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Old 10-23-2011, 09:27 AM   #16
herdtoDisney
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Originally Posted by ccstrickler View Post
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!
I witnessed a Civic rear-end a Suburban at a low speed and the Civic was toast (everyone walked away, as I stayed to render assistance).

I think the issue is that it was a small car-not necessarily a Cavalier.

I don't know if it's a difference between the 90's one and the 2000's but my 97 is practically indestructible. So far it's survived a teen driver and the worst winter in a century (and who knows what BEFORE I got it 4 years ago).
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #17
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I witnessed a Civic rear-end a Suburban at a low speed and the Civic was toast (everyone walked away, as I stayed to render assistance).

I think the issue is that it was a small car-not necessarily a Cavalier.

I don't know if it's a difference between the 90's one and the 2000's but my 97 is practically indestructible. So far it's survived a teen driver and the worst winter in a century (and who knows what BEFORE I got it 4 years ago).
It's not just a small car thing. Honda Civic's and Toyota Carollas of late 90's early 2000's had a reinforced "cockpit" that the Cavalier couldn't hold a candle to. Yes, if it was a bad accident, the Carolla/Civic would be toast, but the cockpit would stay intact better protecting the driver.

My friends brother was driving a early 2000's Cavalier on a snowy day when he lost control and crossed the center line and hit a Carolla head on at 50mph. He died and the lady driving the Carolla walked away with minor injuries.

I'm sorry to tell such a gruesome story, but it's part of where my opinion was formed from. The other part was buying my own car and my dad diligently looking at safety features, and in his research Cavaliers were some of the unsafest cars on the road.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:47 AM   #18
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I used to have a 1998 Cavalier and I had several problems with it.
It finally cost me too much money to repair so I let it go....

I won't buy another.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:54 PM   #19
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We have a '98 Cavalier - purchased new. It's currently got close to 90,000 miles on it. No problems. Just regular maintenance over the years. Drove it to FL once and CO once.
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:31 PM   #20
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I have no business responding to this thread since my last experience with a Cavalier was over 10 years ago but it was DH's first car. My BFF in high school also had one. Both of their cars were wonderful, very dependable and decent in average NJ snow. The only reason we got rid of DH's was because it was a 2-door and we just had a baby. It had about 75k miles on it and not one problem. My BFF had nearly 200k miles on hers and was ugly as pooh and smelled awful but ran perfectly.
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:18 PM   #21
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I drove a 1993 Cavalier for 2 years in the early 2000s, then bought one new in 2005. Both were great cars. The only reason i dont still have my 2005 Cavalier is because it was a 2-door & very difficult to get my daughter into her car seat in it. Otherwise, I would probably still have the car. I loved both of them. I drove the 1993 into the ground and it just kept going and going.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:00 PM   #22
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I had a 2003 Cavalier until about 3 years ago when some yutz smashed into the back of it doing about 45 mph while we were at a standstill. I spent over a month looking for another Cavalier for something near the money that the insurance company gave me. I loved my Cavalier!!! I ended up with a KIA Spectra because it was in the right price range. I hate my KIA. It is like driving a tin can on wheels. I would recommend a Cavalier any day.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:03 PM   #23
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I have a cavalier and I love it! It is my second one, actually. My nephew has one now too. I have found them to be good, solid, cars.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:08 PM   #24
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OP, in my experience, they are decent cars. Beware that pretty much any wreck will total it because of crumple zones, but they are safer for that reason.

I had a 2000 Cavalier bought new in 1999, did develop a transmission fluid leak a few months in but was fixed in a day under warranty. Several months later I was in a wreck on the highway and that one was totaled. Got the same car again after insurance paid out, and drove that for 3 more years until my sister rear-ended someone in it and totaled it.

Several years later, the same sister bought a used 2004 Cavalier and has had no issues with it other than usual wear and tear (tires, brake pads, etc.). Still has it today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyblue View Post
It's not just a small car thing. Honda Civic's and Toyota Carollas of late 90's early 2000's had a reinforced "cockpit" that the Cavalier couldn't hold a candle to. Yes, if it was a bad accident, the Carolla/Civic would be toast, but the cockpit would stay intact better protecting the driver.

