1990 Chevrolet Cavalier

The 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier RL, part of the 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier line.
Cavalier's sporty entry for 1990 was the Z24;
the mid-level offering was this RL.

The 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier dropped its open-air variant -- a move that was done in anticipation of the introduction of a Beretta convertible. As it turned out, engineers had difficulty finding an economical solution to correct the Beretta's excessive body shake, and the effort was finally aborted. However, it was too late to revive the Cavalier droptop -- at least for this year.

In order to offer low-priced alternatives to the coupe, Chevrolet expanded the VL model line for 1990 to include a sedan and wagon. These slotted in below the base models, which also comprised all three body styles, and added power steering and tinted glass to their list of standard features. With the demise of the convertible, the sporty Z24 now came only in coupe form.

Performance was enhanced across the board by enlarging the Cavalier's two available engines. The 2.0-liter four grew to 2.2 liters, gaining five horsepower in the bargain, now 95. Standard on the Z24 and optional on the wagon was a 3.1-liter V-6 to replace the old 2.8, which likewise provided a power boost; in this case, from 130 to 140 horsepower.

Besides minor trim alterations, Cavalier was otherwise little changed for 1990. Prices rose by about $200, and production dropped by nearly 20 percent to around 311,000 -- though in this slow year for the industry, that was enough to earn Cavalier second place in the sales race behind the Ford Taurus.

1990 Chevrolet Cavalier Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Cavalier
2,465-2,529
$7,577-$11,505
310,951

The 2.2-liter inline four engine.
The 1990 Cavalier's 2.2-liter inline four came standard with
an Isuzu-built five-speed stick.

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