1997 Geo Prizm Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Bulletproof reliability, suave sheetmetal
- Lousy value, lame standard equipment list, flaccid handling
Most helpful consumer reviews
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.
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.
Hands down, the best vehicle I have ever owned due to its reliability and cost savings. The styling remains fresh if not fresher today than some of the crap being built now. My first was a 1994 LSi lease. It, too, was flawless. I drove my '97 off the showroom floor with 3/10's of a mile on it. As of today, it has exactly 310,000 miles on it! The engine and transmission remain original as does the exhaust and most of the suspension. The fit and finish remain strong as does the interior. Not bad considering it has never been garaged. It still gets great gas mileage, burns very little oil and has no squeaks. Why this model/line was ever killed off beats me. Wake up GM, you blew it.
Bought my first Prizm in 97 and put 200,000 miles on it. I then sold it too my sister in law and she still drives it today. At the time I sold it to her it was still on the original everything. Only replaced one cv joint and brake job usual tuneups but everything else is original to the car. She now has well over 250,000 on it and still drives it to school everyday. I bought another 97 at a great price with a 100,000 and am sure to get another 100,000. Can't go wrong with these cars \ 94-97 models