Awesome car! Especially when swapped with a 2.4L! The SOHC engine that was in it was virtually indestructible. Interior was a little plain and goofy, but you can swap any year neon (including the SRT-4) seats into it.
The power and ease of working on it. Handling is great and very responsive.
Suspension could be a little stiffer to prevent body roll, and the windows needed frames.
The Neon was my first car. It was a terrific first car. It was easy to drive, handled well, spacious, great on gas, and cute. It only had minor problems like loose cables (easy to fix). At over 118,000 miles, it drove like new. I can't complain.
I added a CD player because it only had a cassette. I want power everything! No more rolly windows or requesting passengers to 'lock the door when you get out'!
Like others, I bought this car b/c it was cheap. But the build quality is horrendous. Huge oil leak, squealing brakes, leaky trunk, a/c that isn't cold, turn signals don't work intermitantly, black rubber seals on door panels stain my clothes, side panel fell off after glue wore out, and such a rough transmission. Just a terribly executed small car.
Well, it hasn't left me stranded anywhere yet.
Thank goodness production of the Neon is finally being halted.
I bought my Neon new in '97. Aside from normal maintenance such as tires, brakes, etc., the single only repair I have had to make was replacing my starter at 90k miles. I love my Neon and would gladly purchase another. Key point: take care of it. My oil was changed regularly with protective additives routinely. I haven't even had so much as a belt break. I drive about 200 miles a day for work 4 days a week now, and I am thankful for this car and its dependability.
Has wonderful get up and go for a 4 cylinder, with good gas mileage too. The reliability though has been tops.
The windows being frameless don't seal as well as they could. the window rubber is junky and falls down, but goes right back up when you press it in place. Headlights become very cloudy with age.