of and I'm young. The seats are very uncomfortable and the drivers seat hurts your back when the cushioning gets a little worn down, there is a metal bar int he back. The A\C never actually gets cold, I've recharged plenty of times, the heat takes for ever to get warm in the winter. Rides horribly, as though there are no shocks at all. The steering feels funny, not sure how to explain it. Brakes stop as though you are towing 7000lbs on a trailer that doesn't have brakes. Believe me, I know how that feels in a truck. The brights aren't bright enough to turn off when I come to another car. The engine has no power, my riding lawn mower has a bigger engine, this thing has no pick up power. Everything inside is in a horrible place, especially the cup holders, one time I had one of those big 46oz cup you get at the gas station in the car, long story mad short I had a lot of Dr. Pepper to clean by the time I got the drink in and out of the holder, the rear holders in the arm rest don't hold anything. Plus it doesn't help matters that everything is extremely flimsy and cheaply made. The engine of my Jeep alone weighs more than this car weighs it seems like. My father always bought GM vehicles for some reason that only makes sense on Mars, and after the experiences with all six of them, I will never buy another GM vehicle.
I had purchased aa 1998 with 167000 miles on it,was told the head was sent off and checked,it checked o/k.i boughtt noing that it would get hot,after much research,found when in pssing gear to red line 6 thousand rpm,the very next morning startup,the dash had major air pockets run through the heater core,kid of rigged it so it would run good normaly,until 4 in the morning on a 300 mile trip,it ran over a single one ton tire wheel assembly,deploying both air bags,totalled the,hauld back on a tandem was doing quite well.
2005 Cavilier with 185,000. No problems so far except for a sqeeky clutch pedel. Fixed it by taking a can of WD 40 with the extension tube and giving a few blasts under the dash on to the clutch pedel spring and the noise went away. Easy fix, but it drove me crazy for a year.

Come to think of it, I did have an issue with a weak throttle body spring that caused my gas pedel to go to the floor one dark and stormy night and acellerate very high. I just took my adjustable stretchy pants belt off and attached it to the throttle body pawl with the other end around the radiator cowling just under the hood and drove home. I had no flash light so it was all be feel, but it worked. You can do this simple fix with bungy cords also if you want a good glove compartment safety item. Other then that, great car, runs like a clock. Cav is far better then my old Volvo, thats for sure. Wouldn't part with her for anything.

A Tip, use good qaulity full synthetic oil every 3000 miles and change the standard transmission oil every 40,000 miles and keep it rust proofed annually and it will run forever. The Cav has a 2.2 Ecotec, one of tyhe best moters around and works for me.
Also, I use high quality tires like the Michelin Hydro tracks and Dunlop Graspiks for Winter and it rides like a BMW.
Chevy POS is what they should have named it. It always needs something done to it even though I take complete care of it with good gas not the cheap water crap, plus I add gas additives routinely, and I get all the routine maintenance. I have always taken good care of my car and usually never have a problem, but this one is nothing but a money pit. Not my first car but my first Chevy and definitely my last. Skip Chevy and get a Trabi or a Yugo it will definitely run better, faster, and get better gas mileage.
Overall agood car. Center heat vents no air. Foam stuck in center vents. Front end makes cracking noise when turning. On third blower motor. Great motor 2.2 Ecotec.
At around 100k struts were bad. By 124K, lots of issues. Battery, brakes, starter, alternator, tires...AC still works, though! Only AM radio. ? Power locks bad, too. Only small engine oil leak, though. Trans ok. Made it from lower Michigan to upper Kentucky okay just a month ago. Whining getting worse. Two different repair shops say it is the power steering beginning to go. Running better than the other car (Honda Accord, approx same age and mileage)! Exterior body not holding up so well as the HOnda.
I have the Z24 convertible model. After spending considerable amount of time gathering parts for this POS I have determined the average lifespan on these is about 140K. Any repair that you need to do on these (and there will be many), is overly complicated and messy. Parts will cost between 8-10 times as much as they should because of replacing standard items with proprietary crap for no reason. I have been working through 1 problem at a time and I am not gaining ground. I just want to fix everything so I can get rid of this. It is the WORST car i have ever owned. It is no wonder GM went bankrupt, I'll NEVER own another GM product. The engineers at GM are either mentally deficient or intentionally evil.
I bought my car in 05 with 138,000 miles on it. replaced the clutch, two sets of tires and some marker lights. minor electrical issues with the daytime running lamps and high beams due to corrosion from roadspray in the wintertime and missing plastic underneath i assume. the car has 230,000+ on it and runs and drives beautifully. minor rust around the gas door and rocker panels. no leaks. awesome car
I bought my 1996 cavalier brand new....i have 225545 miles on uses no runs like a gem...i plan on running it until the wheels fall is great on gas...i hope to get to 300,000 miles on it....i wish they still made them...because when this one is finally done....i would buy another is starating to rust, but i have driven it every winter and they have been rough winters in PA...
This car is a cheap poor built car its like a trash can on wheels makes a yugo a lincoln what a piece of junk do not waste your money on one of these chevy should of named it the pinto two just junk no power as bad as a junk neon complete trash chevy should recall all of these

