Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

1997 Chevrolet Cavalier
List price range
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

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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

A freaking amazing car
Chevy4life,03/11/2010
I am a ASE certified Automotive Mechanic so please do not brush me off. This car is a simple yet elegant car that i push to the breaking point every day and its probably in my garage right now laughing at me saying is that all you've got? It needs a few improvements like power windows and about another 40 HP couldn't hurt rither it gets me where i need to go and i know from experience i will probably own this car for the next 10 years at least
'97 Cavalier Rally Sport
jessicab5808,04/15/2010
It gets you from point A to B, but it rusts easy and overall i HATE it
165,000 miles and still running strong
RICK C,09/25/2009
Bought the car for a 100 bucks 2 yrs ago. It sat in grass for 2 yrs before I bought it so the under-carriage and lower rocker panels are shot. I spent 700 in new brakes, tires, gas tank, wheel bearing, fuel filter and a tune-up and it has ran great since. The 2.2 engine did have a head-gasket leak (weeping coolant outside the block) I added a bottle of hapco head-gasket sealant into the coolant a yr and a 1/2 ago and that fixed it. Gas mileage average is 28mpg's. Overall I'm pleased with my purchase and hear that these engines can go well into the 200k range easy.
1997 cavilier z24
jon,10/29/2009
the car has held up nice other than the paint sracthes easy, i only have 68000 miles on it now and have bought it brand new. in all these years i used synthetic oil, installed a cold air intake. and tires and brakes and a altenator. so i feel real proud of this great purchase
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Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
120 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
22 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
120 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe 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 Coupe Overview

The Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe is offered in the following styles: RS 2dr Coupe, Z24 2dr Coupe, and 2dr Coupe.

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

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Which used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupes are available in my area?

Used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe 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 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe for sale near you.

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

Find a used Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,886.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $22,487.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,499.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 6 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $24,504.

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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