2000 Dodge Neon Review

Pros & Cons

  • Large interior, competent handling, attractive interior and exterior styling.
  • Noisy engine, archaic three-speed automatic transmission, lack of feature content.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$746 - $1,726

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Even though it's been redesigned, the 2000 Dodge Neon retains strengths such as its spunky attitude and weaknesses such as a lack of powertrain refinement -- the optional automatic tranny is still a primitive three-speed unit.

Vehicle overview

The race to build the first 2000-model-year production car goes to DaimlerChrysler with the all-new Dodge and Plymouth Neons. However, the company's claim that "the 2000 Neon will be the first car of the new millennium" is not accurate; remember, historians, the new millennium technically starts in 2001. But "the first car of the last year of the old millennium" is probably too wordy for marketing purposes.

DaimlerChrysler is also billing the 2000 Neon as "quiet, sophisticated and still a lot of fun." Fun seems to be the catch word for the Neon. It's used repeatedly by the manufacturer including, "fun-to-drive handling and steering" and "fun-to-drive attributes." Its maker obviously wants people to know that while the Neon has grown up, it hasn't grown old. It's probably worthwhile for them to stress the fun factor, since the coupe version has initially been scrapped, meaning that a four-door sedan will have to suffice for all the entry-level economy car thrill-seekers.

Under the hood is the familiar 132-horsepower 2.0-liter inline four, but improvements to the air induction and intake manifold system provide torque over a broader rpm range. A new exhaust manifold, cylinder head and timing-belt cover also decrease overall engine noise, further boosting the new Neon's civilized character. Unfortunately, the 150-horsepower DOHC engine is not available for the year 2000- and the automatic transmission still only offers three forward gears.

Thanks to increased wheel travel, the ride is smoother, and it's further enhanced with premium shock absorbers and rear sway bars. The power rack-and-pinion and revamped suspension also contribute to the cruising quality. Stopping power comes from a front disc/rear drum combo, but buyers may want to opt for four-wheel discs with ABS and traction control.

You won't have any problems distinguishing the 2000 model from previous Neons. Exterior changes include new, jewel-like headlamps, a smoother roofline and updated taillamps. By increasing the wheelbase and widening the track, the new Neon offers more interior room and a more stable ride than did its predecessor. And the Neon has a few interior "surprise and delight" features that include a radio/cassette and four Big Gulp-sized cupholders.

The small increase in price from a year ago is reflected in the Neon's lack of features. The top end model doesn't even have power rear windows or cruise control. If Chrysler wants to continue to compete in this market, they better up the feature content level.

2000 Highlights

Everything's new inside and out, as the second-generation 2000 Dodge Neon grows up, not old. A totally redesigned suspension and steering system, low-speed traction control, and a complete exterior redesign head up the notable changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2000 Dodge Neon.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love my lil Neon.
simplyme,05/06/2013
Love this lil thing! bought for 1800 as a commuter for school. Accidentally got a 3spd auto. but for living in a small town it does fine, I just avoid all hwy's. Parts are reasonably priced it's burnt orange manual everything cept auto obviously, but this lil nellie gets the job done no rain issues lights stay off =)
Not a bad little quirky commuter
Michael Elston,05/08/2018
ES 4dr Sedan
I bought my 2000 Dodge Neon (Plymouth also made some) about eight years ago, for $600 from a guy who had bought his wife a new car and parked the Neon beside his house. When I made my offer, it had been sitting for two years on four flats and had a dead battery. Four new tires and a battery later, I changed the oil and set about chasing about a half-tank of watery gas out of it (took a lot of alcohol). Once the bad gas was out of it, the engine ran smoothly and had good compression, despite having 159,000+ miles on it. The fuel gauge is quirky; Filling the tank brings the needle down to 'E', and it slowly rises to 'F' as you drive. I'm used to it - no need to fix. Since I have owned it, the timing belt has been replaced, front driver-side hub replaced due to whine during right turns, headlights have gotten the obligatory polish to clear up the milky look (we put men on the moon, and we can't fix this stupid problem??), and had brake pads replaced (rotors fine). Not bad maintenance for eight years. 220,000+ miles now, still getting better than 28 mpg. Not the car you want for long trips (more than 100 miles and you feel beat-up), but a great commuter, which I believe was the design intent. Starts reliably on a cold day, handles well, solid fuel economy, noisy but easily drowned out with a few more watts, overall not much to complain about.
Still going strong
MikefromOkanagan,06/20/2016
ES 4dr Sedan
My wife got this car new and now I drive it. I average roughy 10,000 Kms (about 6200 miles) per year. My commute to work is mixed city and highway driving and the 3 speed auto box does just fine. With proper winters it's decent in the snow as well. Have had to replace some sensors and seals but nothing major and the car is 16 years old. My mechanic uses aftermarket sensors which are cheaper and have better quality seals. This one being the base with no ABS, traction control, power windows, power locks means theres less to go wrong. Still a solid basic commuter Traded her in as we found a steal of deal on a low mileage lease return. Ran perfectly on the drive to the dealer. Hope she serves her new owner as well as she did us
Been a very good car
Barry,06/01/2010
My wife bought the car with about 60,000 miles on it about 6 years ago. Now has 144,000 and going strong. The only things I can fault manufacture quality to, are a bad oil pressure sensor and a tensioner pulley. Other than that it has been very reliable.

Features & Specs

MPG
24 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
132 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
24 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
132 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2000 Dodge Neon features & specs

Safety

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
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • 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
    Marginal

More about the 2000 Dodge Neon

Used 2000 Dodge Neon Overview

The Used 2000 Dodge Neon is offered in the following submodels: Neon Sedan. Available styles include ES 4dr Sedan, and Highline 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 2000 Dodge Neon?

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Which used 2000 Dodge Neons are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2000 Dodge Neons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Neon for sale - 2 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $10,441.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,582.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Neon for sale - 1 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $17,827.

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Should I lease or buy a 2000 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.

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