What's New for 1999
The 2.4 twin-cam engine benefits from reliability, emissions and fuel economy enhancements, and new front brake linings increase pad life. Minor interior and exterior revisions have been made, and Fern Green Metallic and Sandrift Metallic replace Bright Aqua and Deep Purple on the paint chart.
For nearly two decades the Cavalier has been a staple sales leader for Chevy dealers. Understandably so, because the Cavalier offers reasonable value and is priced low enough to compete favorably in the compact market, often undercutting smaller models from other manufacturers.
But small car sales are suffering due to a strong economy and low fuel prices. Who needs a compact car when a roomy sedan or sport utility is within financial reach? Nonetheless, the Cavalier is good transportation, offering adequate room for four adults, decent performance and acceptable interior accommodations. Styling is attractive and contemporary, and there is a model to suit almost everyone's needs.
Exterior changes included two new colors, revised badges for RS models and a body-colored grill for RS and LS versions. Inside, the passenger's visor map strap has been removed and lighting for the glovebox and ashtray has been deep-sixed. If you want an ashtray and lighter, the dealer will install it for you. Also available is On-Star communications, though we don't imagine many Cavalier buyers will opt for it. The Z24 convertible has new red accents on graphite-colored seats.
GM's venerable 2.2-liter four cylinderis standard in the Cavalier. Equipped with this powerplant, the Cavalier lags behind its primary domestic competition, the Dodge Neon, in power and acceleration. Optional in LS sedan is a 2.4-liter Twin Cam engine hooked to a four-speed automatic transmission that features traction control. The Cavalier is a much more livable car with this engine, and we wish that Chevrolet offered this powertrain in base models as well. The Twin Cam engine is standard in the sporty Z24 coupe and convertible.
Manually-shifted Z24 coupes are as quick as the Neon Sport Coupe from rest to 60 mph. The interior is reasonably comfortable and well laid-out. Antilock brakes are standard equipment. And, best of all, the price is dead on; low enough to make the Chevrolet Metro sedan an exercise in redundancy. We recommend that you check out the Cavalier if a compact car fits your needs.