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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm

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  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Just bought a 99 Prizm, auto, air, 11,600 mi. for $9500. Does this sound like a fair price? I couldn't find one similar elsewhere on the internet for close to that. They wouldn't negotiate at all. Everyone seems to be right about the tires. They're pretty bad! Lot's of road noise and some traction loss in wet weather. Engine's pretty powerful. Someone mentioned Michelin tires, so I'll probably give them a try. Here's a weird question...anyone know where I can get a brochure for a 99 Prizm???? I haven't found a Chevy dealer yet that still has any left!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    there are some places that sell auto literature on the net. I will try to find some links for you. Also, do a search on yahoo, altavista, etc. to find some places.
  • esfcesfc Posts: 7
    I needed to get a second car quickly and had looked at all the usual suspects, civic ,corolla neon,elantra,saturn etc. Pricing for all of the above was running 225 to 250 a month with 1200 to 1500 for inception fees , since most come to the dealers with option packages and if they don't the a/c is a dealer install option for $1500.All I wanted was a car with 5sp a/c and am/fm. I saw an advert for a Primus 179 per month and remembered reading it was a corolla with chevy badges. I test drove it last night in the rain and was impressed , in fact I was floored. When I sat with the salesperson and got the lease #s I thought he was kidding, 195 a month with taxes for 36 months 12K per year with only 195 due at signing. I pick it up tonight.I test drove the car in the rain and yes the tires could be better.
  • esfcesfc Posts: 7
    Prizm............it's a Prizm.
  • Can anyone help me with advice or a suggestion on what wrong with my wife’s 93 Geo Prizm?
    We have had to replace the alternator 3 times in 62k miles. The warning light just came on again and it looks like a fourth alternator may be needed. I am starting to wonder about this dealer. (We bought this car new from this dealer.) Two months ago we did the 60k service check and 3 days later the water pump went out. Two days ago the car failed to start and the dealer replaced the starter. Yesterday the light came on indicating an electrical problem. I plugged in a little diagnostic device into the cigarette lighter plug and it says the alternator output is bad. Has anyone had similar electrical issues with a Geo Prizm or a Toyota Corolla? Any Service bulletins, or other service warnings? Any similar experiences? How were they resolved? davemor@bigfoot.com
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    good choice.

    The Prizm, which is the same car as the Corolla can be had for better lease and buy deals because the hungry Chevy dealers are more competitive than the snobbish Toyota dealers.

    Enjoy the new ride with its VVTi engine.
  • mazda323mazda323 Posts: 66
    I can't be sure about this, but I think that the Corolla uses a Toyota (Nippon something...) alternator, while the Prizm uses an AC Delco (GM). If your Prizm has an AC Delco (GM) alternator, don't be surprised: 20k miles is normal life expectency form what I've read.
  • esfcesfc Posts: 7
    When I picked up the car on Tuesday I was mindful of some of the talk here about steering pull due to tire problems.I have not experienced any pull so far.It was raining when I picked it up and although the tires could/should be better I don't think I will replace them until they wearout.I haven't driven a car with a standard tranny for 20yrs.but this little car is fun to drive.And you are right Chevy dealers and all american car dealers are working deals to get people to start buying american again. I came off a Honda lease and while I was shopping around at Honda, Toyota,Nissan, VW,Volvo , Acura, Infinity I came away feeling as if they where doing me a favor. And I was looking to lease 2 cars from most of them.I started looking at Chevy, Ford and DC. In the course of 1 week I leased 2 american cars a fully loaded Dodge Interpid ES and the Prizm and I was a longtime Honda owner. Both Chevy and the Dodge listened to what I wanted and what I was will to pay and worked to make it happen.Altough I have only had the cars for a few days the fit and finish of both where just as good as the much higher price imports.And since I lease long term realiablity is not a major concern for me.I don't think I will be looking at the imports in the future I think I will be staying at home.
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Well, after having my 1999 Prizm a week, here's what I think. Suspension is very firm, but I don't think it's a bad thing. Tires still have to go. I get some loud humming when going above about 40 mph...I'm not sure, but it might be the tires again. I'm getting used to the 3-speed auto trans, but I think I'd probably like the 4-speed better. The radio is excellent. Love the feature that automagically turns on your headlights at the appropriate light level. Definitely should've gone with a lighter exterior color...it appears that the primer coat is white, so if you get a scratch, it really sticks out. The engine has lots of "kick". I like the antenna at the rear of the car. Would've liked a little more leg room in front (my gas-pedal ankle gets cramped from the angle that I have to hold my foot in). Also, moving the seat far enough back to feel comfortable puts my head almost behind the left door pillar. Huge trunk, although I have the base model without the folding rear seats...which would be nice to have :) Would've liked to see a center armrest between the two front seats, but after several calls to Chevy parts departments, there apparently isn't one available! Great air conditioning...high speed fan blows you away! I called several other dealers about different cars and found most of them to be very rude...especially Honda. I called two different Honda dealers. The first didn't sound like he wanted to talk to me, and the second immediately tried to talk me into a car with much more equipment than I wanted! I gave up looking for stick shift cars. It appears as though they'll be gone soon...though dealers will probably stock one-or-two on the lot just to say they "carry them", and to be able to say they have a cheap car available. That's about it. I look forward to having a car that will last me a long time...this time!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW pRIZM.

