Owned the car for 1,000 miles as of review over a total of 4 months and has a total of 171,000 miles as of writing this. Previous owner had to swap in another transmission because the old one lost a gear (4th gear in these cars are pretty weak, so be wary of stomping the gas while in it). Interior can be very noisy and rattle a bunch, mostly because of the age of the car and it being a budget car that's a decade old, and looking like something from the 90s on the inside. When it comes to exterior, though, the car looks fairly modern-ish. Parts are cheap, too, so that's nice. The engines these little Neons have are almost bulletproof, so if you like driving fast and fun then it shouldn't let you down. Off the lot back in the day these made 130 horsepower and about the same number in Ib-feet of torque. Pretty zippy in the first few gears but 4th gear is such a dog (it's an overdrive gear so that explains why). It might be slow, but it's pretty fun to drive. Got a custom exhaust on mine that sounds deep and rumbly, not something that sounds like a weedwacker flying down the street. You can usually pick these cars up for $2,500 and less, but keep in mind the mileage and if the transmission has been replaced or not. A high mile Neon (150k+) with a rebuilt or replaced transmission could last you longer than something with ~120k and the original transmission. The manual option for these cars last a lot longer than the auto, but they can be tricky to find these days.
I am a college student and even though my little Betty has her days, she has always got me to A & B + C if she needed to! No major issues w/ my neon and I wouldn't ask for a better car. Great gas and fun to drive.
I bought this car new for $12,500. After 10 years, it's still a great car for the money. No problems with the engine. Front seats are very comfortable for me. Controls, radio etc are simple to operate. Manual trans shifts smoothly, lasts forever. My old neon has 254,000 miles and the trans and engine still are OK, although the engine oil seals leak . . . but it's in it's 22nd year.
I bought this car brand new. I think only the original owner, can give a proper review of a vehicle. Buying "any" vehicle used, is a crap shoot....you may get lucky...or not. Observing and talking with many people, over my 50 years of driving, I can say, that without a doubt, many folks abuse their vehicles. This can be done by the way they drive, or through maintenance, or both. I broke the car in for the first 1,000 miles by varying my speed and rpm. I warm the car up for 15 seconds...to a full minute, depending on temperature. I shift at 2000 to 2200 rpm until the car is fully warmed up(about 10 min.). I change the oil and filter myself, every 3,000 miles, with regular 5w20 oil. The car has 60,210 miles on the clock as of today, with original everything. No issues whatsoever.....none. Everything works on the car. I own several vehicles, accounting for the low mileage on this one. The best fuel mileage I attained so far, was 40mpg on a long trip. From the Costco in south Carson City, Nevada, to Douglas County Oregon, on one tank. Open road speeds were 65-70 mph. The car uses about a quarter of a quart of oil between oil changes....so I never add any in between. I've had it to 100 mph and it was taching about 4,000 rpm and it had a lot more left. Overall, a great buy for $9999 out the door ....and a great car for the money. Thanks Dodge!
I bought this car as a starving student and should have held out for a Honda Civic. It was fine for about two years and then the repairs started coming. I've gone through at least 4, if not more, tie rod ends. I swear I don't aim for pot holes! I swear I drive like an old lady. I hate when my car makes noise so I'm very proactive about repairs.
The brakes have ALWAYS sounded awful. Just always.
This car hates moisture.
I swear it's worse when it rains.
The doors are frozen shut most of the winter.
Sounds awful on the thruway.
And the best part? The best part is when the head gasket blew. At 50,000 miles I needed a new head gasket. Jokes on them because it was still under the extended warranty and they had to pay for it!
So yeah this thing has been a giant headache for me. A ten year long headache. I wouldn't GIVE this car away.