I enjoy driving my Prizm. Have only performed routine maintenance like tires and brakes in the two years since purchasing. Paid $3,500 for the car and still books around same price over two years later.
Fuel economy, reliability, and fold down back seats.
Start making Prizms again! With better quality fabric, trim, and clear coat. Overdrive transmission would be nice.
Prizm was a Corrola made at the GM/Toyota NUMMI j/v in Long Beach, CA. It depreciates faster because it doesn't have the Toyota nameplate. Still quality: that's why I got it - and the decision paid off. I bought my 1998 Prizm LSI from Hertz for $9k in May 2001 with 28,000 miles on it. Biggest repair was A/C for ~$1500. The inside driver door handle breaks reliably every two years - that's the GM contribution. Passenger window motor needed replacing. Replaced the hose for power steering today. But, really, these repairs are not out of line for 90k of driving. With all that, it runs fine, is in good shape, gives me 28 mpg. 200k? I'll write a another review if we get there.
Reliability. Every week I drive my long-paid-for car to work is one more week I didn't have to make payments on another car.
Well, it's no longer produced, but I am looking at the Vibe, which is NUMMI's Matrix.
This car had pretty good reliability, but the real flaw was the interior. It really did not wear well, and started to fall apart after about 5-6 years. his included problems such as the stripping around the doors peeling off, and all of the interior door handles breaking. The air conditioning went out at about 6 years too, which is a pain. Engine wise this car never gave me any trouble, which I assume has to do with it being a Toyota engine. Just beware that though the Chevy Prizms are made by Toyota, much of the body is made and assembled by Chevy.
Economy, surprisingly good ride for this type of compact car, good features.
We bought this car new. Pushing 190K miles and still going strong. Only work we've had done is and alternator/battery and routine service. All other existing problems are just irritating small things that don't involve engine reliability. A/C no longer works ($2K to fix). This is the best and most reliable car I've ever had. Take care of it and it will take care of you. Looking to replace it only because of A/C but keeping it as a "winter car" to reduce miles on new one.
I bought this car used with 73k miles on it after my old Hyundai got totalled. Since the Prizm/Corolla has a reputation for reliability I thought it was a safe bet. Overall the car has always gotten me where I needed to go and it has never stranded me anywhere. Unfortunately a few aspects of the car bring the whole thing down. Shortly after I bought the car the A/C stopped working. The A/C compressor had gone bad and the whole system needed replacing to the tune of $1800.
It always starts and runs pretty good at 135k miles.
Better interior quality. The interior door handle broke and the Chevy dealer charged $55 just for the little plastic part! The power locks no longer operate correctly and neither does the remote unlock. I've spent over $2000 on the A/C system alone. Not good.