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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm



  • ravramravram Posts: 7
    Hit enter by accident, sorry.....

    Anyway, thanks for all the information!

    Well, I don't have to worry about the POS Kia anymore--although, kunze1, I did try everything to sell this thing, flyers at my work, and everyone else I know--their work too, flyers in the window, and the magazine, all local newspapers, etc.....

    I picked up my new Prizm last night--from a different dealership than in Ann Arbor. To think of the mess I could have gotten into with those people! And, now I KNOW for a fact that they were lying to me--they told me that the rebate didn't START until the 1st of April--and come to find out here that it ends on the 2nd!!! I came sooo close to being screwed! Thank GOD I found a good dealership--and this one is right by my house, so I'll be close by for oil changes and such (hopefully, not much more than that!) I'll have to update in a couple of months, because of course, everyone loves the car brand spankin' new.....

    Thanks to everyone for listening to my grumblings, and for all the help and advice. This site is great!

  • I bought a 2000 Chevrolet Prizm with a lot of apprehension. This was my first brand new car purchase. I wanted to make sure that it would be the right one. I already owned a 1994 Dodge Caravan SE and needed a car with good gas mileage to get to and from work.

    I looked at the Saturn S wagon, Ford Focus Wagon and Ford Escort, Dodge Neon, and Chevy Cavalier, before I looked at the Chevy Prizm. I wanted to look at the Toyota Cars, but my wife did not want anything from Japan. So to appease us both, I went with the Prizm.

    I got a 3 speed automatic for $13,800 with a five year 60,000 mile warranty. I have 9500 miles on it now, and life could not be better. After the last oil change (at 9000 miles), the oil was almost like new. The car drives great, and has surprising power for a 4 cylinder engine. The engine is quiet, even at start up, and I get around 25 miles to the gallon in bumper to bumper Houston traffic.

    I have only have two complaints about the car, but they are my own fault. One, a rear window defogger. I did not know it was not standard on the car. And two, power door locks. It is a pain to reach around to unlock doors for kids. Other than that, I am 100% happy with this vehicle. I hope that this will be my son's first car when he turns 16, 10 years from now.

    It is a shame though that Chevrolet is phasing this car out. I think it is the best car they have. It makes the Cavalier look silly.

    I hope this helps anyone thinking of buying a Prizm.
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    Whew!!! That was a close one Ramona! Close, concerning your factory rebate situation and the April 2nd expiration date. Glad it worked out for you! Typically there will be other rebates offered later in the year, but " a bird in hand is worth more than one in the bush". Did you trade your Kia in? (Couldn't tell for sure from your post.) Hope you unloaded it OK. What Prizm and equipment did you get?

    I just picked up my new silver with alloy wheels Prizm LSi 5 speed tonight, celebrated at Chi Chi's with my wife, and then drove home 60 miles. Sharp looking, and wow, what a smooth running and driving little sedan! More impressed now than my initial dealer test drive, and very peppy too! I like the way the RPM's drop down low at highway cruising speeds (did not do this well, on a Mazda Protoge I test drove, so no wonder the Protoge is only rated around 30 mpg on the highway). The new Prizm gas gauge was still above full when I got home, so that is a good sign. Concerning tires, before purchase, I had noticed some LSi's on the dealer lot had Firestone, and some had Goodyear Integrity tires. I then looked at the Tire Rack web site to compare the ratings of the Firestones to the Goodyears. The Goodyears were rated a little better in just about every category (wet and dry traction, snow, etc.) so I requested they swap out wheels, tires, and all from another Prizm to get the Goodyears. This they willingly did, and gave me the Goodyear warranty paper work. With the LSi (and with either tire) one gets little wider tire P185, instead of the P175, so road handling should be a little improved, over base Prizm. Since I put on at least 145 miles a day (4 day work week) I should have on about 600 miles by this time next week. (Unless I just go out and drive it around for fun this weekend!!!!) Found out the Chev dealer has factory mud guards available, so may invest in some soon.

  • jfranks1jfranks1 Posts: 1
    We just bought a used 1999 prizm lsi and love the car. it is still under warranty. As i was checking out the trunk I noticed water in the driver's side, right behind the wheel-well. The cover over the spare tire was not wet at all, only under it. I dried it up and then the next rain filled it again. The car was not driven before the 2nd incident. Would anyone know what is happening. thank you in advance.
  • ravramravram Posts: 7
    Hello all!

    kunze1, sorry my earlier post was not so clear...

    I did take a HUGE loss on the Kia, but I was expecting that. The problem was, I owed close to 3.5K negative balance on the POS, and I only had $500 to my name. So, with the rebate, I only had to go over the price of the Prizm by $1500. I probably could have tried to bargain with the dealership (which, by the way, is a great place! University Chevrolet, in Ypsilanti MI.) but too bad I had NO leverage--I just needed to unload the Kia ASAP! Hopefully, I have now learned my lesson, and will never be in another situation like this. I am a bargain shopper by nature, so I wish I could have bargained for this car, but oh well.....

