History of the Geo Metro

Flanders Red Geo Metro

Here’s some history on the 1989GeoMetro.  I copied a lot of it from Wikipedia, but I tried to improve it somewhat since Wikipedia was missing some details like how they left out a bunch of information on the HatchBack coupe, which is the car I own.

I tried to e-mail Wikipedia so they could update it, but I’m not sure that they will take my advice.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!  Alan

The Geo Metro can be defined as a manufacturing and marketing variation of the Suzuki Cultus that was available in North America from the year 1989 until the year 2001. It was essentially a joint effort of Suzuki and General Motors (popularly known as GM). In the United States of America, the Geo nameplate was carried by the Metro from the year 1989 to the year 1997. The Metro similarly carried a Chevrolet nameplate from the year 1998 to the year 2001.

It evolved over a period of thirteen years with the Cultus and its siblings. This was characterized by 3 generations and 4 body styles i.e. 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback and 2-door convertible. The above were ultimately replaced in the line of General Motors by a family of vehicles that were based on Daewoo Kalos.

Geo Metro facts

It is important to note that all the Metros were manufactured by CAMI Automotive Inc., this is with an exception of the convertible. The manufacturing process took place in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. It is equally important to note the fact that the Convertible was built in Japan by Suzuki.

The beginning of Geo Metro production

The Geo Metro can be described as a small economy car that was designed and manufactured on the basis of the Suzuki Swift or Cultus. It was basically produced from the year 1989 through to the year 2001. The very first generation was in 3-door and 5-door hatchback models. In addition, there was a four-door notchback sedan model which was sold in Canada.

The middle of Geo Metro production

In the year 1990, there was availability of a convertible but unfortunately it was phased out right after the year 1993. This was followed by the coming in of Metros that happened in 3 trim levels i.e. XFi, LSI or Base. The engine of XFi had less power in comparison to the engine of the Base and the engine of the LSi. The XFi was also able to achieve an incredible gas mileage of 53 MPG in the city and a startling 58 MPG on the highway. Each and every Metro at that point in time had 3 cylinder engines with either a 3-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission.

The only first-generation of the metro to have an airbag was the convertible. In the year 1995, the Metro underwent redesigning to give it an appearance that is more modern. The redesign also incorporated 70 horsepower (an equivalence of 71 PS or 52kW), a 4-cylinder engine, anti-lock brakes that were optional and standard dual airbags. The 5-door hatchback was replaced by a 4-door sedan. In the year 1995, the XFi never returned. The Base model and the LSi model were the only ones offered. The 3-cylinder engine was retained in the Base hatchback.

The end of Geo Metro production

In the year 1998, there was final revamping of the Metro that had been rebranded as Chevrolet. They performed minor re-styling, enhanced its headlamps and even boosted 4 cylinder engine to produce 79 horsepower (an equivalence of 80PS OR 59kW). The 2000 model was the final production of the 3-cylinder engine and the Metro hatchback. All the 2001 models were 4-door sedans that were exclusively sold to fleets.

The Metro line-up

The Metro line-up comprised of the following:

  • The Metro Hatchback Coupe that was produced from the year 1989 through to the year 2001.
  • The Metro Hatchback Sedan that was produced from the year 1989 to the year 1994.
  • The Metro Convertible that was produced from the year 1991 through to 1993.
  • The Metro Sedan that was produced from the year 1995 through to the year 2001.

Metro trim levels

3 varying trim levels were available during the manufacture of Metros. The bumper is undoubtedly the simplest way of identifying a specific Metro trim level. Bumpers on the XFi model were colored entirely black on both the upper and lower portions. Bumpers on the Base model had an upper portion that was body colored and a lower portion that was colored black. However, the LSi model bumpers were all body colored on both the upper and lower sections.

The Metro XFi was produced between the year 1989 and the year 1994, the Metro Base Level was produced between the year 1989 and the year 2000 and the Metro LSi that was produced from the year 1989 through to 1993, it was similarly produced between the year 1995 and the year 2001.

