And GM to halt Cavalier production

On the same day VW announces the end of the line for the original Beetle, GM announces the demise of the much maligned Cavalier.

Not sure whether 2005 is the last year of Cavalier production or the first year for the replacement, but the demographics of the Cavalier were becoming unfavorable for a price-point considered entry level by most automakers. Already in production for 22 years in various configurations including the departed wagon and convertible models, GM sold millions of them and in every Cavalier vs Cavalier drag race, a Cavalier won.

My favorite Cavalier of all time (is that like the best K-Car, ever?) was the '87 Z-24 V6 with 5-speed manual transmission. Preceding the later bespoilered and bestickered versions, this car was quite the sleeper. You could win a lot of root beer racing base model automatic transmission equipped Camaros, Mustangs, Celicas and their ilk.

I sold mine for $200 in 1997 with a mere 146,000 + original miles on the clock. Ten years of northern Illinois winters took their toll on the body, but the interior was mint and the motor and trans were still quite race ready.

I suppose a heavily rebated and de-contented Malibu will have to suffice for the former Cavalier buyers who probably won’t be so interested in the replacement which will most likely be some sort of Ford Focus clone.

Any other Dopers lamenting (or cheering) the Cavalier’s demise?

Still remember the first one I rode in - a rental car, when I was five, visiting Florida.

Never really felt either way about them, but I’ve always liked researching the histories of some the longer-standing models of American cars, and Cavalier is one of 'em. [snickers] That wagon, though…

I’ll miss it. And I’ll miss the buggy. But the day Ford discontinues the Taurus, I’ll lament like no-one has ever lamented before!


My first nice car was an '89 Cavalier Z24, black, with silver ground effects and a digital dashboard and a moon roof. Scoff if you will, but I beat an overconfident '87 Mustang and a sneering Dodge Somethingorother in drag races in high school and I loved my little car. Its name was Kitt because of the digital dashboard. I am going to buy another someday.

Ah, the poor, much-maligned Cavalier! My biggest problem with the car…the original 4-cylinder engine that this heap came equipped with was a noisey,vibration-prone, junky little POS
Instead, GM went cheap-they threw a 20 year old 4 cylinder engine into it (the engine was 1/2 of a V-8)iece of crap! If GM had only invested in a modern, balanced 4 (like the new 2.2 liter ecotek engine), the Cavalier would have been a real decnt small car!
Too bad…the car could have been a rival to the Honda civic, if only GM didn’t nickel and dime it!

I, too, have that car, less the digital dash. It is by far my favorite car of any I have owned. I bought it for $1700 about 2 years ago, put another $1000 or so into it immediately (transmission, alternator, other engine work), but have had no real problems with it since. There are 128K miles on it, the sunroof leaks when it rains, but the body still looks sharp, and the interior is still OK. It won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s still a great looking car for being nearly 15 yrs old. It’s just as sporty looking as ever. I hope to get another 3-4 years out of it, and then move into a similarly painted Monte Carlo. I will miss the Cavalier when they cease production. From my experience with it, and from what I’ve heard from others, Chevy really got it right with the Cavalier. Affordable, durable, reliable, and good looking.

I dunno a thing about the Cav. I do understand that Cavlier sales were used to lower GM’s CAFE, allowing the sale of more high-profit Suburbans and whatnot.

Therefore, I recon, you would get a lot of car for the money from a motivated seller.

My first car was my father’s 1990 Cavalier RS sedan. He got it used in 1992, and then I inherited it when I started driving in 1995. I thought it was a pretty good car when it worked. Yeah, it had no power windows, no power locks, no interior trunk release, and was pretty much the basis model with an air conditioner, but I loved that light blue little car. I finally traded it in 2001 to get a 1998 Saturn SL-2. I had considered getting a 1999 Cavalier, but I received an omen on the test drive (the car ran out of gas).

As much as I loved that little Cavalier, it had major problems. Until I got the dents knocked out and the car repainted, it took two people to open the hood. My dad got into two fender-benders and one serious but not severe accident in the two years he drove it. After he stopped driving, it pretty much sat unused in the driveway for two years. For sentimental reasons, I kept shelling out the money for repairs instead of considering getting a new car.

I always had engine problems with that Cavalier. Some sort of organism had grown inside the engine causing stalls when I started driving it. The fuel injection system was messed up, and the fuel control module in the computer was dead. After that was fixed, it worked fine for a couple years. Then I started getting alternator problems. After fixing that and two years later, a couple gaskets and the radiator ruptured. After fixing that and another year later, the air conditioner’s compressor froze.

