I reviewed the '93 Prizm, but since we have an '02, here I am. We had 2 '02's (both dark blue green metallic) but the stick one was totaled when my dad hit a snowbank after hitting another car with it. It had about 70,000 miles on it and the only non-maintenance mechanical repair it needed was a wiring problem and valves in the evaporation system. We got the stick after the '93 Prizm was taken off the road. The '02's were 3 years old and the stick had just shy of 10,000 miles when we got it in April '05. Our automatic '02 has almost 129,000 miles and according to a local garage, needs a catalytic converter. Previously, all it's had done is maintenance and some evaporation system repair, like vent valve, in terms of mechanical work. It's a little rusty, too. Due to a deer hit and what looked like a previous deer hit (the dents looked the same), both front fender have been replaced. The hood's been replaced, due to ice falling off a truck onto the car. When it was parked one time, someone bumped it and it needed a new light. Even today, if it had an inspection sticker, we'd trust it on a long drive. Some of the miles on the car are mine, as it's the first car I ever drove. This car became my mom's once we had the stick, since she can't drive a stick. We've had almost exactly 16 years, as we got it in late October '01. My mom loves the car and wants a Corolla next. The resemblance between my mom's car and a blue Corolla the same design as '93-'02 Prizms is striking. I have to look at the front, door handles (to see if they're colored) and rear. The front has the symbol, some Corollas have colored door handles and the rear tells the make, model and what the taillights look like. Corollas have red and white in the taillights and Chevy Prizms have red and orange. Geo Prizms have all red taillights, but I haven't seen a Geo Prizm in my area in a few years. Just an occasional Chevy Prizm or Prizm-like Corolla. Today (6-20-18), with a little over 136,000 miles on the odometer, our automatic '02 Chevy Prizm was swapped for a 2016 Corolla. Best Feature Hard to pick one. Maybe reliability, if I absolutely had to. Worst Feature Why did GM and Toyota break up their joint venture so they can't make Prizms anymore? Best little car we've ever had. All of ours, except the stick (didn't get high enough mileage), developed the oil using issue.
my dad can no longer drive so I got his Prizm. Way fun to drive and very good maneuverability. only has 60000 miles so i hope I don't have to find out about burning through oil for a couple of years. I like the way it hugs the road. hard to get used to no power anything! dad was frugal so remembering to lock doors and having to roll windows a small hassle. Getting in and out harder due to low profile. M y Subaru will be used in snow and for long commute. This is just to get around town
We bought our Prism as a first car for our 16 year old son. He wanted a manual transmission and learned to drive a stick after we bought the Prism. Our car had 70,000 miles on it when we bought it and I got a terrific price for it. This little car has been sensational! Shifts crisply through all the gears, has exceptional zip for the little engine, brakes well and while it's a base model, all the controls and amenities work perfectly. We have not experienced the oil usage issue many other reviewers have, which is interesting, given that we live on a steep mountainside and the car is a manual transmission driven by a teenager. You'd think our unit would be susceptible to the oil problem, but no, it runs better than either of the cars we bought for our other kids.
Luckily I only paid $1350 for this thing. It had 107K miles when I got it and have noticed it to be burning a lot of oil. After further research it seems they burn oil after 100k miles. I guess that's why the previous owner got rid of it. I had Toyotas in the passed and though they were bullet proof. I guess I was wrong. I don't really know if I will junk this thing or tear into the engine and put a new set of ring in it. I am thinking I will keep it until next year when my sticker is due and then torch it and buy something else.
It is a cheap simple car which is why I wanted it.
Believe that comment about using a qt. of oil every 100 miles, it's true @ 120+ K mi. And with that, the mpg is only 20 mpg avg. May be OK for low mileage but Prizm engine is not long lasting .I put new seals and rings in, still burns oil and bad mpg. Can't see smoke unless you hold throttle 3/4 down for 6-10 seconds. ( This is a must before buying ! )
Do not buy with over 100 K. It may look like a Corolla, but engine doesn't last like one. I got robbed. Wouldn't recommend Prizm.