Geo Metro

Hi. I’m hopefully getting a car sometime in the next six to eight months. The vehicle that I will be purchasing, along with my brother, is a used '92 Geo Metro Hatchback. The price is right - about $300 dollars, and the thing runs. I’m pretty set on this, since the price is right and it won’t be a huge deal if it dies.

Here’s the rundown:

Good: Fuel economy. Dirt Cheap. Standard transmission (helpful in a 55 hp car). Lightweight.

Bad: Tiny, cramped, flimsy. Teeny engine. Double-clutching mechanism somewhat damaged, makes downshifting into 2nd gear a bit tougher than usual. Uglier than Satan’s buttcrack.

Possible nuisances: Standard transmission. Coathanger for radio antenna. Very unsexy.

Any opinions on this car? Any experiences worth sharing? What are some other things about this car that I should know? Things that particularly pertain to the fact that this car is going to be driven by two 17-year-old boys would also be helpful. Basically, I’d like to be prepared for the Geo Metro experience. In any case, I’m sure this car will inspire careful driving on my part. I’ll probably want to avoid hard stops, hard acceleration, or tapping anything with the bumper. The car might explode.


Being hit by anything larger than a Chevette will likely result in instant death. Enjoy!

I had a couple of Chevy Sprints; one regular and the other a Sprint Metro. For a 3-cyl car they were quite peppy. They accellerated well and had decent handling. They were incredibly easy to park. They seemed to have more room inside than they had outside. “Cramped”? Not if you’re in the front seat. The back seats aren’t that bad.

On the other hand, Metros aren’t fast. On a long trip to Utah I was only able to cruise at about 90. And if you have to go up a long hill you’ll definitely feel the lack of power.

They’re not very crashworthy. My dad’s passenger was killed in a crash, and my dad suffered severe head trauma. (He died three years later.) Don’t crash it.

There are a lot of things good about the Metro, and others that aren’t so good. But for 300 simoleons, you’re going to complain?

Complain!? Heck no! I’m just looking for what to expect from this thing. And if I recall, the '92 isn’t the really hideously ugly version afer all… though it’s still pretty unappealing ;).

I drove a Geo Metro until last year, when I heard on the news that it was the fatality champion. That made me uneasy, and I sold it and bought a Honda Civic which I like much better.

I care nothing for automotive glamour; I’m a “just basic transportation” kind of guy. One thing I positively liked about the Geo Metro was it was the only subcompact that was roomy enough for me to fit into comfortably. I hate that cramped subcompact feeling, and Metro’s comfortable front seat seemed like a miracle to me. But the Honda is better in every respect (looks better, constructed better), gets the same mileage, and still is not expensive.

I had an '85 Chevy Sprint that I bought for 500$ in 1995. I drove the snot out of it for a couple of years and sold it for 275$. That was the best 225$ of car I’ve ever had. I replaced the CV joint and the air filter several times. Leaked a LOT of oil. I treated it like a 500$ car (re:VERY HARD) and it never broke. Well one time, because the air filter was full of oil. I had a wheel fall off once. Nothing like watching the drivers side rear wheel bounce past you. It had the worlds smallest lug nuts. And each wheel was missing one. Cheap plastic everywhere. One of the best beater/winter cars you can buy. But I would also not recommend getting in a wreck with one.

Would you say that the Metro is adequate for highway driving? 65-75 mph speeds. I doubt I would ever want to take it on a major road (for example, Rt. 2 into Boston :eek: ), but what should I expect if I do?

I don’t have a Metro, but a '94 Suzuki Swift, so it’s essentially the same thing (mine is cooler because it says Swift on the side).

The current Swift is a GT, meaning it has a lot more power. At one point I had regular Swift, so I’ll use my experience with that one. Ol’Red did not have a lot of power, and it did show on long up slopes. I never had any problem with long drives, as once it got up to speed, it was ok. It just took longer to get to 65/75.

Learn what it can do before you start pushing it or making turns that you’ll need the power for - I went from a 2001 Accord to Ol’Red, and I almost died at least twice because I forgot that there wasn’t enough power to take sudden turns and I should have waited until there was a better opening.

Ol’Red was a stick shift, and that actually helped with the power situation - being in control of shifting and such.

Advantages? You can park anywhere. They last, especially if you take care of them and do all the maintenance and such. Excellent gas mileage - with the amount of driving I did, I usually put around $10 a month in gas in the thing. Now, I do a little more driving and I pay a little more.

I like little cars, and these have really suited me. Of course, post grad school and once I have a new job, I’ll be looking at the mini-cooper…maybe. :slight_smile:

A coat hanger? Really?

