The Geo Metro was made from 1989 until 2000. It was designed
fame) and manufactured
in Suzuki's plant in Canada
, alongside the similar but larger-engined Suzuki Swift
. During its 12-year lifespan
, it was pretty much the smallest car available
in the U.S., a title now held either by the Honda Insight
or the Mini Cooper
, depending on who you ask.
It was first available as a two-door and four-door hatchback, solely with a 1.0 litre, three-cylinder engine. It made 55 horsepower, or only 49 horsepower in the XFi model, which was tuned to get over 50 miles per gallon.** In 1990, the two-seat convertible with a coupe-style trunk and driver's airbag was introduced. It was dropped after 1993.
Few changes were made until 1995, when the Metro was completely redesigned. The new body style was significantly larger, and incorporated dual air bags and crumple zones to aid in an accident, probably the biggest fear of any Metro driver. The four-door hatchback was replaced by a sedan body style, which now came with the Swift's 1.3 litre, 70 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The two-door hatch still came with the three-cylinder (the XFi version was dropped) but the four-cylinder was optional.
In 1998, when General Motors nuked the Geo marque, the Geo Metro became the Chevrolet Metro. Other than cosmetic differences, the only change was a bump to 79 horsepower for the four-cylinder. The Metro was discontinued after the 2000 model year.
**To put this into perspective, the 1979 VW Beetle, the last model year available in the U.S., had a 1.6 litre, four cylinder engine that made 48 horsepower. The Geo Metro's 1.0 litre engine was extremely tiny for an American-market car. Even the Yugo's was bigger, it was 1.1 litres, and had four cylinders.
TheBooBooKitty tells me that the Geo Metro was first released in 1986 as the "Sprint" (and also as a Chevrolet) and then the "Sprint-Metro" before it got the Metro name in 89. I did some research, and found that the Sprint/Sprint-Metro was a different car from the Metro that replaced it in 1989, but was equally small.