The 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier is a compact car that has been in production since 1982 by General Motors (GM). The vehicle was based on the J Platform and was considered one of the best-selling cars manufactured by GM. But the Cavalier witnessed depleting sales, which is why the convertible body style was discontinued for this year. Nevertheless, the Cavalier is expected to continue as the company’s bestseller until it is replaced in the near future.
Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 2.2-liter I-4, 2.4-liter I-4
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chevrolet Cavalier, Chevrolet Cavalier LS, Chevrolet Cavalier Z24
The convertible version of the Cavalier has been discontinued from this model year, although a Z24 sedan is to be introduced by the end of this year or early next year. The LS sedan and Z24 coupe get a CD player as standard equipment, and a new exterior color has been added for this year, too.
The 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier coupe and sedan has a length of 181 inches, which makes the Cavalier longer than the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus. The base model is available as a sedan and coupe, and the LS model has a sedan version as well. The coupe version of the Cavalier is available for the Z24 model with 16-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, and a rear spoiler as standard.
The LS sedan and Z24 get a CD player as a standard and a sound system that includes Radio Data System (RDS) technology as an option. The RDS offers immediate traffic bulletins and weather updates even while a CD is playing. The controls and instrument panels are easy to handle and access. It comes as no surprise that the overall quality of the dashboard and interior is nothing great since GM has used low-grade and money-saving materials wherever possible to cut costs. The front seats are as roomy as the ones in the Cavalier’s competitors, and the rear is spacious enough for two average adults or three children at most.
Performance & Handling
The LS sedan and all base models of the 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier have a 2.2-liter, straight-four engine that delivers 115 horsepower. The Z24 coupe has a dual-camshaft, 2.4-liter, straight-four engine that delivers 150 horsepower. This engine is also available as an option in the LS sedan. Both engines are coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission or five-speed manual transmission. The 2.2-liter, straight-four engine offers adequate acceleration with the manual transmission but does not manage to produce enough power when mated with the automatic transmission. The bigger, 2.4-liter engine is not only more powerful, but also works better with the automatic transmission. This comes as a surprise, since most dual-cam, four-cylinder engines do not work well with automatic transmissions.
The manual transmission shift action for the Z24 is not as good as its competitors, but the automatic transmission offers smooth and responsive gearshifts. The Cavalier’s fuel economy is good but not great, and the same applies for the car’s ride quality. The suspension absorbs most bumps, although many bumps and ruts make loud thumps. The Z24 model offers a stiffer suspension than that in the base model. The Cavalier corners adequately with a little body lean. For those looking for something extra, the Z24 models offer better handling than most other economy cars. This model gets anti-lock brakes as a standard.
The 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier has anti-lock brakes as a standard, which is rare for a low-budget sedan and coupe. The PassLock theft deterrent system from General Motors is another standard feature for this car. This system scans an electronic code embedded in the key before it allows the engine to start. The NHTSA conducted frontal impact collision tests on the car, which got three out of five stars for driver safety and four stars for passenger safety. The NHTSA also conducted side-impact collision tests on the Cavalier, and it received a poor one-star rating for driver safety and two stars for rear passenger safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2-liter I-4 manual: 20/30 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2-liter I-4 automatic: 21/29 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Cavalier 2.4-liter I-4 manual: 19/29 mpg city/highway
- Good fuel economy
- Affordable price
- Z24 offers a low-budget but speedy coupe variant
- Good visibility
You Won't Like
- Poor build quality
- Low-grade interior materials
- Inadequate rear seat room
Good value at the end of its run.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Kia Spectra
- Mazda Protege