Bought the 5speed manual version new in fall of 1997, for my 50 mile commute. Has never quit on me. No repairs, just normal maintenance. The dealer called me in to replace the head gasket early on. Now has 233,000 miles and it just keeps going. I check my gas mileage every fillup, and it's averaged 35mpg. This car has got to rank up there as one of the best automotive values in history.
Power, fuel economy, reliability.
I suggest they resurrect the Neon. Can't understand why they dropped it. Now Chrysler offers zero models getting over 30mpg - not too smart with oil at $88 a barrel.