1996 Geo Metro Base 1.3 from North America
This car is reliable, and I would buy another if Chevrolet/Geo still offered this type of car
When still under warranty, the passenger-side front door window kept coming out of its track. It took three visits to the dealer before it got fixed, and even then the window never really did roll down or up properly. I finally became so frustrated that I simply stopped complaining.
Another issue was the air conditioner. Every summer for the first three years I had to take it in for repair since it wouldn't blow cold. Luckily, this was all under warranty and each time they fixed it, and told me that there was a loose cable or wire. Since that last fix it's always worked fine, and I've never even charged the freon. Not bad for a nine year old car when you think about it.
Other than the window and the air conditioner, which was all under warranty and free, there haven't ever been any major issues. This is a reliable car and has always started and drove anywhere at any time.
One small complaint is that the various plastic parts on the interior are becoming discolored-- especially around the air vents and windshield defroster. I have no idea why this is happening, and since I like to keep my cars spotless it is frustrating.
This is the most reliable car that I have ever owned, and I've owned Lincolns, Pontiacs, and Fords. And even though I'm not religious about changing the oil and making sure the car has been properly maintained, it still runs great.
These are not "pretty" cars-- they weren't nice looking cars back when they were brand new. But they are very functional and dependable, and they get more than 30 miles to the gallon, and sometimes more than 40. When I bought this car brand new, the only options I bought were air conditioning and carpeted floor mats. I had my own radio/cassette installed.
Like many others have pointed out, these cars have small engines and aren't very fast. Still, once you get up to the speed you wish to go on the highway you are fine-- they'll easily cruise on the interstate at around 70 miles per hour without any problems.
My Geo is a 5-speed with a 1.3 liter engine. I suppose automatic transmission would rob this car of much needed power, though if you live in a large city a 5-speed can be somewhat awkward.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th March, 2005
Earlier Geo models got much higher fuel mileage ratings, you can blame the EPA for the lower MPG figures on the late-model Geo. Something about the EPA not liking the high NOx emissions caused by the lean burning OBD 1 G10 engine, so they more or less forced Suzuki and GM to redesign the 3 banger to run richer, lowering the exhaust temperature and lowering the NOx emissions (and probably extending the life of the valves), but at the same time lowering the fuel economy of the little Geo. I had a 93 4 door hatchback, and I had a real bad engine, but I got 35+ mpg in town, and mid 40's on the highway. I fully believe if my engine was in better shape, that I'd get close to 50 on the highway. I got rid of my red baby in the summer because I was mad at it, it needed a bunch of work (2 fenders, hood, head, rear brakes, shift linkage) and I didn't have any money, so I sold it. BIG mistake on my part. If I ever get my hands on another Geo (and I plan on it one day) I'll never let it go.