Geo Prizm Origins
General Motors launched the Geo brand in 1989.Like many automobile companies that have created unique brands to cater to specific needs of the public, the Geo line is an example of GM following the lead of their customers. The brand was launched to meet a new demand by the American consumer for import-styled cars.During its history, the Geo division re-badged a wide variety of cars for the world market.These cars appear under various names depending on the intended market.
Like most trends, the appeal of import-styled cars eventually fizzled out, and General Motors made the decision to dissolve the Geo brand in 1998.During the division’s operation, the brand created several popular cars for the public, including the Prizm and the Geo Metro, with varying degrees of success.The Geo Tracker (essentially the same vehicle as a Suzuki Sidekick) represents the brand’s version of a sport utility vehicle.The Geo brand also includes the Spectrum for the sedan class.When these options didn’t garner the attention and sales desired, GM opted to end this experiment in import-inspired cars.About the Geo Prizm
The Geo Prizm falls into the sub-compact sedan class and foundpopularity with consumers interested in affordability, reliability, and durability.The Prizm functions well as a small family car.It also had success in company-car fleets.
Several factors contributed to the Geo Prizm’s overall popularity with specific groups of buyers.The Prizm design allows for a very quiet ride and exceptional fuel economy.Like its cousin, the Corolla, the Prizm also gained recognition for its reliable safety features, including a driver’s-side airbag, a feature that many cars from the same time only offeredas an add-on option, if at all.Anti-lock brakes were another safety highlight for the Prizm.Geo Prizm Features
1997 was the last model year Geo and General Motors chose to offer the Prizm to American car buyers.The reliable, four-door Prizm comes in two trim levels: base and LSi. Like the earlier versions of this car, the 1997 Prizm’s build makes it reliable, and most owners find these carsaffordable and easier to maintain than similar models.
As noted, both trim levels of the 1997 model year havefour doors.The base edition features a 1.6-liter, I4 engine capable of 105 horsepower. Geo offered two different transmission options with this model, including the three-speed automatic and the five-speed manual with overdrive.Fuel economy is more than adequate, with an efficiency rating of 30/34 mpg city/highway.
The upgraded LSi version of the Geo Prizm comes equipped with its own special features as well.This edition offers a standard 1.6-liter, I4 engine like the base model, or it can be ordered with a slightly larger, 1.8-liter option.The LSi Geo Prizm offers three different transmission options for the consumer, including the three-speed automatic, the four-speed automatic, or the five-speed manual.Both the four-speed and the five-speed options come equipped with overdrive capabilities.Geo Prizm Evolution
Like the 1997 Geo Prizm, the earlier models are prized for their reliability and easy maintenance.GM intended these cars to provide a basic, reliable form of transportation.In short, the Prizm was simply made to be affordable, functional and good looking.
Throughout the five years that GM offered the Geo Prizm, the original design didn’t change a great deal. The car only comes in the two trim levels for each model year and is only available as a four-door sedan.In the later model years, the exterior of these cars was updated to provide a sleek, modern appearance. Under the hood, the Prizm shows little difference from the Toyota Corolla. Most Prizm owners are generally happy with the car and feel it offers a good value. When well cared for, the Prizm is considered an excellent choice for a used car.