2005 Chevrolet Cavalier

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2005 Chevrolet Cavalier

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • Performance for its class
  • Proven powertrain
  • Familiar appearance
  • Price

The bad:

  • Antiquated design
  • Nearing end of production
  • Resale value
  • NHTSA side-impact crash-test ratings

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Coupe and sedan body styles
  • 140-hp four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • FWD layout

2005 Chevrolet Cavalier review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet’s smallest car got a fresh exterior look, including a restyled hood, grille and fascia, for the 2003 model year. The fenders and greenhouse were essentially unchanged, but the headlights and taillights were new. An antilock braking system was offered as an option rather than standard equipment.

Nothing has changed for 2005 except the compressed natural gas version was dropped from the lineup. With the emergence of the smaller Aveo and the new-for-2005 compact Cobalt, the role of the Cavalier is diminishing appreciably. Still, in 2003 the Cavalier headed Chevrolet’s passenger-car lineup in sales, beating the full-size Impala.

Similar to the Pontiac Sunfire coupe, the front-wheel-drive Cavalier comes in both coupe and sedan forms. Base, LS and LS Sport trim levels are offered. A 140-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine is standard in all models.

Both the two- and four-door versions have a 104.1-inch wheelbase and measure 182.7 inches long overall. The LS Sport model includes ground-effects body components, chrome-plated aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, rocker moldings, integrated fog lamps and an FE2 sport suspension.

The Cavalier’s front end displays Chevrolet’s gold bowtie emblem. These compact cars can be equipped with a high-profile rear spoiler, chrome-plated aluminum wheels and body-colored door handles.

All Cavalier models have five seating positions, although using all three in back would make most adults feel cramped. The rear seatback folds down to add cargo space beyond the trunk’s basic capacity, which is 13.2 cubic feet in the coupe and 13.6 cubic feet in the sedan. The center console contains slots for coins, cassettes and CDs, as well as cupholders for front and rear passengers.

A CD player is standard in upper-end models, and a CD/MP3 radio is optional. General Motors’ OnStar communication system, which is available in the LS and LS Sport, can provide automatic notification of airbag deployment, remote door unlocking, convenience services and roadside assistance. XM Satellite Radio is also available.

Under the Hood
A 2.2-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine develops 140 hp and teams with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission.

Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are available, and all five seating positions have three-point seat belts. GM’s PassLock theft-deterrent system must read an electronic code embedded in the key before the engine will start, so unauthorized duplicates will not work.

Driving Impressions
Driving a Cavalier might not qualify as a memorable experience, but the long-lived compact is a capable and practical automobile that manages to exhibit a dash of sportiness � at least in two-door form. Its ride and handling set no standards, but this vehicle scores passably well on both counts by maneuvering with relative ease and yielding reasonable comfort. The occasional hard bump can produce quite a jolt inside the car.

The Cavalier’s performance should satisfy most drivers. The current 140-hp engine responds eagerly; a manual transmission isn’t necessary to take advantage of the engine’s potential. Although the five-speed manual is a trifle rubbery and has long throws, it works acceptably.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.7
  • Interior design 3.4
  • Performance 4.1
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 3.9
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews


Ole Reliable

My parents bought the 2005 Cavalier sedan 4 door brand new in 2004 and I am driving it today in 2021 with little to no issues. About 215k miles on it. Keep up with oil changes, tires, brakes etc. and you are all set with this car. If you are buying it used, I suggest you always ask for the Carfax and get it checked out by a mechanic first. We had to get the AC fixed at least once over the years but that’s normal for an older car. I bought seat covers and a steering wheel cover for it, because like I said we’ve had it since 2004 and it went through 2 messy kids. Doesn’t do great on the interstate because engine will start to overheat if I go above 65 for more than a few minutes, but no other issue. Has only refused to start twice that I can remember, and those were years ago. Easy jump start. Not the prettiest or most modern car but it sure whips. Paint has began to chip but I heard that that’s a Chevrolet issue from that year. Should’ve gotten a paint job and a modern Bluetooth stereo system, but couldn’t afford it. So I bought a Bluetooth plug-in for the cigarette port so I can charge my phone and play music from my phone, was less than $20. The spare tire that comes with the car is ridiculously small, so maybe get a new one. Great gas mileage and economic value, especially with today’s gas prices! I call her ole reliable, and she’s great on ice, rain, and snow. Huge trunk space for a car that size and comfortably seats 4-5. Great car, has served both my family and myself very well.


Most reliable car ever!

I’m only 16, so I was looking for a cheaper car and found this one off a guy down the road, he drove it to Iowa from Texas so it had no rust but we were worried that it wouldn’t start in the winter, even when the temp hit below -20°F it still started everyday!! It has an amazing stereo system and mine has automatic windows. There is not a day I doubt this car it is SO RELIABLE!!!!


Good second car

I have 112xxx MI on this car with little $ maintenance. Speedometer failed but was under warranty. A few low $s general maintenance and that it! No major costs yet!

See all 30 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
72 months/100,000 miles
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)
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?