Chevrolet Cavalier is a compact vehicle manufactured by General Motors from 1982 to 2005. The company built this vehicle on J platform and remained one of the best selling vehicles in the United States since its first appearance.
The Cavalier was a replacement vehicle for Monza that was available as a 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback and a 3-door wagon. In the previous models, rear-wheel drive layout was used while the new vehicles came with the front-wheel drive layout like Honda Civic and Dodge Omni.
The first generation Cavalier was launched as 1982 model in 1981. It was a front-wheel drive equipped with two carbureted four-cylinder pushrod engines and offered as 2-door and 4-door sedan, hatchback and station wagon. In 1983, convertibles were introduced in the lineup.
Throttle body injection was introduced in 1983 followed by a V6 engine in 1985 which was quite unusual to be found in subcompact cars at that time. A facelift model was launched in 1984 with quad headlights.
In 1988, the redesigned version of Cavalier was launched. The company discontinued the 2-door hatchback while continue to produce coupe, sedan, wagon and convertible. It was offered in three trim levels including VL, RS and Z24 where convertible was only offered as Z24. The VL and RS received 2.0-L L4 engine as standard, generating 90 hp (67 kW). However, 2.8-L V6 was optional on RS but available as standard on Z24. All the trim levels came with 5-speed manual transmission and 3-speed automatic was offered as optional.
The second generation model remained in production till 1994 with slightest of alterations throughout its life span.
In 1995, the third generation Cavalier was launched with a complete redesigned model. It was appear to be more contemporary with some extended dimensions. In third generation models, the wagon was discontinued. V6 engine was dropped from the entire lineup of Cavalier.
In 1996, a new engine was offered on Z24, the LD9 2.4-L capable of generating 150 hp (112 kW) and torque of 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) paired to Getrag F23 5-speed manual transmission. The Z24 received this engine by 2002. A GM Eaton M45 Supercharger kit was offered as optional on Z24.
In 2000 and 2003, Cavalier received its facelift models. The production of convertible stopped in 2000.
With a view to prevent additional restrictions on exports to the US, Toyota sold the third generation Cavalier renamed as Toyota Cavalier under an agreement with General Motors. Toyota Cavalier sold in Japan was essentially a right hand drive that offered a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, wider front fenders, amber turn signals for fulfilling Japanese regulations, power folding side mirrors, side turn signal repeater lights on the front fenders and carpeting on the inside of the trunk lid. Toyota Cavalier was offered with two trim levels including a 2.4G and a 2.4Z. The Toyota Cavalier produced between the period 1996 and 2000 offered with a 2.4-L LD9 engine; however, the earlier models like 1995 came with 2.3-L Quad 4.
In 2000, all the Chevrolet Cavalier models received a facelift and Toyota also put in some efforts to introduce an upgraded center console, headlights, hood, front bumper, taillights and color combinations.
The Japanese used Cavalier models were also re-exported to some countries and among them New Zealand was the prominent name. The production of the Toyota Cavalier was discontinued in 2000.
For Japanese market, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) also offered a body kit and rear wing for Cavalier.