2001 Chevrolet Cavalier 1LS Sedan 2.2L OHV inline 4 cylinder from North America


Don't buy one if you live in the rust belt


At 64,000 miles, the head gasket began to leak, and had to be replaced.

At 83,000 miles, the TRACTION ACTIVE light began flashing periodically, and the transmission would not shift out of 2nd gear. It only did this a few times, and so far hasn't done it again.

At 84,000, the ignition switch failed, and would no longer turn to the START position.

Recently, now at around 85,000, 2 rear brake lines failed, and the exhaust from the catalytic converter back had to be replaced due to rust.

The dashboard cracked from the sun not long after I purchased it.

General Comments:

I bought this car from a small used dealer in town, to replace my Dodge Ram, which I really no longer needed. It will need to be scrapped soon, due to heavy rear frame rot and front sub-frame rot. But, for what I paid for it in 2005, I'm not complaining about 7 years of fairly reliable transportation.

This is a very good A to B car. Mine has no frills. Manual windows, no power locks, manual mirrors, no cruise control. But, it's all just less to go wrong; that's the way I look at it.

The 2.2L OHV 4 cylinder is surprisingly torquey. It will roast 1st (even with traction control on) and this is an automatic! I wouldn't call it fast, but the torque is surprising for such a small engine. Great in the city due to the torque as well. However, this primitive engine is VERY loud. It's just plain noisy all the time. Gaining speed is the worst, but the incessant drone at highway speeds can get very annoying. I'm used to it now, and in fact I never really realize just how loud it really is, until I get into my wife's Camry, and say to myself "Is this thing on?"

The 4-speed automatic transmission shifts a little hard. Always has. It's a cheap car, so you get what you pay for. But, it does manage to keep RPM low enough to achieve pretty good gas mileage. I average about 34 MPG in 90% city driving.

Handling is nothing special. The car feels heavy, actually. It could be the tires, but it doesn't really seem to have much grip or really feel that solid driving down the road. It won't really go fast around any corner. But it handles the bumps quite well.

The interior has plenty of gaps, rattles, squeaks, ticks, you name it. Again, cheap car, you get what you pay for.

Overall, this Cavalier really hasn't been all that bad. I would've liked to see more than 100,000 miles, and the engine would probably do it, but unfortunately, the New England winters and heavy road salt have just completely eaten the body away. So, alas, it will be replaced with a newer car soon!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th March, 2012

2001 Chevrolet Cavalier Base 2.2 from North America


Cavalier. Base. Best 1700 dollars I have ever spent!


Rust on the passenger door the size of one loony.

The exhaust had to be replaced about 179 000km.

General Comments:

I bought this car 2 months before I got my driver's licence, so that I had a chance to get all the bugs out of the car, and had a chance to get used to it for my test. I passed my driver's licence, and have owned this car for a little over one year now. I tinted my windows, put LED taillights in the car and an average stereo system. The car has held up better than any other vehicle my family has owned. (2002 Escalade EXT, 1999 Cadillac Seville STS, 2004 Durango, 1973 Powerwagon, 1969 C10, 1997 Dodge Neon, 1997 Sunfire and my brother's 2001 Sunfire) Lots of stuff needed to be replaced on those vehicles, and they always seemed to be in the shop, so they would have to borrow my car for a week, or until they had theirs returned.

I live in Alberta Canada, so in the winter we do have to deal with some poor weather conditions on the road. I put a set of winter tires on the car, and I truly could not believe how safe I felt driving the car. I could stop when I needed to without skidding through intersections, and could make turns without sliding. I did have my car slide into 2 ditches though; one was because I was being a little careless around a corner, and then slid my front end into the ditch. I had to push the car out with some friends, but it was not a huge deal, nothing broke, and the car still worked fine. The other time it was in the ditch was because I had to avoid a car that was losing control. I went into the ditch with some speed, and needed to have a friend tow me out with a truck. Still had no damage done to the car like bumpers cracking or frame bending. Nothing!

The only money I have had to put into my car besides the extras I've purchased is for gas, oil changes, tire swapping ie. summer to winter tires.

I have the automatic 2.2 engine, and it costs about 50$ from bone dry to full, but it's alright on gas. I wish it did get more to a tank, because I think it usually gets 400 km.

I am looking to buy a new faster two door car next summer, like a Cobalt SS, 2002 Firebird, Celica or Mustang, but I think that will just be a bad karma situation, because my car has treated me fantastic. I know that there is some vehicles that are just really unlucky and break down a lot "lemons", and mine is not one, so either I got really lucky, or Cavaliers are really sturdy reliable vehicles that just somehow got a bad reputation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2011