I love the 1997 Prizm, I bought mine new and still have it. The car has been used for business and pleasure, it currently has 225,000 miles it.
I have only had to replace tires, brakes, oil and tuneups. The car has a manual transmittion and I still have the original that cam with the car. Bad news... I think that I may have to replace it, but this is the first major repair.
This is the best car that I have ever had and I would buy another one if this ever gives out.
Hey, the oxygen is easy to replace for this car. My engine light was on, then I went to my local autozone shop. they do the reading free, and it turns out oxygen sensor gone bad. I bought is for about 130 buck at the shop and they let me borrow a special wrench for it. the whole job took about 10 minute. afterward the autozone folks reset my check engine light and turned it off.
I own a 1996 Geo Prism, it has never been to the shop once, except for tires (I do my own oil changes) I now have 209,000 miles on it and it still gets 36 mpg! My husband wants me to get something newer, but I'll never sell it! Why would I chance getting something else with less mpg and not half as reliable. Even here in Minnesota it starts up on the first try on our coldest winter days. When I first bought it I was getting around 42 mpg, now if a car gets that it's called a Hybrid! I wish they still made this nice little car.
I have a 1994 Prism with 197,000 miles on it...although the odometer hasn't worked for the last 5 months, so I am sure it is well over 200,000. I love this little car! It just goes and goes. I have the 5 speed and just bought a 1997 prism with only 60,000!!..but it is an automatic. I really was looking for another 5 speed, because mine is such a pleasure to drive, but I HAD to buy this other Prism because of the super low mileage. It will probably last 10 more years! I hope the 97 automatic is as reliable as my 94 5 speed. These are great little machines!