Update on this car. The transmission died at 165,000 miles. Not bad, I think. Bought a used transmission, which they think has about 44,000 miles on it. Had some problems the first few weeks after getting it installed. Had to replace a couple of filters, but she's working now. Taking it easy on the pedal for the first thousand miles. I heard that's a good idea. Made a few long trips with no problem. So far so good.
Update, word to the wise; when you change out a transmission, change the solenoids too. Runs like a champ now. 179,865...
I had a 1996 Geo Metro LSI 1.3 for two years, which returned anywhere from 34 to 46 MPG. This is not an outlandish claim. It all comes down to driving techniques. Turn your car off at stop lights. Turn the Metro off and coast down hills; leave the key in the acc position so you can steer and be careful with braking; the car has to be on for full brake effect. Inflate the tires to the MAX sidewall indication. A few small changes add up to a big difference.
I was driving a 2006 Scion xB (29-34 MPG); only the stick shift xB gets that kind of MPG. Went from late model xB to the Geo. The Geo is a great car. I work for the railroad and drive long distances to remote rail yards. The GEO paid for itself and all repairs in two years. Gave the Geo, one of the most trustworthy autos I've ever had, to my brother. I now drive a 2009 Lincoln MKZ and am looking for another GEO!!!
It's a shame we are hooked on our self image so much that we cheat ourselves out of our own money by driving cars that serve our ego.