The Chevrolet Chevette was, upon its introduction for 1976, the smallest Chevy ever offered. But as you'll learn in this article, the Chevette was a big success among budget-conscious buyers.

The Chevrolet Chevette replaced the Chevrolet Vega as the entry-level Chevy. It was based on an Opel model from General Motor's European brand and was nothing fancy.

Classic Cars Image Gallery

1976 Chevrolet Chevette
Chevrolet touted the 1976 Chevette's "international design
 and heritage." See more pictures of classic cars.

The Chevette rode an uncomplicated rear-wheel-drive chassis and used old-tech four-cylinder engines that started at just 52 horsepower and never rose to more than 74 over the car's 12-year life. But simplicity was a virtue for the tiny Chevrolet Chevette, which came in two- and four-door hatchback body styles.

Prices were always very affordable. They started around $3,000 for the 1976 Chevette and hovered near $5,000 in the early 1980s. Prices even retreated to $4,995 for the 1987 Chevrolet Chevette as Chevy tried to milk the last ounce of value out of the model in the face of more modern competition, some coming from within its own showrooms.

The Chevrolet Chevette was painfully slow but proved reliable and was economical to run. With its gasoline engine, the Chevette rated as much as 28 mpg city, 40 highway. Starting in 1981, the car was available with a four-cylinder diesel engine. This got even better fuel economy but was slower still than the gas model.

The Chevrolet Chevette was mechanically out of date when it debuted, changed very little over its lifetime, and was long past any semblance of modern when it retired in 1987.

Check out the pages that follow, however, to see how being a bit old fashioned isn't always a bad thing.

1982 Chevrolet Chevette 5-door hatchback
The 1982 Chevrolet Chevette suffered from weak sales.

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Classic Cars: Learn about more than 400 of the world's finest classic and collectible automobiles.
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  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.