Bought it used from and old couple with only 20,000 miles. Thought what a great deal. Had to got to the dealership 3 times for recalls that take 3-5 hrs at a time. Got everything standard nothing special;. Stereo quits, cds get stuck. The seals on the doors and windows like to come off. I found out the car I paid $15,000 for a year later was only worth $2,600, now even less. Can we fix the funny sounds when you can barely hear the radio over the wind while on the freeway. I love my car but by now all the bugs should've been worked out.
I bought my cavy when it had around 135,000 miles on it. It's just now gotten to 218,000 after five years of owning it, and it's been exceptionally reliable. The only part to go bad on it was the fuel pump, I have not had to buy any other parts for it. Other than the standard oil change and brake service, new tires, and normal maintenance, I haven't had to put any money in to it. And I used to abuse the crap out of it when I was younger. Well worth the investment. I notice a lot of people posting about having all sorts of problems with theirs, but it's the absolute opposite for me. It's not the sportiest car, but it is reliable.
I bought my car in 2004 with 24k miles for about $8500. When purchased, my car would get 30-32 miles per gallon highway and 28-30 mpg town. I have had my car for 7 years and now have 165k miles racked up. On average, I get 29.5-31 mpg highway and 28 mpg town.
Over the years I have replaced a few things:
Ignition switch x3 (warranty)
Fuel pump x1 (around 90k miles)
Brakes x2 (one set front and back with rotors- have lifetime warranty on parts)
Tires (set of 4) x2
Fan motor (very inexpensive through private mechanic) and belt x1
0verall, very few inexpensive mechanic bills. I am starting to burn oil, but the car exhaust does not stink.
This 03 Cavalier is the 2nd Cavalier I have owned, and besides the few problems that I have had this car has seen me though thick and thin. Now that I have hit 105,000 miles I'm looking forward to it's first real tuneup. It diffenetly has the get up go I need to fly past any import I come across. The comfort is pretty good seeing I managed to stay setted for 10 hours on two 780 mile trips, and I think the automatic transmissons are as good as the manuels. The only problems I've had are the fuel pump, e- vac canister, and catalytic converter, (the converter was my fault for running hard everyday). And after 1 wreak with a BMW (BMW's fault) the Cavalier is still running like she means it.