Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe
The 1995 Cavalier featured sharper dimensions and a more aerodynamic style, with many design cues taken from its bigger brother, the 4th Generation Chevrolet Camaro. Base models still had the integrated grille, dipped beltline and charcoal-colored bumpers. Buyers had the choice of coupe, sedan or convertible, with the wagon being replaced by an LS Sedan. 15 and 16 inch wheels could be specified. By 1997 the Cavalier became the best-selling car in the GM range.
All models featured an Inline-four engine, with the V6 which was available in the previous two generations being dropped. Base and RS models still powered by the 2.2 L OHV four-cylinder engine, paired with a 3-speed automatic but could get a 5-speed manual in two-door models. A 4-speed automatic was made available in 1996. Meanwhile, the Z24 and LS convertible had the 2.3 L LD2 Quad-4 engine, upgraded to a 2.4 liter DOHC LD9 in 1996. This engine generated 150 hp (112 kW) and 155 lb·ft (210 N·m) of torque and remained in place until 2002.
In 2000 the car received minor styling changes comprising of bigger headlights and a grille refresh, the 'CHEVROLET' badge was removed from the trunk and replaced with 'CAVALIER' plus new five-spoke hubcaps. The 2.4-litre engine was standard with a Getrag F23 5-speed manual transmission on the Z24 or with the optional 4-speed automatic. Z24 was only available as a two-door coupe up until 2001, plus sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch tires, alloy wheels and interior electronics. An optional ground effects kit and taller spoiler enhanced the body type. A 4-door Z24 Sedan was added in 2000, which featured the same mechanics but differed slightly in terms of style. In 2001, the base models were switched to the 4-speed automatic and the RS model discontinued in favor of the LS Sport line. This came with the new Ecotec L61 motors (140 hp/104 kW and 150 lb·ft/200 N·m torque) improving fuel efficiency while retaining much of the power of the older LD9 cars. The entire Cavalier range became the Ecotec engine-only in 2003, and when the Chevrolet Cobalt replaced it in 2005.
Other upgrades included an Eaton M45 Supercharger kit for the Z24, designed by GM and installed in dealerships. This upped the power output to approx. 190 hp (142 kW) and 195 lb·ft (264 N·m) of torque. Two facelifts were applied to the third generation Cavalier - a minor one in 2000 and a major one in 2003 which had a new front end and revised rear lift gate design.
The Cavalier was tested by the IIHS and NHTSA and scored low across the board. The car was also rated as 'Highest rates of driver deaths' by IIHS, with 150 (4 door) to 171 (2 door) driver deaths per million registered vehicle years. By comparison, the average for the small car class was 103 (4 door) to 134 (2 door). In terms of safety, the 1995-2005 earned a 'Poor' overall score on the frontal offset collision test.
Most Cavaliers were constructed at Lordstown Assembly, but were also made at South Gate Assembly, Lansing Car Assembly, Lansing Craft Centre, Janesville Assembly, Ramos Arizpe and Leeds Assembly. The third generation Cavalier ended production on October 6, 2005.
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