The good things about the (or, this particular) car: A beefy engine with good acceleration at all speeds. Responsive yet (mostly) stable power steering. Pedal and steering column lengths set to my proportions. The radio and CD player interface was intuitive (very important while driving).
The bad things: the rear view mirror obscures the driver's vision for making right-hand turns. There's about enough room in the driver's side blind spot to hide a full-sized vehicle. (I didn't check this on the passenger side.) The trunk seems a bit small, especially for a non-compact car. I never found the switch to turn on the interior light.
Given a choice, I'd rather drive a Neon than a Cavalier, but I'd probably choose a Cavalier over the Focus, and definitely over the stupid Metro. I doubt I'd want to purchase one, though; I'd rather have a smaller car. Also, although it's been a while since I last sat in one, I'd like to compare the Cavalier and compact cars to, say, a Honda Accord or Civic sedan. The Accord was the one car at the 2002 Seattle Car Show that I sat in that I liked, although I have yet to drive one.