GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,295 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,354 Posts
I had a 1985 Cavalier Type 10, 5 speed (coupe, not hatch) in 1989. That car had no power at all. Sad to say, but the Ford Escort was a better car. The Escort was solid, the gear shifter was smooth and felt tight, while the Cavalier...well, mushy, clunky, and loose come to mind. The interior rattled, the motor ticked. And it was only 4 years old!

No wonder GM cars from the 80's have such bad quality reputations. It's true!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I always liked the look of the hatchback of this era, I still don't think it looks that bad, it has aged better than some other styles over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,434 Posts
I always liked the look of the hatchback of this era, I still don't think it looks that bad, it has aged better than some other styles over the years.
It had clean lines and was evocative of imports.. the neighbor kid thought a new one (1984) was a Bimmer LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I had an 88 Z-24 in Red. Fun little car with a grunty 2.8 V6. In the higher trim, the interiors were actually decent, strong A/C, and not a bad handler with the larger wheels and tires. While not the most "refined" of vehicles it proved reliable and served me well while living in the mountains of Colorado.
If I had a complaint, the dash mounted cup-holders were easily breakable, the Z-28 Decal on the rocker panel started to peel off in the first year, and the paint on the front fascia did not wear as well as I'd like.
While Cavaliers were much maligned, I really liked mine. Some 125 K miles later I traded it in on a 240 SX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,658 Posts
I had an 88 Z-24 in Red. Fun little car with a grunty 2.8 V6. In the higher trim, the interiors were actually decent, strong A/C, and not a bad handler with the larger wheels and tires. While not the most "refined" of vehicles it proved reliable and served me well while living in the mountains of Colorado.
If I had a complaint, the dash mounted cup-holders were easily breakable, the Z-28 Decal on the rocker panel started to peel off in the first year, and the paint on the front fascia did not wear as well as I'd like.
While Cavaliers were much maligned, I really liked mine. Some 125 K miles later I traded it in on a 240 SX.
I had an '89 Z24**, I loved it, yet hated it. I loved the looks and the power (at least at the time the 2.8L 125 hp V6 felt powerful) and even the handling. But the quality was poor, the computer fried itself approx. 10 times, taking the engine, power brakes and power steering with it. Nothing like going around a sharp corner and all of a sudden the power breaks and steering were gone. Each time required a flat bed. Numerous badly aligned interior pieces and many other mechanical issues. But to this day they still look great to me!

**89 had the curvier body style vs. the 1985.
 

·
Registered
2020 Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD
Joined
·
13,777 Posts
This is about the 1985, but it brings back memories of a 1986 Cavalier sedan I had for a few yrs. back in the very early 90's. The one thing that sticks out in my mind other than its quality issues was that to me, it always felt larger than it was when driving it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,169 Posts
Call me crazy but the Cavalier was the best looking car in its class at the time , I like the stance of the blue one .
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
They honestly weren't bad looking, especially the hatchback. They were just poorly built, had no power, no handling, and the engines were gawd awful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
I had a 94 Cavalier - I think the 91-91 Z24's where the best looking ones - and it was cool they got a semi functional cowl induction hood that was fiberglass.

Engines where weak - but very easy to swap in a late model 3400 or 3500 into them.

Some guys have even swapped in Supercharged L67's, LS4's, and even the F40 trans out of the late model G6 GXPs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,327 Posts
The 1980s were the dark ages for GM. Engines had no power. Quality was the pits. It had to be depressing to be an engineer at GM at the time.

Their engines had no power. Neither did anyone elses. This was the era where Ford sold a lot of Mustangs with 88 HP four-bangers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KingElvis

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,327 Posts
My first two cars were Cavalier hatchbacks, 1986 and 1987; I fell asleep behind the wheel and totaled the first one. They called then "RS" by then, not "Type 10".

They were actually pretty nice cars. I liked the interior. I thought that the hatchback body style gave them a nice, sporty appearance. I probably have fond memories because they were my first cars. They were slow, but so were most compacts back then; I think the 1986 had 85HP and the '87 had a huge increase: 90 HP. I had no problems with mine; I put 85,000 miles on the '87 in a little over three years.

That hatchback, with the back seats down, could haul an impressive amount of stuff. I moved twice during that time using only that car. I even stuffed a mattress into the back of it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,535 Posts
My first car was a 68 Nova project car. My first drivable car was a 1987 cavalier. The car was bulletproof and even with only 90HP and an automatic transmission was capable of burnouts so awesome the car would dissappear into a cloud of tire smoke, seriously lol. Ask me how :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,237 Posts
It was such a crappy car - but was the number one seller.

Everyone's always on this "GM 80's cars sucked" but as KSR points out, all cars were being downsized at the time.

GM needs more 'bad times' like the mid '80's when Olds and Buick were selling over a million cars EACH.

Cavalier has pretty sporting proportions for a fwd car. Look at the dash to axle on this one. Almost looks rear drive.

This is when they introduced the V6 which was a big deal at the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
The 85-87 Z24 was very nice looking, but I still LOVE to this day, the 88-90 Z-24. I'm still hoping to get a stock one, someday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
These cars only cost around $7,000 new....so of course, quality wasn't the best. You get what you pay for. Wife had brand new 94 Cavalier VL 4 door....only cost $11,900! Looked same, thru the door area, as the 85!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top