    The sticker price was $15,795, for the basic Prizm, 5 speed, medium red color. The funny thing is, it has power nothing, but it does have a sunroof and cruise control. Weird!

    Anyway, I don't know how they worked everything out, (and I personally couldn't care at this point--I just hope it's not another lemon...) but I walked out of there with the new car after putting $500 down only, and my payments (including tax, title, etc...) are at $294.51 a month. I know, I know, I wanted to keep them under $250 a month (was paying $350/month for the Kia) but it was physically impossible, with how much negative balance I had on the previous car. I don't know how good of a deal this is or not, but like I said, I was in no position to bargain with them, and I got rid of my POS Kia, and I am driving a new car, while paying off the stupid negative in 3 years. The other dealership in Ann Arbor, on the other hand, kept telling me to BUY a car (yeah right! Get into even MORE years of payments than I'm in right now?!?!?!? HA!), dragged their feet on paperwork for a week, and they came up with some outrageous figure of $380 per month, with $2700 down. Buddy, (I said) if I had that kind of money, I wouldn't be in the mess I'm in right now!!! So, I pretty much told them to go fly a kite. On a side note, I also think I have a stalker from that bad dealership. The salesguy called me (after I had bought my Prizm from the good dealership) wondering if I had any family members that worked for GM, that they would try to work with me and get me a deal, blah, blah, blah. Ya know what? It was the most satisfying thing in the world to tell him that they blew it, and I was already driving a new Prizm, WITH the deal that I wanted, and I did it in ONE DAY!!! He just kept sputtering about how that was an impossible deal, and how'd they do that, and on, and on, and on..... So what, I'm a liar now? Puhleeze, give me a break. Well, I think he is stalking me because since that converstaion, I have 5 other voicemails at work. I don't think I will be calling back.....

    But, I know what you mean about the gas guage! I got the car on Thursday with 12 miles on it, it now has 170 miles, and the needle is barely at 3/4 tank! This is great! My boyfriend was laughing at me and calling me "Base Model", and I told him to just drive it, and then see. Well, since then, he has wanted to go places all weekend, and "spare" me from driving in the traffic and bad weather (it's snowing here in Michigan right now...) Yeah, right! My little egg beater is pretty fun to drive, base model or not! :-) Let's hope it keeps on goin' strong--I'm freaked out after owning that lemon Kia POS!

    bk_furman, where did you hear that they are phasing the car out??? Eeek! Just my luck, I find a car that is great, and it will be discontinued--Madonn' Mia!!!

    Once again, thanks for listening (reading) and sorry for the super long posting....

  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    Mona - Glad to hear you got out from under your Kia and ended up with monthly payments under $300! Sounds like to me you did pretty good, unless your payments go on for life! Your Prizm sounds super nice with the sunroof (come on summer!) and the cruise control, to help keep you under the speed limit. The 5 speed will save you some gas money. Sounds like you found a good dealer, and, if you have concerns about the other salesman (harassment), I would call the dealership and ask to talk to the owner or manager about it. That kind of stuff is totally uncalled for! Enjoy your new Prizm this week, as will I!
  • kneehowmakneehowma Posts: 17
    Sorry, this is an old news. But I just found out that GM is going to discontinue Prizm after 2002 model year. :( What's GM management thinking?! Maybe I should go buy another one next year for my aging parents because it's such a nice, easy-to-drive, reliable car. Sad to see it go....

  • thegrog3thegrog3 Posts: 6
    I was in an accident on 3/19/01. My car has only 69,000 miles on it and is in immaculate condition. The repair estimate is around $4,500. Kelley Blue Book says the retail value is $5,090. My lawyer says Allstate is offering a little over $3,800. The only major problem that has gone wrong is an alternator. I also have an extended warranty through AAA that is good til 75,000 miles or July 2002. Any ideas to back me up that they should fix my car?
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    I believe you should hold out for full blue book value, as that is only fair, to cover your potential replacement costs, when you attempt to find a similar, good vehicle. That is why you put out good money monthly, so they will fully cover the risk. You know what you have with that 93 Prizm, as you have maintained it, and expensive surprises should be minimal. Remind them that you want to be able to continue to reccomend All state Insurance and agents to your friends, and to the thousands of readers of internet automotive forum chat groups like this. I, for one am already getting a very bad impression of this mufti-million dollar company, just reading your story. Is this their idea of public relations? If you go out and replace the vehicle you still won't have the warrantee coverage, unless you spend more good money, and re-purchase it on another vehicle. That value will just, be lost, if they don't re-build, so remind them of that.
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    Very happy to report 37.6 mpg on my first tank of gas in my brand new 2001 Prizm. The car is the 5 speed, and the driving was about 85% hi way, and the rest in and through small towns, on my way to work, and over a period of 3 days. During this time I was trying to vary my traveling speed on the hi way from 50 - 75 mile per hour, to get a better break in. Still hoping for 39 to 40 mpg range, once break in is complete. Car is a very smooth and peppy runner, and is fun to drive! Looks like the Prizm is going to be an economical, and excellent "step up" choice from my 1998 3 cylinder Metro. (It is now for sale.)
  • Hello,

