1999 Chevrolet Cavalier Review

Pros & Cons

  • Affordably priced and roomy enough for a family of four. Z24 is a stylish, speedy, low-buck sport coupe.
  • You get what you pay for in terms of comfort and convenience.
List Price Estimate
$852 - $1,993

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

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.

1999 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Lots of problems
bikrchick,10/03/2003
rebuilt transmission, steering gear, heater core, 3 instrument clusters, 2 alternators, bad brakes, bad spark plug wires, bad strut mounts, mystery problem with voltage idiot light and digital odometer display
This Car is awful!
CavalierHater,06/02/2004
I've had this cavalier for 2 years now and I just cant get it out of the shop. Besides it being ugly and small, the car has had bad brakes, bad spark plugs put in, very bad gas milage, engine mount problems, alignment problems, bad computer system, oil leaks, cracked air seals, not to mentino all the other problems i've fixed. DONT EVER BUYY A CAVALIER, EVER!!
224,000 miles and just getting started
snm1220,12/19/2009
I acquired this car from my son after turning my 4 door car over to my children for their family use. I immediately noticed the 35 mpg plus highway gas mileage with the 4 speed automatic transmission. The air is ice cold in the summer & very warm in the winter. Visibility, ride & handling is very good. This car runs all day at highway speed, uses no oil or has any fluid leaks. Replacement parts are inexpensive. This is truly the most reliable, least cost per mile vehicle i've ever owned. At 300,000 miles I may change the transmission fluid for the first time. I can't imagine any foreign vehicle delivering this value.
Freakin sweet
TyBong,11/23/2010
Bought this car off of a friend for 500 bones as a beater car (I hate car loans! never again!) to get to work and back. Got the car at 230,000 miles, now have 245,000 and still runs like a champ! Starts funny, struts are messed up, but still runs great like the first day we signed the title over. I've owned a 2002 camry and got less value off of that than my little cavy. That Toyota was junk, go GM!

Features & Specs

See all Used 1999 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
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • 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 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier

Used 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier Overview

The Used 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier is offered in the following submodels: Cavalier Sedan, Cavalier Coupe, Cavalier Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Coupe, Z24 2dr Convertible, Z24 2dr Coupe, 4dr Sedan, RS 2dr Coupe, and LS 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier?

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Which used 1999 Chevrolet Cavaliers are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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