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Chevrolet has produced some of the best small cars of all time. Some have this title due to performance, whereas others have it based on how they appeal to the mass market. The Chevrolet Cavalier falls into the latter category as it was once one of the most popular vehicles. Here’s why Chevy discontinued the Cavalier in most parts of the world. 

Why did Chevrolet stop selling the Cavalier?

The Chevrolet Cavalier is one of the best small cars in recent memory. It holds this status partly because it lasted so long on the market and went through so many evolutions. Chevy introduced the Cavalier for the 1982 model year, and it remained in production until 2005. The car was quite successful for several years as it sold over 250,000 units each year from 1983 until 1994 when it sold 187,263 units. 

The Chevrolet Cavalier was popular for a time
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier | Photo by Tim Boyle/via Getty Images

However, things picked up again the following year when sales exceeded the 200k mark. The car retained this level of popularity until 2004, as sales once again dipped below this benchmark. 

The discontinuation of the Chevrolet Cavalier came about for a couple of reasons. As is often the case, low sales were a significant factor as the car’s popularity had decreased over the years. According to Good Car Bad Car, only about 18,960 people purchased the Chevrolet Cavalier in 2005. 

Sales weren’t the only issue with the Cavalier

Despite being one of the best cars, the Chevrolet Cavalier wasn’t the safest vehicle between 1995 and 2005. This is because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave these models a poor rating in significant areas. In particular, it tested poorly for its protection in the event of frontal crashes. Because of this, people had high risks of head, neck, and leg injuries. 

The Chevrolet Cavalier was never among the most exciting cars or the best for performance. However, it was affordable and served as reliable transportation for many. It’s unfortunate that the later models had so many safety issues, and the public lost trust. However, sedans were struggling with sales at the time. This is one reason Chevy replaced the Cavalier with the Cobalt. 

The Cavalier may not be an option anyone would want as a used car, but it does reserve a special place in automotive history. Perhaps Chevy will someday restore the Cavalier nameplate worldwide, as there is always a need for affordable and reliable vehicles.