I’m not overly familiar with the Geo Metro, but I don’t think that replacing the radio antenna should be much trouble at all. I replaced the one that was stolen off my Neon last summer with little expense or trouble. So, it shouldn’t be too hard to return at least that one small bit of sexiness to the car. :wink:

However…our high school paper used to run a “Heap of the Month” contest. A coat hanger antenna would certainly help you qualify!

We have 90 metro. It uses the most expensive car parts I have ever seen. $350 radiators,
$500 struts, $240 alternators. etc…someone told me this is cause the parts have to come
from Japan. anyway, try if you don’t believe me.

I owned a '92 Geo Metro 4-door hatchback, with the manual transmission.

I have no reservations in saying that it was the single most awful car I have ever owned. It burned through tires rapidly because it was constantly going out of alignment. The engine worked reliably, but had difficulty in mountain passes. Severe Difficulty, that is.

The windows came off track frequently, running the AC made it feel like it was going to stall at any moment, and the road noise was terrible.

I did, however, have plenty of leg and headroom, although entry and egress was a chore. Plus, I got 50 miles per gallon frequently.

All told though, I don’t miss that car even a tiny little bit.

as part of a “stunt”, i got to take one (don’t recall the year) off-road and drive it as hard and fast as i could till it died! flattened all four tires before it wouldn’t go farther, but it was still running. :smiley:

i would say for $300, you cant go wrong! perfect car for 2 teenagers, just drive safely

I had a Geo, given to me, for a couple years. It was great for piling the doggies in the hatchback and the gas mileage was nothing to complain about. But 65 on the freeway was pushing it and pretty scary - those hamsters were really straining to keep up! And, yes, hills were even more difficult to climb. I donated it to charity when it needed some work, because I felt it wasn’t worth putting money into. If it will be used for mostly local city driving, it might be worth it.

As someone whose sturdy Corolla was totalled in a car accident, and who could have easily died as a result, I have one thing to say:

Don’t do it.

Yeah, the price is tempting, and the fuel economy must be great. I wouldn’t dare sacrifice safety for the sake of cost, though.

My '85 Sprint and '88 Sprint Metro were quite able to run on the freeway at 65-70 mph with no problems or complaints. Their power is perfectly adequate for those speeds – as long as you don’t have to go up hills.

For example, L.A. is basically at sea level. The Mojave Desert, where dad lived, is about 2,400 feet. In between there are some 3,500-foot hills. If traffic would allow me to maintain 70-75 mph, I could make it up the long hill by Vasques Rocks (a site familiar to anyone who watches reruns of Star Trek) with little difficulty. But if my speed dropped to 65, then it would keep dropping until I was doing 55 in fourth gear.

So as long as you don’t have any long hills, you’re probably going to be okay on power.

Although my dad was nearly killed in a Sprint and his passenger did die, I’d consider owning one again. Their about as efficient as you can get without going electric. They’re not the best for picking up the chix, but then I never had any luck in my Porsches either. (Probably because I would not be attracted to any woman who was attracted to me because of my car.) The styling, especially of the older ones, is “utilitarian”. Still, I think they’re nifty – like an old Bug or a Mini.

Tamex - heap of the month! What an excellent idea! I’ll have to let my school newspaper know about this. Of course, with the frequency with which they publish, “Heap of the Semester” would be more accurate. Heck, the coathanger gives it personality. It really looks unique - it makes a loop coming out of the antenna hole.

Well, it sounds mostly like the trick is to drive carefully, especially until I’m more familiar with the car. Fortunately, I plan to do very little, if any highway driving in this car; I suspect that Route 2 would be extremely frightening in this little machine. As for the car parts… well, I’m most worried about burning out the clutch, and that’ll cost an arm and a leg no matter what. I think that if something important on the car fails, then I may need to just let it go. I’ll ask the current owners if they have to pay a lot for parts…

I totally agree.

Pay a few hundred dollars more and get a crappy, but steel framed Chevy or something.

I had a metro as a loaner once. the steering wheel came off while driving, which was somewhat troubling. I reattached and carried on.

My advice: take the bus.

Sounds like a good deal. Not sure about the Metro’s (think they’re called Chevrolet Metro’s now), but my daughter owned it’s predecessor a 1986(?) Chevrolet Spectrum. My daughter sold it to her brother about 3 years ago for $500; he re-sold it this year for again $500. AFAIK it’s still on the road. :eek:

Our Metro has 3 cyclinders. I think I could hold that engine in my lap. Shucks, even a
vw bug has more spark plugs.