The 2004 Cavalier has been my primary vehicle for over 15 years and I cannot recommend it enough!!! In 15 years it has only left me stranded once, only 1 time and that was a few weeks ago when a break line burst. Handles snow and ice extremely well for a vehicle of its size and weight. Gas mileage is good and basic maintenance is simple so no need to take to a specialist for an oil change or to replace a battery. Phenomenal vehicle for the price and outstandingly reliable.
Most reliable car I owned
Me and my wife own a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier with 401,000 miles and counting. Car keeps going and doesn’t quit. Something about that 2.2 motor that just keeps starting. We drive it out of town a lot still pretty smooth ride and low gas mileage.
It's the Toyota of Chevrolet
The only Chevrolet to ever be sold as a Toyota (look it up) was the Toyota Cavalier in Japan. This is a very reliable car. Very inexpensive to repair/maintain. I've owned two. a 1996 that went to 266,000 miles and then sold for $1000 and now my 2004 that is at 200,000 miles. They are not pretty, they are not comfortable, they are not cool, the plastic dash falls apart on every one of them, but they just go and do not die. Excellent first car for student. Get the manual, they do not break. 34 MPG is hard to beat when gas goes nuclear on price.