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Dodge/Plymouth Neon

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  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    In terms of acceleration per dollar the Neon is going to spank it's competition.

    Chrysler Group, trying to capitalize on the renewed popularity of compact race cars, or so-called pocket rockets, is introducing the 2003 Dodge SRT-4, a souped-up version of the automaker's Neon. The SRT-4 comes equipped with Viper-style racing seats, 17-inch aluminum performance wheels and performance gauges.

    SRT-4 is the second-quickest car in the Dodge lineup, accelerating from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, trailing only the Dodge Viper SRT-10.
    It has a 2.4-liter, turbocharged, 205-horsepower engine. Appropriately, "SRT" is an acronym for street, road and track.
    The car is priced at $19,995.
  • Hello. I recently saw a 2002 Neon R/T on a dealer lot and am hoping to test drive it today. I can't believe how much I liked the car. As the owner of a 96 Plymouth Neon Sport Coupe I really didn't think I'd ever consider another Neon, but that R/T looks really cool and it seems like alot of performance for the money (just like my 96 was). Have the Neons really improved over the years? Are there any known problems with the new ones? Have they addressed/corrected past issues such as electrical, trim, and head gasket problems? Does it still feel like an anchor has been thrown overboard when the A/C is turned on? I read about the turbo coming in 2003, and not sure if I'm interested. I had an 86 Shelby Charger back in 1990 and have very ugly memories of numerous turbo problems. Considering that Dodge hasn't produced alot of turbo vehicles, I'm not sure if I'm ready to try one. Also, if anyone is considering a used 96 sport coupe I can say that other than minor electrical problems I've had 88,000 miles of trouble free, really fun driving. I still get 33 mpg and the car doesn't use oil. It has developed some valve/lifter noise that subsides eventually, perhaps a lifter that's slow to fill. $18000 will buy some pretty good cars these days, I'd just like to know from some of the owners here if the '02 R/T is worth the money.
    John
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    The SRT-4 is a huge improvement and I think it should just be called that, with no dippy "Neon" name attatched to it!
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    I bought neon in june of 94 new. It has 160,000 on it and finally the head gasket went. First problem with car. I was considering getting a new one because it has been such a charm to drive, but now I know about the horror stories on the head gaskets I will leave the neon alone. It was nice while it lasted.
    Greg
  • Just to clarify, you are saying your Neon has a blown head gasket, and that is the only major problem in 160,000 miles and over 8 years of driving a $10,000 car?

    I don't see how you can think that is a horrible reliability record. The bad thing about the Internet is people can claim anything, I take it all with a grain of salt.

    I cannot think of a single person I personally know that has that many miles on their car. My friend has a 93 Lexus with 144,000 miles he's owned since new, and it has a bad oil usage problem. He has spend out the wazoo to perform all the scheduled maintenance as well.

    If that was my only problem with a car in 160,000 miles, I'd buy another one without a second thought.
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    You're the luckiest person alive. I think the 94 head gasket probably should have blown much sooner. Chrysler re-engineered the head gasket for the Neon in the late 90s and it is far superior and as good as any in the industry. As far as basing a purchase decision of a new Neon on "only" getting 160k out of a 94 head gasket that's like not buying a 300M because the straight eight in your grandfather's Town and Country burned oil. Night and day, apples and oranges.
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    Guys,

