Overview & Reviews
As part of its affordable new "international" line of vehicles, the Geo Tracker was introduced in select markets as a rebadged mini SUV and marketed through most of the 1990s at Chevrolet dealers across the U.S. Although the Tracker was eventually discontinued, it lived on well into the new millennium as a Chevy as well as the Suzuki Vitara, the vehicle that served as the basis for the Tracker all along. Confusing, yes, but as long as you recall the Tracker as a funky but flawed four-wheel-drive runabout, you'll understand it well enough.
Most Recent Geo Tracker
The Geo Tracker was offered for the 1989-'97 model years as both a convertible and a hardtop. Two trims were available -- base and LSi. Base models offered little more than cloth seats and power brakes. LSi Trackers added amenities like a clock and an AM/FM audio system. Options included air-conditioning and power steering.
Power from the Tracker's 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine was modest to be sure, initially delivering just 80 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque, but fuel economy with the standard five-speed manual transmission was in the mid-to-high 20s, good for a vehicle with four-wheel-drive capability. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, but a three-speed automatic was available as an option. A floor-mounted two-speed transfer case made it relatively easy to select 2WD or 4WD operating modes.
Inside, surprisingly comfortable bucket seats greeted the front occupants and faced a basic instrument panel with decent controls placement and a sound system offering listenable quality. The rear bench seat had room for two, though in this mini SUV they got to know each other perhaps too well and didn't receive much support even on a quick trip to the store. Folding the rear seatback down and flipping it forward revealed more than 32 cubic feet of storage. On drop-top models, this proved to be a real chore with the convertible top in place.
The Geo Tracker wasn't at its best in urban situations. Its engine was underpowered when driven on the highway; also, its ride was jarring, and its tall stance and high center of gravity created an unsettling degree of body roll in turns. Additionally, both versions exhibited quite a bit of engine and road noise. Still, there was a place for the Tracker as a no-frills 4x4 toy geared toward jumping in with a friend and heading off for a fun spin off-road.
As for the exact model changes, an upscale Tracker LSi trim debuted for 1990, and air-conditioning and an automatic transmission were made available across the lineup. In 1991, rear antilock brakes joined the standard features list on 2WD models, and four-wheel-drive LSi models benefited from auto-locking front hubs. The following year, Trackers got a revised dashboard and center console, and a tilt steering column was added to the options list. The next changes of note came in 1994, when four-wheel-drive models switched from on-/off-road tires to all-season rubber tires that provided a better ride. A CD/cassette player became available, and more sophisticated multipoint fuel injection was added to clear emissions hurdles in California and New York Trackers -- resulting in a power bump to 95 hp.
In 1995, the 95-hp engine made its way under the hood of all 4WD models and all Massachusetts-bound Trackers. The ute's convertible top was also redesigned for simpler operation. In 1996, the Geo Tracker family welcomed a new four-door model. Dual airbags became standard on all Trackers and four-wheel antilock brakes and cruise control were optional. Revised styling also graced the exterior, and daytime running lights made the tiny Tracker more conspicuous to motorists. After this heavy makeover, the last of the Geo-branded Trackers hit the streets relatively unchanged in 1997.
The one thing the Geo Tracker has going in its favor is price; it was cheap as a new SUV, and as a used one, it's even more so. Still, there are other compact SUVs that offer great value and a better ride around town; we recommend that you investigate other choices in this segment. If you have your heart set on a Geo Tracker, keep in mind that since the Geo brand has long since closed shop, not all Chevrolet dealerships will be able to service the Tracker; given that it's pretty much a rebadged Vitara, going to a Suzuki dealership should probably suffice.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 108.00
4 door 2WD Tracker - 1996 Geo Tracker
By Bruce Mossman - November 16 - 3:54 pm
Does what I want: 26-28 MPG , hauls my boat everywhere,takes my road bike along,lots of space and turns on a dime. Great for camping,simple to repair.
