2005 Dodge Neon Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • More fun in the curves than you might expect, strong brakes, good ride quality, rockin' sound system.
  • Lacks refinement levels of competitors, numerous low-grade interior components, can't get power rear windows.
Other years
List Price
$4,200

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Those looking for a polished economy car would be better served elsewhere, but the 2005 Dodge Neon does have some likable traits, namely capable handling, a powerful audio system and a reasonable price.

Vehicle overview

Since the Neon's introduction in 1995, Dodge has struggled to address the chief criticism of its small car offering -- a lack of refinement. A raucous engine and high 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 and interior refinement still lagged behind perennial class leaders like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, as well as most other Japanese-brand compacts. Even the domestic-brand Ford Focus far surpassed the Neon in these areas. A four-speed automatic transmission finally arrived for the 2002 model year. Last year, Dodge further 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. Unfortunately, the R/T model and its 150-hp engine are gone for 2005. In its place is an appearance package designed to mimic the look of the powerful SRT-4. Although the 2005 Dodge Neon still loses out to most rivals when it comes to drivetrain refinement and interior accommodations, the car's sporty handling and good sound system mean that it is not without its charms.

2005 Dodge Neon models

The four-door 2005 Dodge Neon sedan is available in two trim levels, SE and SXT. Base SE models come with a cassette player, a split-folding 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; CD player instead of the cassette player; and 15-inch alloy wheels. A Kicker audio system with eight speakers, a CD changer, cruise control and ABS are optional. The SXT trim qualifies for the SRT Design appearance package. The package includes new foglights, dual exhaust and a rear spoiler. There's also a Mopar ground effects kit available.

2005 Highlights

Trim levels are reduced to SE and SXT; the R/T is dropped in favor of an SRT appearance package. SXT models feature a new Kicker audio system.

Performance & mpg

A 2.0-liter, 132-horsepower inline four powers all Neons. Transmission choices include a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. Fuel economy is good for this class, as manual-shift Neons are rated to get 29 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway. Getting the automatic lowers mileage considerably -- 25 mpg city and 32 highway.

Safety

Front disc/rear drum brakes are standard, and ABS is optional on both the SE and SXT. Side airbags for front occupants are also optional. In frontal impact crash testing, the 2005 Dodge Neon scored four out of five stars; in side-impact tests, it got three stars for front and rear passenger protection. In frontal offset crash testing, the Neon earned only a "Marginal" rating, the second lowest possible.

Driving

In general, the 2005 Dodge Neon is not as quiet as other economy sedans, exhibiting plenty of wind, road and engine noise. It still lags behind most rivals in refinement, especially the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, and acceleration is nothing to get excited about, either. Handling is solid for a small front-driver, with the Neon demonstrating an eagerness for the twisties through its well-weighted steering. The car provides both a comfortable ride for commuting and a fair amount of agility around corners all for a very reasonable price.

Interior

The cabin has a mix of soft-touch and cheap plastic surfaces. If one chooses the option of power windows, they still are only for the benefit of front passengers -- rear windows are still moved up and down by a good old-fashioned crank. An in-dash six-disc CD changer is optional on the SXT. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that the Kicker audio system packs 208 watts and has eight speakers with a separate amp.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2005 Dodge Neon.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
I'd by another one if Chrysler still made them!
sharong61,03/05/2011
SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
2By sharong61 on 03/05/11 14:30 PM (PST) I also purchased mine new in 2005 and have 92,000 miles on it as she's still going strong! I love how she hugs the curves, for a little 4 banger, she goes! I went to Tennessee and back last summer (1100 miles totalled) on 2.5 tanks of gas (30 gal. aprox) which averages out to 32-33mpg!! My stereo is kickass! I love the seats folding down in back (almost like a hatchback)and have had to put very little maintenance on her! Did get new tires 2 years ago and replaced brakes once and of course oil changes. She starts when it's cold, the a/c works great even after almost 6 years. Some lady slid into my rear at about 30mph last year, she even picked me up off the ground as we were both going down a hill! She demolished the whole front of her 2007 Ford Fusion, my bumper had 2 very small scratches and she put a dent in my muffler! I never even had it fixed to this day and people can't tell! My only gripe at all about Neons is that they slide easy on packed snow or ice as they are lightweight. Mine will be paid off in a few months and am debating on weather to sell her too as I don't think I'll find as good a car again! Chrysler was crazy to discontinue them! They'd be selling them like hotcakes right now!
4.88 out of 5 stars
kick ass ride
Baja Ben,09/01/2004
SRT-4 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I love my car. you know its a good buy when every time I get out of it I think to my self damn I love that car. the bang for your buck vaule is unbeatable. it is nice to know that you could whoope on any car out there that is less then 50 grand. just watch out for poles
4.5 out of 5 stars
Does what it was made to do GREAT! Bullet proof engine
qwiksilvertrav,03/10/2013
SRT-4 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Great car. Bought it new and have had it for 10 years now with 97k miles. Since 15k miles it's been running more hp/tq so putting extra stress on the engine. It now pushes almost 500 hp and the valve cover hasn't even come off...all bolt ons! Runs strong and it's STILL on factory internals. Unbelievable. Best bang for your buck period. Very solid car...have only had to replace wear and tear parts such as brakes, a wheel bearing, clutch, etc.
4.13 out of 5 stars
Very Pround SXT Owner
chel89,04/02/2012
SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I got the car new as a junior in high school in 2005. There were only two SXT's left on the lot, including an orange one with a spoiler. Picked it up for around 13K (on sale) at the time and instantly fell in love. The car has been extremely reliable and I've always felt safe in it. For a "compact car" I actually think it's quiet roomy. I've managed to keep the interior/exterior pretty immaculate for its age. The car isn't without problems. I've had to replace the Camshaft senor twice now (25$ part) and I find the car takes a toll on tires and breaks- so be prepared to replace these a tad earlier than suggested. I also had to replace all 4 motor mounts at 75K. (@81K ATM)

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 2005 Dodge Neon

Used 2005 Dodge Neon Overview

The Used 2005 Dodge Neon is offered in the following submodels: Neon Sedan, Neon SRT-4. Available styles include SRT-4 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Dodge Neon models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 220 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2005 Dodge Neon comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2005 Dodge Neon comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 7 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Dodge Neon?

Price comparisons for Used 2005 Dodge Neon trim styles:

  • The Used 2005 Dodge Neon SXT is priced between $4,200 and$4,200 with odometer readings between 77085 and77085 miles.

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Which used 2005 Dodge Neons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2005 Dodge Neon for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2005 Neons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,200 and mileage as low as 77085 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2005 Dodge Neon.

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Find a used Dodge Neon for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $24,026.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $10,217.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Neon for sale - 4 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $9,413.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $19,346.

Should I lease or buy a 2005 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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