I got this car about 2 years ago and it now has nearly 80,000 miles on it. The air conditioning has had repetitive problems and it uses oil, but other than that it has been a great car. I have done several trips from Virginia to Alabama and kept up with my mom's 2010 ford edge just fine. The ride is pretty rough, but it is an economy car so that is expected. The car is great as far as mpg. When I drive more in the city I get about 22, but when I drive more highway I will get between 32 and 37. I love my little car.
In my opinion the 1996 Neon is a hands-down winner. After knowing people who had this car and loved it, experiencing the great driving myself, and finding a great deal, I decided to go for it and have not been disappointed. The car definitely has some minor flaws, including crappy paint jobs, but the truth is I've never had to get my car serviced at a mechanic...ever. The things that require service are always minor, and are simple to fix. This car makes several 500+ mile trips per year and I have never been stranded or needed roadside assistance. I had a back-up light problem early on that I thought would be an expensive fix. Turned out it just needed a switch. That's been my biggest issue.
I love driving this car. I don't see how some people have had such bad mileage and horsepower. I have dusted the competition (not that I race) and I certainly get up quicker than other drivers. It handles really well at high speeds too. I still see many other 96 Neons on the road, which says a lot!
I love my car's color, but the paint job is peeling now. I will probably get a paint job soon, but it's in spots that you can't see well, so I've let it go. Other than that, the way the "drive" belts are situated, and that it has two, can be a headache to change them. Make sure you check its recalls
My cranky teen just went past 125,000 miles. It lasted through 11 years of spotty oil changes and benign neglect, but I may have to finally let it go. Had 2 major repairs in that time: Electronics replaced (controlling gauges, radio, etc.) and head gasket repair. Had to rig a fix when the plastic shifter connections broke. Now the transmission/clutch is slowly going, and it stalled on the highway last week. Air conditioner has to be refilled each year and does not last long. Struts gone last year. Paint, 3 speakers, wheel covers, and outside plastic door trim went long ago. She was ugly but got me where I was going; now it's just not worth the cost to fix.
Styling, simple and sporty. Pretty comfortable for a petite person.
Automatic windows in back too! Hate the "no frame" windows. Paint could have lasted longer.
I got this car 9 years ago with 25k on it. Sure I've replaced tons of parts (head gasket, alternator, water pump, but not a signle front end part)but I'm not too nice to a car. Decided 2 years ago I'd run it until it died because it's worthless to sell, but the damn thing just won't die. Dents all over, door panel coming off, blown rear strut, but still the thing gets me wherever I'm going reliably and handles the winter better than a 4x4 (and does nice e-brake slides). I'm gonna miss her when she's retired this month, like the really sweet ugly girl you dated that you don't want to admit to.
I am going to be honest. When I bought this car it was okay. As the year went by everything started to break. I had to do a water pump and timing belt in the first month, then a fuel pump. I am currently in the market now because I am tired of repairing everything on the car. All I can say is that it is a good car as long as the person before you took good care of it. If they didn't then don't waste your time because even though the repairs and parts where cheap (autozone) it still stinks having to fix it every 5 minutes. Right now anti freeze is leaking and the car stalls.