Experience with Some 90's Geo Metros


This is a note from Chris on the three Geo Metros that he owned:




You said in the "green car" section you would like to hear from Geo Metro owners concerning their experiences. I found your site as I was looking to try and understand why I can't buy a car of that same performance and mileage now. Basically, it was far safer than the motorcycles I've driven in my life, got better mileage, and was more reliable than any vehicle I've ever had in terms of dollars spent for maintenance.

I have had 3, two of which were the earlier more efficient ones; I had a 1991, 1992, and 2000. All three cylinders. My recorded mileage bests were:

1991, 3rd tank during break-in, 62 mpg (it settled out to 55-58 for the remainder of it's life excepting when it had a bad valve)
1992, 2nd tank after purchase, 52 mpg (it may have been tired)
2000, never got better than ~45

I drove the 91 for 8 years, all commute driving, I invested $200 in a manual and a valve I had to replace. It was the easiest DIY job I've ever done, easier than working on a motorcycle. I changed oil in the thing 4 times in ~123,000 miles (I abused it). I traded in on a new 2000 thinking that there must be a mistake in how they measure mpg given the sticker rating. Indeed, by 2000, they had made it heavier, more comfortable and useless as a green vehicle (though still better than most of what is passed off as green now). I sold the 2000 after just one year. Later I picked up the 92 used, thinking it would repeat the exceptional mileage of my 91. It was close but not quite the same, still worlds above what is on the market now.

I've noted that some people on the net (likely those who have never owned one) have made claims that the 3-cylinder metro was a poor performance vehicle. It was if you had 4 adults in it, it was impacted significantly by weight. But in general, all three metros I had performed better than my 4.0 Jeep TJ as a sole or dual occupant vehicle.

Here, I'm trying to find a vehicle to reduce CO2 and there is nothing on the market close to this. That's my impression from my Geo experiences and it's indeed confusing why such a vehicle can't exist now. It's even more frustrating how misrepresented this car is on the net. It was far more green than anything sold now if one bases environmental impact on CO2, even realizing that particulate output may have been higher, CO2 output was probably lower, less gas in, should mean less impact on global warming.




I asked Chris what his Geo Metro weighs:

The title on the 92 car shows 1555 pounds. The 1991 and 92 were identical aside from some plastic molding and would be the same.

I spoke with the fellow who bought the 92 from me. It appears it ran for him about 8 years longer and last year finally needed a rebuild. Of course longevity plays into the green factor, even there it appears the Geo scored. We discussed those available around here, he said he'd seen several lately in the $2k range. That would make it a viable option for a more CO2 efficient vehicle without change, but would also be a great core to build an electric.