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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last of Cavaliers still a good deal

By DON HAMMONDS
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 17, 2004

- The line for the last Chevrolet Cavaliers forms to your left. The popular - and popularly priced - car goes out of production at the end of the current model year, to be replaced by a new little Chevy called the Cobalt.

The current Cavalier is about as all-American a little car as you're likely to find in these parts, with a friendly, familiar style and ambience that we've known for years. Cavaliers that I've driven have always been quiet, comfortable cars with predictable handling, decent trunk room and plenty of standard amenities - though, admittedly, they are not quite up to the materials and quality standards of their European and Japanese competitors.

The Cobalt, on the other hand, has some European influences and is said to be entirely capable of competing with Europe and Japan's best.

What has always been a paradox for me is why car writers dislike the Cavalier so much and why owners love it. If both hated it, I could understand the reaction. I looked at three Web sites and could not find a negative comment among owners. No matter what the critics say - see their comments below - owners uniformly say they love the car and would buy another.

Something else you might want to bear in mind: When the Cobalt comes out, I'm told, Chevy will be moving somewhat upscale both with the price and the target market.

That's part of the reason, I'm told, that Chevy introduced the all-new Aveo - to give it some protection at the auto market's lowest end.

So if you want a bargain - and who doesn't? - this is a perfect time to head to your Chevy dealer and check out the 2004 Cavalier.

You'll see only slight styling changes. The rear has a gold bow-tie applique instead of the more familiar silver crossbar, and the new exterior colors include Rally Yellow and Sunburst Orange Metallic. An optional sport appearance package is available on Cavalier's base model.

Other changes include the availability of a smoker's package, an engine block heater and a new CD/MP3 radio. XM Satellite radio, by the way, is still offered as an option, too, bringing you 100 stations coast-to-coast.

Cavaliers are powered by a 2.2-liter "Ecotec" four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard equipment on all models, with a four-speed automatic transmission optional.

Fuel economy ratings are 24 miles per gallon for the city, 32 for the highway with an automatic transmission. Prices start at $10,700 for a Cavalier Coupe with a value package that includes a five-speed manual, AM-FM stereo and a CD player. The regular coupe starts at $14,715 and the sedan at $14,915.

Most car critics are pretty blunt in their descriptions of the Cavalier. Those who appear on Edmunds.com say they liked the 2004 Cavalier's "low price, torquey four-cylinder engine, optional satellite radio and OnStar." But they panned the car's "ancient design inside and out, cheap interior materials, poor build quality, low resale value, poor side impact and front offset crash test results."

Even so, they really liked that engine. "Unlike its less technologically challenged predecessors, the Ecotec four-cylinder is a thoroughly modern engine that provides ample power and a smooth delivery. It may not have quite the same kick as the old 2.4-liter, but it's significantly more refined and gets much better mileage." The critics also found the handling to be "acceptable for a car in this class, with reasonably good manners in corners and a compliant ride around town."

Article Here



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Note that the Pontiac Sunfire will continue past the Cobalt introduction, so it's not REALLY the last of the "Cavaliers". ;) Whether Pontiac will offer a low-priced "1SV" model of the Sunfire for 2005 remains to be seen...
 

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the critics seem to have it right. great engine wrapped in a mediocre package. i still remember seeing the first picture of the 'new' cavalier (was it in '95?). i was SO impressed... it was damn sharp for an entry-level car. 9 years later it's a little tired, but at the current prices is still worth a look.
 

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It -will- get a little going away party of sorts. The last Cavaliers will all be LS Sports, and they'll get a nifty decal package. Yeah, it's a decal package, but it's also a Cavalier, with one heck of a replacement.

Ghrank
 

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holy crap its been a slow news week! but yeah this was one of my choices for my first newish car, but never got one, there just never was any avalible when i was looking around in my pricerange. its a good car, the style just got far to outdated... my next car after my caddy is probably going to be brand new less than 1000 miles, and it will probably be the Coblat SS
 

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hmmmm... would a cobalt convertible be out of the question? are there any delta convertibles? would the platform lend itself to going topless? as chevrolet is full-line, it might not hurt to have a convertible slotted below the corvette and SSR (for those of us on a slightly smaller budget). or is GM hoping the solstice/G6 will grab the sun-seekers?
 

