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Dodge/Plymouth Neon




  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Bryan, I agree with your opinions on the Honda Civic, %100. This is not a sedan, I would purchase. My wife and I test drove both the Civic LS and ES in March, 2000. Very boring for the price $.
    But,.. I strongly disagree with your "imaginary superman" build quality and reliability comments/opinions. Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Volkswagen build vehicles with better build quality, better dependability, and hence much better resale value; then the domestic auto manufactures. The imports cost more up-front, but are a better value in the long run. Just my 2 cents, as I expressed my advise to heckle2.

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Jeff, I think it's awesome that you really like your Neon. It is also great to hear, it's problem free at 12,000 miles! My neighbor who lives right behind are house purchased a 2000 5 speed Dodge Neon in early, April. He has told me, several times "It's the best car, I ever owned!" He was born and raised in Mexico, and he told me; the Japanese imports are the most common and popular cars south of the border. He said he always wanted to own sporty looking "American" cars! He and his wife are great/fun people and I am very happy, his Neon makes him HAPPY!
    I disagree with your Volkswagen Jetta and Toyota Echo opinions! By most accounts, the Jetta's and Echo's are well designed and executed vehicles! I doubt you sat in the Echo; one of the strong points on that vehicle is the interior cabin room. I did an Echo test drive and thought it was much roomier on the inside, than the perception you get from the outside! In my opinion, there is a better small car choice than either the Jetta( too pricy, for the size) or the Echo(also too pricy, for the content).
    Jeff, good luck with your Neon!

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Bob,in my opinion; the popularity of Neon's have more to due with the lack of knowledge of most small sedan car purchasers.
    a.) Small cars, tend to be the 1st new car, for first time buyers.
    b.) First time buyers, tend to over look research and buy whats popular. Watch the Ford Focus, dominate the small car segment in the next year!
    c.) Newer/younger buyers tend to, shy away from the German and Japanese imports because of the higher up-front costs.

    Bob, what facts due have to support your conspiracy opinions about the Dodge Neons?

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "Mazda's are infected with Neon inferiority complex." Bryan, what in the heck are you talking about?

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Randy, as God is my witness, I did not advice heckle2 to buy a new Mazda Protege or compare a Protege to the Neon vs. Elantra. I just voiced my opinion. My advice to heckle2 was; If $10,000 OR LESS WAS THE BUDGET, heckle2 would be better off, in the long haul with a good newer/used low mileage used car. For MY 2 cents the Korean's (henkle2, specified Daewoo/Hyundai) or Dodge do not give you long term value for your money.

    You are %100 correct on your feelings; about the ability for anyone to predict the 2000 Neon's build quality! Please understand, I feel you made the right choice for your own situation by going with a Neon. But,.....please understand resale value is based on the realitys of the used car market at the auto auctions and ultimately on the used car lot. Randy, there's the rub, it's not what a Neon or a Protege owner thinks their 3 or 4 year old vehicle is worth, it's the PERCEPTION of the used car buyer! We have all heard someone say; " get the Honda/Toyota they run forever!" My 2 cents only, but....unmercifully there is not much of a market for used domestic or Korean cars.

  • What facts do I have to prove the conspiracy? Well, I dont have bar graphs or pie charts to show you, however I base my decision on several sources: auto magazines, consumer reports, and the internet. I've seen and read enough laughable garbage (such as I see on this very BB) to believe a conspiracy rings true. Who knows where it originated from, perhaps Honda or Toyota or whatever, the point is it exists for one reason or another. You say prove that there is a conspiracy, well sir can you prove otherwise based on what I've told you?
    Mobay, sounds like you've got a rocker booster with those 0-60 times!! =^]
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Time: 15:15 pm

    Check out page #163, in the Warren Commissions Report on the Neon Affair. Proof is in the half baked fruitcake.

    Agent Protegextwo
  • jmn2786jmn2786 Posts: 15
    I still think the Echo is but ugly.

    I like the styling of the Jetta, just too expensive for what you get and it's interior ergonomics are really funky (I'm sure one could get used to this).
  • im thinking of gettin a 2000 neon...will some current owners tell me of their experience with theirs and if i should really consider this car or not?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Our Neon ES automatic was purchased 12/31/1999. It has been in the shop 4 times now for workmanship issues. Now, the trunk lining rubber split and cracked and has to be replaced. And the engine is tapping a lot harder now. Back to the dealer again I guess...