When I traded in that car, the dealership gave me $500 for a car that had no air conditioning, a leaking radiator, a leaking water pump, a leaking trunk, and a shorted-out radio. I figure that I’d be more than halfway paid off on my Saturn if I hadn’t put that money into the Cavalier. Still, I miss that little car.

My very first (and now that I think about it ONLY) “brand new with less than 20 miles on the clock” car was a 1985 Cav. It did 60,000+ with no problems. Here’s an interesting (and possibly true) factoid, the Cavalier was the only GM model to have the same name under Chevrolet (US), Vauxhall (UK) and Opel (DE).

Casey1505 (are you going to Pocono tomorrow? I’ll be there), I think the leaky sunroof is a widespread problem. Mine did too - in fact, it’d been sitting for a while when I bought it, and the backseat was all musty-smelling from being dripped on. But there’s a kit put out specifically to remount the Cavalier sunroof so it won’t leak anymore. I think it was put out by the manufacturer themselves. Of course, my father didn’t want to shell out for it, so instead he just caulked it shut. :rolleyes: When I get my Kitt Mark II, I’m getting the sunroof kit so I can actually USE the dang thing. Thanks dad.

Aww. I have a '94 Cavalier, and my roomie has a '97. I love my car. It’s very zippy, and I got it for a pretty good deal. (It had 88K miles on it, and I got it for $1000.) I’ve driven it from SC to MD 4 times, and never had one problem. It’s a good little car.

My roomie, on the other hand, has had a zillion problems with his car just since I’ve known him. (About 6 months.) He is looking to buy a new car once he is at his new job for a while.

One of my friends has a 99 Sunfire (same thing as far as most are concerned) and while overall not a bad car, there are a few things about it that would disqualify it as a potential car for me:

The windshield glass distorts heavily toward the bottom… I feel like I’m wearing half a pair of glasses when inside.

The seatback hinges are exposed… I can just imagine the pinches resulting from that.

The myraid of rattling, junky noises it makes. A 4 year old car shouldn’t sound like a 1963 Microbus.

Lastly, it doesn’t have a good mileage rating for its size.
It will be missed as setting the standard for a crappy small car. Y’know… if a company can beat the Cavalier, at least their in the playing field. If not, it’s off to the Yugo/Daihatsu graveyard.

Have you seen GM’s new print ad campaign? It basically says, “We’ve made some really crappy cars over the years, and we’re sorry.” :smiley:

If you ask me the Holden built car that’s scheduled to be the new GTO looks a heck of a lot like a Cavalier. There’s also the much talked about, but who knows if it’ll ever get built, even though it’s a hot looking car that’d sell by the millions if they ever built it, Pontiac Solstice, which could fill the niche that the Cavalier’s leaving vacant.

My only new car was a 1990 Caalier, it was white, with a blue interior. In the summertime, even with the windows cracked slightly, you couldn’t grab the steering wheel after the car had been sitting in the sun for any length of time. It was a pretty good little car as I recall.

I will surely miss them.

I bought a brand new one in 93. Back then this one didn’t have AC let alone a radio but hey I needed a car quick and I got one.

My latest one is a 98 4 door LS with power everything, CD player AC, cruise and RR Defogger.

Out of all the Chevy cars that I have had, the Cavalier was he most dependable. I had a NEW 95 Camaro and less then 2 months after purchase it needed a fuel pump. 3 years later it needed a transmission.

Guess I will have to go buy a new Cavalier the final year that are for sale.

I had a 2000, and I miss the hell out of it. I had to give it up when I left the country, because importing it to the US would have been more of a hassle than it was worth.

Holy mother of god. My husband is going to laugh and whoop when I tell him.

He got a fully-loaded Cavalier after college. Six years later, he sold it for $400. It was junk. He’d sunk money for god know how many repairs in it over the years.

His next car (after that awful experience) was a Honda. He sold it six years later for half of what he paid new.

My grandparents had a fully loaded (except air conditioning) white 2 door 1984 Cavalier that they sold to my parents in 1985. We had it until 1989. I don’t remember much about it, other than it overheated a few times, and it the front left side was dented pretty badly. I do remember that it did sound kind of like a garbage disposal when it started, too.

The first new car I ever owned was a 96 cavalier. I treated that car like shit and it kept running and even got me a decent trade in price. Count me among those who are sad about this.