Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Overview

Body
Chevrolet's Heart and Soul

Chevrolet's Cavalier embodies the heart and soul of what the division stands for: affordable, reliable, fun-to-drive cars. The Cavalier has been Chevrolet's entry-level leader for well over 20 years and is General Motors' best-selling passenger car. For 2002, Chevrolet has spiced up the entire line by adding a limited-production sedan to the popular Z24 package, creating a new trim level called the LS Sport and adding an optional sport package to the base sedan and coupe.

We like the design of the Cavalier. It has a wide, substantial look to it with smooth flowing sheet metal that makes the car—especially the coupe—look far more expensive than it really is. The Cavalier's interior is a pleasant departure from the standard economy car bare-bones mold. The dash has eye-pleasing curves with the speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauges neatly housed in a pod directly in front of the driver. All of the Cavalier's controls are well placed, simple to find and easy to use. The seats, even on the base models, are nicely bolstered and comfortable for passengers of all sizes.

Engine choices have increased this year with the addition of the new Ecotec 2.2-liter powerplant. Available only with the new LS Sport, this all-new aluminum engine has 16-valves—four per cylinder— to help it breathe easier, thus providing more power and better fuel efficiency. The Ecotoc engine produces 140 horsepower (that's 25 more than the base 2.2-liter engine) and can be ordered with your choice of a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. One other key feature of the Ecotec is its twin balance shaft design that cancels out vibrations usually associated with inline engines. The addition of these balance shafts result in a quieter, vibration-free ride that gives the impression there is a small V6 under the hood.

No matter which Cavalier you settle on, you will be getting a comfortable small car with a roomy interior and a long list of standard features. For those who need basic transportation at an affordable price, the base coupe and sedan offer the tried and true 2.2-liter engine, a 5-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive and a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty. Committed to drawing in more value- oriented buyers, Chevrolet has increased the standard equipment list to include a tilt-steering wheel, variable wipers, tachometer, AM/FM stereo with CD, remote trunk release and visor vanity mirrors; all for a starting MSRP of just $14,525—and that's before any additional customer incentives or promotions.

If you desire a bit more comfort than the base or LS model provide, the LS Sport may be just what you are looking for. It includes all the features of the base model plus the new Ecotec engine, fog lights, power mirrors, leather-wrapped shift knob, exterior ground effects, aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler and the FE2 sport suspension package. Our test of the LS Sport confirmed the promises of Chevrolet's PR people; the LS Sport cornered better, accelerated quicker and stopped faster than the standard LS. Of course, if you want the most bang for your buck, the all-out performance leader of the Cavalier family is the potent Z24.

To many who see it, the Cavalier Z24 looks like a baby Camaro waiting to pounce. With the demise of the Camaro and its sister car the Pontiac Firebird, the Z24 is bound to become even more appealing to those who are seeking a reasonably-priced 2+2 coupe. Once the Camaro goes the way of Saber Toothed Tiger, the Z24 will be Chevrolet's sole offering in this category (and yes, we know about the Monte Carlo, but it does not come with 5-speed manual transmission). With its 150-horsepower 16-valve engine, the Z24 proves itself a spirited performer, with surprisingly agile handling and feedback. New this year is a limited production Z24 sedan that has all the style and power of the coupe, plus two extra doors; it's a great looking package that lends itself easily to aftermarket modifications, something many young drivers enjoy doing.

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