Legroom Notwithstanding: 1991 Geo Metro LSi

Tiny: check. Convertible: check. 3-cylinders: check. Inexpensive: check. Automatic: screech.. dang. Well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad. This 1991 Geo Metro convertible isn’t perfect but for $3,000 or offer it would be a fun little car, if a person likes little cars. It can be found here on eBay in Euclid, Ohio.

GM and Suzuki have held hands on a few projects over the decades and I’m a fairly big fan of a couple of them. I would love to find a perfect Chevrolet Sprint Turbo and also a perfect Geo Metro LSi convertible with a 5-speed. I’m a sucker for three-cylinder engines and these cars have them. In case you’re wondering about my three-cylinder avatar, it started because of my love for the Subaru Justy which also had a three-cylinder engine.

This car has a few areas that I would want to check out very closely for rust, mainly around the rear wheel wells. The seller says that it has “a few nicks in the front bumper that I can brush touch in about 3 minutes and a little peeling underneath the body rail on one side, which is also very easily fixable. So basically, the car is nearly rust free.” They have included an underside photo which is great and it does look solid other than some surface rust that could be treated, so maybe it’s ok.

Here’s where it gets sticky for me, both in fitting my 6′-5″ frame in that driver’s seat and the automatic transmission. On pretty much any vehicle that I’m not specifically using for cross-country business use, as in eating up as many freeway miles as I can, I want a manual transmission. This isn’t going to be a cross-country business vehicle for anyone, I’m fairly certain of that. But, I know that a lot of folks either can’t operate a clutch pedal or have never learned how to drive a manual. Otherwise, the interior looks pretty nice in this car. They say that the “convertible top is original and it will need a rear window. Or you can just buy a new convertible top on eBay for under $200 and have it installed.”

This engine is Suzuki’s 1.0L inline-three with 55 hp. For an 1,800-pound car that doesn’t seem too bad but it still takes over 15 seconds to get to 60 mph. They say that the “front end, brakes, transmission and engine are all in good shape.” This car isn’t for anyone who is a muscle car fanatic, obviously, but not all of us are those people. Have any of you owned one of these Geo Metro convertibles? Do you think that a 6′-5″ tall person could fit in there? Asking for a friend.

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Comments

  1. chgrec Member

    I had one of these years ago but it was a stick & a really bad blue. My wife called it the clown car. I needed a disposable car for my new job that was 45 miles one way since I didn’t want to put that kind of miles on my Alfa spider. I bought it for $3500 and then 4 years & 70,000 miles later I sold it on ebay for 2 grand….Not bad. I really, really liked this car. Woefully under powered but so much fun to drive.

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  2. Bakyrdhero Member

    My first thought was “if it can be brush touched in three minutes then why didn’t he do it already?” Maybe giving the new owner an opportunity for a better fix..

    10
  3. Miss the ones that got away

    I owned a red 91 with 5 speed ,everyone called it my Barbie Vet but I was the one laughing when gas was over 4 bucks a gallon and my little Barbie Vet was getting over 45 mpg and was a blast to drive.

    4
  4. Keith

    My ex brother-in law wife had one of these back in the day, she popped 3 engines. I guess the little three cylinder engines couldn’t handle her heavy foot and shall I say (rather large body)…….LOL!

    7
  5. Vairnut

    Living in the south back in the day… I bought one for $2200. It had low miles (23K) and had been well kept. I needed something to drive 100 miles round trip 6 days a week. Most of the drive was twist, turns and 45 MPH was the average speed through the mountains. Yes it’s under-powered, however if you drive it for what it is you might just get what I got, 40+ MPG. I put 140K on the car and beside regular maintenance it never once left me without a smile on my face. I sold it for $1500 and the last I knew it lives in Key West and is still going strong.

    7
  6. Maestro1 Member

    i had a friend who owned one and I had trouble sitting in it and I’m 6’1″. Scotty, I would pass if I were you. And I would be concerned about you driving with the top up in inclement weather. I think both of us are too tall.

    2
    • Bruce

      See 2 comments way below. I’m 6’2″ & even with a baseball cap, I had 2 inches headroom. Mine was an EXCELLENT urban car. I tracked the MPG (EPA was 46/41). It always progressed higher each 1000 miles (was into the 45+ mpg range when wrecked. Suzuki made them & my red one was bulletproof. But in a moderate wreck, it was a totaled tin can. I had it over 3 years & about 38k miles. 52 hp means MT is mandatory; AT makes it intolerable (& somewhat dangerously slow).

      2
  7. Ed H

    Cool, but I’d only drive it around my subdivision.

    1
  8. mike b

    “Legroom Notwithstanding”: love it Scotty.

    1
  9. Marko

    My father was a Chev/Olds dealer salesman, back when these were new. He bought a new 1990 Chevy Sprint convertible, with an auto trans for my mother to drive. Bright yellow, with a black top. We called it the Bumble Bee. Was a fun vehicle to take out for a spin with the top down. Wasn’t a performance powerhouse with the 1100cc 3 cylinder engine, but it got out its own way, with me and my buddy, and both of us are 6’1 and 6’2, and both over 240lbs in the day. Lots of leg room, and headroom with the top up. Fun little car that 60+ mpg (Imperial gallons) had a 6 gallon tank, and was cheap to fill it. Great car for some urban running around.

    4
    • Miguel

      Marko, what country are you from because the name of the car is off and the size of the engine is off. Maybe they named it that and had that engine in your country.

