2003 Dodge Neon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Dodge Neon

Dodge Neon Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Dodge Neon

  • Those looking for a polished economy car would be better served elsewhere, but if high performance on a budget is the goal, then the 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 makes a strong case for itself.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Fun in the curves, strong brakes, decent ride, rockin' sound system.

  • Cons

    Lacks refinement, some low-grade interior components.

  • What's New for 2003

    The fire-breathing 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 debuts, sporting a 215-horsepower turbocharged engine, a tweaked suspension and Viper-inspired sport seats. Zero to 60 is said to take about 6 seconds. All Neons receive a facelift in the form of new front and rear ends as well as interior changes that include a new steering wheel.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



I love this car.....!

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have a 2003 SE with the 4 speed automatic even though I couldn't choose auto in the model type so I put manual and I love it. I bought it with 44,200 and It has 47,655 miles on it without any problems except oil change. The car is structurally and mechanically sound. No problems at all.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great reliable car at 200k

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Iv'e had my 2003 dodge neon SE for 4 years and put 200,000 miles on it. Oter than replacing the tranny at 100k miles (under warranty) ive had nothing but great gas mileage, luxary, compfort, and everything.




Great car!

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car for $3000 for my wife, second hand with 95k miles on it. We've been driving it for 6k miles, without a single major problem (some minor mechanical issues, but nothing worth mentioning). The car was banged up in the back, and declared a total loss, but some mechanic patched her up, and she drove like a queen! I have the automatic, not the manual.




Nothing but problems since i

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Well i just bought this car 2 months ago and its been to the mechanic 7 times, things I've had fixed have been 3 motor mounts, Brakes master cylinder, Rotors, and pads, brakes completely went out on me while on the interstate , Idler pulley, belts were replaced, tire blew out on me, Struts need replaced and now I'm starting to wonder about the tranny so not worth it.




What i think about

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I got this car used last year for just under $5,000. I wanted a small automatic sports car that is fast and good gas mileage and this is the closest i could get to that description. it's not fancy car but its good for taking long drives and not eating up gas. i always liked looking at the Dodge SRT-4 but since I don't know how to drive manual the Dodge Neon was just as awesome.




Great car...if you upgrade

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have had this car for three years now. Bought it with 44,000 miles on it and have taken it to 100,000. Really fun car to drive. As an experienced mech, i new that dodge parts are not even close to par, so i installed aftermarket parts for nearly every system on the car. Costly yes, but well worth it. The only original parts that have had to be replaced due to fault are the Cam position sensor (which all dodges are notorious for), EVAP canister(naturally due to mileage), and the timing belt(again, naturally due to mileage). Other than that, great car for the price. I would suggest you are at least somewhat of an experienced mech though. Parts are SOOOO cheap for this car. Labor is not.



Full 2003 Dodge Neon Review

What's New for 2003

The fire-breathing 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 debuts, sporting a 215-horsepower turbocharged engine, a tweaked suspension and Viper-inspired sport seats. Zero to 60 is said to take about 6 seconds. All Neons receive a facelift in the form of new front and rear ends as well as interior changes that include a new steering wheel.

Introduction

Since the Neon's introduction in 1995, Dodge has struggled to address the small car's chief criticism -- a lack of refinement. A raucous engine and generous levels of cabin noise were the car's major weaknesses, while sprightly performance (with a manual gearbox) and a spacious cabin were its strengths. Subsequent years saw the introduction of a high-performance R/T model and a complete redesign in 2000 that updated the car's looks, reduced the engine's noise and vibration levels and improved the ride and handling. Some old-tech hardware, such as a three-speed (instead of four) automatic gearbox remained, however, and powertrain refinement still lagged behind perennial class leaders, Honda's Civic and Toyota's Corolla, as well as most every other compact wearing a Japanese label. Last year saw (finally) the introduction of a four-speed automatic tranny as well as a new trim level, the value-packaged SXT.

For 2003, Dodge has updated the Neon with new front and rear fascias, light clusters and interior bits, including a new steering wheel to replace the strange-looking "upside-down" wheel previously used. In the constant fight to smooth out the Neon's 2.0-liter inline four, revised engine mounts were installed as was a taller fifth gear in manual-transmission SE and SXT models. And squaring off against challengers such as Nissan's Sentra SE-R, Mazda's Mazdaspeed Protege and Ford's SVT Focus is the new 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4, packing a class-leading 215 horsepower that makes it the fastest car available for under $20,000. In addition to being able to run to 60 mph in just 6 seconds, the SRT-4 is fortified with a sport suspension, four-wheel disc/ABS brakes and 17-inch alloys fitted with high-performance Michelin Pilot tires.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Four four-door sedans comprise the 2003 Dodge Neon lineup. Base SE models come with a cassette player, a split-fold rear seat and a tilt steering wheel. Air conditioning and a CD player are optional. Moving up to the SXT adds an air conditioner; power front windows, mirrors and locks; a CD player (replacing the cassette deck); and 15-inch alloy wheels. Sporty R/T models come with more horsepower (150 versus 132), four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, dual-outlet exhaust, a rear spoiler, foglamps, a sport suspension and 16-inch alloy wheels. The SRT-4 adds serious thrust in the form of a turbocharged, 215-horsepower engine along with 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/50R17 performance tires. Key options include a power sunroof (SXT and R/T) and leather seating (R/T and SRT-4).

Powertrains and Performance

A 2.0-liter, 132-horsepower inline four powers SE and SXT models, while the R/T gets a high-output version of that engine worth 150 horsepower. The SRT-4 is fitted with a turbocharged, 215-horsepower 2.4-liter I4 that boasts a 0-to-60-mph time of around 6 seconds and a top speed north of 140 mph. Transmission choices include a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual.

Safety

Antilock brakes are optional on base and SXT models, standard on the R/T and SRT-4. Side airbags are optional across the line. In frontal impact testing, the Neon scored four out of five stars; in side-impact tests, it got three stars. In frontal offset crash tests, the Neon scored just a "Marginal" rating, which can be thought of as two out of four stars.

Interior Design and Special Features

A few minor changes in the cabin bear mentioning; a new steering wheel with aluminum accent and a six-disc in-dash CD changer that is standard on the R/T and optional on the SXT. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that the R/T's sound system was rated highly by our stereo expert as it packs plenty of power and delivers it in a clean manner.

Driving Impressions

Previous Neons we drove were not as smooth and quiet as other cars in this class. Hopefully, the new engine mounts will smooth out the Neon's inline four. Handling for the R/T and SRT-4 is about as good as it gets in a small front-driver, with the Neon demonstrating an eagerness for the twisties through its well-weighted steering, balanced chassis and flat cornering attitude. In a 2002 Econosport sedans comparison test we conducted, a Neon R/T came in last place out of six cars. With the SRT-4, a reversal of fortune may be in the Neon's future.

Talk About The 2003 Neon

Read more about the 2003 Dodge Neon

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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