    The Neons are comfortable cars with good power, nice fuel economy, and nice features and room too. BUT their reliability is not as good as the Japanese brands. Of course, the Neon is cheaper. But cheaper isn't always better.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    When I was responding to Heckle2, I assumed she/he meant 2000 models. Therefore, I compared the 2000 Neon to the 2000 Elantra. Seeing as how the DOHC Neon is no longer available, it would be pointless to compare that engine's performance with the Elantra's. At high speeds, the old DOHC Neon can outaccelerate the Elantra. It produced its extra power only in the upper rpm range, whereas the Elantra has more low-end grunt.
    Anyway, lets compare currently available models. You asked for magazine article proof, here it is (from C&D June 2000 issue): Elantra 0-60 8.3; Neon 8.8 / 0-100 Elantra 26.4; Neon 30.0 / 1/4 mile Elantra 16.6 at 84mph; Neon 16.9 at 82mph / Top gear acceleration 50-70 mph Elantra 12.0; Neon 16.1 / Roadholding Elantra .80g; Neon .79g / Emergency lane-change maneuever Elantra 61.8mph; Neon 58.1mph / Top speed Elantra governed at 119; Neon drag limited at 118. As you can see, the Elantra beat the Neon in every test. The Neon is still a very competent sporty car, but unfortunately, the new for 2000 Neons lost some of the handling directness and power advantage the old ones had in exchange for more refinement and a better ride.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Was that a automatic neon? Even a current 5 speed neon is good for low 16 Sec 1/4 mile times.(all articles I have seen show 7.9 to 8.3 0-60), and it is electronically limited not drag limited. Just wait the RT will be here within a month or two and then it's really all over but the crying. I bet then the focus will shift to some kind of poor performance on a crash test which will suddenly be brought up by some "new" troll drifting in here trying to decide between a Mazda of the neon (or elantra or whatever). I'm not sure why C&D got .82G's on their 99 neon test and only a .79 when the current model has bigger tires and better suspension. One thing I'll give you is the interior room of Elantra is bigger and warrenty just can't be beat. I'll also admit the performance numbers to the 2000 neon are very close, so what did you say the elantra's go for? Oh god, what am I saying?... Calm down and repeat after me... The SRT is coming, the SRT is coming, the SRT is coming...
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    HI all,

    Just came back (well a few hours ago) from the Open House at Howell Automotive in Keyser WV. Howell Automotive, for those who don't know, is probably the best performance reseller for Neons in the world. I say that honestly.

    Anyway, there were lots of very nice Neons, and their owners. Learned a lot and the comraderie was inspiring.Got some goodies there and installed them on the spot.

    Also got a speeding ticket on the way back. Hell!!

    I think the Neon sucks. It has this habit of making it's driver go faster and faster.., hehehheheeh.

    Oh well, I'm laughing on the outside , but crying on the inside.77MPH in a 55MPH! Gosh what a stupid sod I am.Flame me.., I deserve it/
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    I agree with you!

    Spelled "butt"

    Larry :>)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Car and Driver's test used ALL manually shifted cars. But they said their Elantra had 16-inch tires on it, and I know for a fact that they aren't available. Maybe just a fluke.
  • jmn2786jmn2786 Posts: 15
    Had my loaded (every option cept the auto) 2K ES 5 speed since November of 1999. Have 12k miles on it now, no problems. This car is a lot of fun to drive, great features for the money.

    My only complaint is the lack of rear-power windows. The other doesn't concern me directly, I think DC should put a 4 speed in the Neon, the 3 speed really sucks the performance out of the engine.

    You will find a couple people that will say the Neon's reliability sucks, but the number of unspoken satisfied owners far exceeds this small group. Not every car will be problem free, but I think the Neon IS a reliable car.

    In case you've heard about the head gasket problems in the early Neons, they were fixed in late 98, and haven't been a problem since.

    If your interested in performance upgrades, check out
    They have a message board and all sorts of resources about the Neon (1st gen and 2nd gen).

    Good Luck.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    The Dodge/Plymouth Neon #2 topic has made the Edmunds Top 10 hottest topics! You folks really love your Neons and really dislike Vocus. Hey, Vocus isn't all that bad. He is young and often misunderstood. He has added a little zest and pique to the Neon topic! Be kind to the Paul and seek to understand him. I hope to check in with your Neon topic from time to time. Good luck with your cars and have fun!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The 2000 has lower roadholding than the 99 because the suspension is softer than the old one. So, even with larger tires and a better suspension in the way of a better more refined ride, the roadholding grip will always drop when a softer setup with more travel and a raised ride height is used. Also, the new ones use crappy Goodyear Eagle LS tires whereas the old ones used more performance oriented Eagle RS-A. The tires could be responsible for part of the drop in grip.
    As far as the 0-60 being wrong, that is highly doubtful. An earlier issue tested the Plymouth Neon with a stick at 8.7 sec. The new car is heavier by almost 200 pounds while not gaining any power. That would cause the car to be slower than the old one. Anyway, the Neon and Elantra are pretty much equal in performance, so let's just leave it at that.
    I do agree with you on the new R/T. That car has sweet wheels, an agressive looking front end that is much handsomer than the regular Neons, and hot looking dual chrome pipes sticking out at the back. They could have used a better looking rear spoiler, but overall, it is a sporty looking car. I wouldn't mind owning one of those, though a better engine package would have been nice (such as a turbo or larger engine instead of the slight modification to the same 2.0 SOHC engine).
    I have a question for you 2000 owners. I sat in one today and was a bit annoyed with the large front pillars that seem to loom right in your field of vision and the overly long stretch of dashboard in front of you. It made the view out the car stranger (and more restrictive) than anything I remember sitting in recently. Has anyone been bothered by this and did you get used to it with time? This would be the main turn off point about buying this car for me.
  • jmn2786jmn2786 Posts: 15
    The base Neon comes with Goodyear Eagle GAs, the same as the 1st gen base Neons. I'm guessing the RS-As you mention came with the R/T, ACR, maybe sport as well? The LS is a step up from the GAs, they do handle better and are quieter. I wouldn't say they suck, but there are definitely better tires for the $ out there. I will definitely go with something else when it comes time to replace them (I'll prolly stick 205s on my 15" alums).

