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Dodge Neon SRT-4



  • It is probably not going to be that reliable, but that is not what the car is about. It is not a Camry.
    If you want something similar with better reliability, the WRX is available for a little more money and you get 4 wheel drive thrown in. For a lot more money there is the new limited edition WRX model with even more power than a "base" WRX.
    I think the SRT4 gives you crude, mean-looking bang for the buck raw power with good handling too. I don't think there is anything you can buy new for $19995 that will be able to outperform it, but plan on it not being any more reliable than a typical Neon. It should be an exciting car to drive though and probably worth the money as long as you are ready to "deal with" any problems that will turn up.
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    I have a tendency to agree with you. If you look at regular neons and past turbo dodges , head gaskets blowing is a common failure.From the modifications done to the srt 4 motor, from the bottom up it looks as if these and other problems have been addressed.If the door handles fall off, there are squecks and rattles and the car stops and leaves you hanging, then dodge has defeated the intent of the car--- which is to sell more neons. If the srt 4 fails , then in time the whole line will fail.By the way the wrx is one ugly car, which ever way you look at it. One guy told me when he saw it "what end do you put the corn in"--- it looks like farm machine. Maybe the next wrx will fix this situation.Also, being the past owner of a previous subaru turbo, you better get the extended coverage package. The price of parts alone are many times the cost of its competitors ,like an exhaust to turbo to exhaust 2 foot long pipe for $900. (which are not cheap).Of course looks are a matter of tastes---one mans garbage is another mans treasure. Like I hate the wing on the srt 4. But if the quality of the srt 4 puts it in the DODGE dealers repair shop a good portion of the time ,DODGE would have been better off not to offer the car at all. Time will tell if srt 4 quality has improved over the neon---todays market will not accept inferior products, no matter how fast they are.Buyers will go back to the JAPANESE market, even if most (not all) are slow and boring.Please no wrx owners be offended .I would but a wrx if it didnt look like a series of after thoughts.
  • narenjinarenji Posts: 161
    Subaru's are pretty reliable, but come on, an uppipe and downpipe for $900? why did you choose subaru parts? most good exhaust shops (at least here in so. cal) can make any exhaust part except maybe headers. i have a custom made 3" turbo back exhaust and an uppipe for $550. no leaks, and sounds great. i've had it for about a year.
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    I also checked local shops in the area, which were all about the same price for the pipe.Im sure you have one up on us here. SO. CAL is the heart of these pocket rockets , with much talent and experience. I wish such means were available here. So people on the west coast are better off and I believe far ahead in custom fabrication for these cars.If it comes to small or big block chev.,we can compete with the best of them, but we are learning on [non-permissible content removed] cars.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    You guys might be surprised to know that the Neon has been a leader in it's segment in the CR ratings and JD power initial quality ratings.

    Dodge has done a lot to correct it's quality faults of the 90's.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    It's over the long haul where things start falling off.
  • pda97pda97 Posts: 91
    to worry about reliability all the times. I've owned a Honda, a Toyota, and a couple of Nissans. My next car will either be a Mustang GT or this SRT-4. I'm willing to put up with the increased problems associated with American brands. Time for some fun ! The SRT-4 is some serious fun for less than $20K. No other cars come close. Besides, I don't plan on keeping it for more than 5 yrs. And the 7 yr/70K warranty will give me some peace of mind.

    The WRX is not bad. But it's a little too pricey and I don't need AWD.

    Another thing, isn't there a forum that isn't infested with Honda zombies ? Seems like they're everywhere preaching their reliability and high resale value. Is the Honda world too boring ? Right, gee35 ??
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    But I'm not willing to dive on the knife Dodge has out there. I'd go used 300ZX before I'd go Neon. $19,000 is a nice used sprts car plus money for mods/repairs. But to each his/her own. Haven't seen the word Honda in here from me. Honda doesn't build a car that competes at the price/performance level of the SRT. I'm just curious about the car.
  • Come on over to and hang out. Lots of good people over there. Its mainly for us older turbo dodge guys but there is a section for the srt-4 and I am sure as more are sold there will be more activity about it.

