Overall great compact car
Dealer installed air conditioning constantly failed until they replaced the evaporator. (after 4 times in the shop)
Other than that, nothing else.
The Prizm was (is) essentially the same as a Toyota Corolla, so I had high expectations - and they were met.
The base model didn't even have a radio, but it had 4 speakers and wiring harness installed. I installed my own Pioneer in dash for less than $200. (including harness adapters)
The engine was smooooth and quiet. You could literally balance a coin on the valve cover at idle. Acceleration was good with the 5 speed manual transmission.
Ride quality and handling were both good.
The problems with the A/C were due to the shabby dealer installation. I'm convinced that if it were factory installed, there would have been no problems at all. I paid only $8,000 for the car, and I made them throw the A/C in for free. It was the one the dealer used to get people into the showroom - y'know the "NEW PRIZM for $89/mo". But once people saw it had NO options, they looked at something better. (and more expensive)
The Prizm replaced a Chevy Corsica which was totaled in an accident, and was traded in for a minivan as my family grew.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th June, 2003