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Decent Car with Minor Problems by Aaron Fitz on 06/27/2009. Trim: 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe, Owned 4 years.
Pros: I have the basic 2.2 OHV engine with a 5-spd. Just recently took it from northern PA to southern FL and back completely packed with luggage and a passenger and achieved 37mpg with the A/C on! Even though its a no thrill base model, the little engine has enough pep to get on the highway without worrying about being run over by a tractor trailer. It has 14 inch tires which are pretty cheap to replace. Winter time is easy in this car with its little tires..cuts through snow better than most 4x4's with wide tires. Parts are pretty cheap and very easy to replace. Just hit 150k and the bottoms of the doors are just starting to show a little bit of rust. Everything still works!
Cons: Eats front wheel bearings for lunch...seems to be a problem with most FWD GM products though. Luckily they are easy to change, so I do it myself. Same goes for the front brakes. Changing the slave cylinder on the 5spd requires dropping the tranny. Cheap interior parts that do break over time. No tachometer on a standard? C'mon! My rear defrost doesn't work..no idea why. Fuse is fine and there are no breaks on the back window.
Overall review: These are decent cars for as ancient as they really are. My last car was a 97 Cavalier Z-24. I recommend that model more because the 2.4L Twin Cam engine is very quick. But with the 2.2L and the 5spd, its not bad. Biggest issues seem to be the front wheel bearings, brakes, and interior quality. But if your looking for basic transportation that gets decent MPG's...this is your ride. Throw some 18" wheels on your base model 2 door, and they look pretty sharp. I'd buy another one with lower miles and a good maintenance history. Insurance rates can be high for teens due to worse than average side crash test results. I see my Cavi hitting 200k without any problems...and I do change my oil every 3,500 miles.
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