1998 Plymouth Neon Review

Used Neon for sale
List Price Estimate:$541 - $1,278
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Plymouth Neon model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Zippy performance with 5-speed. Handles the twisties with aplomb. Good build quality. Great value.
  • Loud interior. High-silled greenhouse results in that "sitting in a bathtub" feeling. Sketchy reliability history.

Vehicle overview

Into its fifth model year, some of the Neon's light is beginning to wane. Initially considered one of the best new compact cars on the market, the Neon's sales are beginning to suffer from poor reliability scores, excessive wind noise and the increasingly good cars being offered by the competition.

Despite this, we still like the Neon. It is undeniably cute and it bests all of its competitors in the fun-to-drive category. It offers more interior room than most of the cars in the compact class, and has nice interior ergonomics. Front seats are comfortable and the rear seats can actually be occupied by adults. Highline sedan models can also be fitted with an integrated child seat, a definite bonus for young families or grandparents who often cart their grandkids around.

Our favorite Neon is the Competition Cpoupe. This is basically the same car that is used in Neon Challenge races sponsored by Chrysler Corporation. By choosing it, you'll get a 2.0-liter DOHC engine that makes 150 horsepower, a power bulge hood, quick-ratio steering, aluminum wheels, performance tires, four-wheel disc brakes and some cool graphics. Throw on a set of antilock brakes and get ready for some serious canyon running.

Unfortunately, the reliability bugaboo haunts the Neon at almost every turn. If the surveys conducted by several independent firms around the country are any indication, the Neon suffers from hit-and-miss quality. Edmund's has received mail from folks who think it's the greatest car they've ever owned, and from others who wanted to know if their problems qualified for any lemon law protection. Overall, the impression we've gained is a favorable one, though we are hesitant to recommend this scrappy compact to those who've traditionally driven Japanese imports.

For 1998 Plymouth is again forced to address the Neon's most nagging complaint: noise. By installing a structural oil pan, Plymouth hopes that the added rigidity will quiet the Neon's rattly chassis. Other changes for the 1998 Neon are cosmetic: new paint and a Style Group that will be added late in the year.

If Chrysler Corporation can quell consumer fears about the reliability of this little car and keep prices in line, there really won't be any point in shopping around. Just drop in to any Plymouth dealer and drive off in one of the best small cars available today.

1998 Highlights

California and other emission-regulating states get an LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) engine calibration. Also changed this year are ABS, a new ignition key lock and the addition of four new colors.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Plymouth Neon.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.38 out of 5 stars
Best Car I've Had so Far!
Highline 4dr Sedan
I'm seeing a lot of comments about the head gasket breaking and i have never had that problem before. the car makes a lot of noise when you accelerate but once you get to your speed it drives great. its a fast little bugger! on the highway it starts to shake at about 70 but is ultra smooth. have never had to replace anything major expect the radiator and cooling fans. for the past 3 years the FM reception doesn't work but i don't really mind even though I'm thinking of replacing the radio. the only thing i really dislike is that after having it for 6 years it has started to rust on the roof and the paint is chipping off. it doesn't give it an appealing look.
2.38 out of 5 stars
Think Twice before buying
Expresso 2dr Coupe
Like some of the others, I have had gaskets replaced numerous times and still they cant' get it right. I have had a sun roof that has been replace 3 times and is still broken which is not under warrenty and the dealer will not fix. The engine light comes on very every 3-4 months due to carbon build up on some sensor which the dealer can't seem to fixed. I would not reccommend this car to anyone. Buyer beware.
2.13 out of 5 stars
I hate my car
Anthony T,08/19/2008
Highline 2dr Coupe
I've owned this car as a high school student just to drive around town, to and from school and work and that's about all it is good for. It is not a pleasure to drive, and I hate the way it looks, inside and out. It's a good first-car, but even then I wouldn't recommend it.
2.5 out of 5 stars
I hate it
Expresso 4dr Sedan
This car is terrible. I have owned it for about a year and a half and it sucks. I have to work on it constantly, and have had to make many repairs. The dash will quit working and the only way to fix it is to push on the glass to get it working, and even then the speedometer goes crazy. It is a zippy car, but it shakes really bad if you go 60 or above, which sucks for long drives. The interior isn't so bad, but if you're tall like me, opt for a different car, leg room sucks and it's pretty much on the ground, I have to practically roll out of the car to get out. I've replaced the tires, spark plugs, battery four times (for some reason it shorted out constantly, really bad wiring)


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

More about the 1998 Plymouth Neon

Used 1998 Plymouth Neon Overview

The Used 1998 Plymouth Neon is offered in the following submodels: Neon Sedan, Neon Coupe. Available styles include Expresso 2dr Coupe, Competition 2dr Coupe, Competition 4dr Sedan, Style 4dr Sedan, Highline 4dr Sedan, Expresso 4dr Sedan, and Highline 2dr Coupe. Pre-owned Plymouth Neon models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 150 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Plymouth Neon comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Plymouth Neon?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Plymouth 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) 1998 Plymouth Neon for sale near. 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 1998 Plymouth Neon.

Can't find a used 1998 Plymouth Neons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Plymouth Neon for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,023.

Find a used Plymouth for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,828.

Find a used certified pre-owned Plymouth Neon for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,516.

Find a used certified pre-owned Plymouth for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $12,348.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Plymouth 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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