Last post on Mar 01, 2013 at 9:56 PM
You are in the Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Prizm, Geo Prizm, Sedan
#651 of 1443 Difference between a regular Geo Prizm and Geo Prizm LSI
Mar 21, 2003 (9:52 am)
Can you tell me what the difference between a Geo Prizm and a Geo Prizm LSI is? My insurance man seams to try to cheat me out of money every time I go to get insurance. The last time he asked me if the car was an LSI? I said what is that? He said I don't know, if it is, it will probably say on the car. I do not want to pay insurance on an LSI since I am sure that mine isn't. What is the LSI part?
Mar 21, 2003 (10:42 am)
in the last generation prizm (98-02), per the actual brochure, the lsi is a higher trim level versus the base. i'm positive it's the same for previous years. many things that are optional on the base model are standard on the lsi. for example, my 02 is a base but it has optional, almost everything the lsi has standard which includes power windows and locks, cruise, rear defrost, tach, tilt, aluminum wheels etc...so it might as well be an lsi. the only lsi feature it lacks are the fold down rear seats, keyless entry, and premium cloth seats. i don't see why it would make a difference to the insurance agent since a base can be loaded as an lsi like mine. if it's an lsi, it will say "Prizm LSi" on the rear trunk. if it's not, it will just say "Prizm". have you tried another insurance company?
#653 of 1443 prizm update
Mar 26, 2003 (7:11 am)
Prizm update... I now have 170,995 miles on my 1998 Prizm 5-speed. I just put on a new set of tires as well as new brakes... I went to jiffy lube and got the "High Mileage" oil... this weekend I'm going to try my luck and change the spark plugs... I want to do a flush of the radiator but I can not find the release valve for the radiator... where is it located?
also if anyone has any additional suggestion, feel free to let me know
#654 of 1443 Comparison: 96 vs. 02 Prizm
Mar 29, 2003 (9:04 pm)
We had a 96 base Geo Prizm 3-speed for years, it has 125k miles and will be passed on to my sister-in-law shortly. Last week, I bought a used '02 base Prizm with a 5-speed manual tranny. My impressions:
1. When I read about the "Lexus-like" quietness in the 93-97 Prizms (and Corollas), I thought this surely was an exaggeration. I can see now that the 02 is a LOT less quiet at highway speeds. Whether it is cheaper insulation or stock tires or both remains to be determined. Bottom line: the car is noisy at 70mph, even with the manual. I was hoping to use it for longer trips to avoid putting the miles on my wife's car, but this probably will not happen.
2. A combination of a somewhat stronger engine and a 5-speed gives a very different driving impression. Even without a tachometer, it is easy to figure out when to shift, and the car really (though somewhat noisily) flies.
3. Interior trim and materials are actually better than what I expected after reading about the decontenting that was done on 98-02 models. Decent plastics and upholstery for an economy car, reasonable sound from 4 speakers/CD player.
Conclusion: too bad Toyota skimped on soundproofing when designing 98 Corolla and Prizm. Still, at the right price (50% off invoice for 1-year old car), for in-town trips mixing street and highway driving, with cheap insurance and excellent fuel economy, this is a sensible little car.
#655 of 1443 Do Prizms have folding rear seats?
Apr 01, 2003 (11:57 am)
I've spent the last several months looking at used Prizms and have not found a single one with folding rear seats. Is this an option that is purchased or some sort of X-Files conspiracy? This seems like a great car, but it would be a real shame if the folding seats weren't available.
#656 of 1443 Folding rear seats on Prizms
Apr 02, 2003 (10:21 am)
AFAIK, only LSI trim has folding rear-seats on the 93-97 and 98-02 generation Prizms. LSI's are less common than base model (I estimate 1 out of 5 to 10), but can definitely be found in most larger cities. I was shopping for a Prizm and concluded that an LSI may not command a significantly higher price than a base, especially if you go back to 96 and earlier. Now if you want to find a 4-speed auto LSI (or any 4-speed auto Prizm), this can be problematic...
#657 of 1443 Water in trunk
Apr 03, 2003 (12:08 pm)
My folks have a '99 Prizm that they just picked up. Was an off-lease vehicle. They have been noticing small amounts of water in the trunk around the spare tire. Maybe I need to replace the round rubber plug on the floor, right next to the spare?? And also on the passenger side of the trunk mat there is water. I opened up the rear taillights and didn't see any evidence of water in there so I'm not sure if siliconing the area around them would work (this was mentioned in an earlier post on this board, after running a search). The weatherstipping around the trunk looks good. Other than that, the car has been solid. Any ideas? Thanks!
#658 of 1443 1998-200 Reliability?
Apr 06, 2003 (5:31 pm)
I'm looking at buying a '98-'00 Prizm/Corolla (and also Saturn or Sentra) with under 50,000 miles and am concerned about the quality of the engines. I've read about a few engine failures on this board (about 65k miles) and seems like the engine quality is suspect. Also seems like folks say 1994-97 has better build quality.
Can anyone shed some advice about the quality of these cars?
#659 of 1443 jas: advice on Prizm reliability
Apr 09, 2003 (1:41 pm)
From a sample of one each of 96 and 2002, I can say that the sound insulation (and the road noise) is definitely worse in my 2002 Prizm. I read a lot about decontenting and cheaper plastics with the 98 model changeover, but find the interior actually pretty decent. Still prefer the charcoal plastic of the 96... Noise at speed is my biggest gripe (with speed limit of 70 mph just outside the I-494/694 loop, you can imagine how fast on average traffic flows outside the rush hour).
As for the engine quality, I don't expect it to be any worse in the last generation Prizm compared to 93-97. I have not seen or heard any complaints about Corolla engines of the newer vintage. On the 96, I already have 128k and it runs like clockwork with reasonably regular maintenance.
I will repeat my advice to Corolla/Prizm shoppers: do not get a 3-speed automatic. These are more common, but look for a 5-speed manual if you are comfortable driving it, or a 4-speed auto with an overdrive gear. Anytime you exceed 60mph in a Corolla/Prizm without overdrive, you will hear the engine rev and think about potentially wearing it off faster.
When I was shopping for a Prizm a couple of months ago, I always verified with dealers that their cars had 4-speed auto (though I ended up buying a manual from a private seller, on eBay no less!) One of the dealers commented that though his 00 Prizm was a 3-speed, it had a torque converter that essentially did the job of the overdrive. I know that every automatic transmission has a torque converter and dismissed his claim (and this dealer) outright, but perhaps there was something in his remark that I should have investigated.
P.S. I cannot say much about Saturns. I had a '87 POSy Sentra, should have got an '88 or later - serious tranmission, idle, carburator issues around 100k. Call me ethnically insensitive, but I would not touch newer Sentras (or any other car) built in Mexico.
#660 of 1443 jas: other small cars to consider
Apr 09, 2003 (1:47 pm)
I think newer Prizms/Corollas are great cars but if they are too plain for you or cannot find one, I would look for a Protege before a Sentra or a Saturn. Proteges depreciate rather steeply, maybe approaching Prizms in that respect, and are nice little cars - rented them several times. Of course, you don't want the base 1.5l engine with automatic... However, according to Phil Edmonston's LemonAid books, repairs are more expensive on Proteges than other cars in its class.
I would even consider a Suzuki Esteem before a Sentra or a Saturn, much as I like Nissan's other cars. I have not checked Esteem's crash ratings, though.