A sporty subcompact car
manufactured by GM
-owned, American automaker Chevrolet
. The Cavalier was specifically to combat the rising popularity of small Japanese import
s such as the Honda Civic
and Nissan Sentra
, and in turn, other American
cars built to fight imports, like the Dodge Neon
and Ford Focus
; though it means well, the Cavalier is much worse than the cars it is made to compete
The new Cavalier is available as a coupe or sedan, with available LS and LS Sport trim levels. While its previous appearance was ho-hum, the new Cavalier's design is aggressive, and more than enough to cause any riceboys to wet themselves. All Cavaliers utilize a rather unimpressive, 2.2-liter (probably SOHC) ECOTEC, four-cylinder L61 engine producing 140 hp. A previous "high performance" (?) trim, the Z24, used a slightly more respectable DOHC, 2.4-liter engine producing 150 hp. There are no real chassis or engine improvements along the trim level advancement, though the LS Sport recieves a special sport suspension and 5-speed Getrag gearbox (which the car probably doesn't deserve). Creature comforts are the only things gained by stepping up, and those aren't many. They are also pretty easy to break in to.
Unfortunately, though the best-looking in its class, even the top model Cavalier could not hope to match up against a Civic Si or Neon SRT (the top levels of both of those particular cars). If you're in the market for a rice burner, avoid the Cavalier, but I imagine it has great uses as a simple economy car.
It is approximately equal to the British Vauxhall Cavalier, German Opel Astra, and Australian Holden Astra, though the US version is weaker (I believe the others are V6-equipped).