After a run of 23 model years, Chevrolet’s entry-level Cavalier has finally been retired in favour of the all-new Cobalt. Although you’re left with what’s remaining on dealer lots, the official 2005 line-up is the VL, VLX and Z24, in coupe and sedan form. The Cavalier comes with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic.

All come with the gutsy little 2.2-litre Ecotec inline four-cylinder, which does a fine job of propelling the little car along. The new Cobalt may have better handling and a slightly more powerful engine, but the Cavalier is no slouch for its price tag. While it isn’t always up to the quality of many of its Japanese rivals, it holds its own among most of the domestic and Korean offerings.

Standard features on the VL line include a rear spoiler on the coupe, 14-inch steel wheels, fixed-delay intermittent wipers, electric remote trunk release, cloth seats, 60/40 folding rear seat, and AM/FM stereo.

The VLX adds power mirrors, 15-inch steel wheels (on the coupe), power locks, tilt wheel, power windows and CD player.

The Z24 adds fog lights, Z-specific front and rear fascias, ground effects, 16-inch aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wipers, air conditioning, cruise control, sport seats, CD/MP3 premium system, and sport suspension.

You can’t order the options you want, and you’ll have to choose from what your retailer has in stock, but expect dealers to be selling the Cavalier at rock-bottom prices to clear out the remainder. That could make the Cavalier one of the better values on the market, at least for a short time. You can’t always get what you want, but it may be just what you need.

The Cavalier is built in Lordstown, Ohio.

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