I bought this car new, ordered it in fact, down to every feature. It was my very first new car. Fast forward 12 years and my baby has 120,000 miles on her and has never let me down. Ever. I replaced the tires a few times, the compressor on the air conditioner and a few minor things, but this car has never left me stranded at the roadside. I still get 35-40mpg. I will drive this car till the wheels fall off. I expect to put on another 100,000 easily.
I have owned two Chevy Prizms. One was a 1998 automatic and the one I own now is the 1999 5 speed LSI. I liked both cars, but I found that the automatic only averaged about 30 MPG while the stickshift averaged about 32.5 miles per gallon. Both cars were very reliable for me. I would suggest either version for a budget tight driver. The Prizm was also built on the same line as the Toyota Corolla and they are basically the same car.
I bought this car from a family member, with 14,000 mi. on it. I've followed the maintenance manual and have had NO problems! I've had to replace the tires, oil, spark plugs, serpentine belt and battery; the normal maintenance stuff. I had to have the A/C charged a few times - but that only $20. It now has 115,000 miles and has NEVER broken down. It's been a fabulous car! I was informed that it is really a TOYOTA COROLLA with a Chevy name plate on it. Chevrolet and Toyota entered into a Joint Venture and produced this wonderful, dependable car - I wouldn't have purchased it otherwise. And it's great on gas.
I bought this car for easy commuting for good fuel economy. It was essentially a Corolla. This means I thought I wouldn't have to put a bunch of cash into it for repairs. WRONG! I have only put 38,000 miles on it and have had to put brakes, a starter, new strut on it. Now the power steering is leaking and transmission are gone. And when I had it at the mechanic the door handle went. I'm so disappointed because I've maintained it. Not to mention that every time I put the air or heat on the noise from the blower is an annoying high pitched whistle! Get blown all over the highway,I'm an old lady and old lady blow by me. Just a hazard. I should have bought the Corolla.
So I just purchased this car used with just a little over 96,000 miles. Gotta say great choice. We've been having a hellish winter here -20's not uncommon followed by 6-12 inches of snow when it warms up. This car has never even hesitated. Mine is the 5 speed and I love the gas mileage. Awesome heat!!! A/C works too. Mine had the usual door handle break off, but the previous owner fixed it. I can't believe I actually enjoy driving this car. I wish the new Corolla wasn't cvt then I'd buy one next year.