1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

2dr Coupe VL

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1989 Chevrolet Cavalier for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $7,375 original MSRP

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1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

Printable Version

1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe


Pre-Owned Profile: 1988-1994 Chevrolet Cavalier

Source: AutoTrader.com

The Cavalier has been Chevrolet's best-selling car for many years, undoubtedly because it provides decent transportation for a very reasonable amount of money. Compared to similarly sized Japanese-nameplate cars, pre-owned Cavaliers offer a lot of car for a lot less money.

Don't expect much refinement in these pre-1995 models but if you can find one with a V-6 engine you'll get a car with good performance. Chevrolet stopped offering the V-6 when the new Cavalier was introduced in 1995. Although Chevrolet sold a Cavalier convertible very few were made, so if your heart is set on one, be warned -- you'll likely to have a tough time finding one on the market.

An all-new Cavalier hit the market in 1995. It is much more refined than the previous generation so if you can stretch your budget far enough, look at a newer model. But if you want a station wagon, you're out of luck. Chevrolet dropped the station wagon with the introduction of the new model.

What You Need To Know:
1. Review of a 1994 Chevrolet Cavalier VL
2. Summary of Good and Bad Points by Owners
3. History of Cavalier
4. Review of Current Model
5. Basic Facts
6. Changes Year-to-Year
7. Option Installment Rate
8. Sales History
9. Awards and Commendations Earned
10. Other Reviews
11. Price of Spare Parts

1. Pre-owned Vehicle Review -- 1994 Chevrolet Cavalier VL
Likes: no-nonsense low-cost car
Dislikes: lack of refinement, sluggish performance with auto transmission and four-cylinder engine
Competitors: Pontiac Sunbird (on same platform), Ford Escort, Dodge/Plymouth Neon, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda Protege
Miles: 66,300
Condition: B
Price when new: $10,490
Listed price: $6,000 (April 1998)
Way back in 1994, the Chevrolet Cavalier was a great bargain at a price that was up to 20 percent less than its rivals. For an entry-level car, that was a significant amount of money to be saved.

What the Cavalier buyer got was a pretty good deal. It offered a 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine and more interior room than in many other subcompact cars. It also offered a variety of body styles from a two-door notchback (not really a coupe), to a two-door convertible, a four-door sedan and a four-door station wagon.
The car I tried was a 1994 VL notchback originally sold as a special California package for $9,995. At that price, it included air conditioning, AM/FM cassette player and such niceties as floor mats. The automatic transmission was an extra $495. What the package did not include were modern conveniences many of us have come to expect, such as power windows, remote key locks, etc.

This particular model was a one-owner car that had been well looked after. There were no signs of accident damage and the carpets were not frayed, although they were stained a bit. The cloth bucket seats were still supportive and pleasantly comfortable. Some small pieces of trim had come loose and there were a few squeaks here and there.

This was a car that I expected to be disappointed in, but for a low-cost runabout it was not bad. Okay, the engine was noisy as I accelerated and the automatic transmission sapped up too much power, which made the four-cylinder engine sound wheezy. But the power steering felt fine and it didn't make any disconcerting noises.
The environment from the driver's seat was also pretty good. The instrument panel is very simple with just three dials and no trip odometer. The radio and heating controls are positioned down low. The passenger gets a decent sized glovebox with a large cup holder that pops out of the dashboard. Rear seat passengers don't get anything beyond a seat--no storage bins, no cup holders and limited headroom in the notchback. The car did have a decent-sized trunk, even in the notchback model.
From a safety standpoint, the Cavalier lacked airbags but did have anti-lock brakes as standard. Because of federal regulations at the time, the front seat belts had to be attached to the doors, which was and still is annoying.

In reality, the Cavalier is a good buy for a low-cost, pre-owned car. It's cheap and it's got a decent-sized engine, even if it tends to be noisy with an automatic transmission. If you opt for a manual transmission, it provides more pep and makes the car more pleasant to drive.

2. Summing It Up -- Owners Views

"Good fuel economy"
"I loved the car"
"No leaks (in convertible)"
"Extremely dependable even after 178,000 miles"
"Nice riding car"

"It’s a little noisy"
"Clutch a bit notchy"
"ABS brakes produce too much judder"
"Brakes could be better"

3. History of Cavalier
Chevrolet's subcompact Cavalier model line was first introduced in 1982. The first generation models had a square boxy look reminiscent of the larger models of the time. The range was quite comprehensive with two-door, four-door, station wagon and convertible models available. Four-cylinder engines powered most models although a V-6 engine was available in some of the upscale trim models. Both engines have been refined over time and their power output has increased.
Over the years, the Cavalier and Ford Escort have vied for the title as most popular subcompact car in the U.S. In 1985 the Cavalier did well, becoming the best-selling car in the U.S., but since then subcompact cars have declined in popularity. The Cavalier was freshened up several times between 1982 and 1992. Sales continued to remain strong as Chevrolet always kept the Cavalier’s price low enough to attract entry-level buyers of new cars.

In 1992, Chevrolet installed anti-lock brakes as standard on the Cavalier, making it the lowest-priced car to offer them. According to GM at the time, it decided that anti-lock brakes offered better safety value than airbags. However, the enthusiasm for airbags caught the company by surprise. Hence the reason airbags did not become standard on the Cavalier until 1995, some time after other cars in its class had them installed.
An all-new Cavalier was introduced in 1994 as a 1995 model.

