Last post on May 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM
You are in the Dodge/Plymouth Neon
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Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon, Sedan
#76 of 1773 1995 & 2000 Neon owner. Suggestion - Get the 5 speed
Jun 09, 2000 (4:08 pm)
I bought and drove a 1995 Neon and put 95,000 trouble free miles on it. I traded it on a 2000 Neon with 10,000 trouble free miles on it.
Both of my cars had/have 5 speeds.
When I traded my 95 the salesman asked me if I had any problems. I said no. He told me, before he went to look at the car, that it must be a 5 speed.
Apparently the Neon automatic is week but for some reason it also creates problems for other non related parts of the car.
I have driven the new Focus. When equipped with the 5 speed it is so similar to the Neon it is scary, but still ugly and equally unpleasant inside.
Anybody about to purchase a 3 speed automatic Neon is probably making a big mistake. I would first recommend the 5 speed and If you have to have an automatic, as much as it hurts me to say this, I would recommend the Focus.
About rough idle. I also have a Ford ZX2 which has the exact same 'rough idle' problem people have been complaining about.
My sources tell me these new high output 4 cylinder engines have aggressive cam profiles which naturally cause rough idle (like the old muscle cars). Unless the car stalls, there is nothing wrong.
Anybody having a Dodge dealer tear apart their Neon with less than 50,000 miles on it to fix a rough idle problem is only asking for trouble. I dont have a lot of confidence in dealerships and beleive for everyproblem they fix, they cause 2 more.
I love my 2000 Neon. My only complaint is that Chrysler traded off performance for 'refinement'. I think when they redesigned the Neon the base model should have the 150 hp engine. Now all the other car manufacturers have caught up and the Neon has lost some of its edge.
It's still the original sporty 4 door sub-compact sedan and the best (with a 5 speed).
#77 of 1773 Edmund's Review... egads.
Jun 09, 2000 (5:56 pm)
See the new Economy Car comparison? Neon took last place. Edmund's has their opinions, and I have mine. Here's what I agree on:
- 3-speed auto: silly, outdated. Needs a 4-speed very badly (bring it over from the PT!)
- Seats. I think the 00's seats are a step above my 95's, and my 95's are excellent.
- More content needed, yes, but what price point were they working at? Surely cruise and other items are available, no? Correct me if I'm wrong.
The big big oversight: since when did the previous gen have power REAR windows? IIRC, it *never* did, ever. I know there were add-on kits available, but I never saw a Neon with rear power windows from the factory. If they exist, I'd be impressed. If they don't, this is an incredible, INCREDIBLE oversight on the part of the editors. I don't disagree with the stupidity of not having power rear windows; I disagree with the presentation of 'facts'.
And, a Neon worse than a Cavalier? Not a chance.
#78 of 1773 2000 Neon reviews
Jun 10, 2000 (6:31 pm)
For some reason, those who review automobiles simply do not like the Neon. Period. Based upon the reviews, you would think the car was only slightly better than a 1980 Chevy Citation.
I have also noticed a disturbing trend in automotive reviews and by automotive reviewers to discount factual numbers and substitute feelings instead.
#79 of 1773 2000 Neon Reviews (edswords)
Jun 11, 2000 (2:38 am)
I agree with you completely.Based on the reviews I've seen the overall message that they are trying to give you is that the Neon is junk.
Despite the fact that in the 10 econo-car review of one magazine the numbers are misleading. Look carefully.
In the acceleration numbers, it was equal if not faster than the Protege(look at ALL numbers!) which won the competition. Whats even more telling ,is the complaint about engine noise. Despite the reviews of many magazines that chastise the Neon for engine noise look at the numbers again.
In a flat out acceleration run the Neon was all of one DB (decibel) louder that the winner. What's more incredible is that in the everyday
noise level (forgive me, I don't remember the parameters) it was the SAME as most of the cars, as well as the Protege.
It was characterised as being "big car" luxurious and that out of all the cars in the review the Neon drove like a "big car" This reference was not a criticism, but rather a compliment to its level of ride quality.
And yet these journalists dwelled upon the following as though it was important;
A) they did'nt like the baseball size shifter knob
B) the fabric on the seats were too "grippy" for the fat butt (their words, not mine) of one of their editors.
Oh, and of course the "loud" engine.
Of course, they rated it as only second to the Protege in terms of "fun to drive",and that it felt great in a mountain drive over twisty roads, and had fresh styling.
What the hell? All that, and it's rated 5th???
I dunno. I have a 2000 NEON ES with 5-spd,alloys,premium sound,ABS and Traction.I've driven the cars rated ahead of the Neon.They do not compare when you compare their price to the value/performance/creature comforts.The key point for me was those three parameters.
Mine is the first US made car I've owned,(and hell,I'm middle aged!) and I'm impressed as hell with the fit and finish,and the absolutely great acceleration and handling.Yeah, maybe reliability and resale will bite me in the ass,but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I just don't get it.
I just cannot look at the numbers displayed in the review,plus the positive remarks for handling,speed,fit /finish and come out with a 5th place finish.
