1996 Chevrolet Cavalier LS coupe 2.2 from North America


My worst ever car


Exhaust exhausted - 73000 miles ($300)

Engine mount broken - 73000 miles ($200)

Head gasket cracked at 96000 miles - leaking oil ($1200, 40% paid by GM)

Fuel regulator broken - 96000 miles ($100)

All disk rotors warped : 73000 miles AND 84000 miles ($300 a shot)

Check engine light came on at 92000 miles briefly

ABS warning light came on at 101000 miles intermittently, mechanics could find nothing wrong.($65 for inspection!)

Strong gasoline smell in vehicle from 96000 miles to present when heater is turned on. Can't get rid of this.

General Comments:

Cheap fabrics inside give the car a dull, low quality appearance. Hard, thin seats are tiring on drives longer than half an hour. Seating is very uncomfortable, particularly in the rear. Exhaust is loud and rasping. Acceleration is slow and gearbox is jerky. Power takes at least two seconds to kick in after a downshift. Steering wheel is large and steering is vague with huge under-steer. Handling is poor, and in the wet very dangerous (thankfully there's no snow here in California). Interior quality of switches/controls is very low. I spent $3500 on this car, but at least as much on repairs. Mine guzzles gas. Altogether not good value. Yes, this is at the bottom of the GM range, and it seems that GM have made it a point to make a budget car feel substandard. If you want to spend money in this price range, buy a Toyota or a Volkswagen. Forget all cheap American cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

1996 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2 from North America


Good strong runner, a definite yes for the price


This was a very strong running car.

The Muffler rattled, but was not a major concern.

The Thermostat locked, causing the car to run hot. a $20, half hour fix by myself.

The front end had to have new constant velocity joint put on, but this was after 130K km.

The valve train "ticked" but really caused no damage to the cam or rockers. I had it checked by a mechanic before I had boughten the car.

The A/C system leaked, and the leak was never found. I got tired of having to charge it each spring.

General Comments:

I really liked this car, I could depend on it through thick and thin. It was great on really cold winter days, always starting.

It drove well, and responded really nice on highway and in city. Winter driving was a breeze for this car.

The fuel economy was awesome, I could get about 700+km to a tank, and it only cost $35 to fill.

The safety features are great, I was in a roll-over with this car and came out unharmed due to the Airbag system and the belting system.

The 2.2 engine was pretty peppy for this car, it only got bogged down when carrying more than 2 people, understandably!

Fashionable and fun to drive, This car gets some high marks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2002

4th May 2008, 06:39

I bought my 1996 Chevy Cavalier in April 2006 with 151,580 miles. I have had to do very little work to it beyond regular maintenance. I always tell people it is the best car I have ever had. The work I have had done to the vehicle includes (I believe it is called this) the MAP sensor-it controlled the fan speeds and only half worked when I bought it, I had the O2 sensor replaced, the thermostat as a precaution-not necessarily a need, had cruise control added and put new tires on. Omitting the cruise control, I have only put about $200 in work into the car. I would recommend a Cavalier to anyone who wanted a car that gets great gas mileage and can be relied on. The car now has 186,900 miles and runs great!