So for my 16th birthday i bought this little car for $1,000 and i still own it 3 years later. I have done nothing but rallied, abused, and thrashed this car. The thing refuses to die. Its got about 180,000 miles on it and the engine still runs strong. The only thing that i have replaced it the radiator and recently the transmission. The radiator went out due to jumping railroad tracks and achieving about 8" of clearance under every tire. The Neon has a automatic transmission, and i speed shift the crap out of it, and thats why i had to replace it. I blew a 4" hole in the top of the tranny puking all my fluid all over the road, so i pulled over and put some 10W30 mother oil in the hole and drove it for 2 more days like that until the bottom of the tranny blew out with all my gears. I did a tranny swap and i continue to use this car to drive from Eugene Oregon to Vancouver Washington( about 154 miles). Best little car ever.
When I purchasee this vehicle in 1998 it had about 80,000 km on it. overall through the years I feel it held up quite well. It did have some repairs done but not the flurry of them one frequently sees in reviews for it, maybe I just got lucky. However in my case this car did not age well, at around 220,000 km or so, it turned into a money pit and I ended up selling it for parts. Still I got 6 pretty good years out of it and feel it was a worthwhile purchase. Parts are also fairly cheap.
The handling was really nice, it was a smooth comfortable ride!
Build it for longevity. I may be biased on this now, but I currently drive a 91 Toyota Camry at just over 370,000 km and it's still puttering along.
I bought my '95 Neon in Dec. of 2008, Since then, except for routine tune- ups, I haven't had one problem out of the car that I bought for 300.00. I have been to out of state 17 times in the past 6 months on business, the car has helped me make almost a quarter million dollars, and she is still ticking. So now i'm going to return the favor a let someone buy the car for 300 dollars.
Gas mileage, tough engine.
Suspension, suspension, suspension!!! Does not feel good when your riding on a bumpy road. Feels like your riding on the ground.
This car was purchased new. It now has 115,000 miles on it, virtually trouble free. Original plugs, brakes and hoses sill in place. All belts replaced at 70,000 miles. The a/c compressor bearing went out at 12 years and approx. 98,000 miles. That's it for breakage. The car was ordered with Sport Suspension and handles like a sports car. I've had it up to 125 mph and it had more to go.... Fuel mileage is still a consistent 30mpg city/42 hwy. since break in, stick shift of course(after the first 10,000 miles). What truly amazes me are the mutts who buy one of these with a ton of miles, put on by someone who abuses the car, and than complain about all the problems they are having.
I have a 1995 neon with approximately 125,000 miles on it after getting it I found one gremlin in the instrument cluster (repaired ground) then built it for minor performance and fuel economy amazingly I was getting 55+ mpg highway from my .75 overdiven manual trans. 2.0l sohc only thing I have yet to find wrong has been the head gasket never had any problems up to the point I rebuilt the cylinder head for more perf. and no signs of leaks.
35 mpg city 55 hwy 1:0.75 overdrive, minor suspension upgrades needed for high speed maneuverability (polygraphite bushings) and of coarse lack of repairs needed other than from driver error
Skid plate for oil pan watch out for chicagos car swallowing potholoesas well as gravel driveway potholes and the lack of oil pressure afterward (oil pan formed around oil pickup isn't a good thing).