I had a GEO convertable with a 3 cylinder engine – sold it to a buddy when it reached 120K miles – it got (and still gets 5o MPG) and is still running. Why not bring it back?
lack of demand. Tiny cars & low powered don’t sell well.
I drove a Prizm and loved that car. I wish I hadn’t sold it. I didn’t know they made a Geo convertible ?
I would guess we will need at least $6.00 gas to create enough market. Frankly if Detroit really wanted to create a market they could do it today, but it would not be a big market, too many people think they need something big to make them feel big, and it would mean they would sell fewer large cars and that is where they make their money now.
I think we will have these cars in the near future, but they will come from foreign manufacturers and marketers. Those dealerships will have lower overheads, and the cars will be sold more like appliances with or without salesmen. Look for the Chinese and Indians together with Koreans to lead the way. Avoid anything imported by Malcom Bricklin of Yugo fame.
Don’t look now, but here comes the Tata (With a vanity tag that says BOOB? Sorry.) followed closly by the Renault/Nissan. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_17/b4031064.htm
Remember Hyundai 30 years ago? Remember Honda cars 45 years ago? Remember Toyota 50 years ago? I didn’t think so.
In their quest for marketable small cars, GM acquired cars from more than one foreign manufacturer and slapped the GEO name on them. The Prizm was actually a Toyota Corolla, whereas the Geo Metro was made by…I think…Suzuki.
Whoever made it, it was totally unlike the Geo Prizm and was actually a VERY small car–hence the 3-cylinder engine and the very high gas mileage but much lower quality than anything that originated from Toyota. And, as was noted, it was available in convertible form, as well as sedan form, unlike the Prizm.
Because if you hit a pigeon doing better than 30, you and your passengers will die.
I didn’t think a a pigeon could do better than 30.
The Suzuki Swift Turbo was very quick . . . light and nimble. But not much protection in a crash and a bit harsh ride. My friend had one and it got great MPG, high 40s as I recall. What was the GM version? Rocketman
Yeah, I thought about that after I posted it. I think I’ll just leave it worded like that.
Maybe in a dive, but I bet they don’t like to.
I had a couple of these 3-cylinder Geos (yes, they were built by Suzuki), and they were indeed great little cars that were regularly capable of 50MPG in the real world.
Anyway, tougher crash regulations have made it impossible to make anything that efficient these days. New cars have to be much heavier and more expensive to protect their occupants (never mind that there’s virtually zero interest in preventing accidents in the first place through improved driver training, stricter licensing, or safer roads – we’re all created equal and born with the ability and right to drive, you know.)
Anyway, the closest modern equivalents are the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, and the out-any-minute Smart ForTwo. Sadly, none of the above crack 40mpg despite their small dimensions.
It’s been proven many times that the hybrids get somewhat better mileage, but not enough to make them a sane choice financially.
My personal real-world smallest possible choice was a Toyota Corolla – I get an honest 33-35mpg, it has a real (small) back seat and a sizable trunk, plus it tows a small trailer quite well when needed.
None of the micro cars are allowed to tow anything, you give up quite a bit of interior space, and the tiny improvement in mileage just isn’t worth it.
I do miss three-door hatchbacks, though – one of the most useful possible body styles.
I can’t avoid mentioning the 3-cylinder 1.0 liter hybrid Honda Insight - I’ve driven mine for 100K miles and averaged 56mpg. It’s cool to look at and the 2-seat hatchback design is practical for most of my driving. I’ve taken my wife and our luggage on long trips with it, no problem other than downshifting to go up hills. However now I’m salivating over the Smart ForTwo . . . Eric in Enfield, Maine.
Um… not to start another of our Smartcar threads, but why on earth would you be salivating over the ForTwo? Your Insight gets better mileage than the version sold here and is a much better car overall! The only advantage is that it’s cheaper and can fit in smaller parking spots.
I like the trikes that have a VW or Corvair engine in the back. They get good gas mileage and I don’t have the balance for a motorcycle. I hope those go into production soon. 70 Mpg is within reach. Don’t hit a deer.
Detroit has not found a way to make as much profit on it as a fat SUV.
BTW I get 60+ mpg on the highway in my VW diesel.
I have a 2008 Toyota Yaris stick shift liftback. In the 2500 miles that I have owned it so far, I have never gotten less than 40 mpg, in spite of the EPA rating of 29/36 mpg. My best so far has been 43.29 mpg. The new sticker mpg is tested using a much more aggressive driving regimen than what the old EPA rating was based on and so it’s easy to beat when you don’t accelerate towards red lights and go 80 in the left lane.
I had a '91 Geo that I put 280,000 miles on. The engines and drivetrains hold up well but the rest of the car falls apart. The driver’s side door quit locking with a key and I had to unlock the passenger side and then reach across to unlock the driver’s side. Headlight on/off buttons broke off. The struts that hold the liftback up lost their pressure and I had to prop it open with a stick when loading stuff. Windows got out of track and I had to dissasemble the door to get the window to roll up.
The car was definately built to a price point and it shows.
As far as the engine goes, it’s bulletproof. An older car mechanic once told me, “if you really want to know what a car engine is made of, see how it holds up when used in a motorboat or airplane”. Well, the 3 cylinder Suzuki engine happens to be a popular engine for conversion to aero use. 62 horsepower in an engine package that weighs about 130 lbs dry.