1983 Chevrolet Cavalier 4 cylinder from North America


American cars simply are not as good as Japanese cars


On board computer issues, the car was very unreliable. This was a time in the 1980s when America wasn't building very good quality cars. There were exceptions like the Cougar, etc, but these smaller 4 bangers were total junk. Japan was killing us in the 1980s. Their cars were much more reliable and Toyota were tanks.

General Comments:

Poor quality, unreliable. American and German cars still can't compete with Japan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th May, 2023

29th May 2023, 15:25

Depends on the car and the time period, in regards to quality.

29th May 2023, 18:17

Very true, the Chevy on review is a Cavalier on its 2nd year of production. Later on there were many improvements. If this review was about a 1983 Caprice, Malibu, or Monte Carlo, the author probably would have had much better things to say.

1983 Chevrolet Cavalier Base 2.0 from North America


Lasted longer than ever expected


Automatic Transmission Failed @ 303,000 miles.

Starter went several times over the years as did the alternator.

General Items.

General Comments:

Who says old american junk can't last forever, what else could my mother have wanted from a car when she bought this hideous thing new in 1983? Who on earth would have thought this thing would have lasted this long before it decided to die? I thought only Toyota and Hondas lasted this long? This old beater has been around forever and we hate to see it go, but its did its time and its time to move on. Everything still works (besides the transmission) the a/c everything, I guess we can just say it was very well taken care of. I wish there was some club that we could enter this old car into this has to be a record for a Chevrolet, of course you couldnt tell because the odometer doesn't have the first digit so it just rolls over and over each time-

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 14th March, 2003

3rd Jun 2003, 13:37

What is it with this car and starters/ignitions? I have had my 1983 Cavalier since 1993 & dealt with this 3-4 times.

Great little car for driving around town, though I wouldn't drive it out of town. Hydraulics have failed in the hatchback, must be propped up with broom. Have also replaced hoses, belts, had transmission rebuilt, but not nearly the problems I had with my former car (a 1978 Pontiac Catalina).

3rd Jun 2003, 13:39

Same person as above - I forgot that I have something called "torque -something or other" that makes the car vibrate & shake between gears at 35 or so mph before that next gear catches. Doesn't seem to affect anything - they told me in 1994 that I needed to have it fixed and the car is still running today.

8th Aug 2003, 08:58

I bought my '83 Cavalier for 50 bucks. It's days were ended, but I revived it, swapped its shot automatic for an '89 5 speed, and turbocharged it's 2.0L OHV engine. It runs strong and has been a great car in-spite of two engine fires in the turbo development stages. Stock horsepower for a 2.0L OHV is 86HP, but I think I'm running close to 140HP!

17th Sep 2009, 19:50

The Chevrolet Cavalier is a durable, but quite ugly design. If you want to see how it could have been, go look at the european Cavaliers, which are essentially the same car. They look much better. The U.S. sealed-beam light regulations of the time made a lot of cars uglier.

14th Dec 2012, 17:44

I have a 1983 Chevy Cavalier and I can't find parts for it. Can you tell me where to find some?

Email: woodybull52@yahoo.com

1983 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.0 from North America


202,000 miles!! Still runs and looks great!

General Comments:

I bought this car when I was 16, I didn't want it but it was only 1200.00 I didnt expect to have it long. Nothing has happened to this car since I've had it except it needed a battery and a muffler. With 202,000 on it I think it needs a transmission soon, but that's it.

The engine doesn't use any oil at all after all this time, everything still works even the A/C.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2001

1983 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.0 from North America


Extreme reliability


Through the years I've had several oil leaks, replaced many batterys and one altenator.

I know that within the next few months I'll have to trade it because the transmission is about gone, but this thing has NEVER left me stranded and with 300k I'm not complaining!

General Comments:

Best car ever made as far as I'm concerned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2001

15th May 2001, 12:20


I miss my 1985 Chevy Cavalier like you don't understand! I had it for nearly 4 years (from 1994-1998), and packed about 100,000 km on it! It was reliable, and tough enough to deal with winters in Montreal (I wish I still had it for a winter car). The best money I ever spent.

23rd Jul 2001, 20:09

The 85 Chevy Cavalier I have, I've had for its entire life- yes all 16 years! It's up to 220,000 miles. After reading this article, looks like I still have 80,000 miles still left on its original engine and transmission, as well as other numerous original parts!

30th Oct 2001, 18:01

That's good to hear!!! I've got a 2000 Cav. Except for a few minor glitches I have had few problems with it! I plan to beat you in the mileage department!! I am pushing for the big 400,000. I think I'll do it too since I am using synthetic engine oil!!