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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm



  • ohhohh Posts: 7
    That is just my impression. Of course, i could be wrong.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I think you are right. They don't accept GM points for Saturns.

    I got an GM credit car offer in the mail not long ago (you get 3-4 such offers each year). I read the details, and it said that the points can not be used towards Saturn and one other brand. Oh well. I wasn't interested in the card any way.

    I think Saturn is selling ok that they don't need incentives such as GM card points or anythign to sell their quota. Therefore, you can't use GM card points to buy a saturn (that should cut into GM's profit margin, and heaven forbid that.)
  • For anyone who may care, GM Card points are not accepted on Saabs either. Saab is owned by GM. I plan to buy a Prizm soon instead of a Corolla because of $1400 in GM Card points. I tried to buy a NEW 1998 Prizm tonight, MSRP $14,955, for $10,800 and they LAUGHED at me! This car is over 2 years old! 2000 models have been out for 2 months now! This new 1998 model would not sell for $9000 once I got it home!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    I bought a new 99 prizm in April.

    I had 1900 GM dollars and the MSRP was 14800.

    I got the car for 10,200 with discount, rebates and GM card rebate.

    I would recommend going and trying a different dealer.
  • ohhohh Posts: 7
    wow! how did u manage to accumulate $1900 gm card rebates?
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    got my gm card when I was a junior in college. I transferred my credit card balances back and forth to rack up rebate dollars back when GM gave you credit for balance transfers. Being a student or just out of school, I was always broke, having to charge stuff like wedding rings, vacations, furniture, car down payments. It can add up fast.

    It's possible to rack up a huge rebate if you charge everything on your card. Nowadays I pay off my bablance every month. That 1900 bucks I got was probably equal or less than all the finance charges I've paid over the years.
  • We're on our fifth Prizm/Nova since 1986: An '86 Nova hatchback (sold in '90 for $4500); an '87 Nova sedan purchased used in '97 for $450 - drive it every day, 120K miles; an '88 Twin Cam model - a great car! 4-wheel disc brakes, 4-speed automatic w/electronic overdrive, alloy wheels, etc. Sold it - with 140K miles on it - to my nephew. Now it's at 160K and still running strong. Leased a '96 Prizm LSi (nice) and now a '98. They just keep getting better. The standard upgraded tires (P185/65R14) seem to make a difference. The GM employee discount makes it an unbeatable deal, if you're lucky enough to qualify. Glad to hear GM is continuing with the 2000 model - lease is up next June. It'll be hard to pass it up.
  • This post summarizes some of the experiences I have had with my '89 Corolla DX and '93 Prizm LSi.

    I purchased my '89 Corolla after trading in my '81 Corolla which had at that time 118,000 miles. At the time the '81 was running fine, the body was in good shape etc. After 10+ years I still have the '89 and it has 139,000 miles on it. My daughter, who just turned sixteen, now drives this car. One of the things that most impresses me about this car is its reliability (it's a Toyota, I know this should not surprise me). This car has never left any member of my family sitting. It has its original silver paint job which still looks great. There is one very small point of rust discoloration (about size of a dime) on the inside lower corner of the driver's door where it appears the rain water drains. This rust has not bubbled the paint, it merely is a rust colored spot on the metal. The car has its original water pump, clutch, alternator, engine and A/C unit. It has had brake pads replaced, timing belt replaced twice (per maintenance schedule)and other routine maintenance like oil/filter change, batteries replaced, spark plugs/wires and various belts and hoses replaced when appropriate. The car burns a little oil when started after having been left sitting for longer than a couple days. This happens only right after startup and stops after the first few seconds of operation. I think the valve guide seals are deteriating which allows a little oil to seep into the cylinder after being left inactive for a day or two.

    Now for my '93 Prizm. The Prizm is a rebadged Toyota Corolla. It is made on the SAME assembly line as the Corolla in the Fremont, CA NUMMI plant jointly managed by GM/Toyota. The engine, transmission and even the wiper blade arms are are clearly marked TOYOTA. I did notice that the alternator is AC Delco rather than the Toyota's Nippondenso. I bought the Prizm rather than a Corolla because at the time, a similarly equipped Prizm was a better value than the Corolla, even though aside from styling and a few other minor differences, the two cars were essentially identical.

    At this point the Prizm has 98,000 miles on it and it runs beautifully. Reliability has been EXCELLENT. The brakes are a case in point. I had the pads on the rear drum brakes replaced at 86,000 miles. Just this week I had the pads replaced on the front disk brakes for the first time at 98,000 miles!! Meinecke also machined the rotors, though I don't think they were warped to any degree since I have noticed no vibration/modulation or noise when braking. This car, like the older Corolla has never left me sitting. I will say that I think the quality on the paint job is better on the Corolla than the Prizm. I have many more fine chips on the hood etc than I do on the Corolla, even though both have been driven over the same highways under the same conditions. There are absolutely no rust spots on the Prizm at this point.

