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Available Metro Hatchback Models
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Geo drops the base sedan variant of the Metro for 1997. A new convenience package is available on LSi models, and the LSi hatchback comes with the larger 1.3-liter engine standard. Two new colors debut.
General Motors calls the Metro "the small car with big ideas." Big dreams, more likely. What we have here is transportation in its most basic form. The Metro hatchback and sedan are bargains on the new car market from a financial perspective, but they don't offer much value in comparison to other vehicles in this price range.
What else is even in this price range? The Hyundai Accent is, and it offers consumers more for the money. True, Hyundai's reliabilty record is unimpressive, but early indicators point to improved build quality in the Accent. In contrast, the Metro comes across as an underdeveloped tin can. Even Ford's underwhelming Aspire seems to be a better, though uglier, buy. We'd also investigate the Kia Sephia, which feels more substantial than the Geo and is based on proven Mazda componentry.
Metro sports dual airbags, and in the way of standard equipment, the base hatchback comes with very little. LSi models add little more than a few convenience items. A wimpy 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine powers the base hatchback; LSi's get a 70-horsepower four cylinder under the hood. While more sprightly than a comparably equipped Ford Aspire, the Metro LSi is still no drag racer. The base hatchback is even more sluggish.
For 1997, the Metro is spruced up with two new exterior colors and a new LSi convenience package that includes dual exterior mirrors, a passenger seatback pocket, a remote hatch/trunk release, a security cover for hatchbacks, and a split-folding rear seat for sedans. This helps the value equation somewhat, but not enough to sway our opinion. LSi coupes benefit from a larger engine this year as well, getting a 1.3-liter engine standard
A fully loaded LSi sedan can top $13,000. That's Geo Prizm and Chevy Cavalier territory, folks, and they are both in a different, and much better, league than the Metro. Our advice in this segment? Try an Accent or a Sephia. If a Korean-assembled car doesn't sit well with you, get a nice used car. Chances are you'll be happier with it.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.