If the 2001 Dodge Neon were a member of the animal kingdom, I believe it would be a chameleon, cool, nice outside, maybe even exciting at first, but you will disappointed once you see what is inside that robust exterior. Personally, I am a big fan of Dodge. They make beefy trucks, reliable cars, and have thrown the auto industry more than one curