My wife and I each own a 97 Prizm. I have owned mine for 5 years and she has owned it for 8 years. I have the LSi and she has the standard model. We both have the 1600 standard engine. Both cars extremely reliable. Cost of ownership very low. Both are cars are salvaged and cost under $3,000. Other than normal maintenance have had 1 fuel injector replaced, starter motor. I switched the passenger seat with the drivers seat to increase seat comfort. Negative - Road noise, a little bit louder than other small cars I have owned, but a small issue overall.
Seats are more comfortable than cars costing twice as much, it looks good, LSi has power door locks and rear defroster. Built in Numi plant in Fremont CA, only a few miles from where I live.
Less road noise, but its a cheap car so what do you want?
This is the best car I've ever owned by a long shot. It has almost 194,000 miles on it, and I bought it used in '98 with a little over 5,000. These are some hard earned NJ miles with generally bad road conditions and extremes in weather. I love its reliability! In fact I'm replacing the timing belt this week -- overdue, I know -- with intentions of taking it as far as I can. But a word of advice: if you have an automatic, get the differential oil checked as well as the transmission. I've learned very little about cars since I've had this Prizm, but that was one big expensive lesson.
The motor: almost 200,000 miles on it, and I don't even hear it running. Of course, that could be my hearing but I don't think so. A friend who knows cars said the engine could run 95 mph for five hours, and he's probably right.
My one bad experience with this car was having to replace the transmission because the differential went after 110,000 miles. That was my fault because I never changed the oil in the differential. The manual should clearly state the need to do this.
I bought this car because I have a long commute, and needed a reliable, cheap car that was good on gas. I paid $1200 for the car in 2006 and I have put 68,000 miles on the car since I bought it. The car now has 172000 miles and is still running strong. I did no repairs for the first two years I owned the car and have never done anything other than tires, brakes and exhaust. The car has great ac, and is great in the bad weather in western ny. I have no complaints and the car owes me nothing.
Reliability, heat, ac, and the stereo. Relatively inexpensive to get tires etc. for.
My hood is rusting out in the front. I have not noticed this fault on Corollas.
I have to give this car a 10 on reliability because it is at 173,000 miles and i have not had to make many repairs. I have driven this car from NY to FL twice and NY to Chicago round- trip. It hits its max at 175,000, but what car that you have can you say the same. If you find it in low mileage, buy immediately because it will last a long time. It's too bad they discontinued the brand because I would have definitely bought another one.
Toyota Corolla engine that is built to last.
Re-release the brand. Many people praise it and would buy another.
I bought this car new late in the model year (12 years ago). I have spent a max of $1000 in this time period on minor repairs. It still gets 38 mpg+ with the 5-speed manual transmission. So given this is a 13- year old car, why aren't new cars much better? So far I can't think of any reason for getting a new car.