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Old 10-22-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
EllenFrasier
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Is a Chevrolet Cavalier a good car?

My son saw a car in a used car lot that we have dealt with before. It's a Chevrolet Cavalier LS. It was night time so he could not really get a good look at it or test drive. It's got 66,000 miles on it and he said it didn't say the year but I'm thinking it's about a 2002.
Anybody ever drive one? Are they good in the snow? Any repairs?
Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
NYEmomma
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My second car was a 1996 Cavalier. It was my moms, bought brand new, then I started driving it 1998 after blowing out my knee and not being able to drive my manual transmission Geo Storm anymore.

The transmission fell out of it (not literally, lol, but you know what I mean) in 2000. The car was 4 years old & had less than 10k miles per year on it. The A/C also died the same year.

I know 1996 is MUCH different from the year of car you're looking at so I can't say whether my experience really has any relevance. But for me personally, I'd never buy another one.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllenFrasier View Post
My son saw a car in a used car lot that we have dealt with before. It's a Chevrolet Cavalier LS. It was night time so he could not really get a good look at it or test drive. It's got 66,000 miles on it and he said it didn't say the year but I'm thinking it's about a 2002.
Anybody ever drive one? Are they good in the snow? Any repairs?
Thanks.
I have a 2002 Cavalier with 82,000 miles on it. So far I have only had to put on new tires and brakes, new battery, minor stuff. I love my car, it's basic, reliable, and easy to work on if something does go wrong. I will be passing it on to my daughter when she gets her license in a few months, and I am thinking about a Cavalier again.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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my DMIL drives a 2000 chevrolet cavalier, and it has been a GREAT car-she bought it new. it's been on long trips, short trips, tooled around town in, and so far, the only thing to go wrong was with the A/C, but it was minor and DH and DFIL got it fixed quickly. otherwise, only tires and routine maintenance has kept it going strong!
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:43 PM   #5
AnjieNet
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I had a 1996 Cavalier, purchased new. Traded it in a couple of years ago with over 200,000 miles on it. The only thing I had to do outside of regular maintenance was to have the A/C charged a couple of times. If I'd kept it, I probably would have had to replace as the coolant had a slow leak, getting worse over time. Was a great car and didn't do too badly in the snow considering it's size and weight.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:27 PM   #6
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I had a 1992 Cavalier bought new. I finally got rid of it after 13 years because we were going to have to replace the engine. I drove it to college, to GA & back at one point & lots of trips between TX & OK as well as lots of city driving. It was a great car & I'd buy another one if I needed that kind of car again (a 2 door car doesn't really work for our lifestyle).
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:32 PM   #7
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I personally wouldn't choose this car for safety reasons. They don't fare well in crashes.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:11 AM   #8
herdtoDisney
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I drive a 1997 Cavalier 4 door. I got it 4 years ago. I love this car! My oldest DS drove it till he went to college. It's been reliable (no major repairs) and is really good on gas. It will driven by my next teen driver (he's 15 yet).

I feel it is 'pretty' good in the snow-it's front wheel drive. Last winter was so terrible here, the trouble I ran into was the DEPTH of the snow LOL. The Cavalier did fine in regular snow but when it got soooo deep I had a hard time. But I drove it all winter except the day of the blizzard-I got a ride in a truck that day. With good tires, it is decent in the snow.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:46 AM   #9
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If your son is looking for an older used car I'd recommend he go with a basic model Honda, Toyota or Subaru. IMO no American car can hold a candle to their performance track record.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:48 AM   #10
BridgetBordeaux
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I had to go back to a 2009 publication to get info on a 2002 model. At that time, the car scored somewhat average overall. Neither stellar, nor the pits either. Make sure to have the car gone over my an independent mechanic. It appears that the brake system and the heat/ac have had a few glitches in the past.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:39 AM   #11
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My 93 yr old grandma drives a 2003 and hasn't had any problems at all. However, she has only about 15,000 miles on it. She bought it brand new and only uses it to drive around town once a week. I drove her in it to my aunt's a couple of holidays 2.5 hrs away. Sorry, just remembered it just needed a new battery this summer.

My DH had a 97 that he bought in 2002 and he drove until 2007. It was a hunk of junk. The electrical ended up being completely shot. He kept having it fixed and it just kept breaking. The driver side door wouldn't stay shut/open so once DH got it closed properly, you had to climb in through the passenger side. It was just one problem after another. Eventually we donated it to some animal organization for the tax write off. They normally sell them and use the money for the charity. It was so bad they said they were just selling it for parts/scrap; it wasn't worth anything.

I think generally, Chevys aren't good cars. If you're looking for something that's 10 yrs or more, I'd look into Hondas. They're a bit more expensive, but worth it. When DH was driving his 97 Cavalier, I was driving my 1991 Honda Civic and it looked like crap, but mechanically was sound. He had way more money put into repairs than /I did.

ETA: The Cavalier was definitely better in the snow than my Civic, it was just heavier and more solid. I think a late 90s Civic would avoid this problem though.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:12 AM   #12
EllenFrasier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BridgetBordeaux View Post
I had to go back to a 2009 publication to get info on a 2002 model. At that time, the car scored somewhat average overall. Neither stellar, nor the pits either. Make sure to have the car gone over my an independent mechanic. It appears that the brake system and the heat/ac have had a few glitches in the past.
Thanks, we'll do that!
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #13
Darcy03231
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DD's first car was a 2000 Chevy Cavalier (we bought it in 2007). She had it for four years without any issues (just needed two new tires). She sold it this year and upgraded to something newer.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #14
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DS had a 98 when he was in college. He rear-ended a Bronco at about 10 mph-no damage to the bronco-totaled the Cavalier although he wasn't hurt. Would not buy another one after I saw what his car looked like!
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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Don't buy it. Costly, and very unreliable. Much better and safer autos out there. Our 2001 needed a new engine at 36,000 miles(long out of warranty), had electrical issues, interior didn't hold up, new drivers seat motor at 40,000. We ended up selling this dog.
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