The Chevrolet Prizm is a compact car derived from the Toyota Corolla. General Motors and Toyota actually manufacture the two cars at a shared California plant. GM made some minor modifications to the Prizm’s style and equipment to distinguish its car from the Corolla. One thing that the Prizm shares with the Corolla is its reliability.
One downside to the Prizm is its high price. Even though the Prizm is shorter than the Chevrolet Cavalier, the vehicle still has a higher base price. In the Chevy line, the Prizm sits between the Cavalier and Malibu in pricing. The vehicle gets way expensive when options are added on, becoming pricier than a Malibu that is similarly loaded. What sells buyers on the Prizm is its reputation of being a reliable car that is tastefully styled and superbly built. In comparison to the Chevy Cavalier and Malibu, the Prizm feels the most refined and durable.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.8-liter I-4
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chevrolet Prizm, Chevrolet Prizm LSi
GM has added some new standard includes as a way to boost the Prizm’s value in the wake of grumblings about its price tag. The base 2000 Chevrolet Prizm model now comes standard with air-conditioning, a four-speaker AM/FM stereo, floor mats, and full wheel covers. The Prizm LSi trim now comes standard with power windows, a tachometer with temperature gauge, a rear window defogger, and adjustable tilt steering column. Power and torque have also been maximized with new variable valve timing. Three new exterior colors are now being offered for the 2000 model year.
The Prizm is only available as a four-door sedan. Its overall vehicle length is 174 inches. This makes the Prizm one-inch shorter than the Honda Civic and seven inches shorter than Chevy’s Cavalier. The Prizm rides a 97-inch wheelbase. It is 67 inches wide and 54 inches tall. The vehicle has rack and pinion steering and independent front and rear suspension.
Both the base and LSi Prizm models seat five people. Front headroom in both trims is 39.3 inches with 42.5 inches of legroom. Rear legroom is somewhat tight at 33.2 inches. The seats are comfortable despite being on the firmer side. Interior fabric is protected by Scotchgard stain protection. A 60/40-split folding rear seat comes standard with the LSi trim. GM lists trunk capacity at 12.1 cubic feet, however this doesn’t include the rear seat being folded down, which maximizes cargo space. Switches, gears, and controls are logically placed and well within reach. Gauges are visible, clear, and legible.
Performance & Handling
All Prizm’s come standard with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. For the 2000 model year, GM utilized Toyota’s variable valve timing technology system to lift the I-4’s power to 125-hp with 125 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed manual transmission comes standard with the option of three and four-speed automatic transmission available. Handling response from the four-wheel independent suspension is improved thanks to the front and rear stabilizer. Visibility is excellent and this vehicle gets phenomenal gas mileage. This is a surprisingly fun car to drive. It maneuvers and handles like a champion, especially on windy roads. The clutch is fantastic to work, and the five-speed manual transmission transitions gracefully from gear to gear.
The Prizm comes standard with dual front airbags. Side impact airbags come as an option, which is rare for a vehicle this size. Anti-lock brakes are also optional. It was rated four stars in NHTSA crash test results for driver and passenger safety in front impact crashes. Side impact crash performance was rated three stars. The Prizm also performed very well in IIHS crash test results, ranked ""acceptable"" overall for frontal crash safety performance.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chevrolet Prizm: 31/38 mpg city/highway
- Gas mileage
- Stylish and elegant
- Reliable and durable
You Won't Like
- Bland personality
- Anti-lock brakes not standard
This zippy little car will keep on ticking.
If You Like This Vehicle
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