2003 Cavalier New Car Test Drive
Chevrolet Cavalier offers improved handling and a smoother ride than last year's model. For 2003, the Cavalier gets a sporty new exterior and new safety features. All models come with GM's newly developed Ecotec 2.2-liter engine, which offers responsive performance, excellent fuel economy, and cleaner emissions.
Cavalier handles winding roads well, with little body lean in the corners. It rides well on rough roads, damping road vibration. The revised chassis makes the 2003 Cavalier feel tighter than last year's models, and there's good throttle response from the four-cylinder engine.
Coupes and sedans are available. The coupes look sportier, while the sedans offer the advantage of four doors and roomier rear seats. Cavalier LS models start at $15,480 and include power windows, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, and other convenience features most of us now take for granted. LS Sport models come with sport suspensions and special trim. XM Satellite Radio and OnStar are available.
Chevrolet Cavalier comes in two body styles, two-door Coupe and four-door Sedan. They are trimmed and priced about the same (Sedans are priced $150 higher) and their dimensions are essentially the same. The Ecotec 2.2-liter engine is used for all Cavalier models. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all models. A four-speed automatic ($815) is optional.
Three trim levels are available, base, LS, LS Sport.
Cavalier Coupe ($14,030) and Sedan ($14,180) come standard with air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo. These are base models with wind-up windows, manual locks, manually operated mirrors, 14-inch wheels and rear drum brakes.
LS Coupe ($15,480) and LS Sedan ($15,630) add sport cloth bucket seats, power windows, mirrors and locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a premium CD stereo, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), 15-inch wheels, body-color bumpers and side moldings, and other convenience features.
LS Sport Coupe ($16,730) and LS Sport Sedan ($16,880) get a sports suspension, 16-inch chromed aluminum wheels with performance tires, a leather-wrapped shifter, and special exterior trim.
Safety features added for 2003 include a center rear three-point seatbelt and optional front side-impact airbags designed to protect torso and thorax (not the head).
OnStar is optional ($695). Should an airbag deploy, OnStar automatically notifies the system's battery of operators over its wireless network and pinpoints the car's location using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network. OnStar operators will dispatch emergency crews if the driver does not respond to their calls. OnStar can also unlock your doors remotely should you lock the keys in the car, and OnStar operators can dispatch roadside assistance or direct you to the nearest gas station or that Italian restaurant you can't seem to find. OnStar Personal Calling acts as a hand-free cellular telephone using the Verizon Wireless system.