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2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm #4759065
05/16/18 06:26 PM
05/16/18 06:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,593
North Carolina
Rat407 Offline OP
Rat407  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,593
North Carolina
OK, looking at helping out a friends mom. She really needs a vehicle but can't afford much at all. I found a 1995 Geo Prizm, A/T with 177k on it. Everything works, no lights and the only issue is the headliner is ripped all to pieces. I checked the transmission fluid and it was to my surprise still red. Not dark at all. My only concern is the owner doesn't have a clue as to when the timing belt has ever been changed. So I'm thinking it is the original one. How hard is it to change out along with the water pump and tensioner? Tires were in good shape AC was working fine. I can get this vehicle for $900.

Vehicle 2 is a 2002 Honda Civic XLE, A/T with 287k miles on 1.7L. It had over heated and so they pulled the head and had it shaved and checked and they put it back on with all new water pump, tensioner pulley, belt, new radiator, cap, battery and thermostat. It drove fine as well. The transmission fluid on it was pretty dark brown. Couldn't see any other issues. Tires on it were good as well. They want $1,500 firm. No moving on the price.

So the question is which to I take a chance on? I mean if I got the Geo I would do the timing belt for sure and water pump. Would not take a chance. So the cost of that would still bring it below the Civic I would think. Especially if I tackle it myself. From what I saw on Youtube it isn't to hard.

Suggestions? The Geo is basically a Toyota engine and tranny correct?


2002 Silverado 5.3 0w-20 AMSOIL
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759084
05/16/18 06:39 PM
05/16/18 06:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,537
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
SirTanon Offline
SirTanon  Offline
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,537
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
If it were me, and I was buying the car as a daily driver for myself or a family member, I'd go with the Civic, at least based on what you've provided.


2010 Ford Fusion SE - 2.5 liter/6F35 Trans - 263,000mi
2014 Nissan Altima SL - 2.5 liter/CVT - 58,000mi
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759089
05/16/18 06:43 PM
05/16/18 06:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,860
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,860
The Midwest
There is no such thing as a Civic XLE. I would not wanna make the choice for her. I've seen people do that,
something breaks, the person you helped makes you feel guilty and is upset at you.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759092
05/16/18 06:44 PM
05/16/18 06:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 501
Los Gatos, CA
JeffKeryk Online content
JeffKeryk  Online Content
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 501
Los Gatos, CA
The Geo was made in the Fremont, CA plant (now Tesla). Prizm and Corolla were assembled on the same line. They have different badges.
One rolled of the line every 5 minutes or so.

Which one is better?
Check 'em bot out as best you can.
Take 'em for a good test drive; around town, freeway and find a steep hill.

Good luck.

Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759094
05/16/18 06:46 PM
05/16/18 06:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 567
Anaheim, CA
zorobabel Offline
zorobabel  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 567
Anaheim, CA
Maybe factor in the price of a slushbox replacement for the Civic?


1997 Maxima 188k, Edge 10w30, K&N HP-1003
2004 Corolla 193k, VWB 5w20 + SSS 10w40, MGL4967
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759095
05/16/18 06:47 PM
05/16/18 06:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,780
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,780
OH
That year Civic doesn't have a good reputation with the transmission. Plus it doesn't have newer fluid in it either. Pass.

It takes a fair amount of money to drive and maintain a car. Not for the faint of heart. She should have at least another grand set aside for repairs and maintenance. Probably better off taking a few steps back from the situation. It would be different if there was a healthy budget for a new car.


Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759100
05/16/18 06:50 PM
05/16/18 06:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,719
Orlando, FL
Mr Nice Offline
Mr Nice  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,719
Orlando, FL
Geo.

I agree the 2002 Civic is problematic.

Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759103
05/16/18 06:57 PM
05/16/18 06:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,274
Fort Worth, Texas
clinebarger Online content
clinebarger  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,274
Fort Worth, Texas
I wouldn't buy a car knowing it's been overheated. Timing belts are easy to do on a '95 Prizm/Corolla.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759112
05/16/18 07:05 PM
05/16/18 07:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,243
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,243
ME
+2 on the geo. Bonus is it's emissions exempt so inspections will be easier.

Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759118
05/16/18 07:09 PM
05/16/18 07:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,101
Phoenix
dishdude Online content
dishdude  Online Content
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,101
Phoenix
Geo all day long.


2018 Challenger SRT
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759123
05/16/18 07:16 PM
05/16/18 07:16 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 907
Frogland / Brittany
Popsy Offline
Popsy  Offline
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 907
Frogland / Brittany
Geo. Don't buy something that has overheated.


96 Barchetta, Motul 300V 5W40 | 98 Barchetta, Quartz 9000 energy 5W40
05 Forfour 95, SHU 0W40 (gf's car) | 10 Colt Ralliart, 300V 0W40
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759130
05/16/18 07:25 PM
05/16/18 07:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,108
OH
fdcg27 Offline
fdcg27  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,108
OH
Let's see.
110K fewer miles with no indication of serious engine damage for six hundred fewer dollars on a car of legendary durability?
I know which one I'd pick for somebody who needs cheap wheels.


18 Accord Hybrid FF
17 Forester 18K VME 0W-20
12 Accord LX 96K SSO 0W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759139
05/16/18 07:37 PM
05/16/18 07:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,548
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,548
USA
Do not buy an automatic Civic.

In any economy car, manual is much preferable. Unless you have stop and go traffic every day.

Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759154
05/16/18 07:43 PM
05/16/18 07:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,980
USA
slacktide_bitog Online content
slacktide_bitog  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,980
USA
I'd get the Prizm/Corolla

Although you should get the timing belt done as soon as you can, I believe it is a non-interference engine, so even if it snaps, you just need a timing belt. This applies to both the 4A-FE and 7A-FE

Re: 2002 Civic vs 1995 Geo Prizm [Re: Rat407] #4759159
05/16/18 07:46 PM
05/16/18 07:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,276
Ohio
Tdbo Offline
Tdbo  Offline
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,276
Ohio
GEO without question.
Take the money saved to do the TB and go over it to make it sound.


2012 Honda Accord LX-P 94K
2008 Ford Mustang Pony Package Convertible 17K
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 76K
2003 Ford Ranger 3.0 Supercab 111K
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