I bought this car in 2007 with about 17k miles on it for $7000. I have had very little problems with it since then. Check engine light came on maybe at about 40k miles and it was a small $100 fix. Instrument cluster did screw up which is pretty common for those cars. Got that fixed online for $50. My air door actuator went bad around 60k miles but that was a cheap $25 part. Biggest fix was replacing the rear brakes because some spring broke about a year ago at roughly 100k miles. That repair was about $700 but I think I was screwed over by the repair shop. Shouldn't have cost that much. Other than that I haven't really had any other problems with the car. I only do oil changes about every 6000k miles or so and the car always runs great. I still have it today and it's still running great at 145k miles. I plan on keeping this car until it finally craps out. Overall had this car 9 years, paid 7k for it, and have had far less problems than any person I know with their car. Great Buy!!!
Had this car for 3 years. Bought at 117k. Not a very reliable vehicle. Timing chain needed replacing at 118k, water pump went bad at 140k, fuel pump went bad at 160k and left me stranded, fuel pressure regulator went bad at 161k, now the starter is bad at 165k. All of these are common Ecotec problems. There are also drivetrain issues, which are also common. The drivetrain rattles when starting the car up. I have put into this car exactly what I bought it for. It's not worth it. If you want to get a Cavalier, an earlier year with a different engine would suffice. The only good thing about owning this car is that, despite everything going bad, the engine itself refuses to give up. I would only suggest buying this car if you know how to fix it yourself.
Second owner of car. Bought in 2011 with 60k miles. I now have 167k. All guages were broke(VERY common and they never recalled it). Don't spend the $500 for the new assembly it will just break again. Buy individual motors on Amazon ($25 for 6) and sodder them on, and set guages. They've been working perfectly since. Due to those being broken I had to replace the fuel pump. Normal wear and tear: tires, battery, brakes. Regular oil changes. The drivers seat has broken. No longer stays up. Easy junkyard fix. The dashboard cracks in numerous spots. Another common problem with the Cavaliers though. In the past year I've put over 8,000 miles on it traveling all over the US with my boyfriend. My biggest problem: getting rear ended while turning, 1000 miles from home. Totalled it out. Airbags DID NOT deploy.