I am completely and fully convinced that God created the world in six days. And on the seventh, while He rested, Beelzebub came up and created Detroit, the UAW, and the General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio, where this car was made.
I had the opportunity to take a 2005 Cavalier for a drive. It had just a hair over 105,000 miles on it at the time and I picked it up from the shop, if that tells you anything – it had just had over $1,000 of work done, the lion’s share of which went towards replacing the fuel pump. This particular car was equipped with a 2.2 liter four-cylinder engine, called the Ecotec. When it was new, the Ecotec was good for 140 horsepower, giving the car a semi-respectable 0-60 time of in my estimation nine seconds and speed that is competitive with (and actually somewhat better than) other compact cars of the time. The government reckons this car is good for 31 MPG on the highway, which isn’t bad considering the body and styling hadn’t been updated since the mid 90’s.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. According to the owner, this is the second fuel pump that has been replaced in the past seven years. The paint is literally peeling away, leaving the bare metal underneath. The floor has been re-welded three times in a semi-succesful attempt to keep puddles from entering the car and ruining the upholstery. The accelerator pedal (throttle body?) is hesitant and jerky when you start to get going, there is an alarming wheel wobble when you get up to around 60 MPH, and I am convinced that the rear suspension is built out of cardboard. I won’t even get into the truly woeful state of the brakes, the appalling road noise, the litany of power window issues, the non-functioning windshield washer pump, or the tie rod that gave out about a week after I drove it.
2005, and it’s already ready for the scrap heap.