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1997 Geo Tracker

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1997 Geo Tracker Review

A mini-SUV with options for soft-top fun.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Geo Tracker serves as one of the few miniature sport utility vehicles available as both a hardtop and a soft-top. While the safety rating remains relatively low, so does the price. The small engine manages to get around and does really well offroad, but hesitates while accelerating. The Geo Tracker especially lags when faced with a heavy load. Overall, the soft-top probably doesn’t make the best daily car, but the hardtop takes care of this issue.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Geo Tracker, Geo Tracker LSi

What's New

The Geo Tracker underwent an extensive overhaul in 1996, so the 1997 model sees very little revision. Soft-top models get a folding rear bench seat for extra room. It offers new color options for the paint job. Also, new for 1997, Geo adds an enhanced evaporative emissions system to help reduce the impact of emissions. In 1996, Geo introduced the hardtop versions of the Tracker.


The 1997 Geo Tracker comes in 10 color options as well as hardtop or soft-top body styles. The soft-top allows the owner to either use it like a sunroof or to remove it completely. The Tracker comes standard with styled 15-inch steel wheels, and alloy wheels provide an option. The Tracker might look like a toy, but the structure proves sound and durable. Other exterior options include skid plates, a rear window wiper, and power exterior mirrors.


The Tracker comes standard with cloth seating, which may be an issue since dust tends to cover the interior during offroad use. In the 1997 Geo Tracker convertible, the back seats fold down for additional room. Most interior luxuries remain optional. These options include air-conditioning, power locks, power windows, and cruise control. Stereo options include any combination of AM/FM/cassette/CD.

Performance & Handling

The 95-hp, 1.6-liter engine in the 1997 Geo Tracker does not offer a lot of power, but it does offer four-wheel drive, and it actually performs pretty well offroad. The manual five-speed transmission does a lot to help maintain the small amount of power available, and the automatic engines bog down the ride. The LSi offers automatically locking hubs to improve the four-wheel drive. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes remain available, but they do not come standard. Overall, the engine proves good enough for everyday use, but a large load of passengers easily bogs down the Tracker.


The 1997 Geo Tracker comes with limited safety features. Standard features for both models of the Tracker include passenger and driver front side airbags and traction control to help reduce slippage on the road. In crash testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration (NHTSA) awards driver’s-side impact with three out of five stars. For the passenger front side crash test, the NHTSA gives the Tracker only two out of five stars. Overall, the Tracker does not offer an extremely safe ride.

EPA Fuel Economy

Geo Tracker: 23/25 mpg city/highway
Geo Tracker LSi: 23/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Low price
  • Styling
  • Off-road abilities
  • Soft-top option
  • Hardtop option

You Won't Like

  • Weak engine
  • Lack of cargo space
  • Difficult soft-top

Sum Up

A mini-SUV with options for soft-top fun.

If You Like This Vehicle

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