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By Rick Popely
April 20, 2001
Vehicle Overview The Cavalier lineup loses the convertible body style because of slow sales, and the coupe and sedan body styles return for 2001 with minor changes. The similar Pontiac Sunfire also loses its convertible model.
The Cavalier, a front-drive compact, is General Motors best-selling car line, and it may continue in its present form until the 2004 model year. At that time, GM is expected to field new front-drive small cars that also will be sold in Europe and other markets.
Exterior Both the two-door coupe and four-door sedan are 181 inches long 6 inches longer than the Ford Focus or Honda Civic. Both body styles come in a base trim level; the sedan also comes in the upscale LS trim, while the coupe is available in the sporty Z24 form with a standard rear spoiler, fog lamps and 16-inch aluminum wheels.
Interior A CD player is now standard on the LS sedan and Z24, and an optional sound system includes Radio Data System technology. RDS interrupts regular programs, tapes or CDs to broadcast weather and traffic bulletins.
All models seat five and have a rear seatback that folds for extra cargo space. The standard center console has five cupholders three for the front occupants and two for the rear and slots for coins, cassettes and CDs.
Under the Hood Base models and the LS sedan come with a 115-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, and the Z24 coupe uses a dual-camshaft 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 150 hp. The 2.4-liter engine is optional on the LS sedan. Both engines are available with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
Safety The Cavalier has standard antilock brakes a feature still optional on a few more-expensive midsize models and GMs PassLock theft-deterrent system, which must read an electronic code embedded in the key before the engine will start.