The Truth About Cars » Geo Prizm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:54:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Geo Prizm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Hammer Time: Flying Is The Devil’s Work http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hammer-time-flying-devils-work/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hammer-time-flying-devils-work/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1143233 4 a.m. The alarms clocks ring. Both of them. Just in case I get any funny ideas. I go through the semi-conscious motions. Clothes… suitcase… glasses… coffee… breakfast. By 4:15 a.m, I’m out the door and driving to the airport in a 21-year-old Geo Prizm. I figured that a 5-speed and a stark lack of […]

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4 a.m.

The alarms clocks ring. Both of them. Just in case I get any funny ideas.

I go through the semi-conscious motions. Clothes… suitcase… glasses… coffee… breakfast. By 4:15 a.m, I’m out the door and driving to the airport in a 21-year-old Geo Prizm. I figured that a 5-speed and a stark lack of noise insulation will keep me alert. Thanks to Atlanta’s penchant for using steel plates to cover up every possible pothole on the road, I am not disappointed.

Everything seemed fine at first. I was going to take an early trip to San Antonio, Texas — home of the San Antonio Spurs, Shawn Michaels, and Ozzy Osbourne’s urine intensive markings. The plan was to arrive early and ‘see the city’.

 

In middle-aged life, seeing the city really means eating fancy foods and walking aimlessly under the pathetic guise that burning 40 calories by walking can make up for your recent 1400 calorie meal. I had a French bakery, a barbecue place, and a nice little park all scoped out for what I thought would be a day of short-term bliss before the big morning event.

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The next morning I would be speaking in front of a few dozen of my peers at the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association. How many times have I done this public speaking deal in front of dealers? Ummm… never… except when I worked the Atlanta auction circuit back in the Y2K era. Back then I could just slur my speech and no one would give a damn so long as I got the numbers right.

This time would be different.

3They were interested in having me speak about the Long-Term Quality Index. The organizer went through about 17 different ideas before I was finally able to convince him that the LTQI could offer some highly surprising findings. Mainly that not all Suzukis and Range Rovers suck.

It was a match made in…. Texas… while I was drinking coffee at a Waffle House.

So I signed off on the papers earlier that week and arrived at the airport about 5:30 a.m. for a 6:40 a.m. flight. I slid my wore out Discover card in the circa 2008 Southwest kiosk, and one painful word instantly greeted me in neon red.

CANCELLED!

Was my card cancelled? The tickets? Did I already piss these people off?

Nope. It was just my flight. So I waited in line with about 150 other hopeless Sunday morning zombies and eventually I heard a voice.

 

“Next in line please!”

The lady who called me already had another person there along with their kid. That apparently didn’t matter because she was going to destroy their day too.

Within 45 seconds I had what can only be described as an “Oh fuck!” moment. I figured out that the only thing she could achieve without the help of the other employees that morning was her three layers of makeup. Her face reminded me of rainbow cake.

 

Twenty-five minutes later, I get a new itinerary – Atlanta to Philadelphia, and then what I thought would be a siesta before a direct flight to San Antonio.

Instead I got some eyeball popping sweet chin music.

 

My flight would be from Atlanta, to Philly, then to Phoenix, and then, when I’m ready to go face first into the thinly carpeted floor after sitting like a human sardine all that time, I would get the very last flight from Phoenix to San Antonio.

“Faaahhhh…gedaboutit!!!”

Now, Atlanta to San Antonio is a good 800 miles or so. A quick thought popped into my dreamy little head that maybe I could drive the Geo at 100 miles per hour, since no one ever pays attention to these old Corollas in drag. After throwing a few piss bottles out the window, I could find myself in front of the JW Marriott hotel in San Antonio bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Instead I got an aisle seat and shared my misery on Facebook.

About a few minutes before everyone got settled, something truly unusual took place — something nice. A lady with a two month old was with her husband. They were among the last folks on the plane. So the stewardess asked everyone, “Can anyone switch seats so this young couple could sit together?”

 

“I’ll do it.” The three words that pretty much embodied my easy going gullible nature when I was a kid.

Cleaning up the dining room table? I’ll do it! Mommy always gives me the first five scoops of ice cream, so why not?

Holding a sparkler during the 4th of July that scared my four-year-old soul to death? Ummm… I’ll do it too! Is this thing going to make me go boom like Wile E Coyote?

Splashing a big cup of Kool-Aid down my brother’s boom box so my Mom could finally have some peace and quiet? I’ll do it… but, hey, mom? Can I have that steak knife just in case? You better bring one too!

So when these folks in Texas called me up and said, “We want you to figure out something unique to say.” My only response was, “I’ll do it… for the right price.”

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Apparently that price is roughly equal to what I just paid for a 23-year-old Volvo 740 turbo wagon. That car works. As for my life decisions, that’s a subject for another day.