Yeah, and I DID go to college, so someone needs to enlighten me.
#80 of 1773 2000 Neon problems.....update
Jun 12, 2000 (3:00 pm)
Took the car back to the service department on Friday. They still keep telling me the low/rough idle is "normal". As for the discoloration on the outside window frames/pillars, they tell me to wax them. Somehow I don't see where that's going to help. I'll try it.
...One last thing I forgot to mention.
I did take my "lemon" through arbitration with DC at 11,000 miles. I lost. Even though no one from DC or the dealership bothered to show up for the hearing. According to the arbitrator, all my problems had been fixed. I have since changed dealerships/service departments as I didn't feel I could trust the one I bought the car from anymore. I do agree that tearing the engine apart at this point would probably cause more problems.
Within the next few weeks, I'll start the process of selecting a replacement vehicle. Any suggestions???
#81 of 1773 justpurple
Jun 13, 2000 (1:58 am)
I'd whole-heartedly, in all seriousness select a neon with the 5-speed.
If you'd prefer not to think for yourself go pay a ton more for a low power, stripped, tiny civic and then pretend you don't have the same problems.
I'd say you just got a bad early run 2000 neon and would have much better luck with another.
#82 of 1773 Edmunds Small Car Comparison
Jun 13, 2000 (7:38 pm)
I just completed reading the small car comparison and it is full of flaws.
First, they should drive cars with similar equipment. Some cars had automatics and others had 5 speeds. Some were selected with ugraded engine options (like the Cavalier) while others had base engines.
The editors indicated that the Neon could have moved up in the rankings if it had a 4 speed automatic transmision. How far up? Next to last? Where would a 5 speed Neon be?
It would be silly for Dodge to accomodate Edmunds and the rest of the car magazines by putting an automatic transmission in the car if they still won't like it rank the car next to last.
I suspect that they gave the new Neon their lowest ranking to punish DaimlerChrysler for not equipping the car with an automatic transmission with the hopes that the manufacturer take heed and offer a 4 speed automatic in the near future.
I agree that the 3 speed automatic should keep the Neon out of the top ranking. But last? That is rediculous.
If Dodge's 2000 Neon is not substantially better than the Cavalier and Civic (both are about 5 year old designs) than Dodge should just get out of the car business.
Jun 14, 2000 (11:09 pm)
To all: if youre out theyre looking for a new car just disregard the car reviews you see in magazines and elsewhere. They are full of BUNK. As stated by others before, these reviews totally disregard factual numbers and base all on their personal fancy. There is some type of conspiracy against the new NEON's because I cant find but one review that shows any respect for the car. The one that does is www.car-truck.com in the chrysler section. They gave the NEON's a realistic rating and praised it well, which it deserves.
#84 of 1773 Conspiracy theory (importfighter)
Jun 15, 2000 (6:52 pm)
After reading the reviews on the NEON 2K and actually owning one.I've gotta agree with you.
What's really annoying is that I personally drove most of the cars competing with NEON before making a final decision, and they lacked character.
I like the JETTA, but the performace/price was too low for too much money.
The propaganda must be working, because where I live (Silver Spring.MD) I hardly see any 2K NEON's. Even rarer is a 5spd with the ABS/alloys, which is what I have.An uncommon, common car?
I had great fun with a 5 series BMW the other day from a standstill to 60MPH.The guy was red in the face at the next stoplight.Guess he could'nt shift or was a knucklehead.
Last great econo car I loved was a 1983 VW Golf GTI. Euro-spec and very fast. I think however that my new 2K Neon ES is equal is acceleration, and handling, and superior (vastly!), in creature comforts.
A lot of older NEON drivers have registered dissatisfaction with the new NEON,and that's their right. I find the new one to a much more refined,one with almost the same level (stock) as the older models.
Unfortuately,I have very little long term data (12,000 miles and up) on the reliabily of this
car.I have seen a few posts on the power steering, and Justpurple's problems, but not a great deal about the 2K problems as a whole.Remember that the 2k has been out since mid-1999, so if it is in fact as terrible as people say,why so few posts?
I regret the problems of the 95-99 models have so stained the reputation of Chrysler (although it's
deserved ..,if true). In the case of the 2K NEON ,I have to say , that it appears that Chrysler has made an attempt to right some of their wrongs.They also have moved the car into the mainstream where a certain level of luxury and refinement is expected. Yeah, I loved my old VW Golf GTI, but the 2K NEON has the performance, and handling to match it. But, as I'm now middle aged, I kinda like little things like power steering,Power windows, an A/C that works,convenience lighting, and a kick-ass stereo.
Does it follow the initial "spirit" of the Neon? No, from what I hear from 95-99 owners, but progress demands change.I don't feel that DC abandoned the key things that made the NEON great,they've just honed the rough edges.
Time will tell.
It's just annoying to see all the bad reviews,especially when you own the car and have driven the so-called "better" cars.
Jun 15, 2000 (8:24 pm)
Has anyone changed the air filter yet. Can't find it in stores yet!!