2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Low price, torquey four-cylinder engine, optional satellite radio and OnStar.
  • Ancient design inside and out, cheap interior materials, poor build quality, low resale value, poor side-impact and front-offset crash test results.
List Price Estimate
$1,184 - $2,646

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Despite the new look, there's no hiding the fact that this car was engineered more than a decade ago, leaving it hopelessly outclassed by nearly every other car on the market.

2003 Highlights

The Cavalier gets a refresh this year that adds new front and rear fascias, revised headlights and taillights, redesigned ground effects, body-colored mirrors and door handles and a new hood. LS Sport models also get integrated foglights and new rocker moldings. The 2.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder is now the only engine offered, as the Z24 model has been dropped from the lineup. Base model Cavs no longer come with standard ABS brakes, but it remains an available option. Inside, the Cavalier now features a center rear three-point seatbelt, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, a rear 60/40-split bench seat, new child-seat anchors and optional side airbags. Finally, you can get XM Satellite Radio on all cars, and LS and LS Sport trims are available with the OnStar communications system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Excellent car
ravens1986,09/05/2013
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.
Really good Cavalier
Darby J. Pruitt,08/03/2009
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.
everywhere and back
mycars201,04/13/2012
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
What a car
puck,06/07/2006
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.

Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2003 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
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    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
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier

Used 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Overview

The Used 2003 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), and LS Sport 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier LS is priced between $1,988 and$1,988 with odometer readings between 71217 and71217 miles.

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 2003 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) 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2003 Cavaliers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $1,988 and mileage as low as 71217 miles. 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 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Can't find a used 2003 Chevrolet Cavaliers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $18,222.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,269.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Cavalier for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $10,534.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 5 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,474.

Should I lease or buy a 2003 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