Compact car; Built in Japan, Canada
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,600*


1990 Geo Metro 2-door convertible


1992 Geo Metro 2-door hatchback


1993 Geo Metro 2-door hatchback


1994 Geo Metro 4-door sedan


1994 Geo Metro interior

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Price
Cons:
  • Noise
  • Refinement/size/weight

While the Metro might be worth considering if you need a gas-miserly budget-mobile, we recommend that you shop for a more substantial car. Convertibles are fun, but they share demerits with other Metros.

Overview

Marketed as a Geo by Chevrolet dealers, the Metro was built for General Motors by Suzuki. Both 2-door and longer 4-door hatchbacks were available. Metros carried a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder engine that developed a modest 55 horsepower. Base models first came only with a 5-speed manual gearbox. A 3-speed automatic was available on the upscale LSi. For 1990, the economy-leading model got an XFi designation. The XFi was the only model not available as a 4-door, and could not be equipped with an automatic transmission. Its engine developed less power. Also, A 2-seat convertible with a driver-side airbag and manual folding top appeared.

Yearly Updates

1991 Metro
More convertibles were available for sale in 1991. Metro interiors now were treated with Scotchgard-brand fabric protector. The LSi edition got a new seat design with separate front headrests.
1992 Metro
Revised front and rear styling included a freshened nose with a more prominent spoiler: black on the XFi and base model, but body-colored on the LSi. A new instrument panel included a cupholder and storage tray. Taillamps showed a new full-width design.
1993 Metro
Automatic front-door locks and several new colors were the major changes for ’93.
1994 Metro
Convertibles and LSi models departed after the 1993 model year. New door-mounted seatbelts could be left buckled to automatically deploy when doors were closed.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Metros used a 1.0-liter, overhead-cam 3-cylinder engine. Rated 52 or 55 horsepower in standard form, it developed just 49 horses when installed in the frugal XFi Metro. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard; 3-speed automatic available on base and LSi versions (but not XFi).

ohc I3
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.0/61
Engine HP 49
Engine Torque (lb-ft) NA
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

53/58

ohc I3
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.0/61
Engine HP 52-55
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 56-58
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
46/49
36/39
39.5

Road Test

Gas mileage is outstanding from the 3-cylinder engine, especially with manual shift. Fuel economy, in fact, is the Metro’s greatest virtue. It’s not uncommon to top 42 mpg with manual shift. A 2-door with 5-speed transmission averaged 38.5 mpg in mainly rush-hour commuting.

A Metro is lively around town with the 5-speed. Keeping up with traffic isn’t a problem. Unfortunately, the noisy engine sounds like it’s being thrashed, and highway passing power is scarce. An automatic transmission cuts into both acceleration and economy. Road and wind noise add to the annoyance in this minimally insulated econobox.

Delicate, featherweight construction and a short wheelbase combine to produce a jarring ride, at least some of the time. Handling is no better. We’re also wary about this lightweight’s level of crash protection.

Interior trim is a tad tacky, but four adults can fit neatly, considering the tiny package. Tall drivers have to recline the seatback to get needed head room. Rear leg space in the 2-door is insufficient for adults.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1990 Geo Metro 2-door 5-speed

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 1
10%
Fuel Economy - 7
70%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 2
20%
Quietness - 1
10%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 26

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
89.2 147.4 62.7 52.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
6.4 10.6 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 42.4
2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
89.2 147.4 62.0 52.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
29.1 10.6 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 36.5 42.5 29.8
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.1 151.4 62.7 53.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
31.4 10.6 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.8 38.0 42.5 32.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Metro 2-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 116
Injury 160
Theft 34

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Vibration in reverse is caused by the fluid-filled motor mounts and transmission mounts. Revised parts are available. (1991-92)
Brakes
Description: Brake pedal vibrations are due to by warped rotors caused by uneven lug nut torque. (1990-94)
Hard starting
Description: In cold weather the engine may not start, or may stumble or stall because ice forms in the vacuum line between the throttle body and MAP sensor. (1993-94)

Recall History

1990-91
Description: Front seatbelt release button can break and pieces can fall inside, causing improper operation.
1990-93
Description: Mislocated spot welds of hood striker assembly cause cracks to start on hood inner panel; then, striker assembly may not properly engage latch, allowing hood to fly up while car is in motion.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.