I can’t remember the last time I saw a Geo Prizm of either generation in my locale, but apparently first generation Prizms are still kicking around in other parts of the country, in remarkable condition I might add.
The second vehicle produced under General Motor and Toyota’s NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.) joint-venture, the Geo Prizm was a rebadged version of the Toyota Sprinter, a Corolla relative not sold in North America.
Geo itself was a newly-created brand of captive imports sold through Chevrolet dealers and GM’s latest answer to the growing popularity of Japanese imports, which continued to eat away at its share of the market. Curiously, Geos were little more than rebadged versions of the very cars which they were competing against.
The largest car sold under the Geo brand, the Prizm was initially available in 4-door sedan and a rather sleek looking 5-door hatchback, with blacked-out glass-covered D-pillars, for a wraparound glass effect.
As part of the top-trim GSi model, both bodystyles were available with Toyota’s DOHC 4A-GE inline-4 making 130 horsepower, an engine discontinued in North American Corollas after 1990. Interestingly, the sport-oriented GSi sedan was more expensive than the costliest Corolla sedan.
The first generation Prizm was sold from the 1990-1992 model years, upon which it was redesigned for 1993 following the all-new Corolla and Sprinter. The Geo experiment of course, did not succeed in its mission and the brand was defunct by 1997, with remaining models integrated into Chevy’s lineup for the remainder of their design cycles.
CC Cohort red and blue Prizm photos by Mike Hayes; White Prizm photos by CJCZ92
1992 Geo Prizm (COAL)