The Best Geo Metro Left?

1991 Geo Metro

When Jim S sent in this ’91 Metro, I knew I’d take some flak for it, but I just couldn’t resist featuring it. Most people hate these little cars, but there are a small group of penny pincers who still love ’em. Just the other day I meet a guy who services and restores strictly Geo Metros. It seemed odd, but he appeared to be very busy. Apparently, there aren’t many cars that are more fuel efficient for the money. So, if you are into that kind of thing then do we have the find for you! This Metro convertible is claimed to have only covered 69k miles since new and there’s service records from day one to prove it. The seller is asking $3,200 with the option to place a bid here on eBay. What do you think – would you pick it over a Prius?

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Comments

  1. sir mike

    We used to and still do call these ”clown cars”.Past co-worker had one and that’s what he called it..

    • Mark

      You may have jumped the gun!
      My Geo Metro LSi is just like the red one in the picture but, I only have 27,000 original miles on mine.

      Like 1
  2. Sukey

    Cheap convertible fun
    You can drive to your hearts content and pass every gas station in sight for hours and hours and hours
    I had a guy in a new corvette laugh at my as new 93 Honda Del sol
    I bet his $85,000 car was leased
    My $5000 car was not and will be on the road and not in the shop as his car of questionable build quality will be :-)

    Like 2
    • Scotty G

      Amen to that. Anyone who laughs at any other vehicle isn’t a true car-guy / gal. Period. Why do some people think that they’re better than others because of what they drive? And, you’re probably right that most folks are likely leasing high-dollar vehicles. They probably get sold for cash or leases more than with regular loans like the rest of us workin’ stiffs have to do.

      Too bad there’s only one, lonely photo for this car; no interior shots, no engine shots, no top down shots; bummer.

  3. MIkeG

    I’ve always thought that this was the perfect example of how car designers save the best designs for the high priced models.

  4. Chris Greco

    I bought one of these to drive 45 miles one way to work so I could have a disposable convertible. Didn’t expect to love it. It was a great little car for a long commute. Sold it 3 years later for the same I paid for it.

    And my wife called it a clown car too but I didn’t care.

    Chris

  5. boxdin

    I like these to use and tow behind the rv. There’s a real clean purple one in my city and I’ve thought of putting a note on it in case its ever for sale.

  6. notchback

    I have a regular Metro hatchback that I’ve been driving for 4 years. I paid $500 for it, and in the time I’ve had it, I’ve put about $800 into it total. There is a guy local to me (Maybe the same one mentioned above) that will do a complete rebuild on the engine for $700. You can’t get much cheaper than that. I have averaged just a hair over 44mpg during my ownership. You can’t buy anything else that gets mileage like that without spending quite a bit more.

  7. AMCFAN

    Jessie No flak here.
    Whats there to hate? When the price of gas goes back up and it will. This clean example will double in price.

    Think you missed the boat on a BF project. No where near the work compared to the wedge. (sorry) Drive the GEO and do nothing else AT ALL. By July get paid. Lots of Bozo’s like them haha.

    In 9-2015 BF featured a 94 Geo Metro Hatch with an unbelievable 750 original miles. Sold for nearly $10K If you just occasionally maintain the damn thing will still go 200K+ miles. Never has there a car offered in the United States quite like it for fuel economy and longevity.

    Haters move on and go hate somewhere else.

    • BMW/Tundra guy

      These GEO’s were powered by Toyota engines (not MOTOR – ENGINE”) at some point in their run. If I am thinking correcty, it was bit later than this model. That’s when the Quality comes walking through the front door!

      • charles

        then why do they put “motor” oil in it?

      • dj

        Not all GEO’s were powered by Toyota engines. These cars were powered by a Suzuki engine. I was a GM tech during this time. The owner’s manual actually says this car will leak when it rains.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Charles, I agree, I know motors are electric as a rule and engines are fuel fed. But thankfully my friends do not call me an engine head. Take care, Mike.

  8. Scotty G

    I would love to have this car! And, yes, I would take it over a Prius, but only because I already have a Prius.. (with airbags, crumple zones, drop-dead reliability, etc.) (isn’t drop-dead reliability an oxymoron?)

