Compact SUV; Built in Japan, Canada
  • 2-door convertible
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,700*


1996 Geo Tracker LSi 4-door wagon


1991 Geo Tracker 2-door wagon


1993 Geo Tracker 2-door wagon


1990 Geo Tracker LSi interior


1990 Geo Tracker LSi engine

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • 4WD traction (4WD)
Cons:
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat room
  • Ride

More modern and refined than the paramilitary Jeep Wrangler, Trackers are appealing in many ways. Still, Trackers and Suzuki Sidekicks are just too rough and noisy for service as daily drivers.

Overview

Originally marketed under the Geo name by Chevrolet dealers, this 4-wheel-drive (part-time) compact sport-utility came in 2-door wagon and 2-door convertible bodystyles. Suzuki marketed its own version as the Sidekick. Hardtop and convertible Trackers came in base and LSi trim levels. Both use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Power steering was not available, but Trackers had 5-mph bumpers and rear shoulder belts. Convertible tops fold backward part way, to produce a sunroof style effect.

Yearly Updates

1991 Tracker
Suzuki had offered rear-drive and 4WD versions from the start. This year, Geo added the 2-wheel-drive convertible, available only with 5-speed manual shift. All Trackers added antilocking for their rear drum brakes. Standard 4WD and base convertibles got new black bumpers, door handles, and bodyside moldings. Base models kept manual hubs, but LSi Trackers got automatic-locking hubs.
1992 Tracker
Tilt steering wheel was a new option, and dashboards looked a little different.
1993 Tracker
Except for new colors and revised radio controls, Trackers again showed nearly no change.
1994 Tracker
California Trackers got a different engine: a 95-horsepower rendition with four valves per cylinder.
1995 Tracker
All 4-wheel-drive Trackers adopted the 95-horsepower engine.
1996 Tracker
All Trackers added dual airbags and a 4-door wagon was available for the first time. The 4-door measured 11 inches longer in wheelbase and 15 inches longer overall than the convertible. Trackers also had a revised front-end look and new wheels. Three-door hardtop bodies were gone. New options included 4-wheel antilock braking, which worked in both 2- and 4-wheel drive.
1997 Tracker
The upscale 2-door LSi convertible was dropped for ’97. Meanwhile, the base ragtop gained a folding rear bend seat as standard equipment.
1998 Tracker
Tracker puts on a Chevy bow tie badge and loses its top LSi trim level for 1998. Other changes are minimal. An all-new Tracker, again under the Chevrolet name, was waiting for ’99.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Every Tracker holds a 1.6-liter overhead-cam 4-cylinder engine, which started at 80 horsepower. A more potent version, with four valves per cylinder and rated at 95 horsepower, went into California Trackers in 1994, all 4-wheel drives in ’95, and all models the next year. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard; 3-speed automatic transmission optional. On-demand, part-time 4-wheel drive went into all Trackers at first, with a floor-mounted transfer case. Manual-locking front hubs have to be adjusted by hand from outside the vehicle before 4-wheel drive can be engaged. LSi Trackers adopted automatic-locking hubs in 1991. A new 4-speed automatic transmission was available for the 5-door wagon in ’96.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 80-95
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 94-98
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
24/26
23/24
22/25
24.8

24.0

Road Test

The initial 80-horsepower engine has sufficient power for decent acceleration and passing on the 2-door model. With automatic, you have to push the pedal to the floor often to keep up with traffic. That’s true even with the 95-horsepower engine. In addition, four-doors are so sluggish with automatic that passing maneuvers have to be planned with care. Gas mileage is fine. We’ve averaged 24 mpg in a 4-wheel-drive convertible and 28.6 mpg with 2-wheel drive.

Tall and narrow, a Tracker must be driven with care through turns due to a high center of gravity. Even if it’s not quite as precarious as it may seem while cornering, the abundant body lean quickly grows frightening. The ride is undeniably choppy, and noise levels are high. Two-wheel-drive Trackers are softer suspended for easier going on rough pavement, but even they get choppy.

A Tracker’s interior is roomy for two in front, but the back seat is best for children. The driver’s seat lacks much rearward travel, and suffers minimal space past one’s left shoulder. Cargo space behind the rear seat is minuscule, but at least you can fold the seat forward if a load of parcels has to be transported. Controls operate smoothly; gauges are simple. Four-door wagons offer lots of head room, adequate rear leg space, and ample cargo area.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Geo Tracker 2-door

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 - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 1
10%

Accommodations

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

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 29

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
86.6 143.7 64.2 64.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
32.9 11.1 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.5 39.0 42.1 31.6
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.6 158.7 64.4 65.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
45.9 14.5 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.5 40.0 42.1 32.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 Tracker 2-door convertible

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 2
40%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

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 107
Injury 125
Theft 117

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Automatic transmission hunting may be caused by a torque converter clutch that applies and releases too rapidly. (1990-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: The Hydramatic (3L30) automatic transmission causes bucking and jerking due to a problem with the torque converter applying and releasing if the carmaker’s modification kit is not installed. (1990-95)
Engine misfire
Description: The PCV breather hose may freeze up while driving in cold weather causing a loss of oil and engine damage. (1990)
Exhaust system
Description: The two-piece muffler/tailpipe may rust out prematurely. If the tailpipe rusts through, heat can damage the rear floor and carpet. GM will install a heat shield over the exhaust system. (1990-91)
Keys
Description: The original keys were made with a soft metal compound that causes them to break. (1990)
Manual transmission
Description: Because of the rubber compound used to make the shifter boots, some vehicles may not go into four-wheel drive or they may pop out of 4WD. The boot will be replaced with one having softer rubber, at no charge. (1995)
Accessory belt
Description: Power steering pump bracket may cause serpentine belt to fray or break on 2.0-liter engine. Revised part is available. (1999-01)

Recall History

1990-91
Description: Front-seatbelt release button can break and pieces can fall inside, causing improper operation.
1995
Description: Steering-wheel hub to spoke weld on some vehicles can fracture, allowing steering wheel to separate.
1996 4-door
Description: Fuel tank can puncture during rear-end collision.

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.