The car you’re looking at is the best kept secret in the used car market. If you scrolled past this post without clicking, you have proven my point. Actually, if you scrolled past this, you’re no longer with us and I can say without fear of repercussion that your mother is a woman of ill repute. Unlike other Geos of similar vintage leaving oil stains at the Salvation Army parking lot, this one revs to 7,600 RPM like a puppy earnestly tugging at its leash. You see, this generation Geo Prizm was the only four-door sedan or hatchback ever sold in the U.S. with the venerable 4AGE twin-cam engine. Find this 1990 Geo Prizm GSi hatchback for sale in Vancleave, MS for $1,650 via craigslist.
Following a new partnership with Toyota, General Motors offered the first-generation Prizm as a badge-engineered Corolla. Based on the E90 Corolla, the Prizm was available in two body styles for a discount price against the ‘Yota. This is already more information than you thought you needed to know about a Geo, but it’s necessary to understand why you could walk into a Chevy dealership in 1990 and buy a car with the sex appeal of a manila envelope that used the same engine as the white and black car that would soon become famous in that show that the kids like. Toyota stuck the 4AGE in the MR2 and a variety of Corollas, but never a sedan destined for the States. GM did, and from 1990-1992 offered its Prizm with the red top 16-valve 4AGE 1.6-liter, worth 130 horsepower. The GSi package also boasted four-wheel disc brakes, aluminum wheels, and ABS, because those were things to boast about in 1990.
With a clean title and a similarly clean yet uninspiring body, this particular Prizm is in relatively good driving shape. The A/C “ran when parked,” which are the three most terrifying words you can find in a craigslist listing besides “manual boost controller” and “Volkswagen Phaeton W8.” Fortunately, the sitting interval is just six months. Nothing can completely deteriorate in six months, right?
You won’t see these in this condition much longer, but that isn’t the injustice you think it is. Here’s why: it’s a 25-year-old Geo. You know, the automotive equivalent of an ear wax removal kit; beyond not wanting one, you don’t even want to hear about its existence. Congratulations on even making it this far into this insufferable learning experience. You’re either a hopeless 4AGE fan, or a car enthusiast mildly interested in a simple, lightweight, five-speed hatchback with a high-revving twin-cam engine for the price of a college girl’s annual frappe budget.
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