      • Marko

        Miguel, I am in the province of Alberta, in western Canada.

        Pontiac in Canada also sold a version of this, called the Pontiac Firefly.

        1
  10. Rock On

    Here is a cheap one with a stick for you Scotty.
    https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/d/houston-1991-geo-metro/6812620087.html

    3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      This ad makes me laugh. It says that her husband drives it daily, and all of the pictures were taken at night.
      It’s as if she is trying to sell it without telling him.

      1
  11. mallthus mallthus Member

    Had a friend (back when I lived in LA) that was a film and TV location scout (the person that goes out to find places to film). He had one of these as his work car and he put a half a million miles on it. He swapped out the engine three times over those miles, but between the fuel economy and the lost cost to buy, he figures he made a significant amount of money, given that he was getting paid mileage at the standard IRS rate.

    6
    • Dave

      To me, there’s nothing better than getting paid to ride a motorcycle. Getting paid my hourly rate plus 53 cents a mile.

      Sometimes i miss my field service days, but with everyone on the phone driving stopped being fun.

      7
    • SSPBill

      A gentleman renting storage space next to mine collected a fleet of these. Two complete cars, 2 rollers, half-dozen drivetrains and a whole lot of spares. He said his goal in life was to minimize his tax burden and these had the best mileage/cost of ownership, i.e. minimum sales tax, gas tax and registration fees. He fully intended to drive these until “either they or me are in the ground” is what he told me. My head loves his thinking. My right foot not so much.

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  12. Victor Anderson

    >Tiny: check. Convertible: check. 3-cylinders: check. Inexpensive: check.

    Going to die for sure if you get in a wreck: check
    So damn slow it’s probably not safe – especially on highway or on big hills: check
    Small geo engine that will not last too long: check
    Automatic transmission to eliminate all hope of any performance check
    Embarrassing and humiliating to be seen in: check
    Old enough parts are getting hard to find: check

    3
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      That just proves yet again that two people who both love cars can have distinctly different checklists, Victor. I’m confident enough in my masculinity and myself, in general, to never, ever be humiliated to be seen in a small car or riding a mini bike or anything like that. But, that’s just me.

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  13. Miguel

    I have always wanted one of these.

    I don’t understand the underpowered comments. When I worked at a Chevy dealer in 1987, the Sprint had plenty of power to keep up with traffic, get on the freeway and cruise.

    What were you guys expecting the car to do that it didn’t?

    1
  14. Bakyrdhero Member

    I think perception plays a part Miguel. I recently rented a 2018 Ford Eco boost 4cyl with 167 hp. The reviews I read panned it for being underpowered and slow. I guess compared to the mini rockets they are building now that might be true for some. I found it to be peppy and almost GoKart like. Compared to some of the sub 100hp dogs I drove growing up that is..
    I’d pick one of these Metros up as a family fun car. I’ll bet it would rival a Chevette for attention at the local car show.

    1
  15. James Schwartz

    My first two brand new cars were both Metro’s. A ’94 Geo Metro XFi (the one they advertised as 53/58 mpg city/highway), and then a ’98 Chevy Metro (by ’98 the Geo name was dropped).
    I’m 6′ 3″ and I fit in it just fine, BUT don’t expect anyone to sit behind you in the rear seat. Seat travel was enough for me to be reasonably comfortable, but my seatback was nearly in contact with the back seat.
    Both were good cars, never a problem with either one. And mine were both 5 speeds. Kinda fun to drive actually, and not as painfully slow as others are making it out to be. That 1.0 litre engine could rev high and go as well as several small cars of the era.

    4
  16. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I used to know someone who had one like this. It was more comfortable than it looked like it would be. I’m a big guy, and I still fit comfortably.

    2
  17. Cj Murray

    Seems to be sold.

  18. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I know that the subject care here is a convertible, but this article from Car & Driver is the funniest one I’ve read in years.
    https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a22533828/battle-of-the-beaters-v-the-geo-metro-craigslist-cup/

    1
  19. Richard

    I’ve owned and driven Metros for years. You’re a little too quick with a check, friend. Metro 3 cyl engines are renowned for their longevity and dependability. I’ve been in a couple of wrecks and sustained no injury, and seen a few Metro wrecks that you’d assume were unsurvivable, but the passengers walked away unharmed. And as to room, I’m 6’4″ and have no trouble driving my 5 speed, even on 1000 mile trips.

    1
  20. Michael Gregory

    These are wonderful cars as long as you don’t have any pre-conceived notions about whether or not your masculinity can survive being seen in one. I’ve had mine for eighteen years and still take out for long trips half way across the country at 75 mph and 40 mpg. You can do better if you drive slower, of course. The engines are very long-lasting if you take care of them, and easy to work on, Parts are easily found. I can point the original author to perfect specimens of all the cars he likes, including Justy’s. None of them are for sale, of course. Check out Geometroforum and there’s a Facebook page, as well. We have a number of meets around the country each year. People drive their Metros, Sprints, and Swifts hundreds and thousands of miles to get together.

    2
  21. THOMAS H

    I never can understand why people criticize a car when it does exactly what it is designed to be. This car was never meant to be fast, but you can have fun driving it as if it was (5 speed only). It was never meant to be luxurious so no, there are no leather seats. It is light weight to save gas and power – dont go head-on into anything heavier than a shopping cart! It was CHEAP to buy, own and drive so guess you cant have power butt-scratchers and teste-warmers. My 91 was well made, simple tech,extremely durable, reliable as well as dirt cheap

    3

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