The 1988 Chevy Cavaliers traded a blunt
nose and tail for gently curved units.
The rear boasted a different decklid, end panel, bumper, and taillights. Styling changes were most apparent on the coupe, which also got a new roofline with more slanted rear pillars.
Model choices were trimmed, with Cavaliers now coming in a "stripper" VL coupe; base coupe, sedan, and wagon; RS coupe and sedan; and Z24 coupe and convertible. The hatchback body style was deleted. Z24s got a restyled analog instrument cluster with tachometer as standard, while the previous year's electronic dashboard was optional on the Z24 and RS.
Base engine was again a 90-horsepower 2.0-liter four with throttle-body fuel injection. The port-fuel-injected 2.8-liter V-6 standard in the Z24 lost five horsepower to 125 but was now also offered as an option in wagons. With both engines, a five-speed manual transmission was standard, a three-speed automatic optional.
Despite the new look, Cavalier sales dropped somewhat, from about 346,000 to just under 323,000. That put it no better than fourth in industry sales, and it was no longer even Chevy's top seller.
1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Facts
||Weight range (lbs.)
||Price range (new)
For 1988, the Cavalier convertible moved up
from the RS trim level to Z24 status.
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