Sedans & Coupes

A Geo Metro Is a Great Buy if You Like to Save Gas and Tempt Fate Every Day

Do you want a small car that can easily achieve over 50 mpg in the city and on the highway? Do you want a car that currently costs less than a PlayStation 5? Do you care about what others are saying about the car that you drive? If you said “yes,” to the first two questions, then you might like the Geo Metro. And if you said “no” to the last question, then you should definitely look into buying a Geo Metro.

The Geo Metro was simple and fuel-efficient

The Geo Metro was produced in the U.S from 1989 to 1997 and during its time in the new car market, it provided buyers with a cheap and fuel-efficient way to get around town. Although the Geo brand name was under the General Motors umbrella, the Metro was an imported, American version of the Suzuki Cultus in Japan, better known as the Suzuki Swift in the U.S.

During its time in production, the Geo Metro was offered as a two-door and four-door hatchback, a four-door sedan, or a two-door convertible. Although its overall styling was a little bland, the beauty of the Geo Metro lied in its fuel-sipping 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine that produced 55 hp, which was later revised to produce 70 hp thanks to a bump in displacement up to 1.3-liters.

A 1995 Geo Metro hatchback shown in red
1995 Geo Metro | Wikimedia Commons

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While the Metro was obviously slow, it made up for its lack of speed by achieving an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in the city and 58 mpg on the highway, which was later corrected to 43 mpg city and 52 mpg highway when the EPA changed its testing standards.

The Geo Metro is unsafe by today’s standards

While the Geo Metro was a “no-frills, no thrills” economy box that achieved Prius-like fuel economy, it was far from being perfect by today’s standards. And by “perfect,” we mean safe.

Considering everyone drives so much faster than they did in the early 90s, we will say that if you’re ever planning to buy a Metro, just remember that “no-frills” means no power windows, no power locks, no passenger’s side airbag, and if you buy a pre-1995 Metro, then there are no anti-lock brakes either. Interestingly enough, the Metro did pass the 1997 side-impact crash standards, though.

a 1995 Chevy/Geo Metro Sedan shown in silver
1995 Chevy/Geo Metro Sedan | Wikimedia Commons

But if you’re really concerned about safety, you should know that there is an inadvertent safety feature on the Geo Metro. U.S. News pointed out that the car’s air conditioning system is like a safety device because it takes so much power out of the engine that it can barely drive up to the speed limit. And for additional safety, you can drive with the A/C on and wear a thicker sweater for some extra padding.

Consider that a pro tip.

How does the Geo Metro drive?

According to U.S. News, “poorly.” Despite the car’s feather-light 1,600-pound curb weight, you’ll need a downhill onramp to adequately merge with traffic and a tailwind and a prayer to make an onramp merge. Otherwise, U.S. News goes on to say that the car doesn’t stop well, doesn’t steer well, and is very loud while driving due to the lack of sound insulation.

How much is a Geo Metro in today’s market?

Since you said “yes” to the first two questions at the beginning of this story, we’re going to assume that you want to buy a Geo Metro. And if that’s the case, then you can currently find them nationwide for around $1,000 or less.

If you’re lucky, you might even find someone giving away a Metro for free. Although, your definition of “lucky” could be different than ours. Happy shopping.