1995 Geo Prizm Reviews from North America

1995 Geo Prizm LSi 1.8L

Model year1995
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 1.8L Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired139000 miles
Most recent distance149000 miles
Previous carIsuzu Rodeo

Summary:

Better than you'd think

Faults:

At 140,000 miles I replaced both front wheel bearings and both of the front CV axles (not a big deal for a back yard mechanic) - a total cost of about $500. I replaced the brake pads then too, at about 30 dollars. I replaced the spark plugs at the same time, and one of them had deposits on it, and the compression reading was a little low in that cylinder.

The 1.8 liter Toyota engine runs GREAT, but does burn some oil. I might have to have the valve stem seals replaced to pass my smog test for the next year.

General Comments:

In general a really good car. I do my own repairs, and knew I'd have to replace parts on this clean $1,700 daily driver.

Really good acceleration, through all 5 gears, good for an econo-box 4 door. I get 32 MPG in mixed driving, and have gotten 37.74 MPG in an 82 mile sprint from one gas station to another (2.17 gallons to top it off). Just wanted to see the real highway numbers.

There is some vibration up front at highway speeds; probably warped brake rotors, or a tire that is out of balance.

Used as my commuter car, and for training my daughter to drive a manual transmission, because it is an incredibly easy car to manage, great visibility, easy shifting, and the steering is very responsive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2013

1995 Geo Prizm

Model year1995
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance198000 miles
Previous carSaturn SL

Summary:

Best car I've ever owned

Faults:

Engine mounting brackets sagged and needed to be replaced.

Inside door handle cracked.

Outside door handle snapped off.

General Comments:

This car is the best car I've ever owned. I've owned a classic car, a brand new car straight from the factory, and an ancient Oldsmobile.

I paid 5,000 dollars for it in 2000, thinking it would just be an A to B car This Geo Prizm has gone so much further than I ever expected. It has been submerged on a road till the headlights were under water (briefly and by accident), and right after I took it to be looked at by the dealer, and all that needed to be replaced were the spark plugs. It has been hit while I was not in the car, and again took it to be looked at, and all that was wrong was the dented door.

A couple years back in a nasty blizzard, the driver's side outside door handle snapped off from the cold, but that was a cheap and easy fix. The engine mounting brackets were starting to sag, so I replaced them. Not so cheap, but well worth it.

I have the ability to replace this car, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Just when I think it's over, maybe 6 more months, it goes the distance and never dies. I do take care of it, aside from the occasional late oil change.

I know this car has no value as a trade in, so I have no desire to give it up. It's ugly, the paint has faded, and it has some dents, but that can all be fixed if I choose to do so. However, under the hood, this is the champion of cars. It never fails me, and never needs really major fixes. 18 years old, and it's still going like a champ. I can't express enough how good of a car this has been for me. I get great gas mileage still, and it will make long trips without any incidents, aside from a shaky steering wheel. Also it has surpassed all of my friends and family's newer cars. They just don't make them like this anymore.

Overall, the best car I ever purchased, hands down. If you find one that's been taken care of, grab it!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2013

30th Jan 2013, 09:02

I second that! I bought my 1996 Prizm Base 1.6 3 speed auto in 2003 with 103k miles, and still have it! Miles are now 354k! The motor has never been apart, or the tranny either!

It's sitting now as it needs a starter, but I got the $5 brass contacts kit off eBay! Because the starters only go on the contacts!

This car was hammered for many years in Texas Hill Country as a newspaper carrier's delivery vehicle, putting in hard shifts of 150 miles a day!! Now it is our 2nd car. Guess what replaced it, yep another Toyota engine! A 1999 Corolla!

Yes, mine's got no paint, dents, no trunk lock, but she runs when called upon!

30th Jan 2013, 12:10

No paint? Uh oh, better get Maaco :)

6th Feb 2013, 11:48

I second that! I bought my 1996 Prizm base 1.6 3 speed auto in 2003 with 103k miles. Still have it! The miles are now 354k! The motor's never been apart, or the tranny either!

It's sitting now as it needs a starter, but I got the $5 brass contacts kit off eBay! Because the starters only go on the contacts! This car was hammered for many years in Texas Hill Country as a newspaper carrier's delivery vehicle, putting in hard shifts of 150 miles a day!! Now it is our 2nd car; guess what replaced it, yep another Toyota engine! A 1999 Corolla! Yes, mine's got no paint, dents, no trunk lock, but she runs when called upon!

I am the guy who left the "no paint" comment on my 1996 Prizm; it was meant in jest. Such a shame a hater showed up and had to leave the Maaco comment! Big yawn!

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 40 reviews