I bought a 1994 Geo Metro with the 1 liter 3 cylinder engine used back in 1997 for $4000. I've put 45,000 miles on the car and have only had minor repairs (the fuel pump died once, and the AC has had some problems). I average about 46MPG, and it has taken me on a few road trips from Arizona to Colorado but mostly I drive to and from work about 15 miles each way. It's not the most comfortable car in the world for long drives, and with 75MPH speed limits now it is a little spooky to drive on the Interstates as it's top end is about 85MPH. It's not so much it's lack of speed, but that when big trucks pass (and they do quite often), the car is tossed around by the wind turbulence. At 75MPH the car feels light and squarely. On state roads with 55MPH speed limits the car is much more secure. However, passing on these 2 lane roads isn't really an option without a clean mile of unobstructed traffic. Considering it only has 55HP, it does quite well, but there is only so much one can do with that little power.
I had a chance to test the Metro in the snow this winter, while visiting Flagstaff (I live in Southern Arizona and so rarely see snow). I was amazed at how well it handled the white stuff. 6 inches of slippery wet snow couldn't stop this car with it's cheesy little 12 inch wheels and $14 tires! I was impressed!
As far as a very inexpensive and reliable transportation appliance (that's what it is really, an appliance), the Geo Metro is about the best thing on the market. Total ownership cost per mile when you take into account tabs, insurance, gas, repairs, tires etc, I doubt you could find a less expensive car than the Geo Metro.
I would not recommend the Metro if you plan on doing much cross country driving as it does not handle very well with today's Interstate speed limits, but for in town commuting and the occasional trip to grandma's less than 500 miles away it's a fine way to save your money for basic transportation.
It is definitely not the car for people with any ego attachment to their vehicle. My co-workers call it "The Green M&M" and joke about driving over it with their full sized Ford 4x4's. I just laugh with them and watch the expressions on their faces when I tell them how little it costs to drive.