Northwest NEWS

March 11, 2002


TEST DRIVE- 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Sport Coupe

The 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Sport Coupe is a stylish sports car with lots of standard features for the price. My test model came in indigo blue metallic with a gray interior which was quite attractive. The body color extends to the side molding, bumpers, door handles and mirrors. The power mirrors are spring-loaded. The high-profile rear spoiler comes as a standard feature on the LS. The new 2.2L Ecotec engine is responsive which makes the car fun to drive. The140-hp engine is designed with state-of-the-art components that are virtually maintenance-free. The chain-drive systems, as well as the valve train with hydraulic lash adjusters, are all durable for the life of the vehicle, and a new ignition cassette eliminates spark plug wires. The low-emission engine uses regular, unleaded fuel and the 4-speed automatic, gets EPA-estimated 24 city and 32 highway miles per gallon which is nice with increasing gas prices. The exhaust system is stainless steel. The Cavalier features the sport suspension system. My test drive model came with the optional 4-speed automatic transmission which has an all-speed traction assist system. When the system's sensors detect wheel spin on snow or ice, they reduce engine power and control transmission shifting which in turn slows the wheels to help stabilize the vehicle and improve traction. The four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) come as a standard feature in the Cavalier. The ABS helps maintain steering control in slippery conditions and is activated by applying hard, steady pressure to the brake pedal. The interior is sporty looking. The steering column tilts, the analog gauges include a tachometer, and there are three cupholders in the center console which also has a storage area (there are two more in the back). There is a dimmer on interior dome lamps once all doors are closed. The battery saver system activates in 20 minutes and shuts off any light you may have left on once you turn off the ignition. This a feature I could have used on my own cars from time to time. Standard features include 16-inch chromed aluminum wheels, power windows and doors, fog lamps, air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with cassette and CD players and PASSlock theft- deterrent system. The trunk has a cargo net.