93-97 geo prizm/corolla - Fuelly Forums

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Old 08-01-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
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93-97 geo prizm/corolla

I'll might as well write a review since i have the car for 9 months now


I have the 97 geo prizm base, 3 speed automatic without lockup rated at (22/27). so its pretty much the same car as a 93-97 corolla,prizm with the 1.6L 3 speed auto. The 1.8 liter engine with the 4 speed auto has .2 liters more displacement, lockup TC, and more torque and HP, while getting better mileage in the city and highway (23/31). so not only am i losing 5 hp, 15 lbs of torque, im also losing mpg all around.


I really didnt want to touch the 3 speed tranny w/o lockup even with a 10 foot pole, but The only reason i got it is because its a toyota, it had 160k, OBD2 for use of scanguage, Panasonic CD player, cold A/C, 2 new front tires, new transmission 4 years ago, and timing belt was changed in 9/03 at 130k, with reciept from previous owner so i can change it at 9/2010 (7 year interval) so it means i have 2 years to drive on the belt. i got it all for 1250, my mom can drive it cause its auto.

so basically im buying a cat at 1250 cash, that can last for a long time. toyota engines last a long time, and the transmission is a few years old.

all the other corollas from 93-97 was at least 500 bucks more, and for a 96 and up civic is about 800 more. 92-95 civic was about 300 more, but it will attract many thieves so thats why i chose this.


acceleration- could be better, and its coming from a guy that doesnt mind about power. I had driven a 70 hp 1990 civic hatch base, 4 speed and i think even that was faster than this, but no complaints here. i think it has enough power for myself, but then there is another passenger in there, or if the a/c is on, its really slow merging.

gas mileage- its 22 city and 27 highway, on the scanguage at 60 mph is turning 3000 rpm, 70 is at 3500. 55@ 2750, 50@2500, 45@2250, and 40 @ 2000 rpm. its pretty much dying for a extra gear and a lockup TC, on the scanguage i can get about 33 mpg at 60 mph, with 50 psi tires, intake. no problems with brakes dragging or anything. im averaging about 25 mpg with 50/50. I put it in N at lights.

road noise and comfort- its pretty loud but a bit quiter than a 90 civic hatch, 94 civic coupe dx, and a 1990 civic sedan that i all owned before this.


overview- if you can get the 4 speed with lockup, do so. I only bought this for the reasons above, if you can get this for very cheap, do so. if not, this is not too good of a choice. I thought i can get 30mpg with this, but i havnt gotten to that yet. when I had my 94 civic dx 5 speed, I averaged 45 solidly while doing 50/50 city highway. the civic is rated at 29/36.

the 3 speed trans is just spread too much apart to cover for only 3 gears, so that means its going to have a weak acceleration in the city and highway, while getting bad gas mileage on the highway from A) 3000 rpm at 60 mph, and B)lack of Lockup TC. factor both of these in, and you have a reliable, but very weak and inefficient car.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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Well you're also forgetting that the car is very old and probably needs a pretty damn good tuneup. If you're mechanically inclined at all, you could probably pickup a 4 speed transmission and just swap it in.

Though you're right, you're not going to feel a whole lot of power and the reason for that is because of the automatic transmission, if you had this car in a 5 speed Manual with the same engine, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be complaining about the "lack of performance". What's to say you mother can't learn how to drive a manual transmission vehicle? It's stupid to stereotype women as not being able to drive a manual because then they believe the stereotype and then it becomes self fulfilling. There were hardly any automatics in the 60s and 70s yet there were plenty of women driving cars at that time.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ************* View Post
There were hardly any automatics in the 60s and 70s yet there were plenty of women driving cars at that time.
Actually, by the 1950s, probably over 50% of cars were being sold with automatics. By the '60s, over 75%. At that time, the only people getting manual transmissions were enthusiasts, people buying cars which didn't come with an automatic transmission (usually foreign cars), malcontents and the pathologically cheap (like myself).

