Chevrolet Cavalier is the most popular car built by General Motors, and one of the 10 most popular cars sold in the United States. But more significantly, for nearly 20 years Cavalier has been one of the most popular choices among first-time new-car buyers. Like the girl (or boy) next door, it's been a lot of people's first sweetheart. The reasons for this persistent success are clear. There's the sheer number of Chevrolet dealers, of course, backed by the production and marketing momentum of General Motors. Beyond that, however, Cavalier has always been a simple and economical car with baby-Camaro kind of flair. It meets all the practical definitions of "basic transportation,'' but looks like much more. A high level of standard equipment is an important part of the Cavalier formula. That modest base price listed above includes color-keyed bumper covers, air conditioning, power steering, anti-lock brakes, and a theft-deterrent system. You don't have to be a first-time new-car buyer to appreciate value like that.