I didn't like the look of the SRT-4 and wasn't very into driving a Neon. However I decided to take it for a test drive because it was the fastest vehicle for the price I wanted to pay. Wow! This car is very fun to drive! It's fast and it does not drive the way you think a Neon does. It handles much sturdier than you think possible and can provide thrilling acceleration. I have owned a 2003 Ford Lightning and a 1996 Mustang GT. It is as quick, if not quicker, than both.
The short throw shifter is difficult and rugged, not smooth at all, but it is effective with practice.
A smoother shifter that does not make the turbo lag, and an intergal turbo timer or light that lets you know when the turbo has cooled to normal operating temp. Wider rims and tires.
After reading the reviews on the SXT, I was a little concerned purchasing the SRT-4. I do not regret it now. This car is great to drive and has serious power for the price. The exhaust sounds great, not one of those cans you find on the Civics. I can say I love everything about the car but if I could change one thing I would ask Dodge to offer a different set of rims, something different from the SXT style. (Chrome would be nice)
I have about 7,000 miles on my SRT-4. Of course it's quick and fun but what surprised me is the refined ride on rough pavement, the quiet highway manners and the interior comfort. I'm 42 years old, and my sense of good/bad is pretty refined by now. I can say that this car "fits like a glove" in the sense that it's real easy to drive smoothly and precisely. On the down side, it's had a few trips to the dealership for a bad battery and a chattering clutch, both fixed under warranty. Worst, there was a knocking in the rear struts and I got the "they all do that" from the dealer. 99 cents worth of vacuum hose jammed in the right spot and a few hours of my time fixed that though!
Bang for the buck, performance, ride and handling, styling, seat comfort, driving position, shifter. A real driver's car.
Fix that rear strut mount knocking! Improve the fuel economy - even driving in like a granny only returns around 20 mpg city and 24 highway. Tires are smooth but not very grippy and kinda noisy between 35-50 mph. Lack of cruise control and power rear windows also rankles for 20k+.
Im currently a proud owner of a Dodge SRT-4. Though many people have said its just a Neon, this car packs a serious punch. And unlike the EVO you can modify this car without voiding the warranty, as long as you stick with performance modifications made by Mopar. The best thing about this car is that they found a way to make it have all the fun toys of an expensive tuner car but still be at a reasonable price!
Boost gauge, front mounted intercooler, Viper inspired seats