1983 Chevrolet Chevette Reviews

1983 Chevrolet Chevette 1.6 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Previous carPontiac Tempest

Summary:

Worth every penny I paid for it

Faults:

Brake master cylinder leaked internally, replaced with used parts.

Starter motor literally cracked in half, replaced with used parts $20.

General Comments:

I needed a cheap second vehicle and bought four Chevettes (1981-1984) for $100. "Frankenvette" was born two months later. It looked awful, but ran like a clock and served me well. I had to change the starter on the side of the road in -30 degree weather, that was really the only time she let me down. The steering linkage was pretty worn and made for some terrifying highway driving, I only tried it a couple times before relegating it to city only use.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th October, 2005

1983 Chevrolet Chevette 1.6 gas from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 1.6 gas Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired69000 miles
Most recent distance187000 miles

Summary:

Best compact ever built

Faults:

Starter

Alternator

Brake master cylinder

Brake calipers

Water pump.

General Comments:

My first car was a white '83 Chevette 2 door automatic. My parents bought it for my brother, he drove it about 4 years. I got it when he got a newer car, it had 120,000 when I got it. I drove it about 2 years, never once let me down. Some of the kids at school made fun of it, but it went when there cars were broke down.

Too bad Chevrolet doesn't bring back the Chevette. Imagine a modern rear wheel drive compact. More power, but keep the simplicity and reliability. Down with flimsy front wheel drive crap. Chevrolet should have put fuel injection on the Chevette, and revamped the body a little. They should have brought it back with these changes for '88, and keep selling them.

I bought it back, 3 years after selling it, but it had been abused. The motor had been severely overheated, and the rings collapsed. It had blow-by bad.

It was one of the best vehicles I have ever had, second only to my '96 chevy c-1500. My dad bought an '81 4 door four speed chevette new, it was a pretty good car also. I am currently looking at buying another, to drive and save money on gas over my truck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2005

9th May 2006, 10:24

How could the Chevette be the best compact ever built if it's really a subcompact car? But either way, there are many cars that were/are way better than the Chevette. The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in the same model years were superior. The VW Rabbit/Golf were better too. I would even pick a Chevy Cavalier as being better than a Chevette. Same or better reliability, more interior space, more power, better traction and a more modern chasis.

9th May 2006, 21:39

Knock it all that you like, but the Chevette is a pretty darn bullet proof car. I still see them driving around today. And the difference between them and a Corolla or Rabbit? The fact that the body on the chevettes still looks great. Try finding a 20+ year old civic that isn't rusted to hell. I live in Ontario, and we use an unbelievable amount of road salt. Trust me, the Chevette is a solid little buggy.

25th Sep 2006, 07:24

The people who miss the Chevette probably miss the Pinto, Vega & Gremlin too.

20th Sep 2009, 23:09

Actually, you'll find less 1982-86 Chevrolet Cavaliers out there than you'll find Chevettes. Cavaliers were less reliable, though they were better than Citations or Celebrities. Chevettes are a simple, robust platform, and actually variations of them were sold here later.

The 1985-89 Isuzu I-Mark/Chevrolet Spectrum/Geo Spectrum/Pontiac Sunburst was a 2nd generation Chevette from Japan. Good quality there, too.

The 1988-93 Pontiac LeMans/Passport Optima/Asuna LeMans was another Chevette derivative from Korea. Not so good, but some people get good mileage out of them.

Chevettes themselves could have been a viable platform for expansion and update, but Chevrolet was already betting with the updated Cavalier and new Sprint by 1987, and the Sprint and Spectrum that I mentioned before took a big bite out of the Chevette's market, so instead of coming out with a car that would compete with no less than eight of its own cars at the time, GM just put the old dog down.

21st Sep 2009, 13:47

The Chevette was a very very basic automobile.

The original Rabbit was a much better (albeit more expensive) vehicle, especially for us in the Northeast.

21st Sep 2009, 14:44

Great informative comment. I use to be picked up in a Chevette when my Datsun, now Nissan, broke down a lot.

Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 5 reviews