1995 to 2005: Chevrolet Cavalier
The most recent generation of the Chevrolet Cavalier was fully redesigned for the 1995 model year. Convertible, coupe and sedan body styles were offered. A 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine was standard, which is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. A three-speed automatic transmission was available as an option. A four-speed automatic transmission became available for 1996, as well as features like daytime running lights and keyless entry.
The Cavalier benefitted from updated interior and exterior styling for the 2000 model year. These revisions included design changes for the headlights, taillights, front and rear bumpers and wheels. A new center console provided more storage space and air conditioning became standard.
A new 2.2-liter EcoTec engine became available on the 2002 model, and a Z24 Cavalier sedan also debuted the same year. For 2003 the Cavalier received updated exterior styling and the Z24 model was no longer offered. New features on the 2003 Cavalier included a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a split-folding rear seat, satellite radio, side air bags and the OnStar telematics system.
The Chevrolet Cavalier was discontinued after the 2005 model year and replaced by the Chevrolet Cobalt. The Cavalier can be cross-shopped with a number of compact cars, including the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta. The Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Mazda3 might also be considered if you are looking at newer models.
Earlier Chevrolet Cavalier Models
The Chevrolet Cavalier was introduced for 1982 and was available in convertible, coupe, hatchback, sedan and wagon body styles. These models typically featured a four-cylinder engine, though the V6-powered Cavalier Z24 was introduced for 1986. Alloy wheels and a more firmly tuned suspension also came with the Z24 model.
Base Cavalier models were sparsely equipped, with features like air conditioning available as an option. The Cavalier received updated exterior styling for the 1991 model year, and anti-lock brakes became standard equipment in 1992. For 1994, the base engine saw a slight increase in power.