Metro XFi

Each and every Geo Metro was designed with three-cylinder, 1liter engine. The Metro XFi model was primarily designed for optimum fuel efficiency. It had different computer, lighter curb weight, different transmission and camshaft compared to both the Base model and LSi model. However, its convenience and comfort options were less appealing in comparison to the other two models. It achieved 53 MPG in city and 58 MPG on highway. It was rated as the most fuel efficient car in the whole of America throughout its production period. It was discontinued after the 1994 model year caused slow sales.

Metro Base

This model was considered more upscale in comparison to the XFi model. It has options that lacked in the Metro XFi such as automatic transmission and A/C. Its standard features included a passenger side mirror and body side molding that were also present in the XFi model. It had an extra 6 horsepower than the Metro XFi, it was rated a 55 horsepower car. This was possible with computer programming for both economy and power and because the lift camshaft that was a bit higher.

12 Responses to History of the Geo Metro

  1. Bob says:


    Great site

    I own a 1992 Convertible, I’m in Montreal Canada.
    I know by your site that convertibles are from 1991-1993, where did you get that info? and do they say how many produced? colors? If I remember well the convertible came , white, yellow or red. Mine is red painted blue. Love to get the numbers of production, if you can help I would appreciate it.
    Thanks for this site

    Have a nice Easter weekend

    • farnduke says:

      Hi Bob. I don’t know the numbers for convertibles, but if you’ve got one – congratulations! Apparently they’re were very rare indeed. I might be wrong on the dates though for convertible production. It actually should be 1990 through 1994 according to a Geo Metro nerd friend of mine.

  2. Potter says:

    Cami automotive did not produce the 1989 metro, it was still built in Japan. Cami started production for the 90 model metro

  3. Hilary Silvert Newell says:

    I have owned two pink convertibles, both 93. I’m still driving the second one.

  4. David Ryynanen says:

    Hi Alan – I have fond memories of the magazine ads when the Metro first came on the scene. I remember that the graphics played on the name “Geo,” showing the source of parts from all around the globe. Any way that you can think of to resurrect some older magazine ads? And, yes, my then-wife and I bought a red ’90 Metro right off the showroom floor (in Bothell, WA.) About four years later, we picked up a burgundy ’92 model from a co-worker of my wife. It had been retrofitted by the dealership he had bought it from – new – originally; it had a nice open-able skylight in the ceiling (certainly not a “moon” window!) I DO MISS my Metros! Fun, well-engineered cars! They rode amazingly well on open freeways, and they were easy to maneuver in city traffic.

  5. grinny gemes says:

    Hey! Grettings from Dominican Republic!
    I have a geometro 94, I would like to know if the system is multipoint inyection or carburette??? I Had some questions about…


  6. Harold Owens says:

    I own a Geo Metro Lsi convertible.The door tag says it is a 1990 Suzuki Geo Metro Lsi made in Japan. But the title says 1991 Chevy Geo Metro Lsi. It’s Baby Blue and original paint. I sure would like to know how many of them came to the United States. It’s a 3 cylinder,5 speed stick. He’s my LTL RNECK SPORTZ KAR. RNECK is redneck.

  7. Trevor London says:

    I had a ’94 when I was a young man and removed the passenger seat and replaced it with a bit of plywood that ran from the front to the back of the car, just enough room for a bed, and travelled the country in that thing. With all of my gear in there I had a rv that got an honest 40mpg.

  8. Randy Robey says:

    I have a 93 metro and I use it for handyman work. After removing the passenger seat, and the rear seat bottom cushion, put plywood over spare tire area.8′ 2×4 inside and close hatch.I love this masterpiece of Japan engineer ing.46 mpg hwy best I ever got

  9. Gene from Snowflake Az. I too am a Metro Lsi lover. I own three and just bought another that I fear is unrestorable. The top was left down in Mississippi for nine years. My domain http://www.geometroautoclub.com is under construction. My goal is to own as many of these beauties as possible. I specialize in 1990, 1991 and 1992 Geo Lsi’s. Any fans please email me at hutwohl58@yahoo.com

    • farnduke says:

      Thanks Gene – they are a true testament to utilitarian design by American engieering. We’d love to hear about your site when it’s ready to rock!

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