2002 Chevy Cavalier Review

Used Cavalier for sale
List Price Estimate:$751 - $1,718
See All Cars For Sale
Chevrolet Cavalier model years
cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier appraisal values can range from $350 - $1,308.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Affordably priced, new EcoTec four-cylinder engine, Z24 is a stylish and speedy low-buck sport coupe.
  • You get what you pay for in terms of feature content, haphazard build quality, dreadfully uncomfortable seats.

Cavalier is entering its eighth year of production in its current guise. That means it was engineered a decade ago. We'll do the math for you: Buy something modern and leave this relic to the rental fleets unless the ultra-low sale price is too good to resist.

Vehicle overview

For two decades, the Cavalier has been a staple sales leader for Chevy dealers. Understandably so, since the Cavalier offers reasonable value and is priced low enough to compete favorably in the compact market, often undercutting smaller models from other manufacturers.

This year, the Cavalier lineup includes three new members, the LS Sport coupe, the LS Sport sedan and the Z24 sedan, for a total of eight Cavalier models. The LS Sport features the all-new, all-aluminum 2.2-liter EcoTec inline four-cylinder engine. Rated at 140 horsepower, Chevrolet claims that this powerplant not only gets great mileage (24 city/32 highway), but does so with much less noise and vibration than typical four-cylinder motors. In addition to the new engine, the LS Sport also gets a sport-tuned suspension, a full ground effects package, aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, body-colored mirrors and door handles, and a leather-wrapped transmission lever.

To boost appeal, Chevrolet has added standard content to the volume Base and LS models. They now come standard with tilt steering, variable wipers, a tachometer, body side moldings, floormats, a cargo net, an electric remote trunk release, visor vanity mirrors, mud guards and a CD radio. A Sport appearance package that includes many of the same goodies found on the LS Sport model is also available.

GM's standard 2.2-liter 115-horsepower four-cylinder comes standard on Base and LS Cavaliers along with a five-speed manual transmission (a four-speed automatic is optional). Z24 coupes and sedans get a 2.4-liter twin-cam engine rated at a healthy 150 horsepower. This engine makes the Cavalier move with authority, turning this normally sedate budget car into a real street-sleeper.

Standard antilock brakes provide confident stopping power and dual airbags protect both the driver and passenger in the event of an accident. 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 its application.

Inside, the Cavalier is well laid-out. An ergonomically friendly instrument panel boasts clear gauges, digital odometer and trip meter, and stereo controls located above the climate controls for easier access. Air conditioning is standard on all Cavaliers and uplevel stereos include a six-speaker Premium Amplified Audio System that's now standard on Z24 coupes and sedans. Seat comfort, however, leaves plenty to be desired, especially in the rear quarters.

Although all the new equipment does make the Cavalier a good value in the segment, there's no denying that it's in dire need of a redesign. If you can live with the dated styling and mediocre interior materials, the Cavalier might be worth considering. But if it was our money, we would put it toward one of the Cavalier's numerous competitors that also offer good value, but in decidedly more modern packages.

2002 Highlights

New LS Sport trim level for coupes and sedans that features an all-new 2.2-liter EcoTec engine. A Z24 sedan joins the Z24 coupe at the top end of the lineup, while both the LS and base model Cavalier gain additional standard equipment and an optional Sport appearance package. Both Z24 models get an upgraded stereo and an optional Sport appearance package will be available later in the year. Three new colors have also been added along with an upgraded cloth interior.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.63 out of 5 stars
Not a bad car at all, at least for me
p DuB,01/15/2007
2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I bought my 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier standard black coupe in November 2006. I like this car because it hasn't given me any problems yet. I hear very good and bad things about this car all the time, I don't really know who to believe. But, all I can say is that I own the standard 2002 coupe model with about 58,000 miles on it and it runs great. I've had this car for about 2 months now and haven't had any problems yet, but from what I have been hearing and reading about this car, I'm ready for the worst that can happen with it. I haven't changed the oil or anything on it yet, but I will very soon. Overall, it's very reliable for a nice every day car for driving for fun, to work, or to school.
4.75 out of 5 stars
This Car Will Not Die
4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car 14 months ago for 1500 dollars. It had 273,000 km on it and the only major thing that had been replaced by that point was the water pump (I know cuz it was my sisters). It now has 312,000 km on it and still running like a charm. I am now replacing the fuel pump because it just went but for a car with 312,000 I can't complain. I love this car to death and I will drive it until it dies. In the last 14 months I have spent maybe 300 dollars on it for minor repairs (sensors etc.)
5 out of 5 stars
Best car i have owned..it just keeps going and ...
LS Sport 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car new off the dealer lot. I currently have over 235K miles and still getting 24MPG city driving. It uses about 1/2 qtr every 4k-5k miles. The clutch needed replacing at around 75K due to a failure on the springs, but the replacement GM clutch is still going in the car but is showing signs of needing to be replaced again after 160k miles. The original alternator gave out at 220K miles and i was still running the original serpentine belt. Other than these repairs and the usual repairs (brakes, rotors, struts, springs,filters, plugs, ect) the car is still on its original factory parts including ball joints, tie rods, CV joints, ect. But after 14 years the car is showing its age from michigan winters and such, but is still running strong. Goes to show you if you take car of the car and do the repairs/maintanence...it will run for a long long time.
4.25 out of 5 stars
318,000 with 2 repairs
4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
Finally totalled on NJTPK in multi-vehicle pile-up with 318,000+ miles, only 2 real repairs ever = water pump, alternator. Other = 1 wheel bearing & exhaust. Change oil regularly & do very little else... looking for another one :)


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger2 / 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
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier

Used 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Overview

The Used 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier is offered in the following submodels: Cavalier Sedan, Cavalier Coupe. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LS 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LS Sport 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LS 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), LS Sport 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), Z24 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and Z24 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Chevrolet Cavalier models are available with a 2.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 115 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 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 2002 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) 2002 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Can't find a used 2002 Chevrolet Cavaliers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 3 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $19,200.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $12,868.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $10,682.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $12,078.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 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