    I did learn to live without the armrest, for short trips I don't miss it.

    The Chevy dealer I bought my car from was easy to deal with and many of the others I talked to were good too. If the customer is completely uneducated before you shop, you will get treated like dirt. if you do your homework and are an educated consumer, you can do the deal quicker and for a mutually satisfactory price. And the Chevy dealer will be a lot less of a pain in the *ss than the snobs at Toyayta will be.

    As far as sticks, yeah ya gotta hunt for them. Use gmbuypower.com to shop dealer lots before you even go out there. Its a fabulous feature.

    GM cardholders make sure you use your cash back.. Free money!!!!
  • esfcesfc Posts: 7
    You are right about finding cars with 5spds. The local Chevy dealer that I went to had about 15 cars on the lot to choose from but only 1 with a 5spd.The dealer was willing to work the #s on a auto model so I could get the color I wanted, but the 5spd was a must have, so I settled on the color ( black).I'll kick myself when I have to work out the swirls. I did order a wax that others are raving about at another site in edmonds ( www.zainobros.com )check it out, I have not used it yet due to the rain and snow but it may help.
    It was the same at Honda they didn't have a 5spd or needed to move stock so they immediately went into the upsell mode , going from a base to a mid-level trim with pwr everything and auto tranny. So I walked and got the Prizm.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    It just kills me.....

    People think its absurd on a motorcycle to have anything besides a standard transmission and a clutch but people think its not appropriate for a car.

    I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I know men tend to be more receptive to the idea of a stick. Yet, much consumer research says women today hold greater purchasing power and are the decision makers for a majority of the auto sales these days.

    Personally, I don't know a lot fo women who enjoy driving a stick. Guys I know are just indifferent.

    The other thing that kills me is that in other countries, manuals sell at a higher percentage than in the US.
  • shishi Posts: 6
    I know at least three cases for Toyota Corollas (two 91 and one 93 model) the alternator went around 30K mile and again at 70K. But no info on Prizm.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    we should rename this topic "Chevy Prizm" and get rid of the gripes part.

    There is hardly anyone griping about their Prizms!

    If we got rid of the gripes part, we'd get more posts!
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    I can't "rename" a forum. You could create one or give me a little time and I'll do it and consolidate this one with the new one...

    Later,

    L8_Apex
    Sedans Host
  • gearhead4gearhead4 Posts: 122
    regfootball,

    Yes, you may gert grilled for your comments, but there is somewhat valid.

    When I told an aqaintance about my new car with the 5 speed, she immediately stated in with "What is it with you guys and stick shifts?

    My retort went something like this ... "Well, I get better performance and gas mileage with a stick. But the biggest reason is that my last car had an automatic that was slow to figure out what gear it should be in. Besides, buying the stick saved me $700."

    What really drove stopped the discussion was when I said ... "Besides, this car is replacing my wife's car which had a stick."

    May we always have a choice to come through in the clutch!

    gearhead4
  • esfcesfc Posts: 7
    My wife couldn't wait to drive the new Prizm, reason was it had the 5Spd.We haven't had a car with a standard tranny for 20 years, thay have all been auto's. My daughter is also looking to drive it due to it's being a 5spd.Here in the suburbs some 30 miles out of NYC ,some dealers are starting to stock more cars with standard trannys.Although some like Honda and Toyota only are stocking 1 or 2 in each model.
    5 spds may be coming back in style now , with the introduction of some radical designs and bigger engines from auto makers and the rising cost of gas.Standard trannys aren't for everyone , but I'll never understand buying a car like a vette with an auto tranny.
    Back on the subject of the Prizm , I only have 350 miles on it mostly highway and I am very happy with it.Merging into traffic is not a problem ( back to the 5spd thing again ) and rides great, still have the tank of gas I drove off the lot with.Great little car .
  • squeak6squeak6 Posts: 28
    ....I have a 98 Prizm... for the most part its a very good car ( no problems yet) I have 61,000 miles on it... yes 61,000 miles.... most are on the highway..... I put new tires on them..... the originals did not last long.... I have the 185/65R instead of the 175's...... my only concern is my MPG I get about 33 MPG... even when I'm on the highway I get 33 MPG.... I drive about 75/78 MPH on the highway...... on a full tank I can get about 330 miles...... ( is this ok ? ) (how can I get better gas mileage?).... the AC is fine no problems.... I need a new paint job on the front... the bugs and rocks from my many trips have taken there toll on the front..... I put a new CD in the car the factory AM/FM had to go..... I get the oil changed every 3,000 and I've had 2 tune-ups..... is there anything else I can do to keep the car in good shape.....? any additional comments to help with my car will be greatly appreciated....
  • When I was looking for an armrest - I asked Toyota dealer - and if wanted bad enough it could be had from Corolla CE along with part of center tunnel trim ~ 150 bucks
    While there I picked up mudguards designed for Corolla that fit Prizm perfectly
    Finally I bought armrest made specially for 95-99 Sentras - this is just the padding element - dealer takes ~55 and could be ordered on the net for as low as 42 dollars
    Check it out
    by the way I support manual shifter lovers - if not for 5 speed transmission I would not get into these small cars ;-)

