1995 Geo Prizm Base 1.6L

Summary:

Toyota reliability; Chevy price

Faults:

Starter had to replaced at 180k.

Replaced the clutch right below 190k.

Speakers were poor and blew out in rear deck. Replaced radio with aftermarket Xplod Cd player (tape deck went out).

General Comments:

Though I was skeptical to purchase a Geo at first, I wanted to live below my means and avoid financing. Few cars were available in the 1500-2k price range that didn't look terrible and run bad. Notwithstanding, after much prayer to God, I was able to purchase the car for $1750. Unfortunately it was wrecked. The insurance company gave me more than I paid for it! In fact, the repairs total were less than the difference... I made money on the car!

Engine is very quiet; though at high speeds it hits over 3000 rpm. Road noise is moderate. Seats are adequate. A little tight if you are over 6 feet. Rear seat does not fold down. Trunk somewhat small.

No cruise control. No tilt wheel. Paint was just starting to lose clear coat; at a distance the car looked OK though.

Gas mileage was around 33mpg- an excellent way to save money. Handles very well.

This model was a standard- had excellent shifting and suprising power for such a small engine (relatively speaking- you won't outrace a Corvette)

Since it was a base model, there were no power features that went out.

As far as I know, this car started up every single time I tried. I changed my own oil most of the time; either way it was changed every 3k miles.

Great economic car- highly rated by Consumer Reports for reliability.

These are not made any more... Chevy took them in 98, and phased them out in 01. Or maybe 02.

The secret of this car is that it has a Corolla engine... this is one of the few ways to get a cheap Toyota!

Buy one if you can find one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2008

1995 Geo Prizm STD Sedan 1.6

Summary:

Need Help on transmission repair

Faults:

Transmission went out at 175000 miles.

The car is in the shop right now and I am debating about to fix it or to get rid of it. My options of fixing it are between a rebuilt transmission for $1700 and a replaced one from yard for $1000.

Timing belt was replaced around 150000 miles.

One axle (either front or rear) was replaced in the last 2 to 3 years.

One starter, a few batteries, a few sets of tires has been replaced over the period of 11 years.

One collision backs on 1997 and needed minor bodywork. The car also involved in 3 deer accidents, but no repair needed.

General Comments:

Before the transmission went out, the car ran great. The state emission test shows that the readings of my prizm surpass the state emission standard easily. The transmission went out without any warning sign. It happened at a time I was slowing down at highway exit. I felt a sudden down shift and it went downhill from there. Eventually, it is not drivable. The engine can start, but you cannot switch to anything other than P and N.

I appreciate that any comment about if the car worth fixing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2006

24th Aug 2006, 17:13

Well you can't buy a new car for 1700.00 that's for sure. I had a 1994 Geo Prizm with 275,000 miles on it before the engine gave out. I replaced the automatic three speed transmission around 195,000 miles and didn't have any problems with it after that.

1995 Geo Prizm Base 1.6L gas

Summary:

Nice reliable car

Faults:

Had a funny rattle when the AC ran since the day I got it.

Accident at 8400 miles, $3500 to repair. Air bags did not deploy on a T-bone (this car was the base of the T, someone else was driving).

No start. Starter replaced at 53,000 miles, for $430.

Timing and other belts changed at 80,000 miles, $300.

Bounced off curb (ice) and had to replace wheel and struts, realign. $433.

Started having a minor oil leak/burn (no dripping) at 105,000 miles. Never have fixed it.

Transmission service at 108,000 miles. I waited too long, so after this, I go in now and then and they drain the fluid and refill. After gradually doing this (cheaply - $40/visit?) for a while, I had the filter and gasket done. Never have done a flush.

No start. Starter solenoid contacts fixed at 129,000, for $130. Wonder if first starter could have been fixed this way.

One engine belt changed (it was frayed). $50.

Some rust fixed at 150,000 miles. $150.

Took too long to change plugs and it abruptly started running on 3 cylinders at 160,000 miles. The vibration was so bad it flexed a crack in the exhaust manifold and set off an engine code (lean burning / O2 sensor). Replaced plugs and wires and looked into engine codes for $200. As soon as it started running again, the code never came back. Crack is probably still there.

General Comments:

I wanted a cheap, nice, reliable car that would last for at least 10 years and 150K miles with few repairs and I got what I wanted. It's small and underpowered and a little noisy on the highway, but other than that it's great. Very reliable and cheap to own, and when I got it it was inhumanly perfect. Everything ran exactly right, and the engine was so quiet you could not tell it was running - even standing next to the front of the car it was hard to tell. The gas gauge was perfectly linear, and it always got exactly 32 mpg - today it gets from 29 to 32, depending on wind and so on. It will go 85, but it's more comfortable at 65. It is still on it's original brake pads. Very basic car with no power windows or seats or whatnot. The AC knobs have held in there, but are getting harder to turn. I'd say it's a great commuter car, and it is, but I've driven it all over the country, too. When I bought it I had to choose between it and a Cavalier (had a 1985 that was great), and it looks like I made the right choice. Really, a terrific car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd July, 2006

29th Aug 2009, 18:50

August 2009, I still own the car. At 191K miles now. Had to replace plugs and wires again, tires, do a little touch up paint, battery. Brake pads, too. Creaks a little more, but holding up well. Had to replace the windshield, I picked up an impressive collection of cracks. Still a nice commuter car.