My friends brother was driving a early 2000's Cavalier on a snowy day when he lost control and crossed the center line and hit a Carolla head on at 50mph. He died and the lady driving the Carolla walked away with minor injuries.

I'm sorry to tell such a gruesome story, but it's part of where my opinion was formed from. The other part was buying my own car and my dad diligently looking at safety features, and in his research Cavaliers were some of the unsafest cars on the road.
I'm terribly sorry about your friend's brother, but I had a very similar wreck in a 2000 Cavalier and walked away with zero injuries. I was on the highway going 70-something, and it was rainy. Someone came into my lane without even looking and would have hit me. I swerved to avoid hitting them and hydroplaned, then hit the highway median head-on.

The entire front of the car was toast, but the cockpit was perfectly fine. The airbags went off but I didn't even need them because the seatbelt stopped me short of them.

Same story when my sister rear-ended someone at lower speeds (about 35-40). Front end pancaked, but she and her passenger were both unharmed.

I wonder if there weren't extenuating circumstances in your friend's brother's case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BridgetBordeaux View Post
I had to go back to a 2009 publication to get info on a 2002 model.
They stopped production on the Cavaliers in 2005, so most info on them probably will be older.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:39 AM   #25
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I'm terribly sorry about your friend's brother, but I had a very similar wreck in a 2000 Cavalier and walked away with zero injuries. I was on the highway going 70-something, and it was rainy. Someone came into my lane without even looking and would have hit me. I swerved to avoid hitting them and hydroplaned, then hit the highway median head-on.
THis sounds a lot like the wreck I got in with my Chevy Cobalt. I was in the left lane, and a car and I both tried to change into the center lane at the same time. I swerved back, lost control, spun out and went head-first into the median, practically at highway speed (70).

The car was totalled, but my daughter and I walked away with nothing but seatbelt bruises.

I don't think a car getting totalled is an indication of it being bad in a crash - I consider it a feature - the CAR took the brunt of the impact, not ME.

I went out a week later and bought another Cobalt with my insurance pay out.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:48 AM   #26
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I had a 2002 Chevy Cavalier and traded it in in 2006 because in the less than 4 years I had it the automatic window broke twice (and there's no backup!) and the steering was going.

Also... it handled terribly in ice and I spun out once and hit a guard rail. I bet the steering breaking was a factor in that too. I didnt' feel safe in it after that
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:58 AM   #27
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My husband has a 2003 Cavalier with about 120,000 miles on it. The only problem we have had beyond normal maintenance is the steering got a little bit loose, it has a bad design where some pins go into a plate and the holes in the plate wear causing the steering to loosen. It cost about $300 to fix. I don't consider that bad for a car that is 8 years old with that number of miles on it.

As far as the cars crumpling in an accident, that's what they're supposed to do. You want the car to absorb the impact of the crash, not your body.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:21 AM   #28
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We have a 2005 with 80K miles on it. Its been wonderful. So great, and safe that out oldest DS is now driving it with our complete confidence.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:41 AM   #29
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Currently driving a 2001 Cavalier with 120K miles on it - purchased new and never had a problem with it at all. (It is not my only vehicle - have a 2011 Ford Expedition and a 2012 Volkswagen Passat.... I keep the Cavalier as my "run around car" just because I want not because I have to.) We have had several over the years and they have all been GREAT!!! We had a 1997 that had 200K miles on it when we sold it. Only repairs that have ever been made to any that we have had --- which totals about 5 or 6 over the years - has been to replace the fuel pump on a 2000 model when someone so nicely put sugar in the gas tank.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:59 PM   #30
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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.
I had a 1996 Cavalier too, but I had much better luck with mine (mechanic wise, we wont' discuss accidents LOL). Got rid of it in 2008 and it still only had about 120K on it. Had to get rid of it because I refused to do a carseat in a two door car.

Replaced an alternator. Went thru a couple of batteries, but I think that's from the VERY short drive to work in cold weather. After all the cheepo used cars I had before it was nice and I chuckled about keeping a car long enough to go thru the original and replacement tires.

Over all it was a very good car for me.
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