8th Sep 2005, 12:44
I bought a brand new GEO Metro 4 door hatchback automatic transmission, no air conditioning in 1993 for 7000.00. On the road it consistently ran at 45 MPG. Moreover, it had zero - yes that's zero - problems during my entire ownership: I traded it in at 88K miles to get a new van since I moved to So. Ca. and needed air conditioning and more room.
What is the issue with the current crop of cars? Nothing except expensive to buy and repair hybrids approach this mileage today. Oh yeah, my Metro barely registered on the Southern California smog tests: it was one of the cleanest cars on the road.
F you automakers (and Washington Lawmakers). If you guys can't duplicate 1993 technology, then it's not by accident, but by design... Think about it!
19th Sep 2005, 14:07
I had a 94, by far the most reliable and economical car to drive that I've ever owned. 170,000 miles and still running strong, until some dude rear-ended me at a traffic light. That guy was driving a very large extra-cab 4x4 truck and hit me at 35mph. I drove the car home and it preformed flawlessly and I was not injured. His truck had to be towed. Once my wife drove it 50 miles in 90 degree heat after the water pump went out with no damage to the engine. I'd like to have another one.
6th Oct 2005, 10:10
I drive a 1994 metro that I bought going on five years ago for $80.00. Yes I said eighty dollars. It had been in a accident& was missing the front bumper cover. I bought a parts car for $100. and used the cover. A guy offered me $200. for the parts car so I sold it. I replaced the timing belt, radiator & Battery, for less than $200. After trying to get the best mileage I could (driving easy & costing when I could) I checked mpg's 3 times & averaged 57 mpg. Driving seventy mph I got 47 mpg. This little car has the best heater I have ever seen in a small car. I've had very very little trouble with this car. I put a hitch on it & use it like a truck. It rides better then my Mazda miata that gets poor mpg's. If any one honestly knows of a better auto for the money Id love to hear about it. I have a 97 in storage just waiting for the 94 to ware out.
20th Nov 2005, 04:58
I have a 93 & 94 Metro. Both are 5 speed trans, which are currently 4.10 geared, but for the 93 I plan to install the 3.52 geared trans to increase the fuel economy, & the 94 has a header on it with 2 1/4 inch exhaust, & will have the 4.39 geared trans installed in it, to help out with the power loss, due to the 205/40r 17 tires & wheels that I'm running on it.
The 3.52 geared trans are available from any SOHC 4 cylinder Suzuki SWIFT, & the 95-2001 Metros with the 4 cylinder.
The 4.39 geared trans was only in the Metro convertibles, until the 95-2001 model went to 13" tires, so those cars also have the 4.39 geared trannys.
The 95-01 Metros also have vented front rotors that can be swapped to the 89-94 Metros. You will need the knuckles also to do the swap.
The front & rear sway bars from the 95-01 Metros can be swapped onto the 89-94 Metros. The fronts are complete bolt on, whereas the rears would need a mounting pad bolted to the spare tire well.
The front & rear coil springs from the 95-01 are a bit stiffer, & will raise the 89-94 cars up about 1 1/4", but if you want to bring the car back down, you can cut 1 coil from the front & 1 1/2 coils from the rear. The rear will also help if you are carrying a load, or just want a better, stiffer ride.
TEAMSWIFT.NET is a very informative site that deals with these cars, including their sister, the Suzuki Swift.
11th Apr 2006, 10:56
I keep hearing that Geo Metro's are cars of death, as in if you get in a crash you will die. But I looked at the safety ratings and they are actually pretty safe cars, safer than my Honda Civic that I had for years, and survived with only a bit of seatbelt bruising in a crash. It is likely that a geo would be destroyed in a collision with an SUV, but because all cars are built to take the damage, and try not to transfer it to you doesn't mean a small car is more dangerous than a Hummer.
