Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe

1997 Dodge Neon
List price range
1997 Dodge Neon


  • Zippy engine, cute styling, roomy interior


  • Cheap interior materials

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Neon has virtually redefined what it takes to compete in the small car market since it debuted in 1994 as an early 1995 model. Featuring likable styling, a zoomy go-fast engine, and plenty of room for four, the Neon has become the benchmark for manufacturers looking to build inexpensive small cars.

The new Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer are more refined than this Dodge, but still can't match the Neon for sheer driving fun. The Toyota Tercel is forty horsepower and a personality off the mark. Nissan's Sentra is bland in comparison. Chevy's Cavalier feels heavy and ponderous; ditto the Pontiac Sunfire. The Toyota Corolla is a fine car, but can't compete with the sheer value offered by the Neon. Neither can the Geo Prizm. Mazda Protege and Honda Civic suffer the same problem.

What about reliability, though? Well, if the surveys conducted by several independent firms around the country are any indication, the Neon suffers from hit-and-miss quality. Edmund's has received mail from folks who think it's the greatest car they've ever owned, and from others who wanted to know if their problems qualified for any lemon law protection. Overall, the impression we've gained is a favorable one, though we are hesitant to recommend this scrappy compact to those who've traditionally driven imports with Japanese badging.

The Neon combines practicality, performance and personality into one very affordable package. For 1997, the Neon gains side-impact protection that meets the 1997 federal standard. Also new are revised alloy wheels with bolt-on wheel covers and fresh exterior and interior colors. Oil pan revisions supposedly result in quieter operation, and evaporative emissions have been reduced. Oddly, the tasteful Sport trim level has been replaced by a Sport Package available on Highline models. Availability of the DOHC 2.0-liter engine has been expanded to the Highline trim level, and can be purchased on the base Coupe as long as the Competition Package has been specified.

Order the Sport Package, and you'll receive a new front fascia with fog lights, rear spoiler, 14-inch wheel covers, graphics, and Tango interior fabric. Sounds like a Hot Wheels makeover to us, blending two equal parts of 1996's dorky Expresso Package with the formerly respectable Sport trim level. We think Sport Package intenders should consider our favorite, which is the base sedan or coupe equipped with the Competition Package. Add air conditioning, and you've got a livable version of the car that Chrysler sponsors in amateur racing events nationwide. The Neon Competition is the most fun you can have for $15,000, aside from a used Mazda Miata.

If Chrysler Corporation can quell consumer fears about the reliability of this little car and keep prices in line, there really won't be any point in shopping around. Just drop in to any Dodge dealer and drive off in one of the best small cars available today.

1997 Highlights

Sport trim level disappears in favor of Sport Package for Highline models. Twin-cam engine is optional on Highline models. Federal side-impact standards are met for the first time. More work has been done to quiet the 1997 Dodge Neon's boisterous demeanor.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Dodge Neon.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great Vehicle
h j,09/26/2008
I just purchased for a sweet 16 gift, i rebuilt and went through everything on the car. i have been driving it to make sure it is a safe car for her, This is a great compact car, smooth ride, great handling, great on the gas mileage. it is a very comfortable car to ride in
Save Yourself.
don't do it.,02/22/2010
Chipped paint, burns oil like crazy, coolant leak, fuel pump is going out, serpentine belt is squeaking, the backseat is a joke -- really, nobody can fit in this car. There are some good things. I love the acceleration. Love the manual trans. I like how it handles and parking it is great. But there are so many other better cars out there. You may get it for cheap -- but it will cost you more in the long run.
I hate my neon
I think neons are the worst cars ever! I hate my neon, i only get 11 miles to the gallon, it shakes so bad. I can't go over 20mph on hills.
I haven't had any problems with mine. I would recommend for any college student like me to get one because they are cheap and really good cars.
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Features & Specs

25 city / 35 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
25 city / 35 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
25 city / 35 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Dodge Neon
Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe Overview

The Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe is offered in the following styles: 2dr Coupe, Highline 2dr Coupe, and Sport 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupes are available in my area?

Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Dodge Neon Coupe for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1997 Dodge Neon Neon Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Neon for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,220.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 6 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $17,412.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Neon for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $9,369.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $12,698.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Dodge Neon?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Dodge lease specials
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