    I just feel that in this day and time with the modern technology of the car industry, I just think 160k is not enough. The car itself has just a little rust around the emblem on the hood, otherwise it looks great. The paint job still shines nicely when waxed. It is never at a good time when your car quits on you. I been checking around to see if I can get a rebuilt engine for it because I don't want to put a $1000 bucks into fixing the engine with that many miles on it. I would feel better or more secure with an engine with many less miles on it. Don't you agree? As it is or was, I always bragged on the car because it held up so well. Is it because it was built in Mexico?
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    I forgot to mention that my olds 84 delta 88 had 220,000 on it before things started falling apart such as power window switches falling in arm of door, door latch would not open on driver side. I had it for 14 yrs. My 77 buick century had 175,000 on it before the rust took over in 7 yrs so I am use to getting good miles on my cars.
  • I would like to buy a Flame Red R/T. Anyone seen one on a dealer lot in MD? No. VA (Alexandria, Arlington, Sterling, Leesburg OK). S Central PA also doable (Hanover, Gettysburg, Chambersburg, Carlisle). West Virginia panhandle is also just down the road (Charlestown, Martinsburg). Anyone seen one? It's hard enough to find an R/T much less be choosy about the color. I might consider black. Definitely not silver or white. I am in Frederick so Eastern Shore/So. MD is a bit of reach but would consider the drive for the right car. Prefer five speed with cloth but would consider auto and/or leather.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    Have had silver 2000 neon es for 2 years (and 3 accidents!), and it is a KICK [non-permissible content removed] RIDE! Stick shift, factory 15's. Get many compliments on it's curb appeal. People think it is much more expensive! Gets 29-30mpg hiwy, 22-23 city. I drive like a "good" NY cabbie, so gas suffers. SRT-4 looks sweet, but I will be drivin RSX Type-s this summer cus I need more resale and a more prestigious plate. Can't drive dodges forever! America done good, though! I'll never through a stone at Chrysler anyway!
  • Consider yourself lucky.. I traded my 98 neon sport in at a loss.. just to get out of the nightmare.. Chrysler hasnt a clue how to build a car.. with maybe the exception of yours?..I had my car for 3 years.. almost the entire cars works were replaced..including the transmission at a year.. each repair under warranty was a struggle with chrysler.. that ended in a letter from them saying 'we dont care..you bought it..its your problem now'... ok..im paraphrasing.. I wasnt shocked at all to hear that they are dropping the neon line.. its a cute car.. as long as you dont actually need to drive it anywhere!!
  • Where did you hear that the Neon line is getting dropped? Certainly not this year, as they are already planning for 2003 models. You seem to have had a bad experience, but don't think it is the experience of the majority. I've driven exclusively Chysler products for the past 12 years, and have driven each at least 100,000 miles. The current one is a 2000 Neon, and my second one at that. It has 50,000 miles on it, all trouble free. A couple months ago, I used it on 2600 mile business trip. Took only 84 dollars worth of gas, averaging 36 mpg including the WV mountains. I've been very pleased with this car, and the other 3 Chryler cars I've owned('90 Sundance, 94 Neon, and 97 Intrepid).
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The Neon is not getting dropped, but the Plymouth model is. Maybe that's what she meant in a roundabout way.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The Neon will be dropped in a couple of years, replaced by a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer - Hyundai Elantra model - that much Chrysler Group has confirmed.
  • lisabufflisabuff Posts: 13
    Yeah I had heard the news from a relative who delivers the things.. they really are bad news. I feel happy when people say they ones that actually work but considering I was getting form letters back from Chrysler I dont think mine was an isolated bad apple. I wouldnt have been as disappointed by the whole thing (since eventually I got them to fix things under warranty), but the attitude was so bad. Ya know, maybe Chrysler needs to learn a few people skills?!! The only thing that saved me was my dealership.. but even they could only go so far. I got rid of the thing because I wanted a car I could actually take on a trip! You know..one that gets there!
  • 71charger71charger Posts: 116
    I just went over 28,000 miles on my 2000 ES. I've had it for 25 months. I've had two small problems. The door jamb switches that turn the dome light off both went bad. I think my daughter closed the driver's door hard on something killing that one but the passenger side was just a defective switch. The dealer could not have been nicer and they changed my oil and filter for 20 bucks while it was in. Every company makes lemons. The last I saw all the major manufacturers were in a virtual dead heat as far as initial problems reported. I think they've had to push it out and report on problems per thousands of cars now instead of hundreds back in the eighties. I think the Neon, in it's current form, is a stylish, sporty, and high quality small car. To give Chrysler and Ford credit at least you know when you're looking at a Neon or a Focus. See the competitors from a distance and most people don't know if they're looking at a Honda or a Toyota or a Nissan or a Mazda.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "To give Chrysler and Ford credit at least you know when you're looking at a Neon or a Focus. See the competitors from a distance and most people don't know if they're looking at a Honda or a Toyota or a Nissan or a Mazda."
    by 71charger


    I can always tell the difference between small Japanese Sedans and Domestic Sedans! The Ford Foci and Dodge Neons are hooked up to tow trucks and the Japanese sedans are zooming down the road.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That's not always true. I mean there are good and bad cars of all brands built out there. Some are worse than others, but buying a new car is part of a gamble. I would say the Neons and Foci are less reliable than the Japanese makes though. Any auto publication will tell you that much.
  • lisabufflisabuff Posts: 13
    are you kidding?? a neon is more reliable than a say a nissan or toyota??! No way! My old subaru didnt need a repair until it was 7 years old.. my neon.. I dont think it made it 30 days!! the simple fact that Chrysler is nixing the line just shows that they know they have a loser. Its really too bad though..would be nice to have an american car and the neons are cute.. but cute doesnt get you home on a snowy night! Im with Larry..
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