The Geo Metro was a car primarily known for its frugality, its cheapness, and its crappiness. But when they first put it on sale, they tried to couch it as the harbinger of a new decade. Oh no.
It's not that there's anything wrong, per se, with the Geo Metro. It's got its defenders, though I hope you can tell by my "crappiness" statement, I'm not one of them. Maybe it's because we moderners are spoiled. We live in a world where automakers have finally bowed down to us, the consumer, to give us what we want, rather than the other way around. We live in a world where we can have our cake, and eat it, too, but that's mostly because were all very fat now.
What I'm trying to say is, we now live in a world where you can have a car that is inexpensive, a car that is frugal, and not feel like you've made a huge sacrifice.
Take the new 2015 Honda Fit, for instance. I haven't driven in one yet, so it honestly could be terrible and awful in every way. But I did sit in one for a few minutes, and though that's not much of a ringing endorsement, it didn't make me want to shove it through the nearest brick wall. It felt like a nice place to be. A place where frugality was appreciated, but it wasn't the star of the show.
In the Geo Metro, the true, boiled-down essence of "cheap" was the show. Just look at this ad from 1989. The only thing being marketed here is that the Metro is inexpensive, and you won't use up a lot of gas.
Now contrast that with a modern ad, where you'll also be told how much fun you'll be having and how this is all so much better than riding a bicycle. In the future as seen from 2014, everything is getting better.
But in the future of 1989, everything's getting worse. There will be belt tightening. There will be high fuel prices. There will be Geo Metros, with headlight surrounds that looked like they're recycled from old black garbage bags, and the world's skinniest tires.
And sure, if there's anything this ad is guilty of, it's that it's honest. The Geo was cheap to buy, and cheap to fill up. But for the sake of levity, it could've slipped one lie in there.
"The Geo is fun! The Geo is cool!"
Alright, so the lies aren't working. But if you were in 1989, and you saw this ad, it would've taken away something more priceless than any Metro on the roads today – hope.