The success of General Motors' Chevrolet Cavalier has always been somewhat of a mystery. This car is certainly not a prime example of cutting-edge technology: The Cavalier is as sophisticated as a Big Mac - and nearly as popular. As recently as 1993, Cavalier was the nation's fourth best-selling nameplate, and it remains GM's most popular product line. So maybe Chevy's nonchalant attitude toward updating its mainstay subcompact shouldn't be all that surprising. Up until now, the Cavalier's long-running popularity has been fueled by two factors. Rental companies and other fleet customers have made up a hefty chunk of Cavalier's customers, but GM is sharply cutting back on those low-profit sales. And cost has been the other piece of the Cavalier equation, but with plenty of new competitors crowding the market, even the Cavalier's low sticker price is losing its appeal. So now is the right time for an all-new Cavalier to take its bows. The redesigned 1995 Cavalier is the first complete remake of this vehicle since its debut in 1982. Models include the base-level coupe and sedan, the LS sedan, the convertible and the Z24 coupe. And they all look to be in tune with the value-conscious 1990s. But there's got to be more than just looks. Does the new car live up to the public's long-simmering expectations? And will it have the staying power of the compact car it replaced? Those are just some of the questions that popped into mind as we took our $10,966 base Cavalier sedan for a test drive.
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