The Chevrolet Cavalier, part of Chevy's line of automobiles for 23 years, is one of the best-selling cars ever produced. A compact car, the Cavalier had three distinct generations of production lines that featured a variety of body styles, from two-door convertibles to four-door station wagons. Engines for the Cavalier were available in both four-cylinder and V6 models. The primary mission of the Chevy Cavalier was to provide car buyers with an efficient family automobile.
The Cavalier was intended to replace slow-selling models, such as the Monza and the Chevette. It is a front-wheel drive vehicle, the first by Chevy in this class of car. The Cavalier has room for a driver and four passengers. Early generation Cavaliers produced between 95 and 125 horsepower, depending on the engine that was being used. Later models of the Cavalier were only available with four-cylinder engines, offering between 140 and 150 horsepower. A supercharger kit raised the horsepower of the Cavalier to a whopping 190 hp.
The first generation of Cavaliers offered five body styles, including a 2-door sedan and convertible, a 3-door hatchback and a 4-door sedan and station wagon. In 1988, the body styles were redesigned and the 3-door option was removed from production. For a short time, the convertible was not available, as Chevrolet planned to release a convertible option for another model. Those plans fell through, however, and the convertible Cavalier returned to the lineup. In 1995, the Cavalier was remodeled for a third time, featuring 2-door coupe and convertible bodies, along with a 4-door sedan.
The Chevy Cavalier was manufactured with manual and automatic transmissions throughout its entire production cycle. Passenger amenities were limited to AM/FM radio in earlier models, though by the end of the production run, single multi-disc CD players were available options. In the last few model years, partnerships with OnStar and XM Satellite Radio have meant that these features are standard equipment, although subscriptions are required to fully utilize them. One criticism often levied at the Cavalier was the sub-par materials used for passenger features, such as seats and the dashboard design, but these choices contributed to the Cavalier's affordable price.
The sportiest of the Cavalier trim packages was the Z24, which featured a standard V6 engine when the Cavalier was offered in the V6. The Z24 was the trim package used for the convertible bodies of the Cavalier because of its sporty look and feel. Other trim packages included the VL, known as the base model, and the RS, which was closer in appearance to the Z24 without some of the extras
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