4. Review of Current Cavalier
Chevrolet did more than just put new sheetmetal on the Cavalier when it introduced a new version in 1995. It took the opportunity to completely redesign the platform and refit the factories where they are built. The longer wheelbase improved the handling as well as providing more interior passenger space.
A complete pre-owned profile of the newer Cavalier model (1995 on) can be found in this section on autotrader.com

5. Basic Facts: 1990 - 1994 Cavalier
Vehicle Type: Compact Sedan/Coupe/Station Wagon/Convertible
No. Passengers: Up to five
Origin of Assembly: Lordstown, OH; Ramos Arizpe, Mexico; Lansing, MI (1995-)
Engine: Standard: 2.2-liter 95 hp (’90-‘91), 110 hp (’92-93), 120 hp (’94) I-4
Option: 3.1-liter 140-hp V-6 (earlier models, 135 hp)
Transmission: five-speed manual, three-speed automatic; front-drive
Length: 182 inches; (wagon: 181 inches)
Wheelbase: 101 inches
Width: 66 inches
Height: 52-54 inches
Curb Weight: 2600 lbs. (approx.)
Cargo Volume: 13 cu ft (wagon: 64 cu ft; convertible: 11 cu ft)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15 gal
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway): 25/36 (2.2-liter, manual); 19/28 (3.1-liter, manual); 23/33 (2.2-liter, auto); 20/28 (3.1-liter, auto)

Safety and Recall information can be obtained from a variety of sources including elsewhere on autotrader.com.

6. Changes in the Chevrolet Cavalier Line 1991 - 1994

1991 Model Year
The Cavalier receives a slight facelift inside and outside
Convertible model re-introduced
Wheel size increases from 13- to 14-inch

1992 Model Year
New fuel injection system helps add 15 hp to base engine
ABS brakes become standard

1993 Model Year
The optional V-6 engine is made available in any RS model
Convertible model now has glass rear window

1994 Model Year
A redesigned four-cylinder engine produces 5 hp increase in power

7. Option Installment Rate
Generally, when you order a new car you have a choice of factory-installed options. When you buy a pre-owned vehicle the choice is limited to what was actually installed on vehicles sold in that model year. Use this option installment rate as a guide to the chances of finding particular options on a pre-owned vehicle. Source: Ward's Automotive Yearbooks
Standard on all models: ABS brakes, power steering

1992 Model Year
4-Door Sedan 32%
2-Door Sedan 56%
Station Wagon 8%
Convertible 4%
2.2-liter 4-cylinder 90%
3.1-liter V-6 10%
Automatic 83%
Manual 17%
Air Conditioning 89%
Power Windows 13%
Cruise Control 19%

1993 Model Year
4-Door Sedan 38%
2-Door Sedan 50%
Station Wagon 8%
Convertible 4%
2.2-liter 4-cylinder 85%
3.1-liter V-6 15%
Automatic 86%
Manual 14%
Air Conditioning 89%
Power Windows 10%
Cruise Control 45%

1994 Model Year
4-Door Sedan 36%
2-Door Sedan 54%
Station Wagon 7%
Convertible 3%
2.2-liter 4-cylinder 85%
3.1-liter V-6 15%
Automatic 86%
Manual 14%
Air Conditioning 92%
Power Windows 17%
Cruise Control 46%

8. Production/Sales Volume History
Normally, a model year runs from October to September. Often though, when a new version is introduced, it hits the market before October. Legally, a model year can start as early as January of the preceding year. Accurate model year sales counts are almost impossible to collect, as different model year vehicles are regularly sold side-by-side for several months. Production figures, when listed, include vehicles made for export to Canada, Mexico and overseas. Source: manufacturers

1991 Model Year
Production Run: Oct. 1990 through Sept. 1991
Total Number Produced: n/a
Total No. Sold in U.S.: 281,378

1992 Model Year
Production Run: Oct. 1991 through Sept. 1992
Total Number Produced: 225,633
Total No. Sold in U.S.: 212,675

1993 Model Year
Production Run: Oct. 1992 through Sept. 1993
Total Number Produced: n/a
Total No. Sold in U.S.: 249,388

1994 Model Year
Production Run: Oct. 1993 through Sept. 1994
Total Number Produced: n/a
Total No. Sold in U.S.: 247,029

9. Awards and Commendations
No significant awards

"I guess I was ready to be disappointed when I first got into the Cavalier [V-6 Wagon], but I was pleasantly surprised. It's a pleasant little car. It might not have the refinements of newer cars from Japan, but it seems to get the job done quite well." -- John Rettie, New York Times Regional Newspaper Group Test Drive, July 1993

11. Cost of Parts and Service (Relative to Other Vehicles)
Headlight unit: $170 (above average)
Side marker lamp: $30 (average)
Door (left front): $375 (below average)
Fender (left front): $146 (below average)
Note: these are estimated retail prices for commonly replaced body parts on a 1995 model. Prices are current as of mid-1998 but will vary from region to region and are subject to change at any time. Source: ADP Collision

The Rettie Report and Pre-Owned Profiles contain objective information from a variety of sources. The subjective comments are those of John Rettie.

Printable Version

1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

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Printable Version

1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

NEW! 6-Year/100,000-Mile¹ Powertrain Limited Warranty

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty

Exclusive 2-Year/24,000-Mile³ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program with two included maintenance visits

¹Whichever comes first, from original in-service date. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
²Whichever comes first, from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
³Maintenance visits must occur within two years or 24,000 miles of vehicle delivery, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2012-2017 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
IMPORTANT RECALL INFORMATION: Before a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle is listed or sold, GM requires dealers to complete all safety recalls. However, because even the best processes can break down, we encourage you to check the recall status of any vehicle at recalls.gm.com
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day/150-Mile&#185; Vehicle Exchange Program <br> &#185;Whichever comes first. Vehicle exchange only. See dealer for details.
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1989 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe

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