1994 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2L from North America
A good balance between performance and economy
I bought this 1994 Cavalier from a friend for $400 to have a cheap vehicle to keep most of the mileage off of my 1999 Intrigue. His girlfriend's brother smashed in the driver side window and stole the stereo, and it had been without a driver side window for approximately six to eight months. It had been driven once in three years of being parked. I replaced the window, did a full tuneup (plugs/wires, PCV valve, fuel filter, oil and filter change). It had a minor hesitation when first applying the accelerator, so I replaced the throttle position sensor, MAP sensor, and serpentine belt. This did not help much.
Recently I took it to the car wash, hosed down the engine really well, and after doing that the Check Engine light comes on. Now it runs even better! Curious... If I didn't have a barely-noticeable valve cover leak, I probably would not have hosed the motor down.
When I step on the brake I can hear the whining fuel pump slow down a split second, and interior lights dim. It has a brand-new battery, so I'm thinking the alternator is on its way out.
My alignment is slightly off, and I haven't had it in to get that fixed yet, but the Dayton tires are wearing quite lightly all things considered.
This vehicle had light front end damage when I bought it, the headlight brackets are loose and there is a dent in the hood. So my headlights flop around a bit until I buy new brackets and aiming screws.
The front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive. I do notice, being 6'2", that the ceiling is a little low, and sometimes my hair rubs against the headliner, which is mildly annoying.
This car will easily do 102 mph, which I tried once just to burn the carbon out of a motor that sat for a long time.
Although my struts and shocks are showing their age, the car still handles well (albeit a bit bouncy) and the car has plenty of pep. If I really get into her, I can get up to 70 in third gear, and during hard acceleration I can shift from 1st to 2nd to 4th without needing third.
Fuel economy ranges around 35 mpg, and considering I do accelerate moderate to hard, this is excellent. I can push 400 miles out of a tank, and the tank is smaller than my Intrigue.
The brakes stop on a dime, and the ABS works flawlessly.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th October, 2004