2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Reviews

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2 from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.2 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired43 miles
Most recent distance199000 miles
Previous carFord Contour

Summary:

Dependable

Faults:

After almost 200,000 miles, not much has really gone wrong with the car, other the usual wear items like brakes and tires.

It still has the original spark plugs.

I've had to replace the driver's seat three times, but I'm not a small person.

Check engine light has been on the past 100,000 miles. Shows an evap code or a possible oxygen sensor. Replaced the sensor once at 90,000 miles. Came back on again at 97,000 miles.

Window track bent at 120,000 miles. Expensive dealer repair, should have not fixed it.

Recently replaced bearings. Tie rods, shocks, and struts are still acceptable. Lower control arm bushing needs replacing.

Dash pad has cracked in two places.

The defrost has not worked right in the last couple of years. It will melt ice, but the windows stay foggy unless I crack open a window.

A/C died two years ago.

General Comments:

I bought the car brand new in August of 2002 out of desperation. My previous car, a 1996 Ford Contour, blew up at 122,000 miles. I needed something dependable for work, and after being in an out of the repair shop numerous times with the Contour, I could not afford to keep doing that.

I've had the car over 11 years now. Drop dead reliable. The only time it didn't start was when the original battery died five years ago.

Despite the cheap and chintzy interior, the car is comfortable. I wish I had cruise control. It is starting to show its age, however, with the paint peeling and dash cracking. Also, in the summer time the inside of the car, with the dark hard plastic, is a sauna. Unfortunately the A/C died two years ago. Since then I've also had defrost issues also. I do not know what the issue is.

I know these cars were panned by the media, but this is the best car I've ever owned. It will be a sad day when our journey ends.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th October, 2013

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier LS 2.2 OHV from North America

Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.2 OHV Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired141000 miles
Most recent distance143000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Cavalier

Summary:

Right size, good MPG, reliable

Faults:

Rear defroster light comes on, but no power to the defroster. The fan blower works on 1, 2, and 4; 3 is inoperable.

General Comments:

I have another Cavalier, a 2000 model now with 165k, got it with 118k four years ago for $1100. I still have it, with no plans to get rid of it. It has been totally reliable.

That one has a three speed auto, this one has a four speed auto. I like driving both. The four speed auto tends to run to a higher RPM than the three speed in normal driving. The three speed gets into third (top gear) at 25-30 mph and locks up at 40-45 or so. The four speed runs to 20 in first, 30 or more in second, and 40 or so in third. The four speed is quieter on the road at 70 mph, but I saw figures showing only 300 RPM difference at 60 mph. No tach on the three speed to tell. I show 2100 at 60 and 2800 at 80 with the four speed auto. I like them because they are easy cars to drive, just the right size, and reliable.

I rent cars regularly, and the new 2012 models of same size are peppier and better on gas. I paid $1100 for the 2002 model with 143k three months ago. I have two nice cars for $2200 investment. The air works on both. Why would I want to spend an additional 20k to get a loaded new small car?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2013

9th Jan 2013, 07:44

That's so funny. My rear defroster broke, but I promptly had it fixed (need it in NH) for about $100.

My blowers don't work on 1 or 2, but do work on 3 and 4.

121,000 miles.

25th Jan 2013, 08:15

My Dad bought a Cavalier for the young drivers in my family to share years ago. Believe it or not, we have put 380,000 Km's on it already with no real problems... just regular wear and tear. All in all, a fantastic car!!!! Although it barely looks like one anymore, but hey, it gets you where you wanna go! LOL :-)

20th Mar 2013, 18:33

My 2000 Cavalier, which the review says "Good car, not great" (I think) had 118k in April 2009, and now has 167k in March 2013, has had neither issue. It did have a problem that resolved itself with the air coming out the floor ducts mostly, instead of the dash vents. I parked on a hill and it fixed itself somehow. I am still driving both cars, but primarily the 2000 model. I have kept that car longer than any other vehicle I have owned... four years. No intentions of getting rid of it either. I would change the headline from that to the best car I have ever had if I could!

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 38 reviews