Used 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4

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2003 Dodge Neon
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2003 Dodge Neon

Pros

  • Fun in the curves, strong brakes, decent ride, rockin' sound system.

Cons

  • Lacks refinement, some low-grade interior components.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Those looking for a polished economy car would be better served elsewhere, but if high performance on a budget is the goal, then the 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 makes a strong case for itself.

vehicle overview

Since the Neon's introduction in 1995, Dodge has struggled to address the small car's chief criticism -- a lack of refinement. A raucous engine and generous levels of cabin noise were the car's major weaknesses, while sprightly performance (with a manual gearbox) and a spacious cabin were its strengths. Subsequent years saw the introduction of a high-performance R/T model and a complete redesign in 2000 that updated the car's looks, reduced the engine's noise and vibration levels and improved the ride and handling. Some old-tech hardware, such as a three-speed (instead of four) automatic gearbox remained, however, and powertrain refinement still lagged behind perennial class leaders, Honda's Civic and Toyota's Corolla, as well as most every other compact wearing a Japanese label. Last year saw (finally) the introduction of a four-speed automatic tranny as well as a new trim level, the value-packaged SXT.

For 2003, Dodge has updated the Neon with new front and rear fascias, light clusters and interior bits, including a new steering wheel to replace the strange-looking "upside-down" wheel previously used. In the constant fight to smooth out the Neon's 2.0-liter inline four, revised engine mounts were installed as was a taller fifth gear in manual-transmission SE and SXT models. And squaring off against challengers such as Nissan's Sentra SE-R, Mazda's Mazdaspeed Protege and Ford's SVT Focus is the new 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4, packing a class-leading 215 horsepower that makes it the fastest car available for under $20,000. In addition to being able to run to 60 mph in just 6 seconds, the SRT-4 is fortified with a sport suspension, four-wheel disc/ABS brakes and 17-inch alloys fitted with high-performance Michelin Pilot tires.

2003 Dodge Neon configurations

Four four-door sedans comprise the 2003 Dodge Neon lineup. Base SE models come with a cassette player, a split-fold rear seat and a tilt steering wheel. Air conditioning and a CD player are optional. Moving up to the SXT adds an air conditioner; power front windows, mirrors and locks; a CD player (replacing the cassette deck); and 15-inch alloy wheels. Sporty R/T models come with more horsepower (150 versus 132), four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, dual-outlet exhaust, a rear spoiler, foglamps, a sport suspension and 16-inch alloy wheels. The SRT-4 adds serious thrust in the form of a turbocharged, 215-horsepower engine along with 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/50R17 performance tires. Key options include a power sunroof (SXT and R/T) and leather seating (R/T and SRT-4).

2003 Highlights

The fire-breathing 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 debuts, sporting a 215-horsepower turbocharged engine, a tweaked suspension and Viper-inspired sport seats. Zero to 60 is said to take about 6 seconds. All Neons receive a facelift in the form of new front and rear ends as well as interior changes that include a new steering wheel.

Performance & mpg

A 2.0-liter, 132-horsepower inline four powers SE and SXT models, while the R/T gets a high-output version of that engine worth 150 horsepower. The SRT-4 is fitted with a turbocharged, 215-horsepower 2.4-liter I4 that boasts a 0-to-60-mph time of around 6 seconds and a top speed north of 140 mph. Transmission choices include a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual.

Safety

Antilock brakes are optional on base and SXT models, standard on the R/T and SRT-4. Side airbags are optional across the line. In frontal impact testing, the Neon scored four out of five stars; in side-impact tests, it got three stars. In frontal offset crash tests, the Neon scored just a "Marginal" rating, which can be thought of as two out of four stars.

Driving

Previous Neons we drove were not as smooth and quiet as other cars in this class. Hopefully, the new engine mounts will smooth out the Neon's inline four. Handling for the R/T and SRT-4 is about as good as it gets in a small front-driver, with the Neon demonstrating an eagerness for the twisties through its well-weighted steering, balanced chassis and flat cornering attitude. In a 2002 Econosport sedans comparison test we conducted, a Neon R/T came in last place out of six cars. With the SRT-4, a reversal of fortune may be in the Neon's future.

Interior

A few minor changes in the cabin bear mentioning; a new steering wheel with aluminum accent and a six-disc in-dash CD changer that is standard on the R/T and optional on the SXT. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that the R/T's sound system was rated highly by our stereo expert as it packs plenty of power and delivers it in a clean manner.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Dodge Neon.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Wonderful Car!
Ian from Florida,06/08/2008
My 2003 SRT-4 has 105k on her right now. Still running strong. Basic maintenance will take you a long way! Buy one, you WON'T regret it!
no problems at all
allan,01/02/2010
I bought this car in 2003 with 20000 miles on it.I drove it until 2009 and put an additional 90000 miles on it.Other than oil changes this car has been maintenance free for me.The 2003 Neon was the most reliable car I've ever had.I would have bought another one but they stopped making the model 3 years ago. I recently traded it in and bought a 2007 Kia Spectra.I'll miss my Neon though. I had zero problems with it in 6 years of daily driving
200 Horses of Iron
Kevin Parrish,07/15/2003
I rote a review on the Mazdaspeed Protege and well this Dodge is the Best car ever. Its fast its quick its cofrontable. Its nice lokkin. Its the perfect car for American people. Dont go after Japaneese or European carz. Help Americas econimy by uying American Muscle. The real Muscle Carr.
13.8 in 1/4 mile all stock!
pectorals,07/29/2003
Very fast and stylish for the money even with dealer mark-ups. I would recommend this car over WRX and EVO.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
215 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 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
    Rollover4 / 5
    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
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 2003 Dodge Neon
Used 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 Overview

The Used 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 is offered in the following styles: SRT-4 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4?

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Used 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 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 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4.

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Find a used Dodge Neon for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,029.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $17,029.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 2 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $25,418.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 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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