Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview Despite the Chevrolet bow-tie emblem on the grille, Prizm comes from Japanese DNA, not American. Prizm is a kissing cousin of the Toyota Corolla, and both are built at a California plant jointly operated by the two automotive giants. Chevrolet makes minor styling changes and equips its models differently, but Prizm is a Corolla by another name. Prizm is shorter than Chevy's homegrown Cavalier, but starts at a higher base price: $13,816 vs. $13,065. Based on interior volume, Prizm is a compact and Cavalier is a subcompact.
Interior New standard features on the base Prizm include air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo and floormats. The upscale LSi model adds power windows, a rear defogger, tachometer and tilt steering column. Both models seat five, but only the LSi comes with a standard 60/40-split folding rear seat. Chevy lists trunk capacity as 12.1 cubic feet, not including the folded rear seat.
Exterior Available only as a four-door sedan, Prizm's overall length of 174 inches is about 1 inch shorter than a Honda Civic sedan and 7 inches shorter than a Cavalier.
Under the Hood Prizm uses the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the Corolla, and for 2000 it gains Toyota's variable-valve technology that boosts horsepower by five to 125. The engine meets California's Low Emission Vehicle standards. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and three- and four-speed automatic transmissions are optional.
Safety Side-impact airbags for the front seats are optional, an unusual feature for a small car in this price range. Anti-lock brakes also are optional, and daytime running lights are standard.
Performance Because it is a Corolla in disguise, Prizm offers the same quality, reliability and durability. Because Prizm is not as popular as Corolla, either new or used, it has lower resale value.