I'm more than happy with my '99 Neon R/T. It handles very nicely and with regular maintenance has been extremely reliable. I avg around 25 mpg in town and 37 mpg highway (all of which is at an elevation of 3500 ft or higher)on 87 octane reg gas. Head gasket blew at the 3 yr mark but dealer covered it. Headlights dull badly with age but aftermarket polishing helps. Seems to burn out an O-2 sensor every few years and the moonroof tracks have both broken once despite minimal use. Biggest problem (chronic to Neons) is the intermittent failure of the instrument cluster (due, I'm told, to poor solder connections). All in all this car has been incredibly reliable, fun to drive and economical.
Reliable, fun to drive, economical and has a sporty look.
Instrument cluster should have benefited from a factory recall years ago. Moonroof track system has a very short lifespan. 5-spd shifter is inconveniently close to the dash..a loose coat sleeve can pull the car out of gear while messing with the stereo.