The 1997 Geo Prizm is essentially a repackaged version of the Toyota Corolla. It is built to last, durable, and extremely reliable despite any of its flaws. The Geo Prizm provides an amount of reliability unmatched by most other compact sedans. The sleek design, responsive handling, and decent safety ratings make the Prizm a substantial choice despite the high price tag.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 100-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder, 100-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Geo Prizm, Geo Prizm LSi
Expecting a major redesign in 1998, the 1997 Geo Prizm is almost identical to the 1996 model. There are new door trim panels and exterior colors. Also, power steering becomes standard in both the base and the LSi models, and side-impact protection is beefed up.
The Geo Prizm comes in nine color options. The exterior is sleek and well designed, with 14-inch wheels, and optional alloy wheels. Other options include a power sunroof, a rear window defroster, and power exterior mirrors. Intermittent windshield wipers are an available option on the LSi only. It measures 66.6 inches wide, 54.2 inches tall and 170.1 inches long, with a curb weight of 2359 pounds and a wheelbase of 99.8 inches.
Overall, the interior trimmings are very basic for the Geo Prizm. While all the gauges do their job, there are no real bells and whistles here. The Prizm comes standard with cloth seating. The front seats are bucket seats, and the rear seats are bench-style. The LSi features a tilt steering wheel, and options for powered windows and locks. Other options for the LSi include air-conditioning, cruise control, and leather seating. Both models include a stereo as an optional feature.
Performance & Handling
The small 100-horsepower (hp) engines are powerful enough to make the Geo Prizm a viable car for both highway speeds and driving around town. With the optional 1.8-liter engine, the Geo Prizm is even better suited for speedy travel. The engines create 105 lb-ft of torque. The handling is extremely responsive, and the Geo Prizm does a good job fitting into tight places. The 1.8-liter is only available on the LSi, and it costs extra.
The 1997 Geo Prizm comes standard with driver and passenger front side airbags. It meets side-impact standards for the first time. During crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Geo Prizm received four out of five stars for passenger and driver front-impact safety. The NHTSA also rated the Geo Prizm three out of five stars during the side-impact tests. The Prizm LSi offers optional child seats, but other than that, the Prizm lacks extra safety features.
EPA Fuel Economy
Geo Prizm: 23/25 mpg city/highway
Geo Prizm LSi: 23/25 mpg city/highway
- Sleek design
- Great fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Lack of standard features
- Decent safety ratings
Extremely reliable and built to last.
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