I remember reading a Ford advertisement from 1959 stating that their automatic transmission was the equal of a manual for fuel economy. In 1964, a hot rodding magazine published an article stating that by 1974, no cars would come with a manual transmission.

That being said, the main thing blocking people from learning to drive a manual transmission car is their own fear. And my mother, who learned to drive in the 1930s, preferred a manual transmission. So does my wife.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:40 AM   #4
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Something with those numbers doesn't quite add up, but I wasn't around to see for myself. In the late 1960s when my mother was learning to drive, her father was one of the only people with an automatic among anyone she knew.

My mother does not drive manual and never will. It's not because she's a woman, although I think her gender and her deeply ingrained values about what her gender means are a contributor...men are more likely to want to rise to the challenge, while it would be more common in women (especially of that generation and earlier) to just prefer what they already know. Anyway, she's welcome to learn on my car, but she won't.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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My daughter drove a 93 Prizm (Corolla) 1.8 5spd for years and now drives a 97 Corolla 1.8 5spd. Even though she's a pretty aggressive driver the cars average 29 mpg in town and 37 mpg highway. Excellent cars BTW.

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Old 08-24-2009, 10:23 PM   #6
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Well, let me see...I've had a 1960 Corvair Sedan, 1961 Corvair Station Wagon, 1962 Rambler American, 1965 Mercury Comet, 1965 Plymouth Fury III Station Wagon, 1966 Chevy Malibu, 1967 Chevy Impala, 1973 Mazda RX-3, 1977 Volvo 245 Wagon. All with automatic transmissions.

As a kid, I remember various members of my family having a 1948 Cadillac, 1948 Oldsmobile, 1950 Cadillac, 1950 Pontiac, 1954 Buick, 1955 Oldsmobile, 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, 1961 Ford Falcon Station Wagon, 1962 Buick Station Wagon, 1962 Chevy II Station Wagon, 1965 Buick, 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, all with automatic transmissions.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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I agree with the cow. Automatics were rare until some time in the late 60s. My dad bought a '52 Chevy with AT, and it was so underpowered driving in the Sierras, he replaced it with a '53 Ford the next year, and he didn't normally trade in cars. We kept the Ford for at least the next decade. You have to remember the early ATs were two speeds, even into the mid '60s. Imagine a Camaro with a 2 speed Powerglide AT - pretty pathetic.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:39 PM   #8
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to give you a reference to others with similar vehicles w/ recorded FE...
http://www.fuelly.com/car/geo/prizm
http://www.fuelly.com/car/chevrolet/prizm
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.d...350&details=on
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/sbs.htm
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
I agree with the cow. Automatics were rare until some time in the late 60s. My dad bought a '52 Chevy with AT, and it was so underpowered driving in the Sierras, he replaced it with a '53 Ford the next year, and he didn't normally trade in cars. We kept the Ford for at least the next decade. You have to remember the early ATs were two speeds, even into the mid '60s. Imagine a Camaro with a 2 speed Powerglide AT - pretty pathetic.
Not all of the automatic transmissions of the '50s and '60s were two speed. In fact, the first automatic transmission, the Hydra-Matic, introduced on the 1940 Oldsmobile, was a 4-speed. '60s Chevrolets were usually offered with either the 2-speed Powerslide (which was, I agree, pretty dismal, although I have heard that they have a following amongst the drag racing crowd), or a three speed AT like that which was in my wife's '67 Impala.

And of course, there are the goofy "fluid-drive" transmissions Chrysler marketed from '41 to about '53 or so. Take off in first, automatically shift to second, use clutch and gearshift to go to third, automatically go to fourth.

You have, I'm sure, seen all the '50s and early '60s Mopars and Edsels with the pushbutton gear selectors...

Maybe in your part of the country, it might have been all manual transmissions. Here in southern CA, it seemed like most cars were automatics.
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