I love my geo prizm. I've had it for...5 months and nothing has gone wrong (knock on wood). it's a 1997 and with only 95,000, so it was in pretty good condition anyway.
Point being, I absolutely love my car.
My 1997 Geo Prizm LSI is Fully loaded so try to buy another one with a beefed up engine.
I just bought Prism with 182000 miles, and nothing wrong with it! I paid only 650$
Just bought a 1997 Prizm base with the 1.6 liter engine and only 57,000 miles. I only paid $1,600.
The car has not one leak anywhere. The inside looks almost new. The car rides good, but without ABS you need to watch how you brake.
The car sits a little low to the ground, and I am not too sure if that's normal.
The engine is kind of rough a bit at idle, and when you get on the highway, you can put your foot through the floor and it won't matter. Give yourself a lot of time as the car downshifts very quickly.
This car doesn't have great pickup, but once it is going then she can move. Once you are moving though on the highway, the car can get a bit noisy from the engine revving high because of the 3 speed tranny.
Without cruise control, long trips can be a bit tiresome, but for the money I spent and the fantastic ratings I have read about this car, if I can get another 50k with it, then it was well worth it.
The steering is a bit vague when driving, and the radio is definitely going to be replaced due to more modern technology such as MP3's and CDs. No one uses a tape deck anymore.
I wish it had an armrest as well, but for the little I paid and the great condition it was in, how can I complain?
This is going to be my girlfriend's first car, so I think it will be perfect in that role.