Also they are really small cars and it's not a bad idea to think more like a motorcyclist when driving a geo, than you would driving a really large vehicle that would be hard to miss, in that you should assume that large vehicles have blind spots that you should not hang out in, because of course they might not see you, but it doesn't mean it's more dangerous, it just means you have to think and drive differently, and it's definitely worth both the better mpg, as well as smaller impact. Also Geo's are excellent cars to convert to all-electric, as they are so light. Without modifications though people should know that after 1994, geo's only get 40-46 mpg stock, so it might be a bit dissappointing to think you can buy a newer one and get 53-57 mpg stock and it's the xfi models that are rated for that mpg, unless you go back to really early geo's. Check EPA mpg ratings if you are looking for what used cars get the best mileage, some of the really early Honda's also get comparable mileage, it's worth a professional engine rebuild if you are thinking of a good alternative to buying a hybrid.
11th Apr 2006, 13:54
Funny how when people talk about small cars all they can think is safety yet when they talk about SUVs that argument goes out the window.
The fact is that modern cars, even small ones like a Honda Civic, are safer than any SUV out there.
So when I see a small car I think smart buyer. When I see an SUV I think deathtrap.
Proud former owner of a Ford Festiva and current owner of a Chevy Aveo.
12th Apr 2006, 09:24
Well, given midsize cars are inherently safer and get better gas mileage than SUVs I think the owner has taken a step in the right direction.
This SUV thing has gotten way out of hand. GM is now touting what wonderful gas mileage their new full size SUVs are getting.
Well, Car and Driver just tested one of these "fuel efficient" Escalades and got 11 mpg. 11!!!
23rd May 2006, 20:08
"You are correct - hybrids are an unnecessary and over-hyped idea."
Hybrids are very necessary, they are theoretically far more efficient than straight gasoline cars. The high electric torque combined with the ability to regenerate power from braking makes them ideal cars for city stop-and-go driving. Actually, diesel-electrics would be even more efficient, but I guess we will have to wait a few more years for those to come to the US.
Hybrids deserve their hype. How far ahead is the Prius from it's competition? Ranked by city mpg, the Prius was the number one midsize car in 2006 with 60 mpg. The second-place car was the Hyundai Elantra with 27 mpg...
Combustion-electric hybrids have all kinds of transmission engineering advantages over direct-drive vehicles. The technology is not new either. Diesel-electric ships and locomotives have been around since the 1920's. The technology was developed to deal with the problem of supplying huge amounts of power to multiple axles without relying on complex transmissions. Toyota's automotive technology has been in production for 10 years. Think about it, electricity is nothing new. In fact the electric motor was invented by Faraday 30-50 years before the internal combustion engine.
Concerns over repair costs are the reason why Toyota offered an incredible 100,000 mile/8 year warranty on their hybrid power train. This warranty is extended to 150,000 or 15 years in California and several other states! Anyway, who could be worried about reliability from Honda or Toyota? Consumer reports isn't, the Prius is on their recommended used car list. Toyota in particular has staked a large chunk of its reputation on its hybrid line, they would not skimp on quality. Honda has admitted battery life problems with the Insight, and in reponse has extended their warranty to 10 years as well.
Anyway, the problem with the Metro is that it is a highly efficient gasoline car yet has extremely spartan accommodations and only 30 cu. ft. of cargo space. Efficient gasoline engines are best on the highway at constant high speeds, but small cago capacity, road noise, and lack of comfort make this car less than ideal for long drives. Especially if you are a person of any size. In the city, the car's mileage cannot compete with the Prius' 55-60 mpg and high passenger comfort.
As for safety, yes they car did score 3-4 stars in frontal impact tests. However, a frontal impact with a fixed barrier simulates a crash with another car of equal weight. So the Metro has a good chance of protecting you if you crash into another 1700 lb. car. Good luck if you happen to get creamed by someone talking on their cellphone driving a 5,000 lb SUV with a high bumper. This is not an unlikely scenario, when I was younger, I myself slammed into someone with a 6,000 lb. full-size van after missing a yield sign because I was talking on my cellphone. Lucky for them, they were in a truck. If that had been a Geo-metro, I would probably be in jail now for vehicular manslaughter.
Don't kid yourself, you're driving an out-of-date, unsafe, uncomfortable car. You are also missing out on Toyota/Honda quality, which has simply leaped ahead of other brands in recent years. In a couple years, I suggest you upgrade to a Prius, or the new compact Honda creates to replace the Insight.