I was set on buying the Civic VP, but rerouted when I tried the Neon. A comfortable ride with peppy engine and good handling, though not nearly as smooth as the Civic. But it's far superior in styling and has a lot more personality than any other car in its price range. It's a better buy too After rebates/tax/tags/etc. I would've spent $14-15K for a 2-door auto Civic with only AC and CD. For $13K total I got a 4-door Neon with AC, CD (great sound), sport appearance (spoiler!), keyless entry, Identity security system, power package and heated side mirrors.
Great body styling for the price range; sports appearance package gets lots of looks. Interior's styling has a lot more personality than any other competitor. Cozy seats and fun to drive. Affordability a big plus, too.
The interior's cheap plastics and funky seat fabrics could use upgrading. The SXT's drivetrain--mine's a 4 speed auto-- is not as smooth as it could be and doesn't seem to take full advantage of the engine.