I bought the 1990 Metro new for $6499. My wife used to drive between Randolph AFB and Lackland AFB everyday for work. Almost always she would encounter "rush hour traffic" that moved at 45-50 MPH. On her 90 mile commute at this low speed she routinely achieved 62-63 MPG week after week. After about 18 months she decided that she needed a more comfortable car. It had 65,000 trouble-free miles on it when we sold it. No cruise control, no A/C, no frills of any kind.
BTW, on a trip to South Dakota and back we averaged 65 MPH and got 46 MPG HWY.
The economy, reliability and ease of ownership on this car is unparalleled.
The only vehicle I have had since then that even comes close to the level of "trouble free ownership" that this Metro had is a 1989 Ford Bronco II.
I bought my 1990 Geo Metro from the original owner in 1992, with 58,000 miles on it. It was used daily for a 100 + mile freeway run; the easiest possible type of driving. The owner had been using Castrol Syntec 5W-50 synthetic oil, and had added an Amsoil bypass oil filter. I continued using the same oil and changing oil and filters regularly. The car is now 19 years old, and has run nearly 300,000 miles. I've replaced two timing belts, a water pump, an alternator, an oil seal, two sets of front brakes, tires, batteries, and tune up parts. The engine never had any internal repairs, has the original clutch, and runs better today than it did when I bought it (I am a professional mechanic).
I love the light, precise rack and pinion steering (no need for power steering here!!); the superb maneuverability in tight spaces; the solid reliability; the smooth and very peppy 3 cylinder engine; and the 47 mpg in city driving, with 55 mpg highway. I once got 58 mpg, with some special tuning.
I only wish they hadn't discontinued it. It gets better mileage than today's hybrids; without the complexity. Like most people, I had no idea how awesome this car is, until I drove it. People who say it is only good for local use are totally wrong. I have driven it on comfortable 1,500 mile trips.
It has been 16 years since I had bought my Metro when it was new and it had nearly 600,000 miles. I have gone through 4 clutches, 2 front subframes, and 1 floorboard, which I replaced because it caved in last month on I-10. I had it dynoed 3 months ago and it made 21 hp, pretty good for such a high mileage car. Unfortunately, last week I parked it too close to the dump trucks at the quarry and I ran over it. That was when I discovered it was saturated with rust. Overall, it was a great car.
Averaged 80 mpg at 55 mph on the freeway.
The passing power was so bad, it took me 15 minutes to pass a semi at full throttle at 60 mph.
My brother-in-law thought the 1990
Geo Metro was a disposable car that
would self-destruct in under 50k
miles. We just retired it at 153k. In
eleven years it has been a real
workhorse with very few mechanical
problems. Sure, it's small, but for
one or two adults, it's surprisingly
comfortable, and not terrible for kids
in the back. I have driven it for the last
7 years, and it became like an
extention of my body. The 3-cyl.
engine never lacked pick-up and
never delivered less than 40 mpg,
even in the city. I loved this car!