3 cylinder GEO

gasoline
fuel-economy

#21

Both Ford and GM lose about $1200-$1400 on every small car they sell that is made by them in North America, such as Focus, Cobalt, etc. But they have to sell small cars to avoid the CAFE penalties. Importing small cars or making them on a joint venture basis, such as GM’s plant in Ingersoll, Canada, where the Suzuki Swift and the small Geo were made, gave them a lot of CAFE credits. Sadly, that joint venture is being shut down.

In fact from here on in no Big Three company will design a small car in North America. GMs designs will come from Europe and Korea (Daewoo), Ford’s from Mazda and Europe, and Chrysler’s from China (Cheery).


#22

Agree! Hyundais used to be jokingly called bio-degardable cars, but as of 2007, Hyundais have passed Mercedes in reliability. In 1958, when on holidays in Europe, a German camera store clerk made fun of my 35mm Japanese camera., and called it “junk”. Enough said!


#23

that doesn’t sound so bad for 280kmiles!!


#24

This may be an indication of how safe these are: My friend was hit broadside by a motorcycle in one of these–it bent the frame enough that neither door would open. Unfortunately, it kind of bent the frame of the motorcycle rider as well.


#25

Sounds real safe.


#26

Cars that don’t get damaged in a crash aren’t necessarily safe. Look at how totally destroyed Indy cars get when they hit the wall at 200 mph, yet the drivers usually walk away. Also, the average Indy car weighs less than a Geo Metro.

Never mind how damaged the car was, was the driver of the car OK?


#27

First, I agree with the poster who said our entire focus is in safety in a crash with zero emphasis on crash avoidance. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees here in America.

Anyway, I owned a 3-cylinder 5-speed 1993 Metro for a year and put 20,000 miles on it. I also owned an Isuzu Trooper and was driving to graduate classes 50 miles away. I filled up the Trooper one day and it cost $30 at $1.50/gallon (May 2001). I flipped out, thinking I was going to bankrupt buying gas. What a laugh today, when I spend $45 per week to fill up my Mazda Tribute and drive half as far.

Anyway, I was just telling people the other day how I wish I had that Metro back. I am not exaggerating…that car would regularly break 50 mpg, and once it returned 55 mpg on a 200 miles round trip. When gas was $1.05/gallon after 9/11, $10 worth of gas in the Metro would get you almost two weeks of driving (almost 500 miles).

The Metro was totaled in my driveway, along with the Trooper, when a drunk driver missed a curve here in town and plowed into both of them. By the way, this was after the DD slammed into a Neon, which luckily diverted the DD from a head-on course with my house. The insurance company of the DD totaled the Metro and cut me a check for $1200. However, after $300 worth of work, the Metro was ready to drive again. I skidded into the rear end of an Explorer a few months later, yet the Metro was still driveable. On a windy day, the damage from hitting the explorer was too much and the hood flew up and smashed the windshield. It broke both hinges on the hood, so I tied it down with bootlaces and drove home. The car and hood made it, but the hood hovered over the engine compartment like a ghost! I gave up and sold it for $120 to some kid who used it to retrieve golf balls at his dad’s driving range. I drove by once and the Metro had become a target on the driving range.

I wish I had screwed the hood down with wingnuts and kept driving it. People at work still remember that car six years later. They affectionately refer to it as “the marshmallow” (it was a white 3-door hatchback).

One more thing…I owned it during my days as a redneck, so I attached a trailer hitch to it and pulled my boat (about 600 lbs total) 90 miles round trip. The Metro had no problem towing that boat down the flat road, even in 5th gear. However, top speed was about 65 mph and I burned a half a quart of oil in the process. The big problem was pulling the boat out of the launch…the clutch plate could not exert enough pressure on the transmission, so it just sat there running in first gear with the clutch out. Eventually it did come out with a little “encouragement”.

Sorry to go on and on here, these memories just kept coming up once I began… :slight_smile:


#28

I think Indy cars are built with slightly different material than a Geo and with slightly better building/design techniques…


#29

The point is that cars don’t have to weigh 4000 lbs to be safe.