Rust-A-Bout - 1995 Geo Tracker
By david augenstene - November 1 - 1:49 am
I bought this in 2009 and didn't expect to keep it more than 2 years. I kept it 5 until it rusted out underneath. One of the most fun cars I ever owned. The only repair problems I had with it were due to rust. I'm parting it out to keep for spares and looking for another. It had only 82000 on it. (Everybody is taking these rusted out Trackers and running them off road on farms and as super ATVs.) If you are buying one have it put up on a lift and look over the whole underside very carefully.
puzzled - 1990 Geo Tracker
By charlie - September 1 - 2:18 pm
Vehicle does not seem to get gas but i have changed fuel filter fuel pump and anything that has to do with fuel Anyone have any ideals I am puzzled
One of the most underrated vehicles ever produced - 1994 Geo Tracker
By blkmrktbikz - November 13 - 12:21 pm
I have a 1994 Geo tracker which I purchased during the worst part of the winter in 2010 when South Eastern PA was hit with a huge snow storm. It had 100,000 when I purchased it and now has only 111,000, however what I have put this poor little tracker through in this 11,000 miles is probably equivalent to over a million miles normal driving. This is by far without question the toughest vehicle I have ever owned including vehicles designed strictly for offroad use. This is capable over going through just about anything in stock form
Fun car - 1996 Geo Tracker
By shanesmith0922 - April 25 - 12:40 pm
I bought this car at around 120,000 miles and immediately took a road trip from Salt Lake to Mesa, Arizona. It handled it like a champ. I have also taken it four wheeling several times and this car can climb! It has been a year with minor repairs. I had a tune up, belts replaced, and so on. (the previous owner did not seem to ever do this) I hope I can have this fun car for many more years.
So much fun to drive, roomy and great gas mileage at 26 for the 4x4 - 1997 Geo Tracker
By mickmarion - April 24 - 10:15 am
I owned this car second hand from Carmax and had it for 10 years, best little car ever. She was really roomy, loved taking the top off and yes she was noisy but who cares. Heater worked great when I needed it, never had too many issues. Gave her a bath every week and took care of every service that was needed. I would get another in a heartbeat !
Best Little Car On the Market - 1997 Geo Tracker
By vw1973 - December 26 - 3:18 pm
I bought my Tracker for $1750 it had 73,800 miles on it, ran awesome, and was in good shape for a 14 year old car. One of the best moves I've ever made. In the winter it's great because it has 4x4 and is amazing in the snow. In the summer it's great because it's a convertible and it's surprisingly phenomenal off-road, even when completely stock. It's durable and can handle lots of work. For such a small car it can fit 1/3 cord of wood, and you won't wreck the strong interior. It's uncomfortable and 55mph on the highway is 3K rpm, but it gets 35 mpg, it's amazingly reliable, and it has the heart and soul of a big truck.
Best Car Ever - 1995 Geo Tracker
By georgianna - May 5 - 1:48 pm
I bought this little guy new off the lot. I thought it was so cute that I fell in love with it. Now, 16 years later, I have to say that I am more than just impressed with it's looks. I have never had to do any repairs. All it has ever needed is gas, oil, brake pads and air filters. Oh, and tires - because I have run the wheels off of it. I replaced the soft top twice. For the past 10 years, I have considered putting on a hard top but always thought that the car was too old to put that much money into it. Then, considering I have never even replaced a fan belt, finally decided the car is not going to break anytime soon so decided to go ahead. I think I'll keep it forever!
BRAKES SUCK!!! - 1997 Geo Tracker
By lukebecker - April 25 - 1:46 pm
I bought this for about 6K and Hated it. The 4x4 worked ok, but is sits low to the ground so when I tried to go over snow banks (WI) I would get hung up and which the 4 wheel couldn't pull me off of. I am 6 foot tall and talk about rough sitting in this thing. My leg was always pushing on the center counsel thing. No cruise. didn't hold its value for crap. And I (who has been driving sticks for his whole life) "Burnt the clutch out" before the car hit 100K. Only car that "I" have ever "broke."
Luv It - 1992 Geo Tracker
By bubu - November 5 - 2:00 am
This is a fun vehicle. It is to bad they stopped making it. People w/jeeps envy it. People always wanting to buy it. Wish I had a 2x2 better mpg. Avg mpg 27. Parts easy to find. Could use better front seats.