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2000 Vs. 2002 Prizm/corolla



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I'm looking for a vehicle for my 16 year old daughter. I am looking at a 2000 Prizm with 27K miles for $6,000 and a 2002 Prizm with 64K miles for $5,300. As far as reliability, are there any major differences between the two model years? Are they from the same generation? Were any powertrain changes made between the two years? Thanks for any opinions anyone has to offer.

this your first post .welcome. buy the low mile car. . both have had some issues. just do a search the cars are almost the same.

Thank you. It's good to be here. Best place to learn about technical topics is from people who own the machine.

Issues?? Such as? I am above average wrenching on cars, so I am not afraid of repairs. Are they major issues or minor low-cost issues?

Ed,

I just helped a friend buy a '99 Prizm with 79K for $2300. Overall, these cars are fairly easy to work on. Some are oil burners, most aren't. Maintenance proabably is a factor in that. Overall, the majority of the mechanicals are the same between the Prizm and Corolla. One exception is the A/C systems. The Prizm utilizes a GM V-5 A/C compressor which in many regards is inferior to the A/C compressor used in the Corolla. The GM V-5 compressor is a variable displacement compressor which is known to leak refrigerant at the shaft seal after some miles. Some Prizm's are also prone to rain leaking into the trunk at the rear lights, but that can be easily fixed. On the '99 Prizm I discussed earlier, there was minor suspension noise when going over small imperfections in the road surface at slow speeds. I swapped out the sway bar end links ($32.00 for both and about 45 minutes of my labor) and it completely eliminated that issue. The engines and transmissions are close to bulletproof with proper maintenance. With a new driver, if you could find one a little older with a few more miles, and get down closer to the $2500 price range, then you probably wouldn't want or need to buy collision insurance (buy liability only) which is a HUGE savings with a new driver. As far as any differences between the 2000 vs. 2002 Prizm, there is very little difference and wouldn't say one is any better than the other. I'd evaluate the two strictly on condition, mileage and price. Good luck with whatever way you end up going.

All good to hear. The repairs you mention I don't mind. Powertrain reliability was my main concern. After reading your post, I may look at some with higher mileage on them. Most of the vehicles I find listed are with used car dealers so I imagine there's not much room to deal on price. However, I will try. Thanks for your input. Anybody else have two cents??

All good to hear. The repairs you mention I don't mind. Powertrain reliability was my main concern. After reading your post, I may look at some with higher mileage on them. Most of the vehicles I find listed are with used car dealers so I imagine there's not much room to deal on price. However, I will try. Thanks for your input. Anybody else have two cents??

My 1998 toyota corolla uses the same engine/transmission as the prisms. The generation for the corolla is from 1998-2002. The 2000+ utilizes variable valve timing to improve fuel economy and horsepower while increasing the power band by lowering the max torque from 4400 to 4000. I just got rear ended on the 6th of January. My car had 225K miles and was burning oil, i wont lie about that. However, while trying to help my friend's 1988 Chevy S10 I-4, I ran a compression test on my car. The results surprised me with 190psi on all cylinders = 90% compared to new (218psi)

 

Doing some research on wikipedia (not extremely credible i know), Lotus helped develop the Corolla and Celica engines, 1zzfe and 2zzge respectively.

In 2001, Toyota did some minor cosmetic updates on the Corolla, but, apparently GM left the Prizm the way it was, so, I think it's fair to say that the 2000 and 2002 Prizms are virtually identical.

I would probably chose the lower mileage one, myself, but, low miles don't automatically make it a better car. I guess you'll simply have to drive BOTH of them, before you can make a final decision!!!

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you!!!

timkedz

I went to see the 2000 with 47K miles yesterday. Ran a CarFax on it and it is a one owner car and moved to an affluent neighborhood near me two years ago. The engine and tranny are great, clean, no sign of leaks. Body immaculate. Interior fantastic and no rips or tears. Drove it for over two hours. I noticed it had a slight pull to the right. Front end vibration on the highway at 65-70 mph which would stop when I veered into the right lane. Brakes have a grind feeling/sound as the vehicle is near stop. Front tires have probably illegal treadlife. Rear tires marginal. They had it listed at $5900. I offered $5300. They countered with $5455. The dealer 120 point inspection sheet indicated no pulling or vibration, so I told them their price was based on that and since it wasn't accurate, it should be compensated for in the price. They disagreed. They said they had an interested party waiting to see if I bought the car and he was waiting to test drive it if I didn't buy. I said Thanks Anyway; Good luck with the sale and went home. Two hours later they call and say they will accept $5300. Car is in my driveway. Thanks for the information provided on here. Now I get to read and explore this site more. I have two VW's which I have owned for 8 and 9 years which I do my own wrenching on. If not for message boards, I would not feel comfortable doing some of the repairs I have done--timing belt changes. I look forward to reading Corolland.

Sounds like you got a nice vehicle there. I imagine you've had to do a good bit of wrenching on the two VW's over the years, and most likely you will not have to wrench near as much on the Prizm. Good luck with it.