I've owned my 1997 Cavalier sedan since it was new, over 10 years ago and can honestly say I enjoy the vehicle. The engine still runs great with 178,000 miles. I've replaced the high beam light, alternator at 110,000 miles, water pump at 165,000 miles, and the power steering hose at 178,000 miles. I've performed the repairs with my dad, so labor was free, yet the parts only cost about 200.00 total, making the total cost of ownership very reasonable. I drive about 60% highway and usually change the oil every 5,000 miles. The vehicle has consistently averaged 30 MPG at around 40% city and 60% highway. I'm also 6 feet tall and think the vehicle has just the right about the leg room.
It's fun to drive. Oh yes, I also think I must have a little Dutch in me, as this vehicle makes me smile when I think of the total cost of ownership.
Chevrolet could improve on the comfort and the quality of a few internal components, such as the power outlet (cigarette lighter outlet), and the plastic side caps next to the seat recline lever.