Bought this car in '02 with very low miles, about 12k. Fuel economy was good at first, but lately was going down hill. Gaskets blew out costing me a fortune, engine light won't turn off and just recently the engine started to sputtering and stalling out when trying to start. It doesn't want to go up gears anymore, and is quick to drop back down causing the engine to rev high. Glad to finally get rid of it, and it only had 77k miles on it after driving it for 5 years.
Better window seals, I didn't like having to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield in the mornings.
It's been reliable and dependable, not any problems until now at 49,500 miles. Now it needs a head gasket and new tires. Have replaced the battery and two tires, and have had regular maintenance and upkeep.
Good snow and ice car, would prefer an automatic in the city, but standard was good in New York where purchased.
I just lost my beloved Neon to an accident with a Volvo. And for the record, the Volvo looked MUCH worse! LOL. I bought my Neon in '00 with around 40,000 miles on it. I LOVE that car! I have only had to replace the head gasket once. Something that the early models had major problems with. But they got most of the kinks out by '97. This car handles like a champ around corners and in traffic. With a 5-speed you can even play with the "big" kids, 'cause the little things have a good bit of juice for a 4 cylinder. Great gas mileage and I ran that little car for OVER 200,000 miles and I would have gotten a couple more years out of it too!
Gas mileage, handling & suspension, peppy little engine.
Wish they hadn't changed the new ones so much. The seats were better in the old Neons!
I purchased my '97 Neon with 78k mi on it. It ran fine at first, but slowly started to get a plethora of little problems (brakes, rattling, CV boot, etc), until last week the timing belt broke, causing the engine to commit suicide on the freeway. Black smoke shot out from under the hood, the passengers were screaming, and I plowed into the shoulder, and that was the end of the Hated Neon. My advice, you would be better off spending a little extra and getting a Honda. Personally, I'm glad my Neon is dead; good riddance to bad rubbish.
I really enjoy driving my 1997 Plymouth Neon around. I call it my Toy because I have so much fun with it. The light blue paint on the Plymouth is far superior to the light blue on the Dodge models, it does not chip at all. For a small car it is a very comfortable ride, yes it can be noisy but definitly on of the more comfortable rides is the compact category.
For me I really enjoy and appreciate the sportscar driveability.