    I noticed the pillar in my test drive and found it very annoying at first. However I quickly got used to the position, and I actually like it now. Forgot about the pillar thing until you mentioned it.
  • I've had four Neon's, a 95,98,99 and a 2000; and they have all been great.

    My 2000 is the best one yet, much better then the others, I've had it since June 1999, and it has been great, a very reliable and fast car.

    Don't pay attention to vocus.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Just because all of your Neons were perfect doesn't mean that everyone else's will be too. All cars have problems, yes, but some have more problems than others. And telling people not to pay attention to me? If you can't take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.
  • mobaymobay Posts: 45
    Hmmnn..,, lemme take a guess?

    Anyway, it would'nt be so bad if there was consistency to his/her..position. But this "it sucks" and then" I really do like the car" flip flopping is what confuses me.

    I mean ..,if it walks like a duck...,and quacks like a duck..., .

    Well , you get my meaning.

    You're a very bad boy importfighter.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I thought self-portraits were made for your own homepages? Why would you post it here???
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I do like the Neon, but really tired of it breaking down all the time. Even talked to Chrysler about poor customer service and they said it wasn't their responsibility to deal with rental cars when the car was in for service. Anyway, I am just so mad at Chrysler's level of customer service. They weren't saying all this when they were taking the money for the car though.
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 143
    Yes, don't pay attention to vocus. Just because he's been driving a Neon for quite a while and has firsthand experience with the problems doesn't mean anything. You have to OWN a Neon to experience the poor fit-and-finish and lousy reliability best.

    And vocus IS CONSISTENT. He likes everything about the car and would own one himself if not for the poor reliability and fit-and-finish.

    Hey copperhead, you've had a Neon for almost every year since 1995. You don't expect ANY car to have problems in one year of ownership, even Chrysler products. Of course, some do. How are you able to give good advice to someone looking for a long-term car (>100,000 miles) when you HAVE NO CLUE how a Neon will run (or not run, as the case probably will be).

    I know for a fact that my Mazda 626 lasted at least 212,000 miles with one repair that was paid for half by Mazda (even though the car was 7,000 miles out of warranty). DO you know for a fact that your Neon will last that long? I didn't think so.

    One more thing; when the Neons first came out, they were everywhere. It seems as though you don't see them as often anymore. Because they are falling apart after only 5 years or less!

    I know that when I got my new Intrepid in 1995, three of my neighbors had them also. Mine had this strange aversion to starting in 40-degree and below weather, and one of my neighbors' stalled all the time. Now, in 2000, all of them no longer have Intrepids, on any Chrysler product. And I see older Intrepids a lot less often, too.

    Good luck with your Neon, you'll need it.
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 143
    I meant to say:

    or any Chrysler product
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I don't OWN a Neon because I am not that stupid. A good friend of mine bought one back in December (I didn't know him then). If I would have known him, he would NOT have a Neon right now. He would probably have a Protege, because he hasn't given me back mine yet! :) He did get an extended warranty on it up to 75K, so that's one good thing. But one promise from him and myself, NEVER another Chrysler product again!
  • jmn2786jmn2786 Posts: 15
    I know several first gen Neon owners with way over 100K miles on there car (one with over 220k). The only major problem they have had was the head gasket problem, which has been fixed.

    There are plenty of examples of OVERWHELMINGLY satisfied Neon owners. I would also say the 2nd generation is a big step up from the previous. I think the fit and finish is excellent (at least in my ES).

    There are going to be problems with every car. I just don't think vocus voicing his opinions over and over presents a very realistic view of the reliability of the Neon. You are just one person. One very dissatisfied person (Which in you case seems appropriate). I don't think you can say that all Neons, or a majority of Neons will have the same fate.

    I lived in upstate NY, and my neon had no problems starting in sub zero weather (much better than my previous car, a Mazda RX-7). It has been an excellent car, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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