I am very happy overall with my 1998 Cavalier. It is by far better than my 2002 Malibu which is a piece of junk. I have about 180000 miles on this car and to date I have had to make no major repairs. I don't understand it. Only the Japanese cars are supposed to be like this. The only money I have invested in this car is for basic maintenance and a minor repair to the heater fan switch that quit working. My only real complaint on this car is that it is not that great in winter driving. It might be to light. I live in MN and for a front wheel drive it has poor traction on packed snow even with decent tires. Trax light always comes on. Other than that it's been a great car.
Reliability. Cheap to operate and drive. Very good gas mileage.
Make the bottom of the door seams better against rust. More beverage holders.
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