1996 Geo Tracker Review

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Vehicle overview

To the delight of Chevrolet dealers, Geo is introducing a new four-door hardtop variant of the cute little Tracker. For 1996, all Trackers get a revised instrument panel with dual airbags. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are optional. So equipped, the new Tracker should prove quite popular in the burgeoning mini sport-ute marketplace.

Fun-in-the-sun takes on fresh meaning behind the wheel of a snug-but-cozy Tracker convertible, whether its engine is driving two wheels or four. A 16-valve engine powers all Tracker models, sending out 95 horsepower. Naturally, the new four-speed automatic transmission saps much of that strength.

Short and stubby, these friendly little vehicles maneuver easily and handle with a light touch, whether on the highway or in more demanding situations. They're more solidly built than they appear at first glance--not at all like a toy--and deliver a passably pleasant ride most of the time. Differing little from the Suzuki Sidekick, Trackers look and feel substantial. Seats are firm but supportive, wearing nice-looking upholstery. Dual cupholders and a storage tray sit in the center console.

Convertibles have an "easy opening" top that erects in two ways: either the front half folds back like a sunroof, or the entire canvas top can be stowed for fully-open motoring. Though improved, putting the top up and down still isn't exactly a quickie operation. Several "expressions packages" feature color-keyed convertible tops and wheels, and a Tracker can be equipped to tow half a ton. LSi editions feature automatic-locking hubs, which are nice to have if you switch often between two- and four-wheel drive.

Four-door models can be equipped with power windows, door locks and mirrors. Child security rear door locks are standard, and daytime running lights have been added to all Trackers. Styling is slightly revised, and alloy wheels have been restyled. New exterior colors subdue the former Sweet Tart-inspired palette. Cruise control is a new option.

Would you want the convertible as your sole vehicle? Probably not, but a soft top Tracker in the garage just might turn sunny summer days into a veritable binge of adventure. Practical-minded folks, on the other hand, might prefer the weather-tight construction of a hardtop model. Sadly, we can't recommend using a Tracker for anything but light duty in the flatlands. The 1.6-liter motor is zippy enough to keep up in city traffic, but a heavy load of passengers or cargo keep the Tracker's breathless engine wound out tightly on slight inclines or at freeway speeds. With a bigger engine, the Tracker would certainly give the new Kia Sportage a run for the money.

1996 Highlights

A new four-door model joins the lineup, and dual airbags are standard on all Trackers. Four-wheel antilock brakes are optional. Revised styling freshens the new exterior, and daytime running lights make the Tracker more conspicuous to motorists. Cruise control is a new convenience option.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Geo Tracker.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Geo Tracker
Dave ,08/10/2009
Personally I wanted to buy a truck with good gas mileage but 4wd to have sum fun on the trails on weekends. When I had bought this one I had driven one before, so it wasn't a surprise but this thing really goes any where
Luvin' it
Bought used with 133,000+ miles, automatic 4 cyl 4WD 4door, well preserved. I've done timing belt, trans flush, full lubrication, and restore during the oil change. With a new set of AT tires, and maybe a luggage rack, I'll expect 200,000 miles plus!
A Steal of a Deal
GEO/Suzuki fan,06/16/2003
An excellent vehicle. I got what I expected and more. I expected good japanese quality (we all know they are Suzuki's) and have gotten it. I bought my Tracker in 1997 with 17k miles and have added over 21k miles a year and have never had any mechanical problem. The gas mileage has been good and everyone who has driven it admitted it is fun to drive. Sure it is not a power machine, but you know that when you buy it. I have the 4dr 4x4 Automatic and even with 95 horsepower I can make it up any hill between San Francisco and Reno/Tahoe. I am sure this car will keep going for another 100k miles.
Too much fun
I bought this vehicle used with a hard top. I have had so much fun with this vehicle I sold it and then bought it back. I have put Jeeps to shame with the ability of this Tracker in 4WD. You can park it in a dumpster, it's so small and agile. Due to it's center of gravity I would not recommend this for new drivers, but experienced off road drivers will have a fun economical time with it. In a 117K miles I have had to replace the battery, other than that it's been maintenance free, and it has very few computer chips, which is an asset as far as I'm concerned. This is perfect for someone who wants to tow a vehicle behind an RV and doesn't need room for more than two.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1996 Geo Tracker features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver2 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Geo Tracker

Used 1996 Geo Tracker Overview

The Used 1996 Geo Tracker is offered in the following submodels: Tracker SUV. Available styles include LSi 4dr SUV 4WD, 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top, 4dr SUV 4WD, 4dr SUV, LSi 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top, LSi 4dr SUV, LSi 2dr SUV, and 2dr SUV w/Soft Top.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Geo Tracker?

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Which used 1996 Geo Trackers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Geo Tracker for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Geo Tracker.

Can't find a used 1996 Geo Trackers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Geo Tracker for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $8,670.

Find a used Geo for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $16,372.

Find a used certified pre-owned Geo Tracker for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $16,654.

Find a used certified pre-owned Geo for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $20,527.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Geo Tracker?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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