1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Station Wagon 2.0 from North America


Built for economy, not comfort or speed


So far this 1988 Cavalier has been a real gas saver. It is not built for luxury or comfort, just economy.

General Comments:

In one week I have already saved money on gas, but it is smaller than I am used to. Not a very speedy vehicle, but for the low mileage and only $400 I can put up with less room and comfort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2005

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier 2L 4 Cylinder from North America


Too bad they don't make them like this anymore


Water pump needed replacement at 80k miles

Starter kept going bad, though installation of 'lifetime' starter seemed to resolve this.

Brakes wear incredibly fast, though not quite a surprise for city driving

Oil Switch broke, causing massive oil leaks that were difficult to pinpoint

Severe rust on lower segments of door

Driver seat has worn tremendously

Throttle Position Sensor needed replacement.

Many other small things here and there

General Comments:

The car is simply fantastic. And for me, it comes from two aspects. First of all, the engine and transmission definitely deserve credit. After 100k both parts are still running great, though the transmission slips out of 3rd once in a while, especially when just finishing a hill. Couldn't ask for more from the engine. It's loud, but provides more than enough power for a rapid acceleration.

The other thing I like about this car is how it trusts the driver with everything. No power steering, no pw brakes, no nothing. The suspension barely does anything anymore (though it never really did). Well, I say this makes the ride far more fun. Anyway, standard steering is nearly as hard as everyone makes it out to be. I think its just more sensitive to fine details (compared to the Power Steering cars I've driven) in your handling.

The body is very durable, unlike stuff from today. A friend's '04 Corolla got hit by a shopping cart (we think), and it sustained 250$ in paint damage (dealer est.) Shopping carts just bounce off the Cavalier(I know, I take advantage of that all the time). I scraped the car against a cement lighting post one day when I was tired, and despite the loud noises barely any damage was visible (a lot of light yellow streaks, but not visible at all from a distance).

Well if you maintain it well, it'll treat you well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2005

19th Mar 2005, 16:26

I am also partial to non-power steering. I like the feel of it, for the reasons this reviewer mentioned, and it is also one less thing to break. All Cavaliers have power brakes though. You cannot get a car without one today, nor could you in 1988. Although I like manual accessories (not to the degree of being a Fred Flinstone car... I do not think you can get those either), power brakes are one thing I would not do without. Thanks for the good review.

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z 24 2.8 from North America


It's a keeper!!!


There was a oil leak, but it was just a.50 O ring.

The fuel injectors needed replaced

The ball joints needed replace.

General Comments:

I would like to everyone that has one of these cars not to give it up, I was in an accident in 2001 where a guy in a doge ram hit me in the rear end at 35 miles per hour and it held up like a champ!!! Yes it got totaled, but for the most part I was OK. I even drove it home and the whole back-end was in the back seat, but it didn't harm my convertible top.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2004

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 2.8L from North America


It just makes the daily drive Fun!


This car has been the most reliable car I have ever owned and other than routine maintenance, there are very few things I had to deal with.

The body is in sore need of repair, but for 16 years it isn't too bad. I replaced a damaged door the week I bought it. The door pans are the same for a phase 1 and phase 2 J-Body, so finding a door wasn't a problem, I also found a suitable replacement with the same paint scheme and trim, so I didn't have to shell out extra cash for paint, Nice!

The seat chassis for the driver side eventually rusted off due to an undercoating problem that I couldn't isolate. I welded in a heavy steel plate to the floor pan and welded the remaining seat chassis studs to it for a very solid driver's seat.

The Radio hasn't worked since I got the thing, but who needs a radio when you've got the lovely sound of spunky horsepower and the wind rushing by?

The valve cover gaskets are leaking pretty bad and need to be replaced, but other than that I've got no complaints.

General Comments:

This car is the most basic of any of the Z24's I've seen. I mean it had no power equipment whatsoever and came stock without AC.

The plain jane 2.8L has more than enough power for the light weight of the car (about 2400lbs.) with 130 HP. What really does this car justice is the HM-282 (Muncie/Getrag) 5 speed manual transmission. Rock solid performance! After 16 years of running around this car will still get a good chirp out of 3rd gear after a smoking 1st and wailing 2nd.

The suspension needs to be reworked, but it still has it when it counts, I don't think I've ever braked before any curve in this car, in fact I love grinding into the bottoms of the curves with it. It just makes the daily drive Fun!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2004