Used 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe Consumer Reviews

List Price Estimate
$1,348 - $3,013

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everywhere and back

mycars201, 04/13/2012
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

i was giving this car as a present from my parents in high school in 2006 it had 40k miles on it, and it was a good little first car, drove me everywhere i needed to go, im 6" ft so its not the biggest and i couldn't fit more then 3 people in my car. i went to college in Oregon and did very well in the rain, considering im from arizona and that's where the car had lived most of its life, i drove 3 hrs every weekend from the coast to portland back never let me down. the longest trip this car has taken was a 16 drive to san fran and was perfect, sold it 96k miles and only did routine maintenance, brakes oil change, never had to replace clutch, did have to replace soarks at 90k

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Solid work car, with plenty of quirks.

hpcrowley, 12/25/2014
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Bought this car from a buy here-pay here lot with $160k miles for a ridiculous price. Been reliable so far, but has SOOO many little problems. When I first bought it, the instrument cluster would go haywire at at random times, which was later attributed to moisture in the electronics. The climate control has an annoying click on any setting but recirculate, and the knobs broke to boot. the shifter has a disconcerting grind in it going into fourth gear. The interior is virtually destroyed, and the body isn't much better. okay, so now for the positives: it's been unwaveringly reliable for the past 6 months! The only expense I've had has been tires. All in all, a solid driver.

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Push it Off a Cliff

Ian, 08/17/2015
2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
8 of 10 people found this review helpful

This is a long review. What I mention can be very important to anyone who is serious about buying this car. Skip to the end if you want my recommendations. In 2010, I bought a base model 2dr Cavalier with a manual transmission for around $4500 with around 104k miles on it. I look back now and I can tell you that it was NOT worth that, even if KBB said so. In 2016 I sold this car to my friend for about $550. In the 6 years I owned it I had put around 60k miles on it and I was so glad to get rid of it. Good things: it's a mode of fairly reliable transportation, heating and A/C still work, road noise isn't too terrible. Bad things during the time I owned it: rocker panels were rusting badly behind the doors, intermittent wiper mode didn't work properly (wipers got stuck mid-cycle), suspension, front seats, back seats (anyone taller than 5' 9" should NOT sit in the back), seat belt harnesses are uncomfortable in front seats, trunk lid latch (occasionally when going to use the key to unlock the trunk, the key wouldn't be able to open it because the socket for the latch would twist when turning the key and would not allow the latch to release). Bad things I had had fixed when I owned it: air vent control (Under the right conditions, if you force the air vent control knob, it will bend the cable that it uses to switch between airflow directions. After this, it is stuck in one airflow direction and cannot be changed. The dash has to be removed and a new cable has to be installed.), timing chain (This one worried me. It has been reported in forums that, after 100k miles, the timing chain starts to not get enough oil and the chain breaks causing engine damage. I'd like to say I had my chain and other components replaced at around 128k miles.) Driving this car was dreadful. The suspension was soft and it cornered like a barge. The brakes were there and they got the job done. Acceleration is what you can expect from 2.2L 4cyl. Steering was quite floppy. There was a long throw in gear changes but it shifted smoothly nonetheless. Looking at this car is not much better. I realized later that what I should have had was a hatchback or at least a 4dr vehicle. This car is NOT practical. Yes, you could get yourself a 4dr Cavalier but they look even worse than the 2dr versions. Recommendations: 1. Use it for a winter beater. 2. If you travel less than 5 miles to work every day and you don't plan on ever driving more than that in one trip, you should be fine. 3. DON'T BUY THIS CAR! If you're looking for a compact Chevy that isn't built in Korea, look into a 4dr Cobalt. They're more practical than the 2dr, they look way better than a 4dr Cavalier, and they aren't terribly expensive. Do your research and pick a car that fits you. I clearly made the wrong choice.

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coolest car ever

cavi lover, 12/03/2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Traded 03 cavi. For a another 03 cavi cause I wanted the sport pkg and manual tran. Car handles great. Fun driving it around with Windows down moonroof open and radio cranked up. I can go 3 to 4 weeks on a single tank of gas. I took it on a 14 hr road trip to Texas this past summer and that was fun. Has been reliable since only a few minor fixer uppers. Cluster wouldn't work when it got over 90 degrees and the car was sitting out in sun. Easy fix I just replaced it. And one of my wires on abs broke off front tire. That's it.

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The Cavalier That Could

roo93, 11/02/2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I bought my cavalier on 4/28/10 w/ 85,xxx miles on it. Was prior salvage. I bought it for $4k. Initially, I was very concerned it would break down or something, or if it was just going to die on my way back home. But I fell in love with this car. Not one problem out of it, and I drove it till it had 100,000miles on it. Had two things go bad: A ratchet thing on my muffler that had fallen off from going down my gf's bumpy driveway($25) & tires. Now, it was in a wreck 4 days ago from me hitting a deer. Just want to say, the seatbelt and airbags saved my life. It's a very well built car. And I went to the salvage yard to look at my car, as soon as I put the key in, it started right up. Reliable

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So Many Problems

allexwags, 09/03/2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have an 03 cavi with 130,000 miles. There are so many things wrong with it I'm not sure where to start.. I bought it used a year ago. The speedometer doesn't function at all, the whole dashboard doesn't function when it is hot outside. It burns through a quart of oil every week or so. Smokes out the muffler when I press on the gas after stopping, which is now held on to my car via tape. Cracked belt. Air only works when it wants to. I hate this car. There are so many things wrong with it & I can't even save up money to buy a new one because it needs so much maintenance.

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Great car for the money

Rae, 12/21/2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I bought this car in 2002 and have about 97,000 miles on it. I just had to replace the fuel pump ($600), replaced the brake pads, and have put new tires on the car. Other than that, regular oil changes and the car drives wonderfully. It may not be the fanciest car around, but for someone on a budget, it is perfect.

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Love My Yellow Cav

kimmy03cav, 07/01/2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my little Cavalier. It has gotten me from A to B everyday since day one in 2003 when I drove it off the lot. When I first brought her home, I had numerous little problems, bad wiring harnesses that blew my blinkers out weekly, rusty roters that caused a pulsation, blew my speakers too but, In 8 years the only major problem was a fuel pump after owning it for 7 years and 110k. It's peppy for a 4 cly. 2.2 automatic. Best car ever! I lover it and I don't want to sell her but I need room for little ones.

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okay car

yaris4, 08/13/2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This car is average at best. bought brand new in 2003 has 180K on odometer. Automatic Z24 in canada model. Car drives well, with smooth automatic transmission. Gas mileage is average. Have had to replace driver side auto window motor 3 times. Other than that regular maintenance.

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Never buy governmert motors

danddad33, 08/29/2012
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

bought the can new with 7 miles on it. around 350 miles the heater switch went on it. Next one happen around two years after owning the car. wife called and told me car will not stay running. I ran the car about a mile to the house, with it stalling about 100 times. this is 36,000 the fuel pump went. well the good news was that the car was too new for the bolts to rust. I changed it. around 54,000 miles the gauges on the dash went hay-wire. Stepper motor bad, easy fix with the dash pulled apart. Now that the car is 12 years old and 97,000 miles the motor went. I have a ford ranger close to 200,000 miles only thing went was the timing belt. I love my ford!!! NO MORE CHEVY!!!!!

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