Pros: Nice appearance and craftsmanship.
Cons: Rides a little rougher than some other small cars.
This is a nice car well built, though I was a little disappointed in the ride. It handles great and has plenty of power with the 2.0 Liter 132-horsepower four cylinder engine but, I felt like it was a little bouncy for me. It can get from 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds. Except for a little bounce, the quality and craftsmanship of the Neon looks great.
The inside was well designed with everything at your reach. There is plenty of room in the front when the seat is all the way back, though this did not leave much room in the rear seats. The rear seats are OK for small children, I wouldn't recommend them for teens or adults unless the front seats are all the way up.
Trunk room is larger than compared to most small cars in this class at 13.1 cubic feet.
It has front-wheel drive that makes it great in the snow for traction.
The gas tank is 12.5 gallons and the tires are P185/60R15.
Price starts at $12715.00 with out the destination charge. It comes with the 5-speed manual transmission and you will have to add $600.00 for the automatic three-speed transmission. To add air-conditioning is another $1000 so now you are up to $14315.00 (Some models do come standard with air conditioning.)
The Standard Features
There are not a whole lot of standard features in the compact cars, here are some with the 2001 Dodge Neon.
Air Bags in the front for the driver and the passenger.
Power Steering with a tilt steering wheel.
AM/FM Stereo with Cassette and built in clock. (Come on CD is the new way!)
There is a Trunk Entrapment Release so you can open it from inside the trunk.
An extra DC Power Outlet and cup holders.
An Electric rear window defroster.
An intermittent wiper system with two-speeds and variable.
Gas Mileage Comparison
I believe a lot of people buy a small car for the gas mileage. Here are a few competitors with 2.0 Liter engines, except the Cavalier and the Camry they do not have a 2.0 so I used the 2.2 Liter engine for comparison.
Dodge Neon: Manual Transmission - City 27 & Highway 33 MPG.
Automatic Transmission - City 24 & Highway 31 MPG.
Ford Escort: Manual Transmission - City 26 & Highway 33 MPG.
Automatic Transmission - City 25 & Highway 33 MPG.
Hyundai Elantra: Manual Transmission - City 25 & Highway 33 MPG.
Automatic Transmission - City 24 & Highway 33 MPG.
Toyota Camry: Manual Transmission - City 23 & Highway 32 MPG.
Automatic Transmission - City 23 & Highway 30 MPG.
Chevy Cavalier: Manual Transmission - City 23 & Highway 33 MPG.
Automatic Transmission - City 23 & Highway 32 MPG.
Overall they all have about the same gas mileage and the Camry and Cavalier have a slightly larger engine. The Neon did come out on top for city mileage of 27 miles per gallon with the manual transmission.
If your looking for a low priced brand new small car without air conditioning than the Neon might be for you.
Now if you wanted air conditioning and a smoother ride I would recommend looking at other brands, some like the Chevy Cavalier come standard with air conditioning and the base price is only $445 more than the Neon. I think air conditioning and anti-lock brakes should be standard and not extra.
The Neon is a nice looking car, it is just too small for me.