I just came upon a free 2001 Plymouth Neon. The only problem I had from it, was because the original owners let it sit, because it had a mold issue. from sitting the battery went bad, and the right rear brake seized. Other than that it is a great car. It starts right up, and stands up to performance standards, and is very good on gas. Its a very reliable car, besides its bad reputation. It has 120,000 miles, and it runs strong. Very good car, and would recommend it to anyone.
Being that I am required to say this, I work for a company that makes bolts for Honda, Nissan, Ford, Toyota and a few other small companys. But that has nothing to do with this. I bought an automatic 2001 neon es with 117K on it almost two years ago. It now has about 135 on it. It was dew for and oil change at 118 and I'm an idiot and never got around to it. I still haven't done it. This car is still runng strong. I dont know how, but it is. It kinda has rust issues and the ac just went out. Bought winter yokahoma tires for it and its great in winter. Most reliable car you can buy for the money. Ive been tough on this car for almost 20k with no oil changes and its still going.
No major problems with this unit. Typical maintenance, tires and battery, really didn't need one yet but replaced for peace of mind, and that is about it. Replaced all four struts, added brace bars front and rear and added inserts to the motor mounts. Radio went bad after 6yrs. Easily replaced. Has paid for it's self as far as I am concerned! The whole vehicle, I mean to say.
Neons generally have a bad reputation. My 2001 was purchased new, and I have replaces two tie-rod ends and a fuel pump switch. I had a bad battery replaced under warranty. The interior is roomy for my large 6 foot 2 frame and the seats are more comfortable than anything else I drove in this range. I have 100K miles on this car, and it still responds well. The front disc brakes and exhaust are all still factory original. It does not handle deep snow well. I've come back to a dead battery a few times for an unknown reason. The radio is upgraded and works well. Infinitely more comfortable and spacious for the passengers than my wife's Corolla.
My Neon was purchased brand new with 38 test drive miles. I loved it in 2001 and I love it now. Value for the money and low maintance costs and upkeep is awesome. With 58000 miles I have put roughly $3500 worth of upkeep into. That includes tool purchase and tires.