1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 2.8L from North America


As reliable as sunrise.


Minor leak in the muffler.

Sunroof leaks and has caused the headliner to sag.

Needs a new fuel filter.

General Comments:

I was searching for a cheap (under $1500) little put-putter. After months of pieces of crap after pieces of crap, I finally found an ad in the paper for a Z24, one of my childhood favorites. My uncle had a Z and I thought it was the sweetest car I'd ever seen.

So I went to check it out. Looked at the body-a bit of rust on and under the doors, cracking paint on the hood, and a sagging headliner. But it was still in decent condition, and the styling was so attractive.

I started it up, and I pretty much made my decision right then and there. The sound of a Z24 is extremely satisfying. The previous owner put some kind of fancy muffler on it, so it sounds like one of those classic 'glass mufflers'.

I took it for a drive, and I fell in love all over again. The pickup that is prominent in these cars wasn't quite there with this one, due to age or whatever. But still, its no pushover. Put it on the expressway... I made my decision. Once it gets going, C'ya!!!

I've had no mechanical problems yet, I am amazed at its reliability. Its survived a Michigan weather and toting around 3 big adults and 3 little kids (at the same time) to opposite sides of town. I put a lot of miles on it going to and from work, but it still runs strong as ever.

I've already decided that I'll be keeping this car and fixing it up til' its like new. In fact, I'm going into automotive mechanics as my major now, thanks to my love for this car.

I would recommend this car as a first car, or as a "trick out" ride. Its great on gas, and consistently reliable.

If you have one, I suggest getting some sort of rust treatment or inhibitor, because rust is drawn to these cars for some reason.

Awesome car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2004

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier from North America


One of the very best American made cars


I had to replace the water pump at 102,000 miles.

Radiator replaced at about 110,000 miles.

Passenger side window had to be put back on its track, however not a big problem.

General Comments:

This has got to be one of the best little cars I have ever owned. Even though it is 15 years old, it still has a sporty modern look and feel to it. When the time comes to replace it, I will certainly consider a Chevy Cavalier!

Great gas mileage and minimal repairs. The radiator I replaced was the original.

I really like this car, and I would recommend one to anybody searching for an economical, easy to maintain vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st September, 2003

21st Sep 2003, 17:14

When it comes to replacing your Cavalier I'd stick with that vintage of Cavaliers, 1987 -94. The new ones, 1995 -03 are cheap plastic pieces of crap. The difference is between night and day. They don't have the same engines in the new ones as they did in the old ones. The 2.8L v6 is probably GM's most indestructible engine. They stopped using them in Cavaliers in 1990. They also stopped using the 3.1L V6 in 94. The interior fabrics & plastics are of higher quality in the older cars too. Stick with the older ones, or buy a Honda.

18th Aug 2004, 17:23

I have owned an 88 cavalier Z24 bought brand new off the lot. What a fantastic car!! Minimal problems have occurred over the years. My car still has the ORIGINAL clutch, transmission and engine with work done to either of them!

Unfortunately I was in an accident today and crashed front end first into a ditch, expecting the worst, I was extremely surprised at how well the car took todays beating with minimal damage! I am looking forward to enjoying my car for many years to come! Thanks Chevy!!

19th Mar 2005, 16:43

Have to disagree with you about the 2003 - 2004's. Those get the new ECOTEC engine. I think the 2002's might get those as well. It is an excellent engine with great engineering. It has undergone more durability testing than any other GM engine ever produced. It is also a bullet proof engine. The interiors are plastic, but I bought my Cavalier (an '03) based on price and functionality, not flash. The car has been absolutely fantastic. I am personally upset that Chevy does not make the Cavalier anymore. The Cobolt is nice, but the price went up. The prices of new cars have become utterly ridiculous. $10K is my limit, and if I can no longer get a new car for that amount, I will no longer be getting a new car. I will not participate in enabling the car companies with their insanity, nor will I play the financing game which is ruining our economy.