Love this cute little booger of a car, leant it out when I got somethin more accomodating to four kids. Person who borrowed it blew the 2.4L 4cyl (OHC) because he failed to repair the oil small oil leak and waterpump. This was work I had planned to do, but he said he would do it in order to borrow the car because he didn't have a vehicle. I told him he had to replace the motor, but he replaced it with an OHV motor that has a busted throttle assembly and god knows what else wrong. I have to practically flood the engine to start it, manually shift the transmission and pump the accelerator to get him up to 30MPH now. It instantly loses power when faced with uphill travel. "Charlie" used to go about 400 miles on a tank of gas, now I can't get him to the other side of town with 1/4 tank of gas.

Because the car has the number 4 in the seventh position of the VIN; either motor can be used (technically), WTF did he do to my car?
i love this car ive had it for 8 years and its been good until today it started shifting really hard and the check engine light came on.i dont know whats wrong with it
I am extremely attached to "Bessie Blue". I love my 2002 Cavalier! Bought her in 2003 with only 3K miles, basically brand new and would never dream of trading her in. She is considerably older (140K) and some repairs are starting to creep up in her old age but all in all, I still would not trade her for all the gold in Fort Knox (if there is any left that is)! So glad I got to 02 body style and not the 03/04! Bessie had been a highway and city girl. Country back roads and a farm girl through the fields feeding horses. I have hauled hay in the trunk of my car! LOVE LOVE LOVE this car! Driving her until she falls apart!
Bought this car when it was only 4 years old at a GM dealership, terrible car, worst I have ever had, dealerships service was completely inept, in the 50,000 miles I have gotten out of this car pretty much everything but the engine has had to be replaced, I will never buy another Chevrolet or purchase at a GM dealer again. Complete and total garbage.
Overall best used car with just minor issues (knock on wood)
The thermostat float between 1/4 to 1/2 after 20 minutes of driving. I ad replaced the thermostat and flashed the coolant and still the same condition I have 78,000 miles in the chev. cav. 2001
what to do?
250,000 miles on it and it's humming like a little birdie... I'm planning on taking it way into the 300,000s. I drive a bunch, mostly back roads, about 100-200 miles a day. Has a good mpg, surprisingly - cause it's a tank. Two years after I got it (2004), a 16-wheeler rolled into it, I was told at a shop it was a goner, but fixed it for $350 replacing the radiator by a friendly mechanic. Had to replace a starter at around 220,000 miles, paid $50 for a used one and it has served me well so far.. Other than that, no problems at all. Very very reliable, I will most likely stick to Chevy for my next vehicle (the Volt makes me salivate)...
i have a 1996 and i got it about 2 years a go i have i think like 183k miles on it and i had to put a new gas tank and lines in it, new exhaust, also i had to replace that break lines ,new tires but all in all it is a good car to have and if your E- brake works then it is a fun car... haha
Awesome car. Purchased my 2002 brand new. has never given me problems. Although a few repairs are starting to creep up. Never driven very much (only 31,000 on her). All and all she has been very reliable! Love her!