    popularmechanics.com has some information on 98 model cars - somewhere they say that Civics were sold 50 % configured with manual transmissions - maybe that was the reason why there was so many of them around...
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    What year was your Prizm?? Are you saying that you didn't buy the Toyota one, but instead went with the Nissan armrest? If so, did it fit right...and where on the net can I see one?? I know that when I called several Chevy parts departments, they said that I'd have to buy the "whole assembly", and that it was expensive. Thanks in advance for the good info.
  • tmckay2tmckay2 Posts: 4
    Hi,

    I'm waiting for my silver Prizm (base) with 5 spd, ABS, side air bags, and CD player. Should get it tomorrow!

    I was very encouraged by all the posts on this list praising Prizms ranging in age from brand new to 10 years old! Reliability is very important to me and it seems that the quality of the Prizm has been confirmed.

    I saw a few posts on the list complaining about the availability of 5 spds. I told the dealer what I wanted, and there 2 (yes two) with a stick, ABS, side air and a CD player within a 150 miles (as the crow flies) of Boston! Now there is only one...

    I drove a few Focuses and made the decision to buy a Prizm over one of the Foci. The Focus is nice and all, but I'm a little skeptical about it's reliability based on Ford's history. Maybe next time, if it proves itself. Plus, the mileage is not as good as the Prizm and the automatics, at least, have annoying engine noise at low rpms. Don't remember if the ZX3 had this problem.

    Interesting, I went to the Toyota dealer first and was told that I could not get a Corolla with ABS for at least 3-4 months if at all, and that the current Toyota factory output for Corollas with ABS is only 1% of production! Then, the salesman tried to sell me a Camry, and when that didn't work he tried to sell me a CE :) Hello, Chevy, got a Prizm?

    I'll let you all know how I like it after I drive it to Rhode Island this weekend.

    Oh, one more thing. With the current $1250 rebate, I got the car for $14500, which is $300 over invoice. List was $16,160. I thought that was a pretty decent price, any comments?

    Trev
  • tmckay2tmckay2 Posts: 4
    Oops,

    I meant to say that I got the car for $300 over invoice (my cost was $15,700) and applied the rebate to get the car for $14450.

    T.
  • Congratulations on your Prizm. I owned my 1990 for 10 years and never had a regret. I only got another car because after 10 years, I thought it was time for a change.

    Good luck and happy driving!
  • I bought armrest for our Sentra I gave it a try in our 99 Prizm
    Well - it is not a perfect fit but better than nothing - say Sentras box is 3x6 inch - then Prizm is 3 x 6.5 - bit longer so it can slide back and forth a bit plus it sits kinda low - but I went for it and now could not imagine being without it
    see picture :
    http://www.nissan-accessories.com/PP.asp?PID=22
    I think I got mine from www.nissanaccessories.com - without dash...
    $42 was the lowest price I found
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Sorry to hear about your tranny problem. This may sound rediculous, but have you tried other Chevy services departments or just the one? I've noticed that they vary WIDELY in their expertise from one service department to the next. Also, they aren't "tied together" electronically...so you could go to another service department and they wouldn't know you've had the problem looked at by another service department...which is sometimes a good thing:) Hope this helps. I'd like to hear how your arbitration goes. Good luck.
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    I'm wondering if the next model up from the base (I think it's the LSI) has the armrest standard? If it does, I've been thinking about keeping an eye out for a wrecked one at a junkyard and using the one in the wrecked car (if it's in great shape, of course :) for my own! Probably a super longshot, so I'll check out the Nissan one in the meantime. I might get a friendly Nissan parts department to let me see how it fits in my car...
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Just found out what that "humming" noise was that I mentioned in a previous post (I think it was titled "1 week review" or something like that). Had it in the shop today and it was a bad 'bearing hub'...or something like that. Nothing major and it's covered under warranty. It may sway my opinion on the 'noisy tires' since replacing this part may quiet the ride. I have to take it back tomorrow to get the work done. If it affects the tire noise, I'll let everyone know.
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Just found out what that "humming" noise (when my car was between 50-60 mph) was that I mentioned in a previous post (I think it was titled "1 week review" or something like that). Had it in the shop today and it was a bad 'bearing hub'...or something like that. Nothing major and it's covered under warranty. It may sway my opinion on the 'noisy tires' since replacing this part may quiet the ride. I have to take it back tomorrow to get the work done. If it affects the tire noise, I'll let everyone know.
  • powerslidepowerslide Posts: 48
    Is the current model Prizm smaller than the previous version? It just seems to me that it is.
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Well...the replaced 'hub bearing' on my car didn't fix the humming. I have to take it back a third time (after waiting about a total of 5 hours from the last two visits about this problem). The next trip will net me a loaner till it's fixed...thank God. I'm kinda hoping the engine or tranny is bad. I love warranties :) BTW, sorry for the previous double-post. My browser stalled.
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