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.
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.
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
30th Oct 2014, 07:05
This is the original reviewer.
The car now has a bit more than 165000 miles and it's working very good. Had to change the rear brakes since these were not changed since I bought it at about 120000 miles.
A/C has stopped working. I won't bother repairing it.
The car does not burn oil now - I don't know why. I am using 10W40 semi synthetic.
Many times I think of buying some other newer used car. But then discard the thought thinking - will it be as reliable as this Prizm. Seems this Prizm will stay with me for many more years. I will update this thread if anything comes up.
Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 6 reviews