This is not a car, it's a curse. Don't count your Chevettes until they're dead
-Horrible brakes that no amount of servicing could fix
-Lousy electrical systems. Imagine driving and your Chevette/Acadian gets sprayed with snow/slush/rain. After a minute or two, you may notice your windshield wipers going slower and slower and your lights getting dimmer and dimmer and the engine has less and less power until everything stops. Then you get to wait for 15 minutes until the heat from the engine dries out the wiring and then you can start her up and continue driving until the next time it happens.
-Oil leaks. And after you fix it, you can be sure that you'll have another one in a while
-Same goes for coolant leaks
-Same goes for brake fluid
-Lousy heaters... but there is a fix where you can have an adjustment done that makes the heat HOT all of the time. Just that when summer comes, you have to adjust it back or you will BAKE.
-Cable that controls the clutch breaks
-turns signal stalks break off in your hand
-Slow windshield wipers.
I decided to write this review due to 'they weren't so bad' comments I read about Chevrolet Chevettes and Pontiac Acadians (a Canadian model)
I hate Chevettes. I never owned one, but we had 4 of them at different times in my family that I occasionally drove and also helped out on the repairs with. Nobody listened to me when I told them not to buy them... but then again, these cars were really cheap and the family members in question were on tight budgets at the time. My older brother had one and my sister had three (one after another). The model years of the Chevettes/Acadians in question were 1978, 1980, 1984, 1987. One of these was a 2 door with a 4 speed manual, the other three were 4 door hatchbacks with 3 speed automatics. All had the 1.6L 4 cylinder engine. The amounts paid for these cars (in Canadian funds) ranged from $500 to $3000.
Yes, even the 1987 model sucked. I saw someone write that the 1987 models (their last year) were the best of the bunch. This is like saying that you own the best pile of poo out of all the piles of poo.
The 1.6 L engine in these cars was gutless and gave lousy fuel economy considering that they only made 60-74HP (depending on the year). This is especially true of models that were equipped with automatic. The 1978 automatic model was especially bad - either it has slightly taller gearing or less power. And the 1.4L 4 cylinder engine was even worse.
And if the temperature got below -15C, these car simply wouldn't start.
These cars were noisy... not so much because of the engine, but because of the lack of sound deadening material -
In snow belt areas, the body held up pretty well and didn't rust too badly.
Because they are light and rear wheel drive, they are an absolute nightmare in snow.
The bodies on these cars were weak tin cans. I know that because my brother hit black ice in the middle of a curve, spun out and slid sideways into a mail box. Now in relation to a car, mail boxes aren't that big and heavy. But doing that didn't just bend the door and break the window, it also BENT THE FRAME. I can only imagine how the frame of this car would collapse if it hit something solid.
Handling isn't bad, but the ride is hard and bouncy.
The exterior styling looked okay to my eyes. I think the original model with the round headlights looked best.
The interior looked like a cheap version of a typical car interior from the 1970s. Lots of cheap plastic and there is exposed metal on the door.
The seats are narrow, cramped and uncomfortable. This is partly due to the big tunnel in the middle that seemed to be bigger on the 1987 model than it was on the earlier models.
On the 1987 model, if you are wearing big winter boots, your foot can get a little stuck between the brake pedal and the middle hump as you lift off the gas.
The rear seats were very uncomfortable to sit in. Rear headroom is lacking and leg room wasn't great. When I sat in the back, I found that it was most comfortable to sit sideways in a hunched position.
The 1987 model we had had power steering that was so overboosed that you could steer with your pinky while parking. I preferred the manual steering over the power steering.
Both the gas gauge and speedometer behaved erratically. With the speedometer, you had to guess your speed by averaging the high and low of what was indicated. With the gas gauge, you could go from a half a tank to a quarter, up to three quarters and back to a half of a tank simply by driving up and over down a steep hill. Okay, I'm exaggerating with the gas gauge, but not by much.
The illumination of the gauges was very poor. Heater controls were not illuminated at all.
The switch for the lights is an old fashioned pull-and-twist type.
Since the car was so narrow and light, simply getting in the car and getting comfortable can make the whole car shake... and with little effort, you can make it shake a lot. Did that for fun to bug my sister (I was pretty annoyed that she bought a THIRD Chevette). Note that I'm not a huge person... I'm a 170 pound, 5'8" male.
One last thing I'd like to mention... the Chevette had its gas tank dangerously located behind the rear axle, right below the trunk floor. To give you an idea of how exposed it was, my sister dented it on a curbstone when backing up.
The only car that is more dangerous in this respect is probably a Ford Pinto.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th January, 2005