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The current Cav is ok but i don't agree that the price tag is so great. An LS mid level sedan with but a few options retails for a mind blowing $18210 and an LS sport gets a sticker of $19410. I know that there are rebates but most others have something too. You can get into so many other bigger, better cars for that kind of money! The 1SV is a good deal but is a strippo stick shift with a stark feature content. Most of these seem to be languishing on dealer lots with little attention anyway. I just hope Chevy doesn't raize the price too much so it has to resort to giving out massive rebates a few months later.
 

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Note that the Pontiac Sunfire will continue past the Cobalt introduction, so it's not REALLY the last of the "Cavaliers".  Whether Pontiac will offer a low-priced "1SV" model of the Sunfire for 2005 remains to be seen...
Where did you hear this from? I'm an engineer at Lordstown and we're actually producing our last Sunfire sometime in the late April/early May 2004 timeframe, so the Sunfire will be phased out before the Cavalier. We won't be producing any J-car variants once we start production of saleable GMX-001 units, in mid October 2004.
 

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I have a 1994 Z24 with the 3.1L V6. Car still runs like the first day I bought it. I was impressed with the design of the "new" 1995 Cavalier, but was dissappointed with the interior design and material quality. I have driven several new Cavaliers and found the ride and performance adequate for the class. The older generation model had much better materials. Chevy should try and shoehorn a nice V6 into the engine bay of the Cobalt SS, that would really get my attention, but I know that is not the point with compact cars... :(
 

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Originally posted by punkmofo@Feb 18 2004, 10:25 PM
Note that the Pontiac Sunfire will continue past the Cobalt introduction, so it's not REALLY the last of the "Cavaliers".  Whether Pontiac will offer a low-priced "1SV" model of the Sunfire for 2005 remains to be seen...
Where did you hear this from? I'm an engineer at Lordstown and we're actually producing our last Sunfire sometime in the late April/early May 2004 timeframe, so the Sunfire will be phased out before the Cavalier. We won't be producing any J-car variants once we start production of saleable GMX-001 units, in mid October 2004.
This news came out some time around last fall or summer. I can't find the articles by searches (I know they are around here somewhere), but a google or Yahoo search on :

sunfire cobalt 2005

Pulls up plenty of results like:

" The 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt is the Cavalier replacement ... Pursuit, while the USA Pontiac dealers will continue to sell the old J-Body Sunfire for a few more years "

" GM will stick with Sunfire for Pontiac, but Canada will get small-car replacement
(08:30 July 01, 2003) - Pontiac has no plans to replace the Sunfire small car in the United States, even though Chevrolet is replacing its sister vehicle, the Cavalier, next year. General Motors' Lordstown, Ohio, plant will assemble the Sunfire for several years alongside Chevrolet's new car, the Cobalt, according to Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars. ..."

Since then GM might have changed its mind, which explains the recent article on "Pontiac dealers wonder about Sunfire replacement".

I recall reading a few articles on sales of Sunfires plummetting, which might explain the change.
 

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Maybe GM should offer a small six cylinder in the Cobalt... The J-car had it in its heyday. In retrospect, the J-car had a lot of different powerplants in its 20+ year model run. Let's see.. in 4 cylinders there were... 1.8, 1.8 turbo, 2.0, 2.0 turbo(made famous on the Sunbird GT).. Then there was the 2.2 replacement. Eventually the 2.3 and 2.4 QUAD fours were offered. But my favorite J-car powerplants were its 2.8 and later, 3.1 liter V6's.

A friend of mine had an 88 Z24 with a 2.8 V6, 5 speed tranny... This car was the #*! back in the day! GM will build some right.., and then they'll build them wrong too.. (the Z24 with the Quad 4 was a bad idea, but..)
 

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" GM will stick with Sunfire for Pontiac, but Canada will get small-car replacement
(08:30 July 01, 2003) - Pontiac has no plans to replace the Sunfire small car in the United States, even though Chevrolet is replacing its sister vehicle, the Cavalier, next year. General Motors' Lordstown, Ohio, plant will assemble the Sunfire for several years alongside Chevrolet's new car, the Cobalt, according to Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars. ..."
It sounds like whoever wrote this article above is making some assumptions. It's true that Pontiac won't get a Sunfire replacement in the USA, however this does not mean that production of the Sunfire will continue. The Vibe will carry on as Pontiac's small car for the US market, since Sunfire sales have gone down since the Vibe's intro due to cannibalized sales. Lordstown won't be building any Sunfires after roughly May of this year. We will carry on with Cavalier-only production until mid-October 2004.

