2001 Chevrolet Prizm Base 1.8L VVT-i from North America

Summary:

This car should never wear a Chevy badge because it's clearly a Toyota all the way

Faults:

A/C has stopped working.

Front tires worn out (my fault due to driving habits)

General Comments:

This car is absolutely amazing. I ran into this car after my 97 Dodge Neon died on the interstate on the way home from work on Christmas Eve '07.

I was intentionally seeking a Toyota product, specifically a Corolla. After having priced several Corollas, I came across this car and knew it was meant to be mine.

I have no problems with the car. Sure it's not as powerful as my Neon, which was only SOHC, but it sips gas and if you throw a cherry bomb exhaust on it, it's just as fierce as any Civic of that year.

The interior is so simple and plain; I love it.

This car does exactly what I want to do; nothing more and nothing less. It's definitely not luxurious, but it's just what I expected from a product of Toyota. (I ripped the Chevy badging off the front and back, so the only indication that it's a Prizm is the steering wheel.)

My only complaints are that yes, the car does burn oil, badly, and the AC is gone and I have put on getting it fixed because I'm lazy. But other than that, it's abilities are more than sufficient for me, and I look forward to having this till I'm 25, and way afterwards (by then my insurance will go down, and I can get a coupe!)

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

Review Date: 5th July, 2008

11th Dec 2008, 19:54

Hey man.

I love my Chevrolet Prizm. I'm on my second prizm. However.

The air conditioning is a problem spot on these cars. I spent $900 getting mine fixed this year because the AC was leaking out of the compressor. That's no small fix.

However, after 5 years of driving Prizms, I knew I was fixing to have a problem.

2001 Chevrolet Prizm Base 1.8 from North America

Summary:

Nothing fancy except reliability !

Faults:

I have only had car for 3000. Nothing has gone wrong yet. I will update in comments as needed.

General Comments:

Great little car. We all know the Chevy/Toyota/NUMMI gammut...

The OE strut dampers are WAY too soft. Power is adequate. And I changed-out the "Delco" radio for a Sony w/o any trouble.

It appears the previous owner did NOTHING to this car... because they didn't have to!!!

When I got it, the front brake pads were at about 4/32", so I installed new pads & turned the rotors. Rear brakes are still fine. I did a coolant flush with fresh mixed Dex-Cool, as the OE Dex-Cool only tested to -15F. I also put a new serpentine belt on. The tensioner pulley is a little noisy... might need a new tensioner in the future. When I changed the oil, I also installed a new PCV valve, due to some Toyota engines sludging. This engine has no sludge & the new valve should keep it that way.

Total spent to re-fresh the mechanicals has been under $100 & the Prizm get about 42MPG on the open road.

This car replaces a 2001 Jetta I bought new, that became a big headache, and even bigger repair expense.

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

Review Date: 29th October, 2007

20th Jun 2008, 10:47

Original Poster follow-up:

Well I am at 88k miles. Nothing too serious to report, other than the front OE KYB struts were ready for replacement by 85k. I'll probably do the rear struts before Winter. This is MUCH earlier than ANY other Toyota I have owned. They weren't totally blown or leaking, but I would guesstimate they only had about 10% of their original dampening capacity.

I DIY'd some Gabriel Ultra struts a couple weeks ago and have been 100% pleased with the ride. I hear Sachs/Boge and Gabriel (Maremont) have a little business agreement in the North American market. This has problaby let to better Gabriel shocks & struts for the U.S.

Again, citing short KYB lifecycle, I can safely say Toyota/GM really cheaped-out the spec's for the 1998-2002 Corolla/Prizms. I have had older Corollas and have driven newer Corollas, both of which 'felt' better than this generation. I believe it was all the 'carry over" engineering Toy. did on this generation.

All in all, the Prizm has still been VERY reliable and fuel efficient... E.g. the 2 reasons I bought the car.

16th May 2011, 19:50

Original poster here...

150k miles.

Still on the OE rear brakes and rear struts. Driver's interior door latch broke, swapped with one from rear door.

Oh yeah... the 5-speed gearbox let go at 150k miles! Not too happy about this! Upon some research, it appears Toyota has some problems with their C56, C59 and C60 manual transmissions. This is a MAJOR deal breaker for me. Probably no more Toyotas for us!

This car will probably be replaced with a new (2012-on) Ford C-platform car (Focus, aka Mazda 3 and Volvo C, V,S50) in the next 6-18 months, or whenever the $2200 replacement gearbox lets go.

Akio Toyoda... I'm NOT a satisfied customer!