    BTW the 2.4l turbo has been around for awhile in Mexico so hopefully they atleast have the bugs worked out with the engine already.
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    Has anyone out there tried wider tires on the srt 4 yet----what max width will fit the car on the stock wheels. Or can you get new wheels with a different off -set. I know the guys on the WEST COAST had these cars first---may someone made a change. Or maybe someone with a neon 2-3 years old has done it , which may be the same as the srt 4. Traction seems to be a real problem off the line. I know at some time a limited slip differential will be available, but what is the fix now without going to slicks. Maybe someone like tire rack would know. But I would be more comfortable with someone who has actually made it work.-- invite comments. mine will be in --in a couple of weeks. It may be easier to make the change right--- at the dealer or garage when new. You could use the old wheels for snow tires
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Both wheels letting loose off the line? Dodge seemed to make a big deal about the equal length driveshafts which should help with torque steer and one-wheel burnouts.

  • pda97pda97 Posts: 91
    richt5 - Well, the stock wheel is a 17x6. So a 205mm tire width is the MAX that the wheel can handle. Personally, I would like a 6.5" or 7.0" rim width to handle the 205mm. I suspect with the stock setup, the tirewall bulges out quite a bit. This doesn't look good at all. A wider tire will look nice. To keep the wheel diameter the same, you have to go with a 225/45/17. I don't see the need to go to an 18" setup, unless you don't care about your kidney.

    With a 225mm width, you'll need at least a 7.0" rim width. But this, too, will give you a slight bulging look. A 7.5" rim width is preferred. If you want to see a 225/45/17 with a 7.0" rim setup, check out the Golf GTI or Jetta (with the 17" wheel option). The Audi TT, on the other hand, has the same tire size, but mounts on 7.5" rims...much better.

    thedarkwolf - Thanx for the info. I already check out the site. Lots of helpful stuff. I'll be keeping an eye on owner reported problems.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    One advantage of the bulging look is that tires take the curb scrubbing, not your rims. Autocross folks will tell you that tire life can be severely shortened by having tires that are on the upper end of the size spectrum that's given for a wheel size.

