This is one of the best cars produced I believe. This is my second Prizm, I also have a 90 model with 189,000 miles that is still going strong as ever. I had a Geo Metro that I traded for the 97 Prizm, it wasn't as refined as the Prizm but it was still a great reliable little car.
The 97 Prizm rides so smooth you would never guess this car was meant to be an economy car. The interstate travel is also terrific, you can cruise at speeds of 75-85 and not even tell, the engine is so quiet. There isn't much body lean when you turn sharp corners either. The A/C and heater are both excellent. Acceleration with the 1.8 is also quite good. All this and you still get great gas mileage!