July 3, 2017
I bought this car used in July of 2013 with 209k miles on it. The miles had me leary, but I needed a car for work. At the time I looked at it, I wasnt too enthused. The car next to it was a shiny red 2000 ford focus, and I loved the color (as compared to silver with a gold underhue). But the focus was a standard, and my knee wouldn't handle the shifting. Plus, it was close to $1500 more in price. Not expecting much, I drove the Prizm.
And fell in love. Oh, my gosh. I bought the car on the spot and started calling it my mini rocket. This thing will absolutely launch off the line. So nimble. I can turn on a dime, and the steering is almost telepathic. If you even think about turning, that's where youre going. I love it.
Plus, living in Iowa, we can get a ton of ice and snow. This little car plows through it better than the 4 wheel drives everyone around here insists you have to have in the winter. Sometimes, I can't help but laugh driving past as people are digging out a mighty 4 wheel drive truck (They're not stranded. Several people stop to help pull them out.)
4 years later, it is still going strong with 230k miles and (sadly), a good deal of rust on the back fenders (it's out in the weather 24/7).
We've replaced the factory fuel pump. An ancient battery. Rear drums/breaks. The left rear strut. Next on the list is front brakes and right rear strut. The front door handles broke (I just roll down the Windows and exit by popping the exterior latch), which is a nuisance but dealable. My biggest complaint is the sheer amount of oil the engine burns. I cant run above 60 mph for any length of time without checking the oil levels.
Beyond that, though, everything is great. I can get up to 43 mpg on the highway, and average about 35 mpg mostly city driving.
What can I say beyond all that? I seriously love my car, and wish I could get a brand new copy of it unaltered (old Corolla might be next on my list. Something with a geared transmission and not a CVT.)