Available from 1989 through 2001, the Chevrolet Metro became a popular model around 2008 for its fuel economy that even matched that of the hybrid Toyota Prius. The two competing models garnered a rating of 18 kilometers per liter in the review conducted by Car and Driver. Despite the Metro's commendable fuel efficiency, the unit was lacking in terms of amenities and other groundbreaking features to offer the industry. Throughout the life of the Metro, several issues were noted, including those in the following aspects:
Some of the problems that the Chevrolet Metro became known for included those in the braking system. In the 1995 model, the uneven torque of the lug nuts resulted to warped rotors on the front brakes that created vibrations in the brake pedal. Some reports said that sometimes the brakes would stick during parking, while others mentioned about leaking brake lines and insufficiency in stopping power of the brakes. Aside from brake-pedal vibrations, lights for the ABS would come on during humid weather because of the faulty binding in the system's motor pack. The NHTSA recall for the 1995 hatchback indicated incorrectly machined rear brake drums that weakened wheel studs and could cause the wheels to separate from the vehicle.
Although known for being a fuel-efficient car, the Chevrolet Metro also had problems with fuel burning. The alarming detail about this issue is that the engine was burning oil more than necessary, causing drivers to add more oil occasionally as needed just to supplement the lost amount. Also, the unit was noted for being difficult to start during cold weather. In 1997, consumer reports indicated problems with the fuel injector electrical connectors that caused drivability hassles.
One notable problem that consumers were unhappy about was the easily rusted catalytic converter. Aside from spending a huge sum of money for catcon replacement, consumers also reported having compromised fuel economy and failed emissions tests due to some increase in hydrocarbon emissions.
There were also some common transmission problems in the first models of the Chevrolet Metro. Units equipped with a manual transmission experienced premature wear of the clutch and gear slipping. On the other hand, units with automatic transmission were reported to have some kind of vibration when backing or driving in reverse, which was found out to be due to fluid entering the motor and transmission mounts.