Oil sending unit failed twice.
Alternator has failed 3 times.
ECM malfunction; repaired under warranty.
Water pump broke (at 92k miles).
Bad factory paint job (recalled).
Slow as molasses, but reliable. This engine is too small for the car, resulting in a shift to the 2.2L in '91 or '92. Like most American cars, it rattles and buzzes, the result of low build quality. The powertrain, however, is as dependable as the seasons. I ran it on the highway at 65mph with no oil and at 106,000 miles, it still isn't blowing smoke. The automatic transmission is even better than the engine; it's the same unit used with the V-6 model, so it should last forever with the anemic input of the four-banger. The paint job was horrible, oxidizing after only three years and peeling off in nine. That's with weekly washes and seasonal waxings; I saw cars the same age as mine peeling maybe four years after we got it. Alternators on this model have a tendency to fail every two or three years, although I got eight out of the original. For a front wheel drive car, it's easy to work on. Labor costs have been reasonable, and aside from an ECM malfunction the year after we bought it, the electronics have been no problem. I get about 25-28 mpg in the city and 30-34 on the highway. My only complaint is the power output of the engine. I'd be hard pressed to beat a Geo Metro in acceleration when carrying passengers. If they weigh more than the average Ethiopian, forget it. At cruising speed on the highway, it's all right, but push it past 75mph, it screams for mercy, so don't expect to get anywhere quickly. This car has proven reliable to my family when I was younger and has done me good service in college. It's cheap, dependable, and easy at the gas pumps and in the garage. I'm not sorry I bought it off my parents, but MAN, is it slow!
Anyone out there considering buying a used Corsica, feel free to E-mail me at RNJ4415@UNCWIL.EDU. My mom has a '95 V-6, my roommate has an '88 V-6, and one of my friends has a '94 V-6. I know a bit about what a buyer can expect, and I'd be happy to share advice.
18th Dec 2001, 02:34
Honestly, I totally disagree. I have a base-level '88 Corsica four-banger with the auto, purchased it at 87k on the clock, only problems I've had were the alternator and an altercation with a mailbox, a telephone pole, and my boss (long story).
The paint didn't peel until I got the bodywork done after my accident... and the NEW paint is peeling off, revealing the old paint :P imagine that. This car rocks.
By the way, mine LOVES triple-digit speeds. On my 700 mile Memphis, TN to Grand Rapids MI trip, I averaged 92 mph and 28 mpg. BUY ONE OF THESE CARS!