1998 Chevrolet Prizm from North America


I would buy another one


The air conditioner broke at about 150,000. Had it rebuilt, and it was never the same.

The back cloth over the back window kept peeling away and flapping in the wind when the windows were open.

The engine light came on after the first year I owned the car, and not even calling the Chevy people could get the light to go out... It would go away for a day or two, and then came right back on. After a while I would put a piece of paper over the light. Even with the light on, I realized the car was working fine. In time I ignored the light. The car ran great for 12 years.

General Comments:

On dependability, it was great once I got past the engine light "thing". Luckily in my home state that is not a requirement, and there is no state inspection. I would not have wanted to get rid of such a great little car. I would go back and forth from North to South (over 1k miles one way) and it was great.

I finally sold it after 254k miles, and I know for a fact the new owner still is driving it... with some problems with the windows and gaskets, but even his wife likes it as a run around car.

I talked my husband into buying one. He liked the way my car was working a lot and not in the shop for constant repairs. I would keep up on the maintenance, and I believe that is the trick in a car lasting.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 2012

1998 Chevrolet Prizm 1.8 from North America


Bang for the buck


I had asked the mechanic to change to synthetic fluid to avoid burning of oil, but he said that is not needed. He put in conventional oil.

The motor blew up in 2009 on the freeway at a speed of 80 mph. Guess the earlier owner(s) did not take good care of the car.

I am the third owner. When I bought the car, the brake pads and tires needed changing. The car has a bit of rust behind the back wheels and underneath, due to salty roads, since it is from the north.

I have changed the motor to a used motor. I now take good care of the car, and it is very good on maintenance. My new mechanic tells me that Prizm (Corolla) is the best used car in the market.

Since the motor was changed, I have only changed tires and motor oil at regular intervals using synthetic. The car does not burn oil now, at least in the city.

The only thing that I am not happy about is the look of the car. I owned a 1994 Geo Prizm before this, and it had a better sleek design and was a lot more tougher. Maybe I will buy a used Integra sedan with manual shift next.

General Comments:

This car is extremely reliable. Just do the routine maintenance and it will never die on you.

Also, regularly check the engine oil level, and keep an eye on the engine temperature at highway speeds.

The car handles OK.

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

Review Date: 23rd May, 2012

1998 Chevrolet Prizm base 1.8 from North America


This Prizm gets good mileage and is reliable, with some small issues


Bad spark plug wire at 73,000 miles.

Interior driver's door handle rattles when the door is shut.

Exhaust strap broke around muffler.

Many of the bolts and screws under the hood look rusted, maybe this was a car from the northeast.

The interior and exterior scratch very easily.

The rear headliner is starting to fall down.

Radiator replaced before I bought it do to a small leak.

Exhaust canister replaced before I bought it, source of a check engine light.

General Comments:

The gas mileage is good, I get around 28 MPG in mixed driving with the 3 speed auto. I got 36.5 MPG on the last out of town highway trip I took.

The car seems to be built well for the most part, I don't care for the seats on long trips. It seems Chevy/Toyota built this car well in some areas and cut some corners in others.

Since this car only has 75,000 miles on it and it's been maintained well I'm looking forward to getting another 75,000 out of it.

This Toyota engine (1.8) uses a timing chain instead of belt, which is nice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th January, 2008

7th Jan 2008, 17:54

The exhaust strap breaking on these cars is very common, don't know why. A well maintained Prism should run for a very, very long time. The only thing I would recommend is changing out the tranny fluid, and differential too.

8th Jan 2008, 15:01

Differential??? You have a 4 wheel drive Prizm there buddy???

27th Aug 2009, 20:55

All cars have a differential. It's just not always in the back like in a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle. In a front wheel drive vehicle it's connected directly to the transmission.