1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Reviews

1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Convertible LS 2.4L twin cam 16v from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.4L twin cam 16v Manual
Distance when acquired276000 kilometres
Most recent distance293000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

A low-budget convertible that I can live with

Faults:

Had to replace the following parts:

1. Power window motor.

2. Starter.

3. Heater/blower motor.

4. Rear brake line.

General Comments:

I was looking for a low-budget convertible as a year-round daily driver, and I found it in my '96 Cavalier LS convertible. The rear window is glass, and doesn't fade like plastic. Great for winter.

The 2.4 L twin cam 16 valve engine is a blast to drive, and I get 600 kms to the tank. I just got lucky that the engine didn't leak oil, didn't overheat, and didn't have any major electrical/computer box issues.

No timing belt to worry about. The manual transmission also allowed me to go home when the starter went. I just popped it into 2nd gear and I got home. The starter was gradually showing signs, but I chose to ignore it (my fault).

Parts are so cheap, and even cheaper at the wreckers. If you're a little bit handy with tools and don't mind a little repair here and there, then this is the car for you. I love the power top. I sometimes open the top in the middle of traffic, and I feel like I'm driving something really special.

Too much negative write-up about this car made me do this comment. This is my second Cavalier, and for the price and low maintenance, I'd recommend this car for the budget-strapped motorist. My neighbor has a pair of his and hers Cavaliers, and they seem happy.

Really unfair to compare it to a Civic or Corolla. Just make sure that the engine is healthy and the electrical system is sound.

With a very bad resale value, I'll just drive this one into the ground. It's going to hit the 300,000 Km soon, and it just wants to keep going.

Great for hauling garage sale stuff too. I brought home a hockey net and elliptical machine. Just open the roof and presto!

Go ahead, throw tomatoes at my comment, but this is my own experience with the Cavalier :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2011

30th Jul 2011, 23:20

Comparing this to a Camry or Civic is fair game, them being in the same class and etc.

But I have no doubt that a well maintained Cavalier would be a decent car. Unfortunately thanks to their low value, most people don't maintain them or other beaters that well, thus they get bad reputations.

1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Base 2.2 OHV from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.2 OHV Automatic
Distance when acquired115000 miles
Most recent distance116000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Cavalier

Summary:

This car seems like a piece of junk

Faults:

Alternator went out a week after buying it.

The timing chain & tensioner went out 3 months after buying it.

After replacing the timing chain & tensioner, the car has a miss in it & has no power.

General Comments:

This car seems like it's gonna nickel & dime us to death. We've done more than what I've listed above to this car, & have only owned it 3 months.

This car seemed to be a decent car when it ran right for that 1 month.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st June, 2011

1996 Chevrolet Cavalier LS 2.2L OHV from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.2L OHV Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired20400 miles
Most recent distance20800 miles
Previous carFord F150

Summary:

Very practical, reliable, and proud to drive an American kind of car

Faults:

I've had two Cavaliers, both 96s, one with an auto, and the one I have now is a stick.

My current one is still on the original clutch after 200 k miles. At 99k it had a timing chain done. And did it again at 199k. I bought it from a friend of mine, and he bought it new. Never broke, but was done as preventative maintenance.

The car has had an alternator, a wheel bearing and muffler.

Cavaliers are good cars for reliability, and are decent to drive. I average 30mpg, mostly city driving too. Much lower cost of ownership vs a foreign car. Anyone who says they are bad just didn't treat it well.

Also I say they require DEXCOOL antifreeze, but don't use it, it ruins your gaskets, just use the regular green antifreeze, much safer.

General Comments:

The car handles good.

A/C works great, heat works awesome too. The car warms up quick.

Seats are very good for my upper back.

Very easy to drive. Fun with a stick.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2011

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 71 reviews