I bought my Neon in 12/2000 and it has always been a great little car for the money. It does have its problems but what car doesn't? Some notable ones were: the head gasket blew at 43,000 miles. The air conditioner worked great until 60,000. The transmission needed replacement at 115,000. Cosmetically, the paint seems to be a big problem with Neons, as it starts to peel and chip around 80,000 miles. It has always been very reliable for me- always starts when you need it to. The ride is a little noisy as the windows sometimes don't seal properly. The seats are relatively comfortable. The only complaint I have is cruise control is not standard. I would recommend the Neon for a 1st car or single person/couple.
Easy and fun to drive, just enough room for 4 people and junk in the trunk. The engine keeps on going and going...Good value for the money but make sure you buy with as low mileage as possible to avoid needing to replace the tranny.
In need of better window seals (to filter out noise), and chip-resistant paint. It is also a bit too low to the ground- a problem with speed bumps if you have a car full of people.