I don't know if the reporter got his information wrong or if Lori Queen was smoking something, but her statement above is inaccurate as well. It would be kind of hard to build any J-car alongside the Cobalt after we tear out the J-car body shop sideframe equipment and the J-car chassis/body marriage area! :lol: Rest assured, after October of this year, Lordstown will be a GMX-001 plant only, without the capability to build anymore J-cars. That might sound sad for some of you, but the Cobalt SS Supercharged should cheer you up!
 

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I thought about this too....I did not really seem economically sensible for GM to continue with Sunfire production only, when the Cobalt and Pursuit are going to be available.


The Pursuit seems like most likely candidate to replace the Sunfire. Though it would be neat if Pontiac was working on something completley different from the Pursuit for the US market only as a Sunfire replacement. But it's not likely.
 

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I have no idea if it would ever fit, but wouldn't the upcoming 2.8L version of the High-Feature DOHC V6 be about perfect in the Cobalt?
 

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It appears GM is taking Pontiac a bit upscale. You may not see a small Pontiac in the U.S. other than Kappa based ones. With both Saturn and Chevy sharing the delta platform and adding Chevy's Aveo line GM may figure it has enough small cars.
 

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:( :drunk: Thats so sad!!! Boho ho ho ho :(!!!!! I have owned over six cavilers there such awsome cars!!! I cant believe that GM would get rid of the Cavilier. It's been one of the best cars Ive ever owned, Ill miss that sporty little sucker with its awsome trunk space and all the standar imtities!!! It was the cheapest car ive owned, but it was the cheapest car with the best features!!! :(
 

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Originally posted by punkmofo@Feb 19 2004, 09:29 PM
" GM will stick with Sunfire for Pontiac, but Canada will get small-car replacement
(08:30 July 01, 2003) - Pontiac has no plans to replace the Sunfire small car in the United States, even though Chevrolet is replacing its sister vehicle, the Cavalier, next year. General Motors' Lordstown, Ohio, plant will assemble the Sunfire for several years alongside Chevrolet's new car, the Cobalt, according to Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars. ..."
It sounds like whoever wrote this article above is making some assumptions. It's true that Pontiac won't get a Sunfire replacement in the USA, however this does not mean that production of the Sunfire will continue. The Vibe will carry on as Pontiac's small car for the US market, since Sunfire sales have gone down since the Vibe's intro due to cannibalized sales. Lordstown won't be building any Sunfires after roughly May of this year. We will carry on with Cavalier-only production until mid-October 2004.

I don't know if the reporter got his information wrong or if Lori Queen was smoking something, but her statement above is inaccurate as well. It would be kind of hard to build any J-car alongside the Cobalt after we tear out the J-car body shop sideframe equipment and the J-car chassis/body marriage area! :lol: Rest assured, after October of this year, Lordstown will be a GMX-001 plant only, without the capability to build anymore J-cars. That might sound sad for some of you, but the Cobalt SS Supercharged should cheer you up!
"That might sound sad for some of you, but the Cobalt SS Supercharged should cheer you up!" Well guess what? It doesn't! :YMCA:
 

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Originally posted by CANADIAN@Mar 3 2004, 03:37 AM
:( :drunk: Thats so sad!!! Boho ho ho ho :(!!!!! I have owned over six cavilers there such awsome cars!!! I cant believe that GM would get rid of the Cavilier. It's been one of the best cars Ive ever owned, Ill miss that sporty little sucker with its awsome trunk space and all the standar imtities!!! It was the cheapest car ive owned, but it was the cheapest car with the best features!!! :(
a cavalier by any other name... the cobalt is the new cavalier. it's not like with the camaro, where the car is totally gone. GM figured cavalier just needed a new name.
 

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Definitely a good deal. Even those 1SV "value" offerings with manual trans and "stark feature content" [as in : power steering, power brakes, A/C, CD player, and all the basics of the PEG1 package {cargo net, floor mats, etc.} ?]. For 10,900 or so? Anyone paying 18,000 for a new Cavalier is simply asking to be reamed.
 
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