    These are wacky-cool cars; any 3-cylinder vehicle is cool in my world. Nice find, and man, what a cool car! (a cool Geo Metro, isn’t that an oxymoron?).. (kidding)

    The “AutoCheck” score isn’t the best, I wonder what that’s about? It says it gets a low score because of the mileage, actual or estimated. Hmm.. I have no clue what that means. I’d prefer a yellow version of this car, but this one looks great. A BMW convertible top? Another conundrum..

  9. MountainMan

    I was so ready to comment on this little car and how much I like it and why but now I’m just dumbfounded that anybody who reads any site about classic cars owns a Prius
    Scotty, I think I remember you saying that you own other vehicles that are not an appliance also, right?

    • Scotty G

      Caution: long message ahead.

      You are correct, sir. The Prius is my business road trip car, driven from around March through November. And, as a business road trip car, I can’t imagine a scenario where another vehicle made anywhere on the planet would be as perfect as it is for my purpose of driving 40,000+ trouble-free miles a year and charging $0.50 per mile on those trips. And, I mean trouble-free; unlike any classic car. On a side note, referring to someone’s vehicle as “an appliance” is a derogatory term, in my opinion, because it denotes something of lesser value than something else. Like, a car with a “soul” that also breaks down all the time would somehow be much better than a Prius because it doesn’t have a soul. It’s literally like calling my mother ugly to my face when someone refers to the best car that I’ve ever owned as an appliance. I don’t understand where we’re going as a society when that’s acceptable behavior on such a broad level to say that to someone. We’re not that far off from stoning someone in public for owning a “leftie, tree-hugger” car, at least verbally on classic car sites. They’re all the same, unfortunately, most of the folks have blinders on for anything other than what they personally think is an acceptable car to own and God help the person who owns something different. But, I know that you didn’t mean it as a personal insult.

      An Audi TT ALMS edition and a Subaru Outback and Crosstrek are also in the garage; none of which would be acceptable to classic car guys, either. But, the garage in my head is filled with Metropolitans, AMCs, King Midgets, MG Midgets, a Nash or two, a Falcon Ranchero, etc.

      Just because a person owns a Prius, or any other vehicle not deemed worthy by the collector car mafia, does not automatically mean that person doesn’t absolutely live and breathe classic cars; which I do. That’s a mindset that has to go away, and it will eventually as the older generations leave the hobby. A person most likely wouldn’t drive a ’51 Hudson, a ’32 Duesenberg, or a ’70 Hemi Cuda on road trips or cross-country, in general. Most people still need a daily driver, don’t they? You wouldn’t drive a ’48 Town and Country convertible in the slush and salt of winter, I’m guessing; you’d still need a car to go to the store with or drive across the state for a nephew’s hockey tournament in January, wouldn’t you?

      That’s, by far, my biggest pet peeve in the collector car world, that anyone who owns a Prius can’t possibly love classic cars.That literally makes zero sense to me, it’s like saying that this website is about mansions, but because I don’t live in one I can’t still love them and I can’t possibly love looking at photos of them and reading about them. That sort of thinking is absolutely killing the classic car hobby, rusting it out to the core from within. It’s making those of us who drive the most-hated car in the universe (yet, the most technologically advanced, which I would assume that any real car guy would be interested in) want to run the other way from any classic car website because they’re mainly for older, American cars only, muscle cars preferably, damn it, and anyone who doesn’t own such a vehicle surely can’t be a fan of classic cars.

      Sorry for the rant, but, I wouldn’t automatically assume that Prius drivers are all dirty-hippie tree-huggers who hate vehicles. And, if I only had a Prius, would that mean that I wouldn’t be welcome here because surely I didn’t love classic cars? Even though I don’t own a classic car, yet, I would argue that I love them as much, or more, than anyone else does.
      (sorry, that was way too long and I know that you didn’t mean anything by your comment, my apologies, you were just asking a question and I went all Walker: Texas Ranger..)..

      • John

        I have to agree with your assessment of the Prius. It’s on my list for the next “real” car in our garage.

        But I think you may be just a bit sensitive to what I would take as a good-natured poke, sorta like I get every time I wear my beloved Cubbies hat. We’re car folks here. While a Geo may not be everyone’s holy grail anymore than a Prius, I’d bet that Mr. mountainMan would be there with a wrench to help if needed.

        I used to own a Lotus. You needed lots of friends when you had a Lotus. They had to come get you all the time when the d—-ed Lotus dumped you. I took an unbelievable amount of ridicule over that car. But when I finally gave up and told everyone that it was on the block, everyone showed up with toolboxes in hand to right it’s wrongs.

