Used 1998 Plymouth Neon Sedan

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1998 Plymouth Neon
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1998 Plymouth Neon

Pros

  • Zippy performance with 5-speed. Handles the twisties with aplomb. Good build quality. Great value.

Cons

  • Loud interior. High-silled greenhouse results in that "sitting in a bathtub" feeling. Sketchy reliability history.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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 1998 Plymouth Neon.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best Car I've Had so Far!
Ana,07/11/2010
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.
The Neon's not so bad!!!!
Neon Lover17,03/22/2004
Yes, I had the common head gasket problem, but it was fixed at no cost to me, and I had an oil leak, so what, I fixed it for $20. I've had no other problems with it, and I've put over 100K miles on the car! So all the one's who's bashing the neon are over exaggerating. The car has a a problem or two, there is NO SUCH THING as a car with no problems. There just isn't on out that is maintenance free! You can look 'til your eyes fall out, you just won't find one!
I hate it
jacki_chan73,11/13/2012
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)
Ehhhhh
DontBuyThisCar,05/20/2002
My neon was fine when I brought it home but soon after the head gasket had to be replaced because of faulty materials used in manufacturing. I did some research and discovered this same material was used in all neons from 95- 99, so all Neons before 2000 have the potential for this happening to them. After it was replaced, everything started coming apart and I've had about 5 things replaced on the engine. I have had an oil leak since this all happened and the dealership cannot find out why, they have all been a pain in my butt ever since I bought this thing. I will never buy from Dodge again! Beware, if you buy a neon, dont buy one from before 2000.
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Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 37 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
25 city / 37 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
25 city / 37 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
25 city / 37 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 1998 Plymouth Neon Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver2 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    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
    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
    Poor

More about the 1998 Plymouth Neon
Used 1998 Plymouth Neon Sedan Overview

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

Find a used Plymouth Neon for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $15,943.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Plymouth for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,597.

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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.

Check out Plymouth lease specials
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