I disagree with the above comment. The Chevette is a fairly reliable car and it provides what one needs most--cheap basic transportation. The hell with speed, I need a car that starts when you turn the key, and that is easy to maintain.
I am a proud owner of a 1982 Chevette. I agree to some extent that the brakes aren't the safest, and the body is fairly "tinny" and you'd probably be 'in for it' if you got in an accident, but the Chevette is a more than reliable car that's fun to drive. It's simple, relatively cheap on gas, looks almost like some cool old rally car, and they never seem to fail on you. My overall opinion of the car:
-good on gas.
-cheap to fix.
-cheap to maintain.
-fun to drive.
-perhaps fairly unsafe.
If you're a poor person or a student buy a chevette. It'll get you to where you want to go in a cool, hip sort of way. I love my chevette. It has 168,000 km and I'll drive it until it dies completely, then perhaps I'll find another one. he he he he...
The Chevettes are a good car in concept; Simple, easy to maintain, inexpensive, tough and REAR WHEEL DRIVE! My girlfriend had an 86 Chevette that she crashed into a ditch at 60 KM/h, which shortened the front body work and slightly twisted the body a bit, but we climbed out without a scratch! It even started up and could (barely) be driven! Check Consumer Reports- its crash integrity was among the best for sub-compacts. These inexpensive, easy to work on, durable little cars should make a come back, just with better brakes & build quality, and some more power, please!
82 Chevy Chevette Scooter 2 door 4 speed heaven...
I currently own an 82 Chevy Chevette 2 door 4 speed Scooter... I love this car!!! It is the most reliable car I have ever owned. I purchased it in '96, from a friend in dire need of cash, ($350)...Upon purchase, I replaced the tires, carburetor, and had the radiator sealed. ($200 total)...since I have owned her, she has run like a champ!!!Since her purchase over the years, I had to replace the starter at $150, more tires due to a flat, $80, and general fluids over the years at about $200. She gets 35 MPG in the stop and go world, and she gets 43 mpg on the highway.
In all, I have spent less than a grand on her, and she is the best car I have ever owned!!! (I drive her to this day) I maintain her myself, as she is an easy car to service. Currently she has a tiny oil leak, which I haven't found yet, however, on the whole, I love my chevette, I have faith in her on-going performance, and rely on her without doubts. She's got the guts when you "gotta move", she still burns rubber when it is necessary (getting into freeway traffic, etc)...I fully trust my little car, she has already stood the test of time, and with attention and care, she is going to continue to serve me faithfully and get me where I need to go...
I strongly suggest this car for teenage first time auto owners, as it is easily maintained, inexpensive to fix should the need arise, and, with proper maintenance, will last a very long time... it is also an excellent car to teach basic auto maintenance, as all aspects of the engine are easily accessible, plain to the eye, easy to find, and simple to "fix"...The Chevette Scooter is the First Time Auto Owner's Dream!!!It's simple, It's basic, It's reliable when properly cared for, and it's just an all around great car to own!!!I love mine... Love yours!!!
82 Chevy Chevette Scooter (tell me about your scooter at email@example.com)
The Opel Kadett/Chevy Chevette is (was) a neat little car, but the Vauxhall Chevette in Great Britain had a really neat (and rare) version: The HS2300. It had a twin-cam 2.3 litre L-4 engine giving 135 BHP! Twice that of the North American Chevy Chevette! This car placed well in road rallies, even placing 1st many times. Makes you wonder what could have been for the Chevy Chevette, given it had the same (T-body) chassis and all. This is the kind of car the Chevette should make a comeback as.
I have found the Chevette to be a reliable car. I do not find it as cheap to maintain as my Nissan Sentra 1999 with 130,000 miles on it. Chevette I own has same mileage, but seems to cost more to keep up. Gas mileage on my gas engine is not so great either. 25MPG verses almost 35 with the Nissan Sentra.
Problems I have had with car are,
--Not able to find parts easily.
--Poor gas mileage.
--Car turning a rust color on roof.
--Replaced whole exhaust system.
--Car handles ice and snow very well.
--Car starts up right away even in below zero temperatures.
--Fits tall people in it very well for a small car.
--Easy to do repairs on.
I bought a 1980 Chevette in March 2003. I have found the car to be a very good handling car. The brakes more than do the job. I commute 264 miles to work and back, and have no complaints. I get 44 MPG highway at 75 mph in Southern California, where you need to go fast. I only paid 150.00 bucks and haven't regretted it. The only 2 things I have done is replace the starter solenoid (8.79) and rebuilt the alternator (43.00).
I would recommend using 10w40 Castrol synthetic blend. It helps the engine stay cool and run a little smoother.
My car is a 2 door hatchback with 102900 miles.
I don't know if the American Chevette has a heavier engine and too much weight up front, a weaker chassis or if American snow tires isn't as good as European, but my 1975 Opel Kadett handles VERY well on snow, and I live in northern Sweden where we get a lot of it. You have full control all the time, and thanks to the rear wheel drive, it is FUN!
My Chevette, or "The Peanut" as she is called, is the best damn car I've found yet. I paid $1.00 for her, and so far... have put $500.00 into her. She is an '87 Chevette Scooter. Her paint is oxidized, and has turned a funny purplish-red color. Her interior smells musty, and I snapped my key off in the hatchback... but I wouldn't trade her for ANYTHING! I can fit 8 people in the beast, which makes it REALLY look like a clown car. She's cheap on gas, is a blast to drive, and is cheap to run and maintain. I LOVE MY CHEVETTE!!!
Chevettes are garbage. I know as I've seen four of them pass through my family. I never got one after I saw how crappy and how much trouble they were. Three out of 4 had automatic, one was a 4 speed manual. All had the 1.6L engine and all were driven in Canada.
-lousy in snow/ice
-have no power
-considering their light weight and low power, they get lousy fuel milege. Just compare it to any Honda Civic, Toyota Tercel, Madza 323, or Nissan Sentra. Any of the Chevette's competition easily gets 20-30% better fuel mileage and better performance at the same time.
-They tend to not start if the temperature drop to -15C or less.
-Hardly any heat and lousy ventilation
-bad electrical systems- specifically, if you drive in rain and a truck passes you and causes a lot of upspray, chances are that your lights will start going dimmer and dimmer and your windshield wipers will go slower and slower... and after about a minute you'll be sitting at the side of the road until the heat from the engine drys out the wiring sufficiently
-the leak. You name the fluid, and a Chevette will probably leak it.
-interior is cramped, narrow and has a cheap look and feel. The back seat is even worse due to the lack of headroom. And having the turn signal arm break off is very common.
-they are NOT reliable - failing starters, Fuel pumps, water pumps, head gaskets, cracked cylinder heads, clutches - Chevettes have all these problems
-The brakes are DANGEROUSLY BAD.
-If you have one with power steering, you get no road feel through the steering and you can do all your steering with your pinky.
The only good things I can say about Chevettes/Acadians is:
-they're cheap (because nobody wants them because they're crap)
-they have a tight turning circle
-everything is really easy to get to in the engine bay
-parts are cheap (too bad they need to be replaced constantly), but that's mainly because half of the time you were getting parts off of one of the many dead Chevettes out there
-they kept a generation of mechanics well employed.
I said this to my sister and I'm going to say it to everyone here...
"Don't count your Chevettes until they're dead!"