        Pay more attention to what people DO, and less attention to what they say.

        And as for the Geo, my daughter has one. It’s 19 years old. We bought it new with 11 miles on its clock. She’s going to get rid of it when it wears out. So far it’s had tires, shocks, oil, more wiper blades than I’ve had in my entire life (they eat wipers, who knows why). It’s got well north of 200k on it. She calls it her clown car. She loves it.

        She’ll likely trade it for a Prius.

      • Scotty G

        Ha, I know, I’m sorry, John and MountainMan, and all. I am very sensitive about it, just because I’m lumped in with all of the other morons who drive them like they’re saving the planet; as China and India open up a coal plant every week. I drive mine hard, and I mean hard; I don’t want to be “that guy” in the damn Prius holding up anyone else’s flow. And, even with driving it hard, more often than not, boneheads in pickups (was that generalizing?).. will tailgate me like nobody’s business, even when I’m in the right lane going 9 mph over the speed limit; like, let’s have some fun with tree-hugger guy here.. he he he…

        I drive it because it’s thee most amazing money-making machine on earth, reimbursable-mileage-wise. I charge $0.50 a mile and get at least that much again off of my taxes, so the car literally pays for itself every single year. And, being a car guy (despite not owning a Camaro or Mustang, or whatever everyone thinks that real car guys should own), It is somewhat embarrassing to drive a Prius so much. But, then I look at how much I’m saving towards buying other cars for the collection and most of that goes away. But, you’re right, I’m very aware of it. It’s like anyone being stereotyped and then people always say, “Oh come on, we were joking..”.. yeah, right.
        For the record, it’s the best, most trouble-free car that I’ve ever owned in almost four decades for just eating up highway miles. I think it would be a great car for your daughter; just please remind her to not drive it in the left lane!

  10. St. Ramone de V8

    I bought one of these in 1990 because I moved an hour from work to buy a house I could afford. I traded in a Ford LTD “living room edition “with a 460-4V. Everyone at work laughed at me, but the fuel savings paid for the car and insurance payments. The last laugh was mine when that thing went 320,000 kms without even a clutch job. Just brakes tires and muffler. I like seeing this little car. They’ve earned my respect.

  11. Barry T

    Although I have never owned one I do love the color. I have owned at least 5 cars that color and I guess you can can assume I like the color red.

  12. Cebo

    A poor ride is better than a proud walk anytime

  13. Coventry Cat

    Had one and loved it. The Mazda 2 is similar in size and shape, I smile every time I see one.

  14. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    My buddy owns a boneyard and says he has a waiting list of people looking for these, mostly looking for the 13 inch tires.

  15. rod444

    http://www.treehugger.com/cars/dave-clouds-214-mpg-geo-metro-aka-the-dolphin.html

    A little variation on the theme of the Metro. This guy added an amazing rear aerodymic tail and added $3000 worth of electronics: batteries and 2 electric motors, and made a very inexpensive hypermile electric Metro that gets over 200 MPGe!

  16. charlie Member

    I don’t dislike the Prius, what, or who, I dislike is the Prius owner who stays in the passing lane going 62 (or even 55) mph when traffic is moving at 73 – 74 to keep the dash gage in the green. On my latest Prius count, on a 65 mph highway, with traffic going 73-74, of the 21 Prius we saw, we passed 14, 2 were going my speed, and 5 passed me, going well above 75, proving they can actually do it. And, one lone Honda Insight, also poking along.

    • Scotty G

      Amen, brother! But, is it just Prius drivers that are clogging the left lane for you? That’s a crazy coincidence that no other cars seem to do that for you, just lowly Prius drivers, weird.. (crickets) (why do I keep trying to defend them here, it’s a losing battle)

      Just for the record, I’m not the one clogging the left lane, I follow German road rules: pass and get the hell back in the right lane, don’t wait until you finally get around that semi that’s up on the horizon ahead just so you don’t have to change lanes again. Those morons bug me to no end. I do whatever speed the surrounding traffic flow is doing around me, so don’t lump me in with those other boneheads. I’m with you on not clogging up the left lane, but please don’t say that it’s only Prius drivers that clog up the left lane, that’s just not true and it just furthers the stereotype that 100% of Prius owners are horrible drivers; it’s not true. But, again, why do I bother.