    Does anybody know where I can find performance suspension parts for the Prizm? I have a 2000 Prizm LSi 5-speed and it's a great car. I'd like to upgrade the handling though...I think the suspension is a little too soft and would like to add new springs and shocks...The trouble is I haven't been able to find anything...

    I have seen some listings for Eibach and H&R Springs for the Toyota Corolla, however. And, as we know, the Prizm and Corolla are built in the same factory in Fremont, CA. and are for the most part, the same car.

    I haven't been able to confirm or deny that a set of springs/shocks for the Corolla will work on the Prizm. I even called H&R and they couldn't help me.

    Any ideas?

    PS. For anybody wondering why I find the Prizm suspension a bit soft, the car I had before the Prizm was a Golf GTi which I had for 10 years...

    Thanks in advance..
  • cpzhangcpzhang Posts: 16
    Hi, I am looking at a 97 Geo Prizm. This car has 62k, auto, AC, Cass, looks very good and drives very well. I ran a VIN check, no problem was reported except for that it was a rental car from 1997/02 to 1999/09. I am a little worried about it. The dealer offered me $5700. Suppose this is a very reliable car. But a rental worries me somewhat.
  • Re this post: bk_furman Mar 30, 2001 1:02pm

    I looked at the Saturn S wagon, Ford Focus Wagon and Ford Escort, Dodge Neon, and Chevy Cavalier, before I looked at the Chevy Prizm. I wanted to look at the Toyota Cars, but my wife did not want anything from Japan. So to appease us both, I went with the Prizm.

    You made a very good choice. FYI for your wife though...Prizms and Toyota Corollas roll off the same assembly line in California. I'm sure there have been other posts about the joint venture between GM and Toyota which spawned the Chevy Nova and Geo Prizm. Don't let misguided concerns about baseball and apple pie and the "good old US of A" stop you from considering a "Japanese" car in the future.

    I've owned Geo Prizms (and Chevy Novas before that), knowing all the while they were basically Toyota Corollas with an American flag on 'em. And unlike 100% "American" cars in the same price range (especially the Cavalier -- a dogmobile if ever there was one), your Prizm/Corolla will actually love you back! :-)
  • squeak6squeak6 Posts: 28
    Hello all...

    I have a 98 Prizm ( 5-speed) with 97,000 miles.... I know, I do drive a lot... I have had no problems at all... I change the oil every 3,000... get my tune up's every 30,000 I wanted to know the following:

    * how do I do the gas cap trick? I lost my gas cap and the check engine light came on... I purchase a new gas cap and the light is still on...

    * I'm only getting 32 mpg... what can I do to increase my mpg...?

    * do I need to do any special service soon...?

    * does this car have a timing belt...?

    * any other suggestions...?

    as always thanks for your help...
  • tgrautgrau Posts: 1
    Hi gang,

    I have a 1999 Chevy Prizm with about 47,000 miles on it. Unfortunately, because of the mileage my car that is less than 2 years old is outside the warranty period (3/36). About a week ago the transmission (3 speed automatic) went on me, and I had to eat a $2,500 repair bill to have it rebuilt (bad valve body if that means anything to you). The guy at AAMCO suggested I contact GM to see if they would cover some/all of the cost since the car is still fairly new despite being out of warranty. I just wanted to know if anyone has run into similar problems and/or if you have any advice on how to convince GM to pay for this repair. I would appriciate any advice. Thanks.

  • cpzhangcpzhang Posts: 16
    I just called a mechanic asking for the price for a timing belt change on my 97 prizm with 62k. But he told me that it is a timing chain, I do not need to change it till the running condition is really bad. Any owner out there could give me advice?
  • nqhnqh Posts: 1
    In a jam ... can I cram 3 baby seat across the back of a Prizm?

    Please don't tell me to get a mini van, I have a maxi van.

    I can always disable the front air bag and put one up front. Hard to give up the mileage and buy an Impala.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The 97 Prizm has a timing belt. The 98 and newer models use a chain.

