Category Archives: The Engine

Geo Metro Engines

In the United States a single engine was available from 1989 through 1994: a 1.0 L I3 engine. Rated at only 55 hp (41 kW), the small Suzuki-designed engine was the most fuel efficient production engine used in a GM car to date, boasting well over 45 mpg (5.3 L/100 km) in models with manual transmissions. A detuned 49 hp unit was used in the ultra-fuel-efficient XFi model, which delivered as much as 58 miles per gallon. As the 3-cylinder engines aged however, they began to become less stable and subject to vibration as well as minor deficiencies in the fuel injection system that led to decreased fuel economy.

A flaw exists in Metro 3-cylinder engines equipped with an EGR valve – if the valve fails or the EGR passages become blocked, the center combustion chamber can get too hot, and over time, lose compression due to exhaust valve failure.

Customers who were surveyed stated that they wanted more power from their Metro as well as good fuel economy. In 1995, with the new Metro came a new engine: the 1.3 L I4. The new engine still had only a modest 70 hp (52 kW), but provided the extra power Metro owners wanted. That power came at the cost of some fuel efficiency, dropping the highway mileage down to around 35 mpg (6.8 L/100 km). The engine however, was not new. It was the same engine that had been in use in the Suzuki Swift (except for the GT models) for years. LSi models produced from 1995 on had the 4-cylinder engine, but the 3-cylinder was still the base power plant in the car, becoming an option for non-LSi models in 1997.

Canadian Metros had the 1.3 L engine available as an option beginning in 1993 in the 3-door GSi model, and as standard equipment in the sedan (exclusive to the Canadian market at the time: as noted in the previous paragraph, American market Metros were not available in a sedan bodystyle until 1995).