Geo Metro Remains Cheapest Car to Own with Size Increase
Storck, Bob, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
MALIBU, Calif. - Now the Metro is longer, wider, and safer with better tires and a four-cylinder engine. The high-mileage version was dropped, but the Metro is still the cheapest to car to own. One of the most endearing features of the previous version of the Suzuki-designed car was its 54-mpg EPA mileage rating. With this complete redesign, the XFi super-sipper version has been dropped, but that version was only sold to econo-masochists.
Honda offered a Civic model that was in contention for the economy leadership, but it was also dropped in their 1996 rework. This leaves the Metro still on top of the mileage chart, but at the cost of about 6 mpg. Take heart . . . . that would only save about $25 in 10,000 miles of driving.
The three-cylinder, 55-horse-power, one-liter power plant is well up to the task with the five-speed manual transmission, but those who prefer automatics are likely to be disappointed. The rule of thumb is that an automatic makes a car drive as if it has 10-15 less horsepower, and that is too much for such a small engine.
The big news under the hood is a 1.3-liter, 70-horsepower, aluminum four-cylinder that comes standard on four-door models. …