1999 Chevrolet Prizm Reviews

1999 Chevrolet Prizm 1.8 liter from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.8 liter Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance207000 miles
Previous carLexus ES300

Summary:

Oil consumption problem solved, or at least prevented

Faults:

Uses a quart of oil every 1,800 miles or so.

I've broken three door handles off.

The radiator fan relay failed, so it tends to overheat while idling.

The interior is made really cheaply, but it's been a reliable car.

General Comments:

After reading a ton of reviews and people frustrated with the oil consumption problem that these cars seem to have, I think I have an idea why this happens. Note, my Prizm is on its original engine with 207,000 miles and it still only uses 1 quart every 1,800 miles, relatively low compared to other younger Prizms.

1. People don't think their car loses oil, so they run it low frequently and it tends to wear the engine out, especially the rings, where oil escapes to the combustion chamber and burns. (I check my oil every fuel up, and top off always, even if it's only 1/8 or 1/9 of a quart.)

2. 5W-30 is too thin of an oil, even though it is recommended. (I have always used 10W-30 in the winter and 20W-50 in the summer with oil treatment.)

3. Other Prizms I've heard start up, frequently start up dry. So, I use oil stabilizer, and it helps prevent dry start up. I think the dry start ups over time wear the engine out more so than usual. (Also, 90% of my miles are highway, so I don't start my car that much).

So, I suggest following these tips and I believe you'll be okay for the oil consumption problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2009

1999 Chevrolet Prizm Base 1.8L 4 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.8L 4 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance66000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Prizm

Summary:

Excellent value. Comfortable basic car

Faults:

My starter went at 50K. The battery died at 60K. The trunk has a leak somewhere in the wheel well. The fan controller had to be replaced.

General Comments:

This is my second Prizm. I had a '90 before this and that's why I got another. Not as peppy as the '90 and the mileage is 25 city and 32 highway, both I attribute to the (3 speed) automatic. Prizm generally eat starters so it was no surprise when mine went. Also I'm on my 4th muffler (bad design). Driver's seat is kind of uncomfortable on long trips of more than an hour, but I'm 6'2". Very tight engine, good handling, nice standard speakers on the radio, big trunk. Note that anti-lock brakes were not standard, and mine doesn't have them. So-so in the snow- my '90 was unstoppable, but the '99 is touchy, even with winter tires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2006

1999 Chevrolet Prizm from North America

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance106000 miles
Previous carFord Probe

Summary:

Economy car

Faults:

Drivers side door handle cracked and broke, not my fault, I simply opened it one day and it broke off.

First two heater settings stopped working which means I have to have it cranked high or off.

Rear passenger side door lock doesn't work when I use the automatic locks.

General Comments:

Great gas mileage, but simply uninspiring. Great for a commute, but I will be trading it in for something with more spunk.

Don't know why the little things keep breaking, but at least it drives fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st January, 2006

1999 Chevrolet Prizm Standard 1.8 DOHC toyota motor from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8 DOHC toyota motor Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired27000 miles
Most recent distance72000 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

I would buy another just like it

Faults:

Nothing except routine; air filter, belt, tires. Period. Have not even done brakes yet.

General Comments:

Very snappy little motor will spin the tires from a dead stop and really goes when it winds up a little. A little leery of the 3 speed trans., which does not get the fuel mileage of other Toyotas and Hondas and Saabs that I've owned, and I've heard can be problematic at higher miles. Timing chain instead of belt was a welcome surprise at 60K (guess they started doing that in 98). Still get a reliable 30 MPG Hwy. Cheap, economical, and extremely reliable. Worked at a GM dealer a year ago or so, and looked up warranty history. Never had a thing done under warranty! Paid a little over $8000 when it was less than 3 years old, and a little over 20K miles. Well worth it if it keeps going like it has. Runs like new.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd April, 2005

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 8 reviews