Chevrolet Cavalier

25 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Chevrolet Cavalier

Chevrolet Cavalier

The Chevrolet Cavalier was Chevrolet ‘s version of the compact General Motors J-body along with the Cadillac Cimarron. Pontiac Sunbird (later renamed Sunfire), Oldsmobile Firenza and Buick Skyhawk in the US; the Opel Ascona C in Europe (except the UK) and South Africa; the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk.2 in the UK, the Holden Camira in Australia ; the Chevrolet Monza in Brazil; and the Isuzu Aska in Japan. The GM J platform was introduced in spring 1981 for the 1982 model year, and except for cosmetic differences, engine upgrades and the discontinuation of certain models, the basic front-wheel-drive platform with a solid rear axle remained largely unchanged throughout the years.

Design of the J platform dates back to the mid-1970s; when the Arab Oil Embargo forced CAFE mandates, and the fear of $3.00 USD for a gallon of gasoline, the J-car was designed straight off the drawing board.

The Cavalier has been one of the most popular cars in America since it was first introduced in 1981. It is affordable, reliable, and gets respectable gas mileage. At the time of the Cavalier’s introduction, the Chevrolet Citation had poor sales in part to NHTSA recalls, making the Cavalier the entry-level compact replacing the Chevrolet Monza.

Perhaps the Cavalier’s greatest downfall was its poor crash test ratings, most notably the high risk of pelvic injury (according to the NHTSA), and that most people tend to see the Cavalier as an unreliable car.


Most Cavaliers were built at GM’s assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio, although they have also been produced in Lansing, Michigan, Janesville, Wisconsin, and Coahuila, Mexico .

Production of the Cavalier ended September 1, 2004, with the 2005 model year run. The Cavalier was replaced by the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and in Mexico, the Chevrolet Astra .


1st generation (1982-1987)

2nd generation (1988-1994)

3rd generation (1995-2005)

Engines Used

1.8L inline-4 OHV

1.8L inline-4 SOHC

1.8L inline-4 SOHC Turbo (1984-1987)

2.0L inline-4 OHV (Cavalier-specific)

2.0L inline-4 SOHC

2.0L inline-4 SOHC Turbo (1987-1990 Pontiac Sunbird/Buick Skyhawk Turbo)

2.8L V6 MPFI (available Mexican model until 1994)

2.2L inline-4 OHV

2.2L inline-4 OHV 2200 SFI

1991-1994 3.1 3.1 L MPFI (191 in³) V6

1992-1994 2.2 L (134 in³) I4

1995 Quad-4 2.3 L (138 in³) I4

1996-2002 LD9 2.4 L (146 in³) I4

2002-2005 Ecotec 2.2 L (134 in³) I4


2 door base model

2 door Z24 model

2 door LS sport coupe

2 door RS (Rally Sport) coupe

2 door convertible (1984-2000)

3 door hatchback (1982-1987)

4 door base model

4 door LS model

4 door LS sport coupe

4 door station wagon (1982-1994)

4 door Z24 model (2000-2002)


General Motors has produced a handful of concept cars based on the J-Body platform which were first seen at the 2001 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) auto show. These include the Cavalier 220 Sport Turbo Coupe, the Cavalier 263 Super Sport, the Cavalier Z24R, the Cavalier Maui 155, the Cavalier 425 A/FX drag car, and the Pontiac Sunfire HO (High Output) 2.4.

These concept cars were produced by GM to show off the flexibility and performance of the J-Body platform and to show that Cavaliers and Sunfires have greater potential than just hauling groceries. The concept cars at the 2001 SEMA show boasted supercharged engines, customized interiors, aggressive exterior styling, and high end audio/video systems.

Toyota Cavalier

The model was briefly sold in Japan by Toyota, under a company agreement with GM, badged as the Toyota Cavalier . with some notable differences. Besides the fact that it was right hand drive, the Toyota Cavalier also featured a leather shift knob and steering wheel, different taillights, power folding rear mirrors, side marker lights on the front fenders, and carpeting on the inside of the trunk lid.

These parts are hard to obtain in America but remain highly desirable among hardcore Cavalier fans. Toyota Cavaliers were first sold in 1995 and were sold up until 2000.

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