Steve’s Note: Mark always asks me to write about used cars and damn it, I really tried this time! So with that in mind go ahead and kick through some of the findings you can find here at the Long-Term Quality Index and leave a comment or two below. I’ll answer every question about cars and travel with the exception of the migration rates of African or European swallows.

Also, good news! The study just passed the 800,000 vehicle mark after nearly three years of compiling all the data (it also took close to a year to set it up), and I’m DESPERATELY trying to find someone who can help turn the data into a worakble app. So if you can help guide me to a solid soul, you’ll have my gratitude. Email me at carselect@gmail.com

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Hatchback Throwback: A Five-Door Retrospective http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/hatchback-throwback-a-five-door-retrospective/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/hatchback-throwback-a-five-door-retrospective/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=476595 The five-door hatchback, long a staple of world markets, is enjoying a resurgance in a big way. While hatchbacks were once regarded as symbols of poverty in the eyes of most Americans, the premium segment is the vanguard of the hatchback today, with everything from the Audi A7 to the Porsche Panamera sporting a “fifth […]

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The five-door hatchback, long a staple of world markets, is enjoying a resurgance in a big way. While hatchbacks were once regarded as symbols of poverty in the eyes of most Americans, the premium segment is the vanguard of the hatchback today, with everything from the Audi A7 to the Porsche Panamera sporting a “fifth door”.

The first leaked pictures of the BMW 3-Series GT drew more than a few comparisons to the very first Hyundai Elantra GT (shown above). Unlike the two-box GT on sale now, this one looked more like a pseudo-sedan and was part of a sporadic line of five-doors that tried their hand at the American marketplace and ultimately failed.

The most recent example that I can think of is the first-generation Mazda6. Despite being the driver’s choice since its debut, the Mazda6 has never really caught on with buyers – the hatch didn’t even make it past the first generation, despite soldiering on throughout the world into the second generation.

Unlike the good folks at Mazda, Honda decided to withhold the hatch from us. Europeans got the 5-door Accord, but like the Mazda, it never sold in huge numbers either – unlike hatchback versions of the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall/Opel Vectra. These cars seem to get exported to the Carribbean in huge numbers – there’s even a song about it.

At the other end of the spectrum there’s the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, and its “hot” sibling, the Maxx SS. The Maxx could be held up as yet another example of a good faith attempt at bringing European product over to the US, with the execution going horribly wrong (see: Buick Regal). The Maxx was based on the Opel Signum, which was intended to re-invent the “executive car” segment in Europe with a two-box form factor, similar to other famous success stories like the Renault Vel Satis and Avantime. We all know how that worked out. Now run that through the cheesecloth of awfulness that was GM right before the bailout, and it’s hard to imagine how this car avoided being an Aztek-grade screwup.

Of course, there are other luminaries like the Plymouth Sundance, most Saabs and of course, the Geo Prizm. My all-time favorite five-door hatch is still the early 1990’s Mazda Lantis with Mazda’s 2.5L KL-ZE V6. The same power as the 2014 Mazda6 in a lighter package full of hatchback goodness? I’m sold. Too bad the rest of the American buying public isn’t.

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Junkyard Find: 1992 Geo Prizm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1992-geo-prizm/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1992-geo-prizm/#comments Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441802 We’ve seen a few NUMMI-built Junkyard Finds in recent weeks, including this ’87 Nova and this ’87 Corolla FX16 GT-S. However, the car that really comes to mind when you think of NUMMI is the Geo Prizm. Here’s an example of GM’s rebadged Corolla that I found at a self-service junkyard about 20 miles from […]

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We’ve seen a few NUMMI-built Junkyard Finds in recent weeks, including this ’87 Nova and this ’87 Corolla FX16 GT-S. However, the car that really comes to mind when you think of NUMMI is the Geo Prizm. Here’s an example of GM’s rebadged Corolla that I found at a self-service junkyard about 20 miles from the car’s birthplace. It’s the circle of automotive life!
Prizms and Corollas came down the same assembly line at NUMMI and were, for all practical purposes, the same car. Savvy used-car buyers soon learned that you could get a 5-year-old Prizm for half the price of a 5-year-old Corolla… but most car buyers weren’t that savvy.
Nobody has ever been able to explain the point of the Geo marque in a way that made sense to me. It was used as a catch-all badge for rebadged Suzuki, Isuzu, and Toyota cars (sadly, there were no Daewoo- or Opel-built Geos), and car buyers were just as befuddled by Geos as by Eagles.
By the early 1990s, the Corolla had already gone pretty far into its descent into the soporific transportation appliance we know today. Sure, you could get a GSi Prizm and a GT-S Corolla in 1992, but most of these cars were essentially treated as 3/4-scale Camrys. This one didn’t even make 200,000 miles before its general hooptieness condemned it to death in a Chinese steel factory.

18 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 17 - 1992 Geo Prizm Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07-1992-Geo-Prizm-Down-On-the-Junkyard-Pictures-courtesy-of-Phil-Murilee-Martin-Greden-thumb Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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