2003 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Ecotec 2.2 from North America


Driver door electric motor lift failed - repaired under warranty.

Rear turn signal lamps failed - repaired under warranty.

Fuel pump failure at 42k miles.

Cost of repairs absorbed by owner approximately $850.00 parts, labor, towing included in cost.

Noticeable oil consumption.

General Comments:

Fine automobile.

Very satisfied with the vehicle.

Criteria used at time of purchase: Cheapest costing vehicle. Other than Hyundai and Kia, the Cavalier was the cheapest costing vehicle in May of 2003.

Yes, I would recommend this vehicle (if still produced). At time of shopping, I noticed quite a few Cavaliers on the road. I figured there had to be something "right" with the car or I would not see so many on the road.

I will definitely follow the same criteria again when shopping for new vehicle. The Cavalier has given great value for a minimum cost. Had not the issues with defects been covered under warranty, there is no doubt my feelings would be different.

I am also finding out the the fuel pump issue is being revied by the NHTSA as a possible recall issue. That would make the value of the car even greater.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2008

2003 Chevrolet Cavalier LS 2.2 4 cylinder. from North America


Fun to drive... when it works


A little low on coolant upon purchase. I topped off the coolant soon afterward, no more problems.

Undercarriage was badly rusted upon purchase, repaired 2 weeks later.

Front bumper scraped and cracked on the passenger side upon purchase. It just passed a PA state inspection, though, so it's nothing serious.

Rear tires replaced at 73,900 miles.

Front brake rotors replaced at 74,800 miles.

Battery replaced shortly afterward.

Still howls from underneath the center console intermittently, hums loudly when the A/C is on, and makes a ticking noise when accelerating.

Paint chips easily and needs to be constantly touched-up to prevent rust from starting.

General Comments:

I can't complain about looks. The factory sunroof and sound system work great. Plus, it's been decorated with chrome hubcaps, exhaust tip, and door guards along with a thermometer, compass, and an after-market CD player. The bug deflector, intended to prevent stone chips, also lends to style. Overall, things look nice and sharp and tend to stay that way for months at a time between cleaning.

I was also surprised by the amount of storage space for a 2-door car. The trunk is big to begin with, and since it opens up to the rear seating area with the back seats folded down, it's essentially a hatchback. I moved enough gear to fill a large 3-room apartment in 3 trips. If the trunk were higher, I might have even tried loading the refrigerator in it. The engine lost neither power nor fuel economy, even with the car stuffed tight.

This is supposedly an economy car, as it's compact, gets good gas mileage, and parts are cheap. However, when a large number of cheap parts need to be fixed, there's no savings. It's gone 2,000 miles, and I have yet to see how the car runs when everything works.

I bought the car 2 months ago and had all of these problems within that time period. I'm almost at my breaking point already with this car, as it's eaten up more than half of my annual repair budget in this time. This is especially troubling with the weather getting colder and putting more strain on the engine.

Not a performance engine, but the 140 hp is good considering that it's coming from a 4-cylinder engine. I have fun driving it, though, as this is the first time I've ever owned a car that wasn't underpowered.

Fuel economy is better than I expected. It was getting the 24 mpg I thought it would when I drove it off the lot, but after topping off the coolant and replacing the back tires, it's up to 27 mpg. I have yet to see what effect the repaired brakes, recent oil change, and new battery have, but I'm guessing this is the one thing that can improve.

As far as comfort, this car makes a better camping tent. I can sleep comfortably in it, but it's horrible on the road. My back aches after more than an hour of nonstop driving. Rear seats have a surprising amount of leg room, but unless your under 5'7", your head will actually hit the curved rear windshield when sitting up straight. The front bucket seats also fail to hold the driver and passenger in place when cornering.

Speaking of cornering, the body leans worse than my brother's SUV. I'm really bothered by this, as I thought it would be something I could avoid by looking at smaller cars. I have to go 10 mph below the advisory speed to round curves without making the tires squeal or finding my left side pressed against the driver's side door.

If my dad hadn't gotten upset about my 20-year old cars leaking oil on his driveway and paid for the newer car, I probably would've turned it down. I still have yet to see how well it runs when everything works, and I doubt this car's going to make it past 100,000 miles without a huge repair bill. My next car is going to be either an import, a late-model with low mileage, or both.

However, there are a few conditions on which I'd actually recommend this car -- if it has less than 60,000 miles on it, the previous owner was finicky about maintenance, and you don't plan on driving it more than 10,000 miles per year, it may actually be worth a look.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 2007

25th Mar 2011, 01:57

The problems you list are are normal maintenance for a car at 70,000...

- The rust is due to the fact you live in Pennsylvania.

You got this car right at a later time in its life when it needed maintenance...

It's a good car.