A near-twin of the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolets subcompact front-drive four-door sedan will fade away after the 2002 model year, when Toyota switches to a new Corolla generation. Both models are built at a California plant that General Motors shares with Toyota, and only minor styling and equipment differences separate the two sedans.
Chevrolets Prizm has never been as popular as the Corolla. Sales rose during 2000, to 52,116 units, while Toyota moved more than 230,000 Corollas in the same 12-month period.
Only a four-door sedan body style is offered; it rides a 97.1-inch wheelbase and measures 174.2 inches long overall. Thats a hair shorter than the Honda Civic sedan and 7 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Cavalier. Options include 14-inch alloy wheels and an electric-sliding sunroof.
Seating five passengers, the Prizm comes in base and more costly LSi price levels. Air conditioning is standard on both models. The LSi has several additional standard features, including power windows and locks, cruise control, a rear-window defogger, tachometer and tilt steering column. Only the LSi comes with a 60/40-split rear seat. A CD stereo is optional. The Prizms trunk capacity is 12.1 cubic feet, with the rear seat in place.
Under the Hood
All Prizms share the same 125-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine used in the Corolla. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and three- or four-speed-automatic transmissions are optional. Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats are optional.
In just about every respect, Prizm buyers get the same quality, reliability and smooth, refined performance as those who opt for the Corolla. What they dont get is the Toyota badge. Because the Prizm has been less popular, new or used, it has a lower resale value than the Corolla.