2001 Chevy Prizm Review

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List Price Estimate:$753 - $1,741
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Chevrolet Prizm model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Reliability, zippy powertrain when equipped with a manual transmission, optional side airbags.
  • Ho-hum personality, ABS not standard, options force prices too high to remain a bargain.

A cleanly styled, well-built economy sedan from Chevrolet, just don't go crazy with the options sheet.

Vehicle overview

In short, the Prizm is one solid economy sedan. It does everything capably, and looks good too. Better yet, it is essentially a reskinned Toyota Corolla, which bodes well for reliability, but not necessarily resale value. To top things off, the Prizm has earned very high marks in past initial-quality studies, scoring better than the Infiniti G20 and Honda Accord.

But there is a problem, and that problem is price. Slotted between the Cavalier and Malibu, the small Prizm is no bargain once options are added. A well-equipped Prizm can be more expensive than a similarly loaded Malibu. For 2001, Chevrolet is trying to boost Prizm's value by offering an emergency trunk release and a defroster logic system to the HVAC system in the base price. Bottom-rung models get air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo, floor mats and wheel covers this year, while LSi buyers receive standard power windows, rear defogger, tachometer with outside temperature gauge, tilt steering column, dual reading lights within the rearview mirror and larger tires.

Despite the price of entry, there are compelling reasons to choose the Prizm. Its excellent reliability record, coupled with tasteful styling and outstanding assembly quality, goes a long way toward selling consumers on the Prizm. The car feels substantial, conveying the impression that it will last quite a long time. In contrast, the Cavalier feels somewhat cheap, flimsy and unrefined. The solid Malibu doesn't appeal to buyers looking for a smaller package.

A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on all Prizms, which benefits from variable valve timing technology that certainly didn't come from GM. Toyota's VVTi system helps boost power to 125 horsepower and 125 foot-pounds of torque. Interestingly, side airbags are optional on this economy sedan. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard to improve handling response from the four-wheel independent suspension. All interior fabrics feature Scotchgard stain protection and a power sunroof is available. As on last year's model - and in a break with GM tradition - antilock brakes are optional rather than standard.

Interior accommodations are rather sparse in base Prizms, but LSi's come with uplevel fittings and trim. Either model offers decent ergonomics; all the switches and controls fall readily to hand and the gauges are clear and legible. The seats are rock hard and lacking lumbar and lateral support. The clutch is a joy to work and the five-speed manual snicks fluidly from gear to gear.

Prizm is strictly econo-issue in base trim, but add aluminum wheels and a premium equipment package to an LSi and the Prizm transforms itself into a mini-Camry. Also available are a CD player and extended-range speakers that sound great. Truly, a fully loaded Prizm is a fine package. However, a Prizm LSi with every available option closes quickly on $20,000. For that kind of cash you can buy any number of larger and more substantial sedans. Keep a lid on the options, though, and the Prizm makes much more sense.

2001 Highlights

The Prizm remains relatively unchanged for 2001. An emergency trunk release becomes standard issue and Medium Red Metallic is added to the color palette.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.25 out of 5 stars
A very good little car
Patrick ,12/24/2008
4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this for $3000 over the summer to replace a Cavalier. Mileage is great, performance is pretty good considering it only has 125 hp. Put some decent tires on it and cornering is really fun. Stereo is not too shabby either. Only drawbacks that I have encountered are fading paint, the interior plastic around the door frame is peeling (that most have come from the GM part of the joint project), and no center armrest. Besides that you can't beat it. Like everyone else has already said, it's just a Toyota with a Chevy emblem on it. A very easy way to save $2000 vs a Corolla, and even more on gas. This thing is bulletproof with proper maintenance. The perfect city car!
4.63 out of 5 stars
Great vehicle all around!!!
LSi 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Well its my second one the first Prizm I owned I bought in 97 with 102K miles I finally passed it on to my kid brother in 03 with 230k miles and its still driving today. My 01 Prizm has 255k miles on it and still runs like new, these cars are amazing they don't look like much but they are great. The thing I love the most is with $20 bucks of gas you can run around town all week. They have great power and acceleration,no timing belt, however oil is very important to these cars!
4.88 out of 5 stars
Very good car
4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I have had this car for 9 years and it is a very reliable commuter car. Does what I need it to do and does it when I need it to do it. Good car. Excellent reliability.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Prizm Cuts Through Clutter
LSi 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
This is a wonderful automobile because I get 42 mpg highway and a little city combined. The seats are a little uncomfortable, but my car has 113000 miles on it and it drives like a brand new car. Would deff recommend to a friend! I guess you could say i'm one of "the 9/10 ppl who would recommend Prizm to a friend". Prizm definitely "cuts through the clutter". In the mid 1990s I was "getting to know Geo" through the Geo Storm. Well, the Geo, or excuse me Chevrolet Prizm has my vote as one of the top cars of 2001. I hope I never smash my car. I am obsessed with Prizm. Prizm is good. I will buy a first generation Prizm (92 and older) second generation (93-97) Prizm also with my 01 Prizm


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2001 Chevrolet Prizm

Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm Overview

The Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm is offered in the following submodels: Prizm Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), and LSi 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M). The Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2001 Chevrolet Prizms are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Chevrolet Prizm for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2001 Chevrolet Prizm.

Can't find a used 2001 Chevrolet Prizms you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Prizm for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,102.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $16,508.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Prizm for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $14,502.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $15,759.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 Chevrolet Prizm?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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