Used 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier Review

Edmunds expert review

Most cars are re-engineered ever four or five years; the Cavalier hasn't been touched for almost a decade. We'll do the math for you: Buy something modern and leave this relic to the rental fleets.

What's new for 2001

Indigo Blue is added to the exterior palette. A CD player is made standard on the LS Sedan and Z24 Coupe. The Z24 Convertible has vanished from the lineup.

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. The Cavalier makes for solid 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. This year, Cavalier is offered in Base Coupe and Sedan, LS Sedan and Z24 Coupe. The Z24 Convertible has been scratched for 2001.Inside, Cavalier is reasonably comfortable and well laid-out. An ergonomically friendly instrument panel boasts clear gauges, digital odometer and tripmeter, and stereo controls located above the climate controls for easier access. The center-console shift indicator is illuminated, and air conditioning is standard on all Cavaliers. Uplevel stereos include a six-speaker Premium Amplified Audio System with rear-woofer speakers. GM's venerable 2.2-liter four-cylinder (whose droning exhaust note you are probably familiar with) is standard in the Cavalier. Equipped with this powerplant, Cavalier lags behind its primary domestic competition in power and acceleration. Optional in the LS Sedan is a 2.4-liter twin-cam engine hooked to a four-speed automatic transmission, a setup 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. Manually shifted Z24 Coupes are quick from rest to 60 mph. Antilock brakes are standard equipment and provide smooth operation and confident response. A rear defogger is standard. Though the Cavalier exhibits no glaring deficiencies in terms of driving characteristics, the overly compliant suspension does allow for a fair amount of body roll and wallow through corners, and steering feedback could be improved. As far as braking is concerned, the standard ABS is a nice feature, but the system is relatively unrefined in application.With the 2.4-liter twin-cam engine, the Cavalier LS Sedan is a virile alternative to some more lethargic economy sedans, and all trim levels pack in a decent amount of standard equipment. But the Cavalier is aging quickly, and there are no plans to replace this model until 2003 at the earliest. Still, it represents good value. 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.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.