New Car Review

1995 GEO METRO LSi SEDAN

by: BILL RUSS

Chevrolet is General Motors largest division. It markets a wide range of automotive products from the sub-compact Geo Metro to the large Suburban . In 1988 it established the Geo nameplate whose purpose is to market low-priced cars that are built in joint-venture agreements with Japanese auto manufacturers. The Geo Metro is assembled in North America at Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, by CAMI, in a shared corporate agreement with Suzuki. The Geo Prizm is made at the NUMI assembly plant in Fremont, California in a joint operation with Toyota. Both Geo vehicles are sold in Chevrolet salesrooms throughout the country. The Metro is proof that there will always be a need for basic and economical automotive transportation, either as the first car for young folks, or as a second or commute car for families.

Who says that sub-compact cars have to be basic? Certainly not Geo, especially with its new Metro LSi four-door sedan. This new third generation model was designed at the General Motors Design Center and has many improvements over earlier Metros. Attention to details make the 1995 Metro Sedan a surprisingly good little car and a good value. The new four-door replaces the five- door hatchback. It is powered by four-cylinder 1.3 liter engine, has a larger cabin and a separate trunk, larger wheels and tires, longer wheel base, and wider track, and it is also fitted with many standard safety and convenience items.

Driving and riding around Northern California for over a week in a wide variety of road and weather conditions left these impressions:

APPEARANCE: The all-new Geo Metro four door sedan bears a distinct relationship to the rest of the Chevrolet line. It looks like an American family sedan and demonstrates that inexpensive cars can have style. It shares a variety of styling cues with larger members of the Genuine Chevrolet family. In front, the oval composite headlights and bumper fascia with integrated air intake provide a styling link to the new Cavalier. Its general shape and rear styling show a close relationship to the Prizm. However, it retains in own distinctiveness and is a handsome sub-compact car.

COMFORT: Even entry-level buyers deserve some comforts, and the top-of-the-line Metro LSi sedan gives it to them. Standard features include comfortable, manually adjustable front bucket seats, a new instrument panel, upgraded upholstery treated with Scotchguard, cupholders, fold-down split rear seatback for access to the flat low-liftover trunk, and more. Desirable options include air conditioning, upgrade AM/FM/cassette radio, power windows, door locks and steering, and rear window defogger. These combinations provide the owner of a small car with big car features.

SAFETY: The 1995 Metro has a "total safety package", which emphasizes crash avoidance and minimizes the consequences of a collision. Active safety devices are dual front air bags, three-point outboard seat belts, a new stiffer chassis with four-wheel independent suspension and front and rear stabilizer bars for increased stability. Optional anti-lock brakes insure safe emergency stopping. Passive safety features include "safety cage construction" with deformable front and rear crush zones, steel side impact door safety beams, and new daytime running lights.

ROADABILITY: As an entry-level car the Metro LSi sedan delivers very good riding and handling qualities. Its stiff chassis, plus independent suspension and stabilizer bars provide a compliant and stable ride, without too much body lean on tight turns. By design noise, vibration and harshness are well-controlled, and when cruising down the highway the ride is quiet with very little wind noise. The Metro is nimble and maneuverable enough to provide a degree of driving pleasure.

PERFORMANCE: Even with the "big block" four-cylinder, fuel injected 1.3 liter engine the Metro LSi sedan is not a performance machine. But, by judicious use of its five-speed manual transmission it is possible to agilely move through traffic and climb reasonable grades. The gearbox provides overdrive in fourth and fifth gear which contributes to the Metro's excellent fuel economy. While many cars may pass you on the road, you will pass them when they are at the gas station.

CONCLUSION: "A great small car with big ideas" is on of the Geo's advertising slogans for the new 1995 Metro, and it describes the car well. It aptly demonstrates that and entry-level econo-car can have good styling, be comfortable and quiet on the road, and have a little pizazz too!

SPECIFICATIONS:
1995 CHEVROLET GEO METRO LSI SEDAN

	   Base Price              $   9,485
	   Price As Tested         $  12,411
	   Engine Type             I-4, ohv, - pushrod, efi
	   Engine Size             1.3 liter/79 cid         
	   Horsepower              70 @ 6000
	   Torque (ft/lbs)         74 @ 3500
	   Wheelbase/Length        93"/164"
	   Transmission            five-speed manual w/overdrive
	   Curb Weight             1950
	   Pounds per Horsepower   28  
	   Fuel Capacity           10
	   Fuel Requirement        Unleaded regular (87 oct)              
	   Tires                   P155/80R13  all-season
	   Brakes                  antilock-optional  ventilated disc/drum
	   Drive Train             Front engine/front drive
	   
			PERFORMANCE
	   
	   EPA Economy - miles per gallon,        
	     city/highway/observed         39/43/40.6
	   0 to 60 mph                     11.7 sec 
	   1/4 mi (E.T.)                   17.1 sec   
	   Coefficient of Drag  (Cd)       .32 

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