Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan

1996 Chevrolet Cavalier
List price range
1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

For more than a decade, the Cavalier has been a staple sales leader for Chevy dealers. Understandably so, because the Cavalier offered reasonable value and was priced low enough to compete with many smaller, but more modern, automobiles. The undeniable fact of the matter, however, was that the Cavalier had been around for 14 years with only minor styling changes and few modifications.

Last year, an all-new Cavalier debuted, and we are duly impressed. The only shortcomings with the new car are the sluggish and loud base engine, the low seating positions, and the odd distortions evident in the lower corners of the windshield.

GM's venerable 2.2-liter four cylinder, whose droning exhaust note you are no doubt familiar with, is standard in the Cavalier. Equipped with this powerplant, the Cavalier lags behind its primary competition, the Dodge Neon, in power and acceleration. Optional in sedans and convertibles is a new 2.4-liter twin cam 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 the base coupe as well.

The sporty Z24 coupe is available with the twin-cam engine, and in this application can be equipped with either automatic or manual transmission. Five-speed models are as quick as the Neon Sport Coupe from rest to 60 mph.

At just one year of age, Chevrolet is already taking steps to improve the Cavalier. The twin-cam engine replaces last year's 2.3-liter Quad 4, and the four-speed automatic's traction control system is new. Cavalier also receives new fabrics in base models, a PASSLock security system, optional remote keyless entry and new radios. Daytime running lights have been added, and base sedans can be gussied up with an Appearance Package consisting of body-color fascias and moldings, touring tires and bolt-on wheel covers. Two new paint colors are new for 1996, and long-life 100,000-mile coolant has been installed in all engines.

Overall, we think Chevy has a winner here. The styling is attractive and contemporary. The interior is comfortable and well laid-out. Antilock brakes are standard equipment. And, best of all, the price is dead on; low enough to make the four-door Geo Metro an exercise in redundancy. We think the Cavalier will be a big hit for Chevrolet, and recommend that you check it out if a compact car fits your needs.

1996 Highlights

The 2.3-liter Quad 4 is replaced after just one year by a 2.4-liter twin-cam engine. Four-speed automatic transmission includes traction control. Daytime running lights debut, remote keyless entry is optional on LS and Z24 and base models get new interior fabrics and an Appearance Package.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

bad choice,09/16/2004
This car is crappy. Not only is it ugly,it's crap!!! i hate my cavalier, i have spent 19,600 something, repairing it so far, yes, nearly 20 grand of repairs for this 15 grand car. WHYdo u ask,well i don't know, BUT CAVALIERS ARE THE WORST CARS EVER!!!!!!!!!!
Cavaliers are BAD buys
Everything has gone wrong with this car in the past year. From the motor mounts to the rack in the rack and pinion steering to the struts.
Bad Chevy
Bought this car still under factory warrenty. Immediately the lifters started knocking, interior rattled, muffler began making an obnoxious rattle. Right after Chevy sent a notice that the head gaskets were defective the engine blew up. Next engine has had nothing but problems - emissions and drivability. 2 dealers and 1 independant shop cannot figure it out.
Good Transportation
Perfect choice for someone looking for a small car, basic transportation. Decent sound, great on gas, decent room for a small car. Reliable as all outdoors, I loved it.
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Features & Specs

22 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
130 hp @ 4000 rpm
22 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
130 hp @ 4000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier
Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan Overview

The Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan is offered in the following styles: 4dr Sedan, and LS 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedans are available in my area?

Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Cavalier Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $14,364.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 7 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $20,219.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 4 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $25,655.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 5 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $10,395.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Cavalier lease specials