Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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1997 Chevrolet Cavalier
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1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

Pros

  • Good looks, good value, standard anti-lock brakes, optional traction control

Cons

  • Buzzy standard 2.2-liter engine, cheap interior materials
Chevrolet Cavalier years
1997

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

For 15 years, 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.

The second-generation Cavalier debuted in 1995, and not a moment too soon. A very good car, this recently designed Cavalier, 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.

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 LS sedan and convertible is a 2.4-liter twin-cam engine hooked to a four-speed automatic transmission that features traction control (a five-speed manual gearbox is a credit option on the LS convertible). 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. Manually shifted Z24s are as quick as the Neon Sport Coupe from rest to 60 mph.

Changes to this successful formula are minimal for 1997. A new trim level, dubbed Rally Sport, is available in coupe format. The RS includes Z24 bodyside moldings and spoiler with body-color fascias, special badging, and larger tires. According to press materials, a three-dimensional decal is slapped onto the rear quarter panels of the RS. Hmmm...who thought this was a good idea, Beavis?

Additional changes include new exterior paint colors, a new light gray interior color, and revised wheel covers on the base coupe. Coupes also receive safety belt guide loops. All Cavaliers get a new easy-open gas cap and side-impact protection that meets new government regulations. Order the Exterior Appearance Package on a base model, and get a body-color grille insert.

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

1997 Highlights

The Rally Sport (RS) trim is available for 1997 on the coupe and slotted between base and Z24 editions of the Cavalier. RS trim nets buyers the rear spoiler from the Z24, 15-inch tires, AM/FM stereo, tachometer, interior and exterior trim upgrades and a 3D rear-quarter panel decal. Base coupes have new wheel covers and safety belt guide loops. All 1997 Cavaliers meet federal side-impact standards for the first time. One new interior color and three new exterior colors freshen the lineup.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Almost 10 Years Old and Heads Still Turn
Debbie Moreno,07/03/2006
I've had this car for almost 10 years and it still runs great and looks great! People always ask me.."What kind of car is that","Who makes it","That's a nice looking car",etc.I have nothing but great things to say about it and other people do as well. Passengers can't believe how quick it goes from 0 to 40,50,60mph. Great on gas! So much fun to drive! Put the top down and everyone is checking it out! Also,I've had the car for almost 10 years. I got in a very bad accident with it(another driver's fault,nothing to do with the car) and I truly believe its safety features saved my life. Air bags worked right on contact,seat belt locked me in place,etc. Not a fender bender! Best purchase I ever made!
What a fun car!
jat20,01/16/2003
I have had this car since 1997. The only complaint that I can say is the roof leaked in the begenning. After getting it to the dealership numerous times, the problem was finally solved.
Great little Car
TooBright,06/13/2003
I bought my cavalier used and with high mileage. I still love it, and can't think of selling it.
cavelier convertible tops in gas milage
fyarbrough,03/13/2002
My Chevrolet Cavelier is tops in gas milage and would be an excellent car for a young person or old. However, I think GM needs to improve on the sturdiness of the vehicle.
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Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
120 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 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
    Poor

More about the 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier
Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Overview

The Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier is offered in the following submodels: Cavalier Sedan, Cavalier Coupe, Cavalier Convertible. Available styles include LS 2dr Convertible, LS 4dr Sedan, 4dr Sedan, 2dr Coupe, RS 2dr Coupe, and Z24 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier?

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 1997 Chevrolet Cavaliers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used 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 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Can't find a used 1997 Chevrolet Cavaliers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,763.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,112.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $16,708.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $17,392.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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