We bought our 97 Neon new in late 1996
and it has been nothing but trouble.
The headgasket has been replaced
twice , brakes 3 times and we had it
laid up for six months in a garage
because it wouldn't start and no one
could find the problem ( eventually the
third mechanic to look at it found the
key chuck had snapped off the end of
the cam ). It still has
only has 70000 miles on it. For 50000
of those miles I would say oil was
leaking from somewhere. The Dodge
dealers in Texas were fair to deal with
but back here in Newfoundland they were
nothing but trouble so we eventually
purchased a Saturn.
Dodge should openly admit to the
frequent problems with these models
This is by far the best cheap car that
money can buy. It out performs all
other cars in its price range with
respects to acceleration, braking,
handling, and MPG. Only major complaint
it paint quality, and some goofy
30MPG City & 42MPG Highway!, Excellent
performance, Highly Reliable (not one
failure in 7 years and 85k miles).
Great factory speaker setup.
A bit noisy (although no noisier than a
Corolla or base Sentra). Goofy
cupholders down on the floor.
I'm the original owner of the Neon and
I will admit that during the first two
years, this car suffered through a lot
of problems. Some examples are blown
head gasket after 9 months, clouding
paint after one year, and factory
sunroof breaking EVERY summer ( three
times during the third year ).
However, after these "teething"
problems, the car has turned out to be
a reliable, thrifty, comfortable and
fun little car.
Comfortable and roomy interior. The
engine is a little rough around the
edges ( Honda and Toyota engineers need
not run back to the drawing board ) but
it's relatively quick and economical.
Better paint quality. I have
the "lapis blue" paint and it's
cracking and peeling on the roof,
quarter panel, and trunk lid. Chrysler
will not acknowledge that there is a
problem with the factory paint not
adhering to the primer. Improve
It's got a nice exterior look and
decent accelaration for a car in it's
size/class. The doors feel cheap.
The big problems that I experienced
were reat oil seal and then a blown
head gasket, around the 65-75 thousand
mile timeframe. Ask any mechanic, the
head gasket will blow, and while the
replacement gasket is improved, it
will blow also. Each of these repairs
will cost $1000+.
Good handling, decent acceleration for