    My point with this long post is, that as long as the Prizm's are manufactured with Toyota drivetrains, engines, etc., a consumer can be very confident they are getting a quality product that with reasonable maintenance should get 100,000+ miles easily. Now having said this, will some people experience problems with the Prizm or Corolla and the answer is yes. NO automaker can produce thousands of autos that are all perfect. But some automakers (Toyota, Honda, Saturn ...) produce vehicles that on average hold up better (in some cases, much better) than other makes. Note, this is also not a Japanese vs US issue either. Toyota and Honda both manufacture the majority of their vehicles sold in the US in the US. Of course all Saturns are produced in the US. When shopping for a car I tend to play the averages. Will a Corolla or Prizm on average be likely to be more reliable than say a Dodge Neon or MOST GM products and I think the answer is yes ;-).
  • I purchased a '99 Chevy Prizm (Base) on 10/02/99. Two weeks later as I washed the car I "discovered" a lousy paint job starting just in front of the rear bumper, on both sides, running at about the same height to the front. I took the car back to the dealer thinking a drunk robot painted my car and one of the appraiser in the body shop said these were "Pebble Guards" to protect the paint job from pebbles and debris on the road. I checked all the other Prizms on the lot and, lo and behold, each had the same thing. Is this for real or just a marketing/weasel ploy?
  • Has anyone done the math to see which is a better deal? Prizm LSI with 4 Speed Auto, ABS, Moonroof, Alloys, Side Airbags, CD vs the same on the Corolla LE? I believe the Prizm has a $1000 rebate.

    I have a quote on the above Prizm for $15800 + taxes (GMS Discount + $1000 rebate). Good price???
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    sounds like a pretty good price. :)
  • 39043904 Posts: 16
    Anyone have any updates on (or solutions to)the '99 Prizms' high-pitched whinning problem. I've now had my Prizm to three different dealerships - one was even a Toyota dealership!!! They either can't fix it, don't know what it is, or claim it's a normal sound for that particular engine. All the dealership mechanics clearly hear it and most even agree with me that it is incredibly annoying. I really like this car BUT I absolutely hate that annoying whinning noise -- especially when it cost almost $16k. Since I've just about had it with my "friends" at Chevrolet, I filed a formal complaint with the BBB Auto Line.
  • My 99 Prizm has been whining ever since I bought it. I took it to all the Chevy dealers around, they claim that it's normal or that it's the air rushing in and there's nothing they can do about it. I have a friend who is a mechanic for BMW and he told me that dealerships get very little money for fixing cars under warranty so that they couldn't care less about repairing them. Hence the "it's normal for this kind of engine" answers.

    Now, this is a widespread problem, a lot of Prizms and Corollas whine, even the 2000 models. I haven't heard of anyone who was able to fix it. The big question is if this is going to be a big problem in the future, causing the engine to go bad. What if that will happen after the warranty expires?

    I also have another problem with my 99 Prizm. The airflow knob is VERY HARD to turn all the way to the right. I know of another guy who has this problem. Is there anyone else experiencing this? The Chevy dealers claimed that it's normal, of course.
  • I have almost 9000 miles on my 99 Prism since I bought it new on 12 July 99. I love it. I routinely get 42-44 mpg on the highway and 35-38 around town (5 speed). I also have the whining noise. My heater knob is just fine. The price was $12,200 after rebates. My only complaint is the crappy aftermarket cruise control that they put in the car. When I complained about it the answer was, "we didn't tell you we were going to put Genuine Chevrolet parts in your car". They then told me that it was impossible to put the Factory like cruise in the car. But Toyota sells a kit to do it to the corolla. Anyone else have the same issue?
  • 39043904 Posts: 16
    I haven't noticed a problem with my airflow knob but since you mentioned airflow, I did notice that when the airflow setting is on heater mode, most of the air comes up through the winshield defroster ducts and on up into my face rather than being directed downward to the floor. I had my Prizm to the dealership on 10/29, they had a look-see, and once again said "there's nothing wrong -- it's functioning normally."

    Sorry to hear about the aftermarket cruise thing!! My Prizm has the factory unit and it works great.