  • gvr4201gvr4201 Posts: 1
    I almost bought an SRT4 this weekend. Two weeks ago, they were selling at Glendale Dodge in So. CA for retail plus $2000 dealer mark up. One week later same dealer advertised them in the LA Times for $2500 below retail, totaling $17,500 after the dealer discount, but only "1 available at this price." This last weekend they advertised it for the same $2500 below retail, but this time "not just 1, but ALL in stock" plus offered "0 down, 0% apr, 0 payment till 2004" without any exclusions in the fine print except for "A+ credit rating req'd". They also had extra manufacturer rebate along with 0% apr offer in the same ad, but had "excludes srt4" in the fine print, but the 0 down, 0%APR, 0 payment till 2004 offer is still real good. For anyone interested i can scan and send the ad, to help you guys who don't live in socal try to get the same deal.
    With all this said, i was so close to picking one up this weekend, but they didn't have silver, only 2 reds, 2 yellows, 1-2 black. Financing was all set but i backed out last minute because #1: losing money on my trade in, #2 reliability.
    ive never had good luck with US built cars. I used to own a 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX Turbo, which is a US built car identical to Eagle Talon and Plymouth laser. this car had sooooooo many problems, blown head gasket, burned valves at around 80k, leaks galore, all this and i bought the car new. i gladly sold the car, and bought a used limited edition 1991 Galant VR4, for those of you who don't know about this car (not surprising since they only imported 2000 of these babies from Japan in 1991), its a 4 door version of the Eclipse/Talon/Laser, with a few differences, the most important being the Galant VR4 was made entirely in Japan. Same engine, same electronics, pretty much same drivetrain, except built different places. Long story short, the Japanese built galant was WAY more reliable and built way better than my eclipse. Even fully modified with a bigger J-spec turbo, front mount intercooler, all on the untouched internally stock original factory engine, it still pulled 13.6 1/4 mile times on the original 160k miles and remained reliable enough to be driven from so cal to oregon when i sold it a year ago.
    anyhow, that made the biggest difference in my decision not to buy the SRT4 despite such a great price and finance rate. With the non-turbo neons extremely poor reliability rating, i just didn't want to take a chance, plus with my career I don't have time to fix things and "DIY" modifications anymore. Hence, Ive decided to wait 1 month and purchase an EVO when the dealer mark ups are gone, or an STi but i doubt if that will be available, despite the 10k price difference, I think these two cars will hold their value, mystique, and reliability much better than a NEON, and more likely to be two of those cars destined to be "classics" or "keepers" because of the low # of units that will ever be sold. thats worth an extra 10k in itself! Perhaps 4 years ago, when i was still in college, working weekends at this shop that built rally cars, and only worried about having a fast car reliable enough to drive to street races but not enough to survive a long daily commutes with AC at full blast, the SRT4 is definitely the car to have, specially if you live life a 1/4 mile at a time! And im sure one of these days, a heavily modified SRT4 will pull up to my EVO/Sti and probably spank me (if they manage to ever put all that power to the ground), but which ever car I will own will still run mid 13s in street legal form and never need to be on rollers during emissions testing. Oh, last word of warning, Turbo magazine states that the srt4 despite running a Mitsubishi built 16g turbo, it will not be as easy to get upgrades as turbo eclipse which uses a similar mitsu turbo, because the exhaust housing is integrated with the exhaust manifold (weird!), and turbo upgrades will most likely need an aftermarket exh manifold as well, or the factory exh manifold and turbine housing can be hogged out to fit a bigger aftermarket turbine cartridge, but youll be limited by the relatively small size of the 16gs housing. sorry so long hope this helps someone!
  • The srt-4s are already hitting high 12s with only a few mods and slicks.
    same video just different formats.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    The aftermarket will certainly take care of the integrated housing issues with plenty of options. The car is hot, and tuners will follow.

    A 1.8 second 60 foot time isn't too shabby with slicks and an open differential with a car with almost 300 lb-ft of torque at 3000 RPM. The 12.9 isn't bad either, tehe. Track nights will be interesting this summer for the unsuspecting!
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    Just got the news--the dealer I had a deposit with is only getting yellow cars (hate them) (SRT 4 ). I was working with a total of 5 dealers at the start 4 in CT and 1 in new york state. I called the other dealers and all will not take deposits (because ---they said premiums are going to be added to the sticker---2k--3k.So it looks like I am out of luck this year -maybe.The up side of this is one of the dealers(who seems to know the most about the car) hinted that the next car coming out (neon type) will be at least as good as this car and better. The guy knew more about the SRT 4 than any other dealer, so I kind of believe him.I will not ever pay over sticker, especially considering things like I could buy a new neon RT for 10-11k.The difference seems to be that dealers in SO.CA.and FL have many more cars per dealership (THAN CT) to limit over sticker RIP OFF , but north east dealers also sell less DODGES, so get less SR4'S. So it look like a waiting game, I am disappointed , but thats life.If anyone has news ,in the future,on cars available in the north east (at sticker or below), please send me a note --thanks--LOG OFF.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    to Florida and a fun drive back home?
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    Do you have any specifics .Dealer name -phone #, cars available ,prices .I know these are alot of questions , but I have got to ask.THANKS
  • SPYDER98SPYDER98 Posts: 239
    I recently called a CT dealer on the availability of a Mitsubishi EVO. They were willing to gaurentee msrp if I put a small downpayment down on a silver color one they have coming in shortly.

    I find it hard to believe dodge dealers around here, are really going to be able to sell SRT's above sticker or at for that matter.