    You will probably find it difficult to fit three infant seats in the back of any car the size of a Prizm - they just aren't wide enough.
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    Sqeak 6 - You don't say if your 32 mpg is mostly stop and go city driving or not. If that is what about one half of your driving is, then you are probably in the ball park for a 5 speed. If your driving is 90% highway, then you should expect around 35 to 39 range, according to my experience. (I got 37.5 on my first 3 tank fulls of a new 2001 5speed, with 90% highway, and traveling about 60 to 65 mph.) To improve mileage, try changing your air filter, slow down a little, and shift sooner than you do now, anticipate braking, and start to slow down sooner (brake less). Also, check tire pressure often, with a good gauge, and keep up to maximum recommended pressure (or error 1 to 2 lbs to the high side)that you see inside the glove box. Always travel with the windows up, and use the air conditioner minimally. Good synthetic oil may help, but very little.
  • squeak6squeak6 Posts: 28
    WOW you drive 60 - 65 mph.... I wish I could drive that slow.... I just came back from Orlando which is about 218 miles from Miami... and I was getting passed doing 85 mph.... my check engine light went off... after about 150 miles on a full tank... ( I did the turn off and on trick )... my 98 prizm now has 99,000 miles.... this car runs good... * any thoughts on what I could do to keep it running so good....?
  • zemmy2zemmy2 Posts: 5
    Ask the dealer about help on your transmission bill. They have an unwritten rule on helping with things like this if you are the original owner. They will probably have to explain the situation to the regional manager who will make the judgement. If you are not the original owner they won't waste their time.
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    Just to let you all know, the molded black mud guards for the 2001 Corolla fit my 2001 Prizm just fine. Cost $67 at the local Toyota dealer. All of the existing screw holes line up just fine for attachment, so no drilling is needed. (You must remove the thin black plastic fender lip liner off of the edge of the rear fender lip opening.) Chevy has mud guards available, but I passed on those, because they only come with the white Chevy emblem. I have no problem owning a Chevy (I have a 99 Lumina in addition to the Prizm), but I see no need to call attention to the mud gaurds with something white on them, plus the white is also bound to take extra effort to keep clean.
  • wallywyowallywyo Posts: 3
    A local dealer has a 96 LSI listed in the paper. They say it totally power, auto, has 74000 miles and they are listing it at $6990. I need to check on a couple of details with them as if it is a 3-speed or 4-speed and a couple fo other features.

    I cheked both Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book on prices and have a problem -- Edmunds list it at $5795 and Kelly Blue Book list it at $7670. this dealership does not negotiate -- company policy -- they let you know the price and that is that. So what price do I go by?

    I own a 90 Geo Prism Hatchback and loved it -- wish i hadn't sold it. If it is a 3-speed is there anything I need to be aware of beside noise at high speeds?
  • drmeyerdrmeyer Posts: 3
    I have the opportunity to buy a 99' Prizm baseline with 3 spd. A/T. It has 39,000 miles and dealer is asking $6,500 for it. I'm wary about 3 spd. A/T. I'll be using it for work purposes driving a 5 day 100 mile roundtrip commute, 99% of the time on highway. Give me your thoughts on that matter.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    You don't want the 3-speed for highway driving. Find one with a 4-speed automatic - it will be quieter and deliver better mileage in your commute driving.
  • charlincharlin Posts: 7
    I'm considering a loaded 98 Prism lsi for my teenage son because it has abs and side-air bags besides the things he wants such as cd, sunroof, alloys, and black metallic exterior.It has 32K miles on it. However, it has the 3 speed auto tranny. The owner's asking $9800. Any comments or recommendations? Would it hold it's value very well for 3-4 years?
  • rwfrwf Posts: 2
    Has anyone experienced a growling noise in the front when you come to a stop? It occurs only while braking and speeds less than 3mph when coming to a stop. The sound is quite noticeable and occurs 40% of the time while braking. I can feel it in the steering wheel

    I replace both Vs, both disc brakes and out of ideas.

    Mechanics can't find it
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    I personally will not deal with any dealers who have a policy of not dealing. (There is way too much competition out there to sell cars, for me to walk away from a chance to save $1000.00 or so, by shopping around and getting several dealers seriously working to earn my business.) I believe the 96 you mentioned is really not worth more than $6000, and this is especially true if it is the less desirable three speed auto. With the price of gas going up and the mileage you may be driving I would hold out for the 4 speed auto, or a 5 speed stick.
  • kunze1kunze1 Posts: 19
    The 98 LSi with 32k miles is about $500 high in my opinion. Sounds like a nice car. Should be able to buy for $9300. In three years or so, if well taken care of, and with 85k miles, you should still get approx. $5700 out of it. However, teenagers as a whole, don't have a good track record for properly caring for a car as a long term project. If it is routinely abused and neglected, all bets are off, and you may end up with a value down in the $4000 range rather quickly.
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