i couldnt have asked for a better first car, the cavelier gets a crappy rap but its really a decent, reliable car. mine has just gotten over the 100,000 mile mark and it hasent given me any problems. just like any car if you treat it right and take good care of it youll get the maximum preformance. so all you people who talk down on the cavelier, maybe its not the car at all maybe its just the way you run it..
I would like to warn owners of a problem with the hydraulic clutch in the 2005 Chevy Cavalier. The line from master cylinder to slave cylinder may be rubbing on the farm and is wearing through and one day you will step on the pedal and it will go right to the floor and stick there, leaving the engine engaged to the transmission. I talked with General Motors and they more or less just laughed at me. Too bad they say you are off warranty.. only in time not mileage (63, 000 KM). Hopefully no inexperienced driver has this happen to them or there could well be a serious accident even leading to death. GM doesn't want to hear about it.
(not a manual, BTW) I've had my 2005 Cavalier for almost 10 years and 130k miles now. I bought it used from the dealer with 30k miles in 2006, and it's been extremely reliable and dependable ever since. Besides normal obligatory replacement parts like tires and brake pads, the only things I've had to fix/replace were the instrument cluster gauges at 110k miles, and the fuel pump at 125k or so. My struts also are very weak now at over 130k miles and need replacing. Long story short, this car shouldn't give you any issues well over 100k miles, even if you have been bad at oil change maintenance, etc. The engine will be the last of your issues with this car, which is the most important note.
Bought this due to divorce and great choice. Gas mileage is terrific especially when gas was over $3/gal, so little spent on that. Normal wear. Just oil changes and new tires and brake pads in year 5. Easy to park in those tight places. No one wants to steal it cuz its plain-I like that!
I have owned my Cavalier for about one year now. The only maitenance issue I have had is a broken clutch master cylinder. Other than that this car has been great. Also, it averages about 30 mpg (and that's mostly city driving). The 2.2L Ecotec coupled with the 5-Speed transmission makes driving this car a blast!