The cavaliers aren't too bad of a car
my dad's gf used to have a sunfire 4banger with 5spd and i got to drive it a few times. (they're basically the same car as the cavalier)It was pretty peppy for a 4banger, and the transmission was very smooth, but it just didn't do it for me. I almost bought it at the time though because it was selling for a very good price and I couldn't afford a bimmer then.
I'd say they're nice inexpensive daily drivers.
'94 Supercharged E36 325is (150,000 original km's)
-Vortech V9 G-Trim @ ~10psi w/ BOV
-255LPH Walbro fuel pump
-TEIN SS Coilovers w/ Pillowball mounts
-Keskin KT1 17x8.5 & 17x10
-Remus full catback
-Authentic Rieger Infinity I body kit
-SMT6 EMS (Untuned)