1994 Geo Metro Reviews and Owner Comments

1994 Geo Metro owners review and rate their 1994 Geo Metro.

1994 Geo Metro (3 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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I love my 1994 Geo Metro XFI! I worry that it is an orphan and 12 inch tires are hard to find, but it gets about 40mpg and I can reach the passenger side door and roll that window down. I do not have a/c, but it has a great heater. I have had some electrical issues - overhead lamp and gage dispay lighting have gone out. I paid to get the overhead lamp fixed and the gage display lights came back by themselves and been fine every since. Yes, it is fragile in sime ways, but the mechanics have all told me that my Mitsubitsy(?) engine will out live many other engines.
Forgot to mention in last posting - I have seen and read reviews in other places from many people who have driven these cars 170,000 to over 200,000 miles and all seem to love them!
Had one of these in 1986 when it was called Chevy Sprint. That one overheated easily in traffic, and the head warped before having 8,000 miles on it. That explained where the antifreeze was going (into the oil, making it foam). It also had an oil leak shortly after I bought it. I had it at the same time I had a 1977 Lincoln Town Car which weighed 5200 lbs, sat 3 in the front, 4 in the back and 4 in the trunk, got 8 mpg in the city and 13 on the highway. I drove the Sprint (getting approx. 40 mpg in suburban/city driving) on opposite days from the Lincoln to balance out the cost of gasoline. Add the 8 and the 40 together, divide by 2 and I was averaging 24 mpg during the week. The car was so small compared to the Lincoln that, when the cars were parked side-by-side, with the front bumpers lined up, the back of the Sprint came to where the back of the front door of the Lincoln was. The small size of the car was much more noticeable back then compared to 1994.
This one (1994 Geo Metro purchased in 2008) has improved appearance and feels more upscale than the '86. Mechanicals are excellent - engine, transmission, air conditioner. Engine sounds such that I lovingly describe it as I did with the one in the '86 as "a four-wheeled sewing machine", but the sound becomes part of the cars unique charm in time. The ride is choppy but not more unbearable than other small cars of the time. Road noise on the highway is high, but conversation is still possible and not uncomfortable. Door handles, hatch struts, door locks need to be treated delicately, the way you would handle your grandmother's arm, helping her in and out of a chair or vehicle. The sheetmetal is thin and it's always in the back of your mind that getting hit in the car would be dangerous to say the least, but it's small size makes it maneuvreable like few others. The radio in this car is unusable because of time and electronic gremlins, but easily replaced. The clutch is the lightest and easiest of any manual transmissioned car I have driven and the shifter feels very tight with short throws, as if it were on a much more expensive car. The gas pedal only needs to be feathered when engaging the clutch, so much so that you can easily over-rev the engine when pulling away from stop, the first couple of times.
I bought this car at time when gas was around $4.00/gal for $5,000 with original 48,000 miles from children of original owner (searched the entire country for it. Was thrilled to find one with 3 cylinder engine (also available with 4 cylinder which has more power, but gets less mpg. I was also happy to find one with a 5 speed manual transmission (automatic gets approx. 10 mpg less in city, which makes it comparable with larger cars produced in the past or being produced these days). I would have bought a brand new one had they still been producing them. (New Chevy Aveo is made by Daewoo -subsidiary of GM, Chevy Sprint and Geo Metro were made by Suzuki - much better quality in my opinion and better gas mileage. Suzuki also sold their version with name of Cultus and Swift and still makes a current generation of the car today. I drove the 2008 Aveo hatchback and almost bought one when I thought I couldn't find a Metro in decent shape. It was pleasant and felt more refined, but I wouldn't bet on longevity the way I do for the Sprint and Metro) The Metro I bought had been stored for several years. New paint and tires were added by seller, was amazingly devoid of rust (which is rare for these cars, especially if they are owned and driven in northern states) and car feels and runs like (or better) than the 1986 I bought new. Since gas prices dropped, I have it parked until prices come back up (now bumping $3.00/gal again and rising) as of this writing. It sits for weeks at a time with battery connected and starts immediately, everytime without a hint that it had been sitting. A/C holds charge unlike other older cars that sit. I have several cars which are newer and have low mileage that sit for long periods and this one holds up the best. Gas mileage for 1986 was approx. 40 mpg average in suburban/city driving - highest speed during commute approx. 40 mph, all the way up to 62 mpg on hwy once, straight hwy driving back when the national speed limit was 55 mph with air conditioning off. This one (1994) averaged between 40 and 50 mpg with mixed driving on the way from picking it up in the hilly/mountainous areas of Pennsylvania, stopping in Washington D.C. for a night and driving mostly I-95 to Florida with speeds averaging 65-70 mph, in summer with a/c on. The a/c was freezing cold. Acceleration is on the slower side of the spectrum, but adequate once you get used to the engine's power band and gear ratios and adjust your driving accordingly. The only exception is short-on ramps on heavily travelled roads. Each time you encounter these situations, it is a new experience in terror and faith, trying to merge with flowing traffic. The non-power steering is only noticeable during low/slow speed maneuvres and not hard to handle. My only major complaints would be super slow windshield wipers (not adequate enough for a steady, wind-driven rain), mushy suspension and tiny 12 inch tires. The windshield wiper situation can be handled with regular applications of Rain-X. Because of the tires, you get major understeer and body roll, but I don't expect much for such small car with basic struts and tiny tires geared more for light weight and low rolling resistance for maximum mileage. After getting stuck with wheels spinning on the white "stop line" at a corner because the weight of three adults was too much for the tires to gain traction when it was drizzling (someone had to get out) and skidding into another car while it was snowing another time, I upgraded the wheels and tires on my 1986 from 145-80R-12's to 175-70R-13's (with wider rims). After that the car handled like it was on rails and even helped the car tip-toe on ice covered roads when other cars were skidding and pulling off the roads during blizzard conditions. I don't remember the city mileage suffering significantly after the tire and wheel change. In the future, if I have to drive the car regularly and in bad weather (especially in a colder area of the country), I may be willing to give up some highway mileage for better traction and handling.
After I bought the '86, when gas was around $1.43, if I remember correctly, the price suddenly dropped to 75 cents. When I was buying this one, I told people to expect gas prices to plummet and they went from around $4.00/gal down to $1.53, after I bought the car. I have been hesitant to take the insurance off the car, for fear gas prices would shoot up. I was going to drop the insurance at the beginning of the year and look where gas prices are going. My friends jokingly say my buying one of these cars every couple of decades, helps save our economy. If only that were true.
When all is said and done, I am one of many people who have owned one of these cars and fallen under it's spell, but then again, my other favorite car out of the 5 I have now (and the many I have owned in the past) is a 1990 Toyota Tercel with a carburetor that needed to be replaced (as did almost every one of the Tercels that had this particular carburetor), a recently coverted/updated airconditioning system and a radio and speakers that also need to be replaced.