Geo Metro in the News

a.k.a. Suzuki Swift (my baby); so proud…


I’ve been told that the secret to achieving the legendary 50 mpg is to inflate the tires to 40 psi (vs. the 32 recommended by the maker). I admit that mine, “properly” inflated, look a bit low… Thoughts?

In most car economy contests the smallest tires with maximum allowable pressure are used to get the least rolling resistnce. Very thin motor oil is used, all possible weight is removed, etc. A light driver is also used.

Such as car is brutally uncomfortable, probably unsafe and will have a short engine life if use that way. I can get fabulous mileage out of most cars, but it hardly qualifies as safe daily driving!!

“I can get fabulous mileage out of most cars, but it hardly qualifies as safe daily driving.”

But, on a more positive note, just think of how much money a driver will be saving, so that his relatives can inherit it after he has an accident in one of those mini-cars.

(Sorry–the Devil made me do it!)


The pre-'94 Geos could get 50+ mpg without rock-hard tires and low viscosity oil. I averaged around 52 mpg with a '91 model using 10W30 oil and with the tires inflated to specs on my commute to work and back. My best single tank was 56 mpg. I put 288,000 miles on that car before giving up on it.
Obeying the 55 mph speed limit on the highway with the AC off and windows up would get me about 51 mpg.
Starting in '94, the car gained some weight and I think they lowered the final gearing slightly.

If I had known it would be so valuable today, I wouldn’t have sold it so cheap.

The mileage also went down a lot when they started putting the monstrous four-cylinder engine in there. I’ve always wanted a nice 3-cylinder manual transmission Metro/Sprint/Swift/Etc but for whatever reason I’ve never come across one. Looks like now they might be out of my league.

I have read that Suzuki is the #1 compact car maker in the would.

In Europe I have read reliability info that rates them up with the best.

In 2010 Suzuki is going to re introduce the Swift Back into the U.S.

The stupid person who paid $7k for a car that is never worth that. People take saving fuel to a serious extreme only thinking of the cost of a gallon of fuel at the pump not the overall cost of purchase, depreciation etc.

Why anyone would pay that much for what basically amounts to a golf cart is beyond me. Having driven a Metro before (not by choice, it was a loaner) I can say that it is terrifically slow, has roadholding capabilities rivaling that of my lawn mower, and has an engine note akin to a sea lion sitting on a juicer. An appalling car IMO. Sure it gets good mileage. But there are much better cars that get decent mileage, are better built, and are deathtraps.

But, alas, I fear it’ll bear little resemblance to the old Swift; will probably huge (just short of an SUV), just like the current Yaris, Scion, Fit, Versa, etc. And the mileage will decrease accordingly.

I agree that was a bit pricey; I paid only $6k for my 2000 back in 2001 (Thrifty rental car fleet retiree).

Do you write for a living, FoDaddy? “… engine note akin to a sea lion sitting on a juicer.” Love it! (I assume you left out a few letters, though when you wrote “and are deathtraps.”

This Metromania just shows how the higher thought processes shut down under the stress of runaway gas prices, and the emotions take over.

Utter nonsense (oh, the lengths people will go to to justify their unjustifiable love affair with SUVs and monster trucks); it has incredible pickup (I’m routinely zipping around other cars), great maneuverability (I haven’t gone spinning off the interstate yet, and this is at 80+ mph), and I regularly commute 100-200 miles per weekend in absolute comfort; big cargo room, too. What’s your idea of “decent” mileage: 12 mpg?

I like the 30 MPG my wife is getting from her brand new Altima, with five of us in it. Try that with a Metro for a couple of hours. Hopefully, it will improve a bit with a few more miles on the clock.

I’ve never driven a Metro, but based on it’s specs, I imagine it should be zippy enough for my purposes. But I wouldn’t pay what is almost what the car cost new. That’s insane. Most such purchasers won’t come close to recouping the cost over the remaining life of the car even with gas at $5- $6 a gallon. However, if my crystal ball had been working about a year ago, I would have snapped one up at the prices they were commanding then.

My daily driver is a 2003 Mustang GT w/ Kenner Bell supercharger, 4.10 gears and a bunch of other bolt on mods. It gets about 18-23 MPG which I think is quite good given the performance the car offers. I also have a 1995 Bronco w/351, 4 inch lift, 33 inch and 4.56 gears. Predictably it’s not a fuel mileage champion and gets about 9-12 MPG, I don’t drive that much since it’s has nearly 200k miles on it, it’s basically used as a tow vehicle for my sea doo. And finally I have a 1974 Triumph TR6, which as been in the family since new. It’s in good shape, about 95% restored. I only drive it in the spring and summer, and then only in the daytime. If I wanted to drive it at night it would entail a ritual calling for the sacrificing of a small mammal, dancing around the car anti-clockwise and reciting “Oh mighty Prince of Darkness protect your unworthy servant.” The TR6 gets around 18 MPG.

So in short IMO anything over 15 MPG is pretty frugal. If you think the Metro is surrounding you in "absolute comfort?, then try the Chevy Cavalier, it will seem like an S-Class compared to the Metro.

"If you think the Metro is surrounding you in “absolute comfort?, then try the Chevy Cavalier, it will seem like an S-Class compared to the Metro.”

Good one!

And, something like a Hyundai Elantra would likely feel like a Maybach by comparison. I don’t deny that a Metro/Swift is very fuel efficient, but claims of “absolute comfort” and “incredible pickup” are…laughable.


Over inflating tyres carries with it a safety issue. What they look like is not a good indication of what is proper. Back when radial tyres first came out, they all looked low, now we are used to them and most of the time they don’t look low any more. Don’t judge inflation by what it looks like. Tyre inflation is an important safety issue. Look at the Ford Explore/Michelin problems.

Since the Explorer issue car manufacturers have become a lot more sensitive to the safety issue. The pressure recommended is the right pressure. Usually a few psi more will not hurt and will provide some marginal mileage improvement, but it is not going to get you a large increase.

The one thing that will get you a large increase is taking it lighter on the accelerator.

VDCdriver and FoDaddy: exactly what I was thinking!

I think that article is a perfect example of penny-wise and pound-foolish. $7,300 for a 1996 Geo Metro?! I drive a 1996 Dodge Neon, and I wouldn’t sell it for more than $1,500 even though it gets up to 38 mpg (my best!) on the highway, and my car was a considerably better vehicle at the time they were produced. There’s no way the gas savings is worth that.

Suzuki specializes in small cars and SUVs. They are the true econonbox company; the current Swift looks like a Chevy Aveo and has a true economy focus, but with very good reliability, and long life. For those who will put up with a little road noise and a somwhat choppy ride, this is a true economy car; cheap to buy, cheap to run, and long life.

The “current” Swift? They stopped selling them here in 2001; won’t be available again till 2010. Are you in Europe???