2000 Chevrolet Cavalier

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$13,160

starting MSRP

2000 Chevrolet Cavalier

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier trim comparison will help you decide.

2000 Chevrolet Cavalier review: Our expert's take

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The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Here’s how to note the passing of time. The basic engineering of Chevrolet’s Cavalier is older than this year’s high school seniors.

It’s basic engineering dates to the Carter administration. In automotive time, that’s almost Jurassic.

Not that the entire car is that old, since Chevy has kept the updates coming with several significant ones finding their way into the 2000 car.

But when looking at the car’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to realize that the platform the car currently rides on derives its parts from GM’s legendary X-cars. Not that Ford can’t match that record — they have a couple platforms equally as old. But they don’t feel as old as this car does.

The styling is inoffensive and totally familiar, having last been reworked in 1995. Five years later, Chevy has done some tweaking. All models now get body-colored bumpers and fascias. Turn signals are now incorporated into the headlamp assemblies.

Out back, the tail lamps have been reworked to incorporate subtle circular design themes.

Inside, air-conditioning is now standard on all models. The console has been reworked with integrated coin holders and extra cupholders.

The transmission lever now illuminates at night and the dash features a radio placed above the climate controls, which both allow for easy use.

While all the minor changes are welcome, it still can’t hide this car’s lack of refinement versus others in its class. That said, the car still acquits itself when challenged.

Available as a coupe sedan or convertible, there are three trim levels: base, LS and Z24.

Standard on all but the Z24 is a 115-horsepower 2.2-liter overhead-valve four-cylinder originally introduced in 1987. It does an adequate, though hardly overwhelming job of motivating this Cavalier.

Optional on the LS sedan and standard on the Z24 coupe and convertible is a 150-horsepower 2.4-liter twin-cam four-cylinder. Both are hooked to either a new Getrag five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic and four-speed on the LS sedan.

The test car had the later engine and it had quite a bit of power. Raucous when revved, it quieted down at highway speeds. It was quite adept at summoning enough power to squirt through holes in traffic and getting away first at the stoplight grand prix. It also did an excellent job of drowning out the radio.

Chevy deserves kudos for equipping this car with both anti-lock brakes and traction control. Both did their jobs admirably during miserable winter weather.

Like many small cars, this car sits low. Because of the old platform, the car had a relatively high belt line, giving a sit-in-the-bathtub feel that J-cars have always had.

The handling is middle of the road pleasant. The car trembles a bit over bumps and this trembling finds its way through the steering wheel. There’s the typical amount of body lean through corners, and understeer comes on quickly. Bumps are pretty well absorbed, noted by a firm thunk. Road and highway noise filter into the cabin.

Accommodations are pretty typical for the class. Legroom is sufficient up front, but compromised in the rear.

If the sophistication of the drivetrain doesn’t bother you, the seats will. If this car has one Achilles heel, it is the seats. Low, flat, shapeless and thinly padded, they continually cut off the circulation in my legs on long trips, no matter how the seats were adjusted. Similarly, the rear seats are low and flat, with an overly reclined backrest (although many competitors suffer from a similar problem). Headroom is adequate.

Trunk space is good, with a low lift over. Gooseneck hinges can crush cargo however.

In many ways, this is the consummate New York City car. With good power to push through traffic, ox-cart like sturdiness and looks that ensure anonymity, this is an ideal car to drive into the city and park on the tr et without fear of vandalism.

On the other hand, it’s sad to see General Motors still peddling a car that never had great genes to begin with. Saturn’s own S-Series is a full decade newer in its engineering than this car, and it is a better car.

This car, an LS sedan generously equipped with cruise control, power windows, locks and mirrors, AM/FM/CD player and the hotter engine, stickered just a whisker under $17,000. For that money, a buyer can consider the larger Malibu.

What GM needs is something they’ve needed for three decades: a good small car to go head-to-head with the imports and be better than any of them.

Maybe in a few years.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior design 3.8
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

Great car

Bought new is 21 years old..took her to the car doctor today and it got a new Battery, New Alternator. Fan Belt for Electrical System runs like a new car again plan on keeping for as long as she runs😊

4.1

Most reliable car I ever owned!

I bought my 2000 Cavalier coupe brand new. Red with the tan interior. 3 speed automatic, 2.2 engine, had the little fin on back & a CD player. Good basic car. I drove my cavalier for 16 years with no major problems. The tires that came new on the car weren't great and needed changing around 40,000 miles. Other than oil changes, a muffler, and a tune up at 100k miles, i had no problems. Then at 169k miles it developed a short and kept eating batteries. Nobody could find the short. Then my gear shift cable came off. After the 4th battery in a year, I sold it for $900. That was 3 years ago. The guy fixed it up for his teenaged son. It now has over 200k miles on it. They disconnect the battery when they park it.

4.6

Best 600 bucks I've ever spent. LOVE my Cavalier.

I bought a red Coupe a couple months back. The dash is in almost pristine condition (unlike most Cavaliers), only has one crack on the top trim by the windshield. It has 220,000 miles but runs and drives like new and straight as an arrow. The transmission is jumpy and downshifts when you go uphills or when you step on it though. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it 1,000 miles or more. The gas mileage is incredible.., Now the bad: blinkers don't work (short in the wiring), A/C doesn't work, windshield is cracked all the way across. The interior could be more comfortable too, the seats are kinda stiff. And the exterior shows it's age well. The clear coat is cheap and peeling all over, rear quarter panels and frame are rusted (another typical Cav thing). And the driver door barely closes unless you slam it. Overall though, the solid engine and how amazingly reliable this beast is makes up for the cosmetic stuff. These cars do hold up well as long as you keep them up on regular service. (The last person that owned mine very obviously didn't hence why it's kinda rough). I will never regret buying this car though. If you're looking for a cheap very reliable car and if you're lucky enough to find one of these relics in decent condition you should definitely buy it. You won't regret it. 10/10 rating.

See all 23 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
72 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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