2002 Cavalier New Car Test Drive
Chevrolet Cavalier is the most popular car built by General Motors, and one of the 10 most popular cars sold in the United States. But more significantly, for nearly 20 years Cavalier has been one of the most popular choices among first-time new-car buyers. Like the girl (or boy) next door, it's been a lot of people's first sweetheart.
The reasons for this persistent success are clear. There's the sheer number of Chevrolet dealers, of course, backed by the production and marketing momentum of General Motors. Beyond that, however, Cavalier has always been a simple and economical car with baby-Camaro kind of flair. It meets all the practical definitions of 'basic transportation,' but looks like much more.
A high level of standard equipment is an important part of the Cavalier formula. That modest base price listed above includes color-keyed bumper covers, air conditioning, power steering, anti-lock brakes, and a theft-deterrent system. You don't have to be a first-time new-car buyer to appreciate value like that.
The base-level Cavalier is offered in two body styles, a fastback coupe ($13,160) and a four-door sedan ($13,260). The more plush LS comes with the sedan body only, for $14,855; while the sportier Z24 model is available only as a coupe, for $16,385. (The convertible is no longer offered.)
Base and LS models are powered by a 2.2-liter, ohv inline-4 that produces 115 horsepower. A more powerful 2.4-liter twin-cam four is standard on the Z24 models and optional on the LS. Base and Z24 models come with a German-built Getrag five-speed manual transmission, and offer an electronically controlled four-speed automatic as an option. For 2001, all automatic Cavaliers have traction control, a premium feature in this class. Automatic transmission and traction control are standard on LS.
Additionally, LS pampers drivers and passengers with cruise control, an AM/FM four-speaker stereo with compact disc player, tachometer, trip computer, variable intermittent wipers, remote trunk release, tilt steering column, and 15-inch wheels.
Z24 models come with a sports suspension, 16-inch cast aluminum wheels; remote keyless entry; power windows, mirrors and door locks; fog lamps and other generally cool stuff.