  17. Jim Norman

    Too far, otherwise I would be all over this one!

  18. John H. in CT

    Buy it, take off the Metro badging then cut in an Alfa grill into the hood. Tell folks who ask that it’s a “Cinqua Chumpa” and they will remark how wonderfully charming these Italian cars are!

    • Joe

      John H. in CT,
      I have owned 2 Cinqua Chumpas and 1 Quattro porto Chumpa. This is a very nice little car but it is no Chumpa!

  19. AMCFAN

    Scotti G Bravo! (I thought I was the only one with long messages)

    I too like and have collector cars. I happen to like and appreciate ALL cars. No need to feel excluded from this or any other site because of what you drive. Chalk it up to ignorance by those who challenge someone for being different. People tend to dislike what they don’t understand and those who are smarter.
    .
    I myself considered buying a new Prius in 2006. The sales specialist at the Toyota dealer. I do mean specialist. There was one guy (then) who was trained specific about the Prius. My wife and I talked to this gentleman who first gave us a walk around. He then sat us in the car. It was then that I realized everything I have known about a car up to this point was obsolete. That was in 06. The Prius is truly amazing. I didn’t buy one however. I do not drive enough per year to justify. I did buy my wife a Scion XB at the time. She still has. Another car people love to hate on. It has the only car my wife and I fight over to drive. 38 mpg. rides great roomy and no hiding the fact that it looks like a toaster.

    To put the Prius in perspective one needs to see “Who Killed the Electric Car” The Japanese took the California Mandate serious and developed the Hybrid. GM had the technology but trashed their own product the EV1. with no intent to ever follow through. I would never consider buying any GM to this day. But then again has never had the better product. Toyota.

    • Scotty G

      Sorry about the War and Peace-like novels, AMCFAN, and everyone. And, thanks for the pep talk, AMC, that makes me feel better that you and a couple of others are on board with anything and everything, vehicle-wise. I should know that people don’t mean any harm in their comments, but I fall for it every time.

      This won’t surprise you, but I literally dreamed about getting a Scion xB RS (release series) 1.0 – the orange one. I still want one, and now that Scion has just recently been given the axe, they will become even more collectible and expensive – or, those that haven’t been modified will, if there is such a thing anymore.

      There’s an EV1 at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma (I go there at least once a year on my travels – shocking, for a Prius owner to go to a car museum!) and it looks like it really could have been a game-changer.

  20. AMCFAN

    BMWTundra guy, The Geo Brand was a great concept for GM. Like everything good they do is short lived. It was called their World brand. They were badge engineered. The Metro above was manufactured by Suzuki as well as theTracker. The Prism (what you are thinking about) was a Toyota Corolla. Funny or sad. The only GM cars to get both fuel economy (Prism I had got 36 mpg only because I would beat up on it) Metro 47-49 mpg and reliability. Most are still on the road.

  21. That Guy

    A while back I was at the Concorso Italiano in Monterey, talking with an eighty-ish gent about his priceless one-off car, which was Virgil Exner Jr’s thesis project for his master’s degree in design. One thing led to another and he told me his favorite car was his Geo Metro. I also love my ’95 Metro so we spent more time talking Geos than Italian exotics.

    These cars were built as disposable transportation appliances, but their rugged simplicity, economy of operation, and fun-to-drive nature transcends that lowly origin. They have become cult classics already, and I know that will only become more true with time.

  22. Keith

    Isn’t saying “Best Geo Metro” sort of like saying you took the hottest ugly girl to the homecoming dance? All kidding aside, these do have their niche and judging by the amount of comments this would be a popular draw at the local car shows.

    • Jesse Staff

      Sounds about right Keith. Haven’t you heard the Jimmy Soul song “If You Wanna Be Happy”?

  23. Mark-A

    Weren’t these a Badge Engineering exercise? Reason I ask is the front end is EXTREMELY similar to the Suzuki Swift GTi as in this photo?
    https://www.rfactorcentral.com/screenshots/lge/4814-Suzuki_Swift_GTI.jpg

    • dj

      It’s a Swift. GM started renaming cars during the late 80’s that they bought from other car companies. Spectrum, Nova, Storm, Sprint, Metro were just some of them.

  24. Slickimp

    Wow can’t believe all the talk about a geo

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