I absolutely love my '94 Geo Metro XFi. My grandparents bought it used around '94; I acquired it in '05. After 18 years of life, it might finally be time for me to say goodbye to this car, due to some substantial subframe damage lately. But even now, the only issue with the car is rust; the engine, the transmission, etc. are all perfectly fine. After 18 years, and a low 74,000 miles, the only major repairs were replacing the MAP sensor (around 65-70K), replacing the exhaust and muffler, and replacing front CV joints and control arms (this year and last year). This car is amazingly reliable. I've driven it in every harsh condition, as well as across the country. surprising cargo capacity too.
94 2-door hatchback, bought new. Used for commuting from '94-'96. Excellent commuter car (after stereo upgrade). Averaged 45 mpg. From 0-5 mph, as fast as anything! Then the flywheel momentum was conferred. I actually loved this car, but unfortunately its not for a young single man. People just don't want to understand why someone would drive this. It was a good car, but nearly impossible to sell during the boom years of the mid-90's. Later drove a '96 for another two years - same comments
(updated December 2017, still daily driving) Back in the 90's when I first saw these cars, I laughed...hard. They became the butt of most of my auto-related Jokes. Then gas prices went up. In July 2013 I broke down and bought one because it was cheap, and the lady said it got around 43 mpg. SHE LIED. I've driven this thing over 95,000 miles since then, and the worst MPG's I've achieved are 46. It averages around 50 or so per tank. This is the most reliable and easiest car to work on I have ever owned, and could turn it inside out and back again if I wanted too. (I don't want to) Parts are cheap, too. Besides the reliability and MPG's, I think my favorite thing about this car is it's honest, bare-bones simplicity. The car has no power steering, no power brakes, (you don't even notice!) manual transmission, manual windows. It hearkens back to the days when cars were just...cars, not overweight luxury liners for a spoiled society . You feel very close to the road (literally and figuratively) in one of these. This car makes the daily commute an experience. I know why they stopped making these cars, though; they were TOO good. When you bought a Metro, you were set for 20+ years with proper maintenance. This is not good for auto companies trying to sell a new model every year or two. If you can find one in decent shape, and want honest-to-goodness transportation for the most bang for your buck; BUY A GEO METRO. the biggest problem with these cars though is body/subframe rust. The death blow for this and most Metros will inevitably come due to that terrible cancer. The engine and other components will still be going strong after the body has rusted to dust. Find one that has been preserved and prevent the rust. If you are even remotely mechanically inclined you should be able to keep it going for a long time. (side note, I am over 6 feet tall, and I have no trouble getting in or out of this car, and it has wonderful front seat legroom.)
I bought it used in 1998 with around 65,000 miles on it. Traded it off in 2006 with 200,000 miles. In all that time, I think I replaced an alternator and had a tune up. Period. Great car. Worth twice the price. And the darned thing got 52 mpg on the highway! I live in Denver and I took several road trips to Las Vegas in that car that cost all of about $60.00 in fuel (at the time). This car spoiled me for other cars. Every car I've had since then has been a lemon in my eyes because they need repairs occasionally, and need to be re-fueled now and then.
I purchased this Canadian built Geo, in Sept 1994. I has served my family well! in fact, we bought two other cars trying to retire "Max"(as the kids call it) and they are no longer on the road. The reliability of this car has been phenomenal! It has taken its share of lickings and keeps on ticking along. regular oil changes, timing belt replacement every 65,000 miles (just because) alternator replaced at 100k!, Valve job @155k (California mandated) and just discovered I need to replace cv joints at 168k! Can you believe it? It's true!! The best part is yet to come, 65 mpg when the vehicle was new! After moving to California, the mileage dropped to 49-50 mpg!