2005 Dodge Neon Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2005 Dodge Neon Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Neon Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 220 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2005 Dodge Neon

  • Those looking for a polished economy car would be better served elsewhere, but the 2005 Dodge Neon does have some likable traits, namely capable handling, a powerful audio system and a reasonable price.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    More fun in the curves than you might expect, strong brakes, good ride quality, rockin' sound system.

  • Cons

    Lacks refinement levels of competitors, numerous low-grade interior components, can't get power rear windows.

  • What's New for 2005

    Trim levels are reduced to SE and SXT; the R/T is dropped in favor of an SRT appearance package. SXT models feature a new Kicker audio system.

Full 2005 Dodge Neon Review

What's New for 2005

Trim levels are reduced to SE and SXT; the R/T is dropped in favor of an SRT appearance package. SXT models feature a new Kicker audio system.


Since the Neon's introduction in 1995, Dodge has struggled to address the chief criticism of its small car offering -- a lack of refinement. A raucous engine and high 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 and interior refinement still lagged behind perennial class leaders like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, as well as most other Japanese-brand compacts. Even the domestic-brand Ford Focus far surpassed the Neon in these areas. A four-speed automatic transmission finally arrived for the 2002 model year. Last year, Dodge further 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. Unfortunately, the R/T model and its 150-hp engine are gone for 2005. In its place is an appearance package designed to mimic the look of the powerful SRT-4. Although the 2005 Dodge Neon still loses out to most rivals when it comes to drivetrain refinement and interior accommodations, the car's sporty handling and good sound system mean that it is not without its charms.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door 2005 Dodge Neon sedan is available in two trim levels, SE and SXT. Base SE models come with a cassette player, a split-folding 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; CD player instead of the cassette player; and 15-inch alloy wheels. A Kicker audio system with eight speakers, a CD changer, cruise control and ABS are optional. The SXT trim qualifies for the SRT Design appearance package. The package includes new foglights, dual exhaust and a rear spoiler. There's also a Mopar ground effects kit available.

Powertrains and Performance

A 2.0-liter, 132-horsepower inline four powers all Neons. Transmission choices include a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. Fuel economy is good for this class, as manual-shift Neons are rated to get 29 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway. Getting the automatic lowers mileage considerably -- 25 mpg city and 32 highway.


Front disc/rear drum brakes are standard, and ABS is optional on both the SE and SXT. Side airbags for front occupants are also optional. In frontal impact crash testing, the 2005 Dodge Neon scored four out of five stars; in side-impact tests, it got three stars for front and rear passenger protection. In frontal offset crash testing, the Neon earned only a "Marginal" rating, the second lowest possible.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cabin has a mix of soft-touch and cheap plastic surfaces. If one chooses the option of power windows, they still are only for the benefit of front passengers -- rear windows are still moved up and down by a good old-fashioned crank. An in-dash six-disc CD changer is optional on the SXT. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that the Kicker audio system packs 208 watts and has eight speakers with a separate amp.

Driving Impressions

In general, the 2005 Dodge Neon is not as quiet as other economy sedans, exhibiting plenty of wind, road and engine noise. It still lags behind most rivals in refinement, especially the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, and acceleration is nothing to get excited about, either. Handling is solid for a small front-driver, with the Neon demonstrating an eagerness for the twisties through its well-weighted steering. The car provides both a comfortable ride for commuting and a fair amount of agility around corners all for a very reasonable price.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Best first car ever...i love

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Neon SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Probably my favorite out of all the cars I've ever driven. I love this car to death. I've done all I can to keep it running and it's still running like new. I definitely plan to keep this car well into college. Not only is it stylish, but it just has character. There's just something about it that I love so much about it. I've really developed a "connection" with "Bertha", she's a part of the family:) I highly recommend this a teens first car.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

You want a big regret?

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Neon SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I cant beg you enough for all of you that are thinking about buying this car, youre trippin. DONT! This is the car that will ruin your life. I cant stress how much I hate this car. Bought it for $3200 as a first car 3+ years ago. Ive put over $5000 in upkeep. Last December I spent $1200 on all new motor mounts cus they were all broken. My windows lag when rolling up, my meters don't work especially when it gets wet, suspension is crap, horrible takeoff, the engine jolts all the time for no reason, my headlights flash for no reason. Ill be sitting at a stoplight and it will just feel like someone running up to the front of my car & jumping on the hood. It shakes, squeaky, cheaply made!!!!!

7 of 24 people found this review helpful

Fairly new 05 dodge neon

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Neon SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I got this car from a buy here pay here lot for upwards of $6,000. My parents put some money down on it for me & I am currently paying $290 a month for it. I am the 2nd owner of this car & got it with barely 80,000 miles on it. Its great on gas, but Im at the pump more than I want to be b/c of the size of the tank. I love the car b/c its the perfect size for me & easy to drive. After a couple of months, things started going wrong. My parents did not get a car fax & I quickly realized there was no horn assembly, the battery died, a part failure caused 50% loss of the brakes, the tires have never been replaced, the engine light comes on and the car jolts and the timing belt needed replaced.

Great car with great mpg

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Neon SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I was the second owner of my 2005 Neon SXT. I purchased it for $14000 with just under 35k mileage on it. I got mainly to go back and forth to school, but ended up doing a lot more than with it. Most of the driving I did with it was on the highway, and I was averaging 36 miles to the gallon, and in the city I was was 32mpg. I was very happy with that. It was a fun little car to drive. I drove it until the front passenger side tie-rod end snapped, and caused me to crash into two other cars. I had only owned the car for less than 6 months before that happened. It was due to poor maintiance from the previous owners never getting the car inspected.

Great car for 6 years

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Neon SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I got the 05 Neon SXT in 06 with 30k miles on it. It lasted until 90k miles but then the transmission blew. Other than that, it was a great commuter car, and I never had any other problems with it. Its not flashy or a luxury vehicle but if your looking for a cheap but reliable vehicle that gets about 30 miles per gallon (highway). I only paid 11,000 for it so I feel like I got my money's worth :) I would buy another one but I need an SUV now.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Neon SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This car has been great to me. I bought it used at 60k miles and I am the 4th owner. I did everything you're suppose to do when buying a used car. Spent the money on the Carfax (a $30 Carfax VS. a costly mistake), test drove it and asked questions like crazy to see any faults in the sellers description. The maintenance on this car has been wonderful and it is great on gas. I found out the Neons have a Mitsubishi. I do all the repairs myself, I replaced the fender & bumper from an accident; the dealer wanted $1500 to repair it, but I found a new fender on eBay for $15 & new bumper for $50. All in all the parts are very affordable & I would definitely buy another one if Dodge still made them.

Talk About The 2005 Neon

2005 Dodge Neon Discussions See all Started By

2005 Dodge Neon SXT 40,557 miles:...

Hey there! I also have a 2005 Neon SXT. I had the exact same problem! For about 2 weeks when it started to occur, I found that putting the car in NEUTRAL then turning the car off for about 10 seconds ...

I also had a 2000 Dodge Neon that was a great car. It had close to 200,000 miles on it when I got rid of it and bought a 2005 Dodge Neon with 56,000 miles on it. The 2005 ran great for over a year, ap...

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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