Used 2002 Chevrolet Prizm Sedan Consumer Reviews
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.
I have not had a very good experience with this car. I bought it as a certified used vehicle with a little over 36,000 miles. The transmission went out a couple months after I bought it. Several minor interior things have come apart. The filler pipe on the gas tank came unwelded and fell partially into the tube, so I was not able to fuel the car until that was removed. This week the running lights and auto- on headlights quit working, but could still be turned on manually,a few days later, they stayed on, requiring disconnecting the battery to turn off. The switch failed and it's located under the pas. air bag requiring the entire dash to be removed. I would not buy another or reccomend!
Let me start by saying this car has been reliable for most of its life. I bought it at 77,000 miles, and its still running at 191,000+. It is by no means a flashy vehicle, but when the engine ran at peak efficiency, it got close to 40 MPG and ran smoothly. But, at about the 130,000 mark, it started burning oil (1 quart every 1,000 miles or so). 60,000 miles later, it burns through about 1 quart every 50 miles. Further research via Google has shown that this is a common problem for the 2002 Prizms, and is related to narrow cylinders and bad seals. Keep this in mind if buying a Prizm from this final year of production. You'll be investing in lots of oil when it reaches a high mileage point.
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.
The car is best suited for a couple or parents with small kids. The front seats must be at their back position which leaves no leg room behind.
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.
I WORK FOR A DEALERSHIP, AND I SELL SEVERAL DIFFERENT MAKES AND MODELS. I HAVE SOLD COUNTLESS PRIZMS OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS. I HAVE NEVER HAD A CUSTOMER HAVE ANY PROBLEMS AND HAVE SEVERAL FAMILYS THAT HAVE MORE THAN ONE IN THEIR HOUSEHOLD.I HAVE THE OPPRTUNITY TO PURCHASE JUST ABOUT ANY VEHICLE WE SELL, AND I CHOSE THIS ONE BECAUSE OF RELIABILITY AND ECONOMY.
I bought this car used last month. I must say im very happy with this small zippy car. 1.8L VVTi is noisy but runs economical. 4AT shifts smoothly. Interior room is tight, back seat has no leg room back there. I consider this a 2 people car or a college student car (i am one). Trunk size is ok for class. Design is clean and simple, very Toyota like. Since this car is the same as a Corolla parts are available everywhere.
Bought it at 32,000 miles in 0'4 and I have done nothing to it except change oil, and brakes. The only thing I don't like about it is it can get noisy on the highway, and just a little vibration comes on the highway only if you go above 80mph or something. Transmission in this car should get an award in comfort for shifting. Much better than Nissan or Hondas.
I bought this car used for about $3,000 with 120k miles on it. 2 weeks after I bought it the brake calipers went out, then out of nowhere the car wouldn't start. I checked the starter and it was bad so after I replaced that it still wouldn't start. I rewired the ground and hot wire from the battery to the starter and still nothing. I replaced the starter relay and finally the ignition switch and it started again. Now not even a month later and I threw a rod in the motor. I have had 2 oil changed in the 4 months Ive owned it because I drive out of town to visit my mother often. It's gonna cost over $1500 to replace the motor so I'm just junking it and buying something else.