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2000 CHEVROLET CAVALIER Z24

Six years ago, the Cavalier underwent a radical transformation. At the time, its antiquated frame was improved to give it the same characteristics as competing models, and designers created sleeker bodies with symmetrical lines. The changes were only introduced after some 15 years of non-improvements, but fortunately, management didn't wait another decade to update its design and engine, so that in the Fall of 1999, the substantially altered 2000 model turned up in showrooms.

In addition to its rounded contours and more prominent clear-lens headlights, the Z24 coupe features a rear spoiler to better identify it. But the most significant changes were made to its interior. Creating a new dashboard allowed moving the instrument panel, modernizing its look and using higher-quality plastics. Although the transformation may not be obvious at first glance, it is nonetheless quite significant. The refined model also features a radio with an interruption retardation system. Even when you remove the key from the ignition, the radio continues to play until the door opens.

The propulsion systems are the same, with the return of 2.2 litre and 2.4 litre engines, the former being an overhead cylinder engine and the latter, a twin-cam, 150 horsepower engine. The standard series features an upgraded 5-speed manual shift transmission and offers an optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

The main advantage of buying the basic Cavalier is its inexpensive price tag. This simple model is relatively good on gas, handles well on highways and is not unduly affected by poor road conditions. In fact, it's rather good in this way, so long as you understand the limits of its pneumatics, which favours fuel savings but has relatively weak traction control. Improvements could be made to its finish, the quality of its plastics and seat cushions. It's really a basic mode of transport, no more, no less.

On the other hand, if you like sports cars, Chevrolet offers the Z24, a sports coupe equipped with a 2.4 litre, 150 horsepower engine that offers features more in keeping with the flamboyant nature of this model. In addition to its more powerful engine, the Z24 has 16-inch low-profile tires. A rear anti-roll bar has also been added for good measure on all series models except the basic version.

Although some may not like to admit it, the 2.4 twin-cam engine isn't the same vibration-producing engine that was on the market over a decade ago. Improvements introduced over the years have made it far more reliable and created a smoother drive. And with its 150 horsepower engine, this is quite impressive for a vehicle in this category. The manual shift transmission on the 2000 model is more precise and the gear shift seems to be connected to something solid rather than an elastic.

Although some may not like to admit it, the 2.4 twin-cam engine isn't the same vibration-producing engine that was on the market over a decade ago. Improvements introduced over the years have made it far more reliable and created a smoother drive. And with its 150 horsepower engine, this is quite impressive for a vehicle in this category. The manual shift transmission on the 2000 model is more precise and the gear shift seems to be connected to something solid rather than an elastic.

Actually, the problem with this vehicle is that it hasn't evolved the way its engine has. It offers good road handling, a slightly above average performance and adequate comfort, but there's something limited about this Cavalier. One gets the impression that improvements were individually conceived without necessarily taking the whole into consideration. One of its main faults lies in its front suspension, which doesn't handle well over road bumps and potholes. Frontal shocks are poorly controlled and absorbed. At least, that's the way it feels behind the wheel. What's more, it would be time for designers to create something other than a generic steering wheel that is so drab, it could have been lifted from a military vehicle.

The Cavalier Z24 is an attractive coupe whose 150 horsepower engine offers the advantage of above average acceleration without breaking the bank. But competition has become fierce over the years, and its old-fashioned features are easier to notice despite improvements made to the 2000 model. The Cavalier 2001 will be virtually identical with the exception of minor details, and it seems that this will also be the case for the next few years since GM has no plans to replace its current model for another 2 or 3 years at the earliest - a decision that is bound to please Ford, whose Focus is the top-selling model in the world!

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2000 Chevrolet Cavalier
chevrolet cavalier 2000
2000 Chevrolet Cavalier
Review this Vehicle
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