1995 Geo Prizm Base 1.6L gas
Nice reliable car
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.
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.