Sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,100*


1990 Chevrolet Beretta GTZ


1990 Chevrolet Beretta Indy interior


1991 Chevrolet Beretta GTZ interior


1994 Chevrolet Beretta Z26


1996 Chevrolet Beretta

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6 and Quad 4)
  • Antilock brakes (1992-96)
  • Handling/roadholding (GT, GTZ, Z26)
  • Value
Cons:
  • Acceleration (early 4-cylinder)
  • Control layout
  • Engine noise (4-cylinder)
  • Rear-seat room

By its final years, Beretta lagged behind its rivals in style and image. On the other hand, a Beretta offers more interior space than most sport coupes and was among the few to offer a V6 engine option.

Overview

When introduced during 1987, Chevy’s compact, sporty front-drive coupe and its Corsica sedan mate became hot sellers. By 1990, the original engines were gone, as Berettas adopted a larger 2.2-liter four and a 3.1 liter V6. Making 135 horsepower, the V6 was standard in the GT coupe. A sporty GTZ with 180-horsepower Quad 4 engine joined the 1990 lineup, replacing the prior GTU.

Yearly Updates

1991 Beretta
A driver-side airbag arrived for 1991, and the high performance GTZ could get a V6 engine instead of the standard Quad 4. Accompanying the airbag was a new steering wheel, plus redesigned gauges and controls.
1992 Beretta
Antilock braking became standard for ’92, as the base 2.2-liter engine added 15 horsepower. The 3.1-liter V6 again was standard on the GT and optional on base and GTZ Berettas. The GTZ continued to use a standard Quad 4 engine.
1993 Beretta
Base, GT, and GTZ models again went on sale, but the V6 that had been standard on the GT was now optional for all Berettas. The GT’s Quad 4 engine dropped five horsepower, due to stricter emissions standards.
1994 Beretta
More-potent engines arrived, a Z26 with new Quad 4 engine replaced the GT/GTZ, and a 4-speed electronic automatic transmission joined the 3-speed. The new 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine made 120 horsepower (up from 110), and the available V6 gained 20 horsepower (now rated at 160). The dual-overhead-cam 2.3-liter Quad 4 engine, installed in the Z26 coupe, developed 170 horsepower. The new electronic 4-speed automatic was the sole transmission choice for Berettas with V6 power. Door-mounted front shoulder belts replaced the former manual seatbelts.
1995 Beretta
Daytime running lights were added, and the Z26 got V6 power, deleting the Quad 4 engine. Automatic-transmission fluid and spark plugs now required no servicing for 100,000 miles under normal operating conditions.
1996 Beretta
For its final season, the front-drive coupe showed few changes.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

By 1990, Berettas had three engine choices: base 2.2 liter 4-cylinder with 95 horsepower; 135-horsepower, 3.1-liter V6; and a new Oldsmobile-developed, dual-overhead-cam High Output 2.3 liter Quad 4 that put out 180 horsepower, in the GTZ. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard; 3-speed automatic optional in all except the GTZ (unless a V6 was installed). For 1992, the 4-cylinder gained 15 horsepower. Two years later, it added 10 more. Also in ’94, the 3.1-liter V6 gained 20 horsepower (reaching 160). A 170-horsepower Quad 4 was installed only in the new Z26.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.1/191
Engine HP 135-160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 180-185
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
19/28
20/28
21/29

21.9

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/138
Engine HP 170-180
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 150-160
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

21/31

ohv I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/133
Engine HP 95-120
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 120-130
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
25/27
24/31
27.6
22.3

Road Test

The V6 engines, standard on the GT, are more powerful than the noisy and anemic four. A GT, in fact, delivered the best mix of performance, looks, and value. In any model, an automatic transmission beats the imprecise 5-speed. Four-cylinder Berettas with base suspension and standard narrow tires furnish few thrills, even with the extra horsepower in later models. Weak in performance when connected to automatic, that 2.2-liter engine is noisy with either transmission. A V6 delivers lively acceleration and works well with the smoother 4-speed automatic transmission.

Adding the GTZ in 1990 took performance a serious step forward. Even its sport suspension and 16-inch tires cannot prevent the GTZ from getting weak-kneed in really fast driving, but it offers quite a lot of driving pleasure for the money. On the other hand, the GTZ’s unsupportive sport bucket seats and uncoordinated suspension detract from the fun on twisty roads. The Quad 4 engine in later Z26 coupes is quick but noisy, demands expensive premium fuel, and, like the GTZ, came only with the rough-shifting manual transmission.

Front seats are roomy and the rear is passable. Average-size adults aren’t likely to complain about brief rides back there–though getting in and out can be a challenge. Gauges are clearly marked, but cumbersome rotary dials for headlights and wipers cannot be operated without taking your hands off the wheel. Climate controls are too low to operate easily while driving.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Chevrolet Beretta 3.1-liter

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 42

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.4 187.3 67.9 53.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.1 15.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.6 36.6 43.4 32.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1993 Beretta 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 116
Injury 116
Theft 60

Trouble Spots

Engine noise
Description: Ticking noise from the engine after startup may be due to loose piston wrist pins requiring replacement of all six pistons and pins. (1994-95)
Engine noise
Description: A rattling noise on cold startups could be due to oil-pump starvation and cavitation in the automatic transmission. (1994-95)
Engine noise
Description: Ticking on cold startup may be due to excessive piston pin to bore clearance. (1994-96)
Transmission leak
Description: A revised transmission-oil seal (green in color) was created to correct a leak at the right front (drive) axle. (1992-94)
Water leak
Description: Water leaks onto the right front floor through a gap between the air inlet screen at the bottom of the windshield. (1991-94)

Recall History

1991
Description: Steering-wheel nut may not have been properly tightened, allowing steering wheel to separate from column, causing loss of control and potential for crash without warning.
1994-95
Description: Reinforcement panel was omitted from right-side rocker assembly, reducing occupant protection in a side-impact collision.
1996
Description: Interior lamps might come on unexpectedly while vehicle is being driven.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.