Compact car; Built in Canada
  • 2-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,200*


1995 Geo Metro LSi 2-door hatchback


1995 Geo Metro 4-door sedan


1996 Geo Metro 2-door hatchback


1997 Geo Metro 2-door hatchback


1997 Geo Metro LSi 4-door sedan

Pros:
  • Optional antilock brakes
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Visibility
Cons:
  • Noise
  • Passenger room
  • Ride

All told, we rank Metro ahead of Ford’s Aspire in the minicar field. It’s worth a look if price is your top priority.

Overview

Redesigned for 1995, the Metro got a new body style, standard dual airbags, and an optional 4-cylinder engine. The front-drive Metro was built from the same design as the Suzuki Swift. A 2-door hatchback body style returned, now on a longer (93.1-inch) wheelbase. The prior 4-door hatchback was replaced by a 4-door notchback that’s more than a foot longer. Both body styles came in base and upscale LSi trim. A 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine returned in the 2-door. A 70-horsepower 1.3-liter 4-cylinder was standard in the sedan and optional in the LSi hatchback. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard with both engines; 3-speed automatic optional only with the 4 cylinder. Antilock brakes were optional on all Metros.

Yearly Updates

1996 Metro
Even the entry-level model could get the larger Metro engine in 1996. Otherwise, only detail revisions were evident.
1997 Metro
Metro’s 4-cylinder engine now was standard in the LSi hatchback and 4-door, but the base 4-door model was dropped. A new option package for the LSi sedan added a split folding rear seat.
1998 Metro
Metro moved from now-defunct Geo to Chevrolet. It also got a more-powerful 4-cylinder engine, the requisite Chevy bow tie, and new headlamps.
1999 Metro
Metro saw no change for ’99.
2000 Metro
No change was evident, except for a remote cargo-lid release added to the uplevel LSi model.
2001 Metro
Metro was only sold in rental outlets for 2001. Some of these vehicles are now on the market as used vehicles.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Metros now came with either a 3-cylinder or 4-cylinder engine, depending on model. The 1.0-liter 3-cylinder went into 2-door models. Sedans got a standard 1.3-liter 4-cylinder, which was optional in the LSi hatchback (and later, in the LSi sedan). Either a 5-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic might be installed (the latter with 4-cylinder models only). For 1997, the 4-cylinder engine was standard in the LSi hatchback and 4-door.

ohc I3
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.0/61
Engine HP 55
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 58
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

44/49

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.3/79
Engine HP 70-79
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 74-75
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
39/43
30/34
32.8
25.8

Road Test

Metro’s light weight remains evident in the way it drives. Bumps jar the suspension and create kickback through the steering wheel. On the plus side, the Metro is more composed on the road than before. A switch to 13-inch tires (from the former 12-inchers) helps, but cornering grip remains modest, and the Metro suffers plenty of body lean.

Only the 4-cylinder/manual-shift combination provides suitable acceleration for both city and highway driving–lively. Step on the gas and the Metro delivers considerable noise, but not so much progress. With an automatic transmission or the 3-cylinder engine, a Metro moves out slowly and requires plenty of room for safe passing. An LSi 4-door with automatic averaged 25.8 miles per gallon, with nearly all city and suburban commuting. That’s good, but not really great.

Leg room is adequate in front, but getting four adults aboard requires pushing the front seats forward. Head and leg room in the rear are adequate for two. Getting in or out of the back is difficult, on either body style. The rear seat is firm and flat.

Controls are easy to see and reach. The dashboard layout is convenient, but the steering wheel sits uncomfortably high and does not adjust. Tall windows and slim roof pillars combine to produce a great view in all directions. Cargo space is generous for the car’s size, and the interior offers an airy feeling. Though quieter now, a Metro is still noisy compared to most cars.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Geo Metro LSi auto

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 - 2
20%
Fuel Economy - 8
80%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 2
20%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

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

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 34

Specifications

2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.1 149.4 62.6 54.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
21.9 10.6 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 36.0 42.5 32.8
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
93.1 164.0 62.6 55.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.3 10.6 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 37.3 42.5 32.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Metro 2-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

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

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 119
Injury 149
Theft 29

Trouble Spots

Brakes
Description: Vehicle is susceptible to brake-pedal vibrations from warped rotor caused by uneven lug nut torque. (1995)
Brakes
Description: Antilock Brake System (ABS) light comes on, especially in hot or humid weather, due to binding in the ABS motor pack. (1995-97)
Doors
Description: The rear doors may not open from the outside due to a problem with the latch. (1995)
Engine misfire
Description: Intermittent drivability problems are often due to faulty fuel-injectors electrical connectors. (1997)

Recall History

1995 hatchback w/o ABS
Description: On some cars, rear brake drums were incorrectly machined, causing fatigue failure of wheel studs; wheel could then separate from vehicle.
1997 w/automatic
Description: Shift lever might appear to be in “Park,” but could easily be moved to another position without use of the key, transaxle lever-detent button, or depressing the brake pedal.

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.