I have a '96 with only 193,000 miles on it. I feel that the engine is just barely broken in. It runs great and will start in sub-zero weather after sitting for two weeks. My much newer Ford is not nearly as reliable. I would take it across country in a heartbeat. It has been very reliable and a low maintenance vehicle. The gas mileage is amazing! I get 28 mpg in town and have gotten as high as 36 mpg on the highway. This car is extremely consistently reliable. Unfortunately my 16 y.o. daughter does not want this amazing vehicle---so it will benefit someone else. I know she will regret it later on in life when she is stranded by the side of the road waiting for AAA to come and tow whatever used vehicle she gets. She pointed out that her older brother didn't want it either, however, there were several times when his Honda was not working and he needed to use the ever reliable Prizm.
UPDATE Dec. 2017: 199,000 miles. It needed a transmission ($1,000 repair). I did it with the idea that it would be cheaper and better than finding a used vehicle that is good. My daughter finally agreed to take the car and she is enjoying the benefit of driving a reliable car back and forth to college (she is now 17 years old and will be an engineer). The only times she hasn't been able to get the car to start right away is when she has locked her keys inside it. It starts right up once someone comes with a spare key for her to get in. It would have been nice if Prizms had been made with a keyless entry....
It was a sunny day in 1997 when I first laid eyes on on the beauty i would come to know as VERONIKA. I spent my formative years growing up with this car, i remember endless summers riding with my family out to california to explore modern america! As I approached the age of 16 when this car was still the "nice one" I was humbled and delighted to recieve this vehicle. Me and VERONIKA have spent some of my best years together, but she was dependible through the worst. Now, as I approach the end of my life, VERONIKA approaches her end also. She has a hefty 423,761 load on her, and while she still goes to town, her age is showing. I will allways remember VERONIKA as my truested escort, forever.
I love the Interior Design of this mobile palace. The beautiful speckled seats showcase American Craftsmanship, while highlighting the deep rich green that embodies VERONIKA. I love smoothing running engine, and the comforing hum that lets me know everything is going to be all right, allways and forever. The radio is STUDIO-QUALIY. I have personally recorded 3 indie-pop new techno records in the trunk of the vehicle. The tape player is also TOP-NOTCH. The heating keeps me chill whenever I need it to, and the AC keeps things steamy.
I still do know how to open the windows, or why their are air lock valves on the doors.
My husband and I bought our Lsi from his uncle used. We have 211K on it and it's still going strong. Best little car we have ever owned beside our 1982 chevy chevette manual. Our 10 year old daughter and 100 lb. golden retriever sleep comfortably in the back and my husband hauls his fishing and hunting toys with ease(the dog goes in front of course) we've taken this car on many winter trips and to Canada with no problems. We change oil every 3K new tires when needed and never have had a problem starting it even in 45- winter winds. If you have this car hang onto to it for life and give it the little tlc it needs. We purchased a Pontiac Vibe. The Geo will now be a school car. We'll missed it!
fun car, reliable, starts in cold weather, roomy, comfortable.
I bought my 96 prizm on my birthday in 1996 for $10,400 after discount and gm credit card points brand new from a dealer. Sticker was $15+k. The car now has 249k miles on it. needs clutch, tires, A/C no longer works, and new struts so I am getting ready to say goodbye. Fun to drive, 39 mpg (I laugh at people who spend all that money on a prius to save gas). Car has original engine clutch exhaust. AMAZING RUN with her and I will miss her.
economy reliability but still fun to drive and looks good at 249K miles very few repairs in 14 years and almost a quarter million miles