    I've been at odds with Chevrolet over this whinning problem since August and the struggle continues....
  • I have a 98 Corolla and noticed the same problem with the heater mode (hot air going to windshield defroster when it should only be going to my feet). A new courtesy Corolla I drove while mine was in the body shop(unplanned encounter with a canoe on the highway) had the same problem.
    I think that the heating system was designed that way. When the settings are on floor heat, the windshield will fog (because of wet floor mats, snow...) So in the winter, you can still warm your feet and not have to worry about the windshield fogging up.
    Does that make any sense?? I thought it did.
  • 39043904 Posts: 16
    Yes, it does make sense!! Thanks for the info.

    The only problem is that when you have the fan set at highest setting in the heater mode you get a most unpleasant blast of hot air right square in the face. I get very little warm air (75% defroster/25% heater)at floor level.

    Since hot air rises, your face/neck stay REAL warm and the cold, heavier air remains at floor level--thus your feet remain cold.
  • The ratio in my car is about 65% feet and 35% windshield. And since I am not very tall (5'9") and sit far back, I don't get a blast of hot air in the face. Could always stuff your gloves in the windshield vent to reduce the flow.
  • How many of you, Prism LSi owners, have 5 spd manual transmission? I am interested in Prism LSi w/ a 5 spd manual but only find automatics in the local dealer. I know a lot of the base models are equipped with 5 spd. I am only interested in the LSi model.
  • .... I have a 98' with 44K miles ( I drive a lot) I had to replace the tires... I thought I would be getting better gas millage but I'm not I currently get about 32 mpg... is that good for a 5 speed....? I also hear a low thump when I turn the air on, does anyone else have that...? by the way this is the base model... I am going to get a tune up a little early to see if that will help with the gas... I also the engine is kinda loud...
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    32 miles per gallon is about normal for a mix of city and highway driving (mostly city driving).

    I dont' know about the noise though.
  • Well, I bought a new 1999 Mitsubishi Diamante (after reading the posts for Diamante, I30s, and Avalons and doing test drives)and have to say goodbye to my 1990 Prizm. I got a great price on the Diamante--$21,000 for the base model with the CD option, but the dealer was only willing to give me $500 for the Prizm.

    I needed a larger car to haul around the inlaws when they're in town, and both my husband and I are long-legged, which meant that the inlaws rode in the back seat of the Prizm with their knees in their chins. The Diamante is an overlooked luxury car with a wonderful ride and plenty of leg and headroom front and back.

    Anyway, I wrote earlier in this topic (Post #52) about the Prizm's great reliability--this car has never left me stranded. So I hope I find it a good home.
  • I was just wondering if anyone else has a speed surge at about 43 mph on their 3 speed Prizm transmission. Someone told me that that was when the 16 valve kicked in. Is this true? If you try to hold the speed on 43 it is always trying to slow down or speed up. That is the only place I feel this happening, and it will happen every time. I welcome any comments or answers.

    Also, the engine always feels like it is stressed when going above 60mph. Is this normal on a 3 speed?

    Maudie Wood
  • boston14boston14 Posts: 111
    How is a Diamante only 21k? Please fill me in, I have a 2000 Galant that after hearing how much you paid I feel ripped off. My Galant is great as far as engine and drivetrain but the quality is not as good as the main Japanese makers. The engine can really move even though its only a 2.4 4-cyl.
  • Just wanted to add that the problem with speed surge at 43 mph is on a 1999 Chevy Prizm with 3 speed automatic and DOHC. Has anyone else experienced this or is there anyone out there that could explain this??
  • How did I get a new Diamante for $21,000? This was the dealer's advertised price for it (and it wasn't a program car) in the local newspaper. (Didn't include tax, tag, title, delivery fee, etc.--my drive off cost was actually about $22,500.) I live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, where everybody wants to drive a Lexus, BMW, Jag, Infiniti, Acura, etc. The Diamante just doesn't carry the same prestige, although it certainly is luxy enough. My car was probably on the lot for about 6 months.

    You might want to check out the Diamante topics.
  • 1dmp11dmp1 Posts: 1
    I took the 00 Prism LSi 3 speed automatic for a ride and loved it, but am not sure whether its worth getting the 4 speed automatic. What do you think? Is it worth the extra price of 880.00 vs the 495.00? Any other advise would also be helpful....
  • Do you mostly drive in the city and don't plan to go on a long trip ever? Do you not plan to drive on a highway ever? Then 3-speed is a bargain. However, if you plan to use your car normally and drive on highway at speed limit. Definitely get the 4 speed. I think it gives better mpg too. Of course, the standard transmission gives the best mpg. If you drive automatic, have the over-drive on is also good.
  • I just bought a 2000 Prizm. So far I am happy with it (though I paid too much for it), except for one thing, and that is the above-mentioned performance at highway speeds. It's hard on my right foot after a while, and just feels to be working uncomfortably hard above 60mph. I wish I'd gone with the 4-speed automatic (or 5-speed manual).
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