This is the best car I've ever owned by a long shot. It has almost 194,000 miles on it, and I bought it used in '98 with a little over 5,000. These are some hard earned NJ miles with generally bad road conditions and extremes in weather. I love its reliability! In fact I'm replacing the timing belt this week -- overdue, I know -- with intentions of taking it as far as I can. But a word of advice: if you have an automatic, get the differential oil checked as well as the transmission. I've learned very little about cars since I've had this Prizm, but that was one big expensive lesson.
I inherited my 1997 Geo Prizm from my father when I was 16 years old (I'm currently 26). At the time it had already been in his possession for 7 years. It was a stick shift. I learned with no RPM gauge, and I attest to date that it is the best car to learn stick on; it's industrial strength, you learn by sound and feel, and the clutch isn't very sensitive. It's now a 19 year old car, and has 315,000 miles on it. It has taken me on multiple round trips from Columbus to Chicago and DC, and I still drive it safely on multi (3 +) hour trips. I have invested very little until these last final two years in repairs. (Most issues are general wear/age issues, the most recent my sad reality check--rusted brake lines). I haven't calculated mileage in a minute, but several years ago it was *still* running over 37 mpg. It is so well loved that I can't stand to trade it in, and will be giving it away to a friend, who says that even at 315k miles it is more reliable than his own vehicle.
I presently have 178000 miles on my Prizm and it runs as good today as the day I bought it. I have not sufferred any major problems at all. I am 6'4" tall and I can wear my western styled hat while I drive. I routinely get 37 miles per gallon. This is a combination of city and hiway driving. I manage this milage on midrange gasoline. Based on the foregoing I do not understand why the car was discontinued. My next car shall be as close to the Prizm that I can get. Thank you
I have to give this car a 10 on reliability because it is at 173,000 miles and i have not had to make many repairs. I have driven this car from NY to FL twice and NY to Chicago round- trip. It hits its max at 175,000, but what car that you have can you say the same. If you find it in low mileage, buy immediately because it will last a long time. It's too bad they discontinued the brand because I would have definitely bought another one.
I bought this car new late in the model year (12 years ago). I have spent a max of $1000 in this time period on minor repairs. It still gets 38 mpg+ with the 5-speed manual transmission. So given this is a 13- year old car, why aren't new cars much better? So far I can't think of any reason for getting a new car.