1999 Chevrolet Metro Reviews

1999 Chevrolet Metro LSi 1.0 liter gasoline from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.0 liter gasoline Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired45 miles
Most recent distance222632 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

Cute as a button, with fantastic MPG

Faults:

Small leak in the head gasket a couple of years ago; replaced.

New clutch & brake discs replaced after 200,000.

Stated as doing 41/49 MPG, but never could achieve that UNTIL recently; started using 87-octane gas that is about 10 cents higher/gallon here in Iowa. Now we regularly achieve over 40 MPG, even in the summer with A/C. Love it!

At about 150,000, we noticed when slowing for a red light, we couldn't shift from 2nd to 1st any more. Have to come to a complete stop to get going again. A real pain, but we've learned to live with it, because no one will replace a part in a transmission. They only replace the whole thing. Too pricey for the inconvenience (for now, anyway... we'll see.)

After many years, A/C coolant started leaking out during winter, and some dearheart told us to simply run the A/C once or twice a month in the winter to keep everything lubed. Haven't needed coolant for years now.

The main thing we're having trouble with, with this wonderful vehicle, is finding new tires! No one makes 13", anymore. (We've found some in old warehouses and have a stockpile now.)

We do stick to a rigid maintenance schedule. After we put 100,000 on it, Hubby started changing the oil every 2000 miles with the cheapest filter. Every 80,000, he puts in all new hoses, belts, temp gauge, water pump, etc. And we always keep new tires on the front. We run skins on the back if not traveling. Hubby can whip that spare on and back on the road in 15 minutes flat. (When traveling, we switch out good tires for the back.)

General Comments:

There is plenty of room, you non-believers. I am 5' 7", Hubby 5' 10" (over 200#), and my baby brother 6' 4" (305#) commute 60 miles round trip 3X/week for years. Bro says it's like working out at the gym getting in/out of the Metro doing deep knee bends. We three have taken trips for 2 weeks together in it, also. I'm always relegated to the back seat that isn't comfortable, but doable with pillows and a blanket. Never knew we could do it until we tried it.

We bought our Metro brand new, so it has been babied and cherished. It has never been in a dealer's garage. Hubby or our mechanic neighbor have always been able to fix it.

It was our first new car ever. I figured we'd have it 10 years and something new would come along that easily gets over 100 MPG, so we could invest in another. Was I naive. We only paid $7,500 brand new, but ended up adding A/C for $850 more. Well worth it.

I'm actually a Ford person, but this Metro was so darn inexpensive at the time, we're considering buying another Chevy down the line (if Ford doesn't get it together). I'm looking at that Chevy Eco that can go 100 miles on an electric charge before the the gas engine kicks in. Brilliant!

We don't have any cracks or blemishes on the plastic inside the car yet. He regularly puts Armour All on it. I've kept sheepskin covers on all 3 seats, so the fabric is brand new. I've always kept huge heavy-duty rubber mats that hold a gallon in the front with rugs under those, so the carpet looks new, also.

He likes to sand off any little bit of rust, then paint. He finally had to put a little Bondo under the driver's door, under the car last month. I can see what's happening. Same thing that happened to our Ford Escort diesel: engine kept going for almost 400,000 miles, but the frame simply rusted away. That's probably what will happen with our little Metro. (Bro-in-law made the diesel engine into an electric generator for the house, and it's still working.)

We have a couple of old Chevy Sprints in the back forty that have no rust. I wonder if the Metro motor would fit in one of those?

When all 7 nieces and nephew were little, they used to argue who would get the "tuna can". (Of course, now that they're all grown up, they wouldn't take it if we paid them.) I have bright-pink-sheepskin covers on the seats now, and drivers see it better. The car is white, and drivers tend not to see small cars, anyway. (For that matter, motorcycles and cyclists, too.)

It's a 2-door hatchback, so getting the kiddos in & out of the car seats in the back was a huge pain. I'm considering a 4-dr hatchback next. Also, since it was our first new car, we didn't realize how much more expensive 2 door insurance was than 4-door! We paid $50/month! Horrible. Now we pay $128/6-month that includes the break-down coverage $7/month. I've more than paid for that insurance all the times I've accidentally locked myself out, and jumps when I've left the overhead light on. We ran out of gas once, so the insurance was nice then, also. We haven't used the free tow yet, but I'm sure down the line that's coming.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2012

15th Jul 2012, 14:39

This was an outstanding review.

If you are ever in need of a new 'old' Metro let me know. Just type in 'Steven Lang and Cars', and you will be able to see my writings The Truth About Cars. Rust isn't much of an issue here in Georgia.

All the best!

1999 Chevrolet Metro Base 1.0 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired162000 miles
Most recent distance174000 miles
Previous carToyota Tacoma

Summary:

Why haven't they started making these again?

Faults:

I bought the car with bad CV axles; changed them myself.

It also needed a timing belt; changed that myself.

Both the crank seal and the cam shaft seal were leaking; changed both myself.

I mention this because I'd never done anything to a car before. These cars are easy to work on. There is lots of space under the hood, and nothing fancy to have to fuss with.

The transmission just recently started popping out of fifth gear. I bought a used transmission, and plan on replacing it myself.

Driver's side window leaks when it's raining.

Drive belt squeals when it's cold out, but stops after a few seconds. Adjusting the alternator doesn't help.

General Comments:

The car is a 3 cylinder with a 1.0L engine; it is not fast, but it gets great gas mileage. On the highway I regularly get 46MPG going 65mph. And the car can easily go 65mph, as long as it's not uphill or into a strong wind.

The Metro wasn't built to be fast; it was built to be economical and reliable. It is both.

These little 1.0L engines are million mile engines if there has ever been one. They're also easy to DIY. I seriously had no previous wrenching experience, and found that with the help of geometroforum, I could repair almost anything on this car.

And even though it's slow, it's still fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd August, 2011

28th Aug 2011, 06:51

"Why haven't they started making these again?"

Because the manufacturers found out that they couldn't hose all of us with them. Always the same reason why anything that's any good always gets stopped. They're making money building s**t boxes instead.

29th Aug 2011, 08:09

Where do you get the idea that good cars that people want are discontinued by manufacturers just out of spite?

The Metro was sold for 13 years (17, if you include it's predecessor, the Chevrolet Sprint) and the reason it was discontinued was the same as for EVERY OTHER discontinued car model: lack of sales. In the late 90's gas was plentiful and relatively inexpensive, SUV's were popular and sales of small cars like the Metro had dropped, resulting in its cancellation.

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 17 reviews