The EcoTec 2.2 is a marvelous engine, its powerful, quiet and as reliable as an anvil, a testament to its foreign design. The rest of the car however is General Motors, what can you say. The steel on the car is paper thin, so even a slight bump will distort the quarter panels and your plastic bumper will never fit properly again. The interior is typical GM, with the bizarre toilet seat flusher door handles and the cheap plastic interior. The plastic covers by the mirrors tend to slap off and the manual mirror adjusters tend to break. The shift level gets loose and since its plastic will begin to fall apart, requiring replacement. The interior noise is higher than it should be.
Great engine, decent performance, average looks
Some repairs are extraordinarily expensive, such as fuel pump replacement.
Wheel bearing life is short, sometimes the engine computer goes haywire and all the gauges point in random directions.
The digital mileage readout goes out, making it hard to read.
There is no lighting on the automatic shifter base so in the dark you can't see what gear you are shifting to.
The stereo system is absolutely awful, and replacing the head unit means you lose the door chime feature as well.
The stereo system is confusingly integrated into the ignition system so you need a special harness for the car to work properly if you go aftermarket.
This is my second car. I bought it, after weeks of searching for something else in my price range. I don't really like Chevy, but i got it in great shape, and condition. I bought it with 80,000 miles, and it now has about 105,000. I've driven it across states without hesitating. The only thing I've had to replace was the fuel pump at about 100. Everything else works fine, and even looks alright. The car isnt fast, but if you give enough gas it can go. I live in an area with snow, ice, rain, and hills, and this car works fine everywhere. I take good care of my cars aesthetically, and get their regular maintenance. But I drive the **** out of my cars, and this one is still holding up fine.
The MPG is good. It was cheap. It has been reliable so far to me.
The interior could be designed better. They could have spent a little more money on materials and had better quality. But for a economic car, it did its job well. I can suggest tons of improvements, but if you want those you'd get an Audi instead of a cavalier.
This practically being my first car, I can't really compare it to much. So for a first car, this is a solid pick. The only problems I honestly have with it, are the lack of power windows and locks, though that isn't a major problem, and the way it is made. The interior is so cheap, and the vent cable mechanism is rather faulty and pops out(mine just broke) unfortunately, the dash needs to be completely taken off to get to anything, and dealerships will charge you a lot for this(even though it really doesn't take all that long to get off) Other then that, this car has been reliable and the gas mileage is top notch. Putting a new set of tires on this thing definitely makes it so much better.
The best features on this car are its reliability, really good gas mileage, and it drives pretty nice for a fwd economy car.
Better interior, and some mechanism improvements would be nice.
This car is not ugly. It is very cute and stylish. Interior could have used some improvement. I got 48 mpg on the highway and high 20's in town. This car is very fun to drive and handles beautifully. For the money paid, it is a great commuter car.
This was my first car, I got it used. I like it a lot, but the interior is made of cheap plastic and is extremely flimsy and the springs in the seats popped out of the back of the seat. Driving the car is comfortable, but riding in it is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. There is virtually no legroom in the back, and the passenger seat in the front is weird, it feel like your being squeezed. As for the exterior, the design was dated way before it came out. It basically looks like a crappy four door version of a 90s mustang. Performance is good, no complaints there, so the only thing is the interior and exterior.
Acceleration is good, handles very well, gas mileage. It will get you from point A to B, but it really looks like crap...