1984 Chevrolet Chevette CL 1.4 from North America

Summary:

Doubt that I will buy Chevy again

Faults:

Shifting lever broke.

Pressure plate on the clutch snapped.

Developed oil, leak after 4 years.

The paint was pealing off the thing after a few months

General Comments:

I don't understand all the hub-hub with the Chevette.

I bought mine new in '84 and should never have done it.

A cast iron shifting lever breaks! Again Chevy trying to save a buck and bought from substandard suppliers. I thought that it could be a one time thing, so I replaced it. It happened again!

The paint was pealing off after a few months. I took it back to the Chevrolet dealer, they said that it was me that was abusing the car. It wasn't 6 months old. I wrote a letter to the district office in Los Angeles. They forced the dealer to repaint it. I got it back with no stripes that it had before, and no emblems that said Chevette.

Pressure plate on the clutch snapped with less than 25,000 miles. It didn't wear out, the rivets snapped.

Four years old and it developed a pretty bad oil leak. I had just been discharged from the Navy with a 2 year old child and a pregnant wife. Traded up to a Celebrity wagon.

That was like any other Chevy, rusted faster than the grass grows!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd December, 2009

3rd Dec 2009, 13:13

My father once owned a Chev that needed shocks, new power steering & a new engine after ONE YEAR!!! And he bought that piece of garbage new!

5th Dec 2009, 15:45

All the Chevrolets I've owned went at least 200,000 miles without any major work or body rust issues. Of course those were all Caprices and full size pickups, but still, GM's always given me ultra-cheap reliable motoring.

16th Jan 2010, 23:07

There is always the possibility of getting a lemon in the bunch, but that does not mean they are all as such. I have a 1984 Chevette myself, and other than maintenance and the rust starting to get at it a bit, it performs just as good as the day it was bought.

17th Jan 2010, 10:24

13:13 What was the mileage when your dad had the issues? I have driven company cars; Impala. Crown Vics etc. 50000 miles annually and needed shocks and the like. I carry equipment in the trunk. and overall had great luck with mine over the years.

1984 Chevrolet Chevette gas from North America

Summary:

Hug it and it hugs you back - like a puppy!

Faults:

Not long after coming into our lives, the brakes had to be done, front and rear.

The timing chain committed suicide, according to my mechanic, on schedule for Chevette timing chains.

The starter motor died. Who the heck at GM put it impossibly on the back of the engine is beyond me.

General Comments:

It was bought as a desperation commuter. I couldn't afford to run our Suburban in city traffic, 25 miles each way every day.

The little gray iron horse did everything it should - it started at -30, and the heater kept us warm and the windows clear.

We found it cramped in the front when on longer trips. The four door is actually longer, or so I have been told.

You can get a brand new, in the box, 30 inch CRT TV set in the back!

It was fun to drive, easy to love, reliable as it could be. It died when my son drove it and did not check oil or tranny fluid.

As others have said, it is a car that needs a bit of TLC and it will run forever.

Tough as nails - I was rear ended by a mid size Pontiac at a stop light, and my bumper had a dent and he had a destroyed grille.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2009

1984 Chevrolet Chevette CS 1.6 gasoline from North America

Summary:

Best subcompact ever made

Faults:

Muffler rusted through.

Vacuum leak.

Broken shocks.

Nothing else other than regular maintenance.

General Comments:

My first car, or more or less the first car I've ever owned personally. And perhaps my favourite car I have ever driven (and I've driven 250+ HP cars). The Chevrolet Chevette.

I have owned this 1984 Chevette for almost a year now and I have had nothing, but enjoyment out of it. It has proven itself to be a reliable tough little car time and time again, taking everything I throw at it and more. Seriously, I doubt anyone could build an economy car this tough anymore.

The overall look of the car is pleasing to the eye. It's unique shape, and the lines the car sports are much nicer than the "blob" cars of more current years. The tires don't look too small for the vehicle (which is a problem the newer Chevrolet Aveo's and Honda Fit's have, the tires aren't proportioned with the car's body). And being a sub compact, the car fits nicely into almost any parking space (which is helpful when you're a full-time student like myself)

Moving onto the interior, while being made of cheaper plastic, fits the car well and retains design elements of earlier muscle cars. The dash is a great example of this, with its classic gauges and simple, but detailed design. It was one of the many things that drew me to the car. The seats are also of classic design, but really need to be "broke in" before they become comfortable. There isn't much headroom in the back, but nobody really buys a sub compact as a family car anyway. However there is a lot of trunk space, especially if you put the back seat down, which can make it invaluable on trips if you have a lot of luggage.

Gas economy is great for a 3-speed auto. Topping off around 33/40 MPG. Though with this great economy comes a drawback. The car's 75 HP and 2800 lbs weight makes it very slow in acceleration. Though with a few modifications it isn't much of a problem, and the Lotus-like handling and braking more than make up for the car's inability to give you a speeding ticket.

Chevettes get an undeserved reputation for being bad, when their only major fault is that they're slower than most other cars. Hopefully GM eventually sees that there is still a demand for basic parts to keep the Chevette road worthy. One day, someone there will see the Chevette for what it truly is: a classic car with a lot of guts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th October, 2007

10th Oct 2007, 10:53

Best use I found for any Chevette was to mount a 60" mower deck under one.

27th Feb 2008, 13:44

Original poster here. 93000 kms on the odometer now.

Apparently my car was running on the 2 front brakes only, the rear drums were shot. Had the whole system and master cylinder replaced, and now it's hard to stop without putting the passenger through the windshield at the lightest touch. I didn't know a Chevette could stop that well :)

Adding in a few mods to compensate for the slow acceleration (hood scoop, K&N filter, T-5 transmission swap), and I'm planning on re-doing the interior.

The car is still running excellent, despite the harsh winter conditions (-72 degrees celsius anyone?), two 60 lbs bags of salt in the back for traction and a daily commute of about 45-60 kms. I will definitely need a bigger alternator though. Lights + heater + wipers + big stereo = very dim lights at night.

Still a great car, though I am looking into another car for modding purposes and winter driving. The winter is really harsh on that old 1.6 litre engine.

25th May 2008, 13:47

Original poster again. This car keeps getting better and better. It's literally a Franken-vette, with parts from so many different years makes and models, it's borderline crazy. The T-5 5-speed has gone in, and while it does need its bearings replaced (makes a lot of noise, but it's old and from a junkyard, so it is understandable), the car's acceleration and gas mileage have drastically improved and it's very fun to drive. We're using a Honda Accord console that almost fits in like it belonged there. The clutch was for a Brazilian Chevette, and the shifter is from a Pontiac. The seats from a 1990 Cavalier Z24 bolted right in and are much more comfortable and sportier looking than the stock buckets. More updates soon, when the transmission is fixed.

19th Jan 2009, 11:13

You have an interesting comment about the instrument cluster.

It is identical to that used in the full size Chevrolet and GMC vans, up to about 1990.

I always thought it was interesting... GM's smallest and largest vehicles use the same instrument cluster.

7th Jul 2009, 20:13

I enjoy telling people my first car was an '84 Vette, Chevette. It was a very reliable car and I religiously waxed it twice a year. It did zero to sixty in 38.6 seconds. I "drag raced" my friend in his Renault Alliance at the quarter mile stretch of road in town. I lost.