    Just give it sometime before you finally start seeing them on the lots. Make a few calls, visit a few different dealers....I'm sure anyone will eventually be able to pick one up at a reasonable price. With the cost of living in CT these days...these cars are going no where fast around here!
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    in Atlanta with great deals on EVO's. I'm sure the SRT can be had for pretty cheap (relatively speaking) here too. There are tons of dealers in this area and competition is fierce.
  • richt5richt5 Posts: 43
    Well it looks like the EVO is slower and sum what more ugly than the SRT 4.From what car and driver has to say anyway.I really dont understand this, but it must be the extra weight of the EVO.A dealer in my area has the EVO for 32-34k . It seems something is wrong with this picture.Even with the add on's to the EVO and SUBARU turbo's , they are playing a horsepower game.I know horsepower costs$ ,but come-on, double the dollars (in some cases of the regular sedans) dont think so. I know the [non-permissible content removed] cars are quality, but their regular cars are too---at much less money. If we can make an srt 4 here for 20k , why the big $ for the imports. Plain and simple its a rip off. I hope DODGE dramatically increases the production of the SRT 4's next year to show this point further.A reasonable profit is necessary, but not this.If the imports want to compete, bring the costs down.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    I think the Evo is being marked up from around the $29K price tag due to projected demand. Could be wrong though.

    I have heard rumors of the production Evo being less potent than the pre-production Evo, but until this is verified, I will go with what I have.

    The pre-production Evo was able to do 0-60 in 5.0 secs, 1/4 mile in just under 14 secs, and the skid pad was 0.95 gs (Sports Compact Car Magazine).

    The SRT4 by contrast - 0-60 in 5.8 secs, 1/4 mile around 14.6, and 0.84 gs on the skid pad (C&D).

    I know these are different magazines that may result in not a quite true comparison, but thse numbers seem to be significantly different enough to justify them.

    - a WRX's retail price is $25K, and can be had for less.
    - WRX and Evo use an All Wheel Drive setup vs. a FWD setup, and both incorporate 2 LSDs vs. none for the SRT4, One of the main reasons for the added cost.

    That might explain the big $ for the imports, not to mention that the Evo uses Bremo Brakes (not cheap), HID headlights vs. reflectors, bigger and better tires/rims combo, Name-brand seats (Recardo), and stiffer structer (stiffeners welded in).
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    The SR-T. All wheel drive and Brembo brakes put it in anither class. I would not put my SR-T against an EVO. Especially in anything longer than 1/4 mile.
  • I heard that the shifter and clutch are junky and a pain to use compared to import cars such as Hondas and Mazdas which have snick-snick shifters with light clutches that glide luxuriously and engage slickly.
    This may be a deal-breaker for many considering the Neon SRT-4 since the manual transmission is a vital part of the driving experience that cannot be ignored.
    Anyone here have experience driving the SRT-4?
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    But I have autocrossed a 1st gen Neon, the transmission isn't Honda-smooth, but it works fine. I tried a 2nd gen on the road, and it felt a little bit better. Guessing that's where the SRT-4 in terms of refinement, perhaps a tad bit better. Still not perfect, but good enough for sub 6 second 0-60 times, tehe.

  • I went looking for SRT4 lastweek in S.Cali. I found two of W.Covina lot with a mark up of close to $6,000...about $25K total. I asked why so much? the sales agent says 'cause Dodge only make 2K this year. I think this is outrageous...I would not pay even 2k mark up for a Dodge. With a little bit could get a Subaru WRX turbo AWD.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Went to a Nissan dealer down there, and Muranos and 350Zs were both marked up. Check and see if any dealers with give you a deal below MSRP?

    Also, WRXs can be had for under $23K. (especially 2003s).
  • I think I could live with it since there isn't any honda or mazda in the same price range anywhere near as fast. Might loosen up a little anyway once you get some miles on it.
  • I got to sit in an SRT-4 for quite a bit at the Chicago Auto Show and work the clutch/shifter, and I found it to be quite good. Reasonably short throws, and solid-feeling. It's not as "snick-snick" as the Miata or the Acura RSX, but at the same time it didn't feel "floppy", which is what drives me nuts. It has a very positive action with little slop: it feels good. In fact, I would be so bold to describe it as "crisp." I'm scheduled to test-drive one in a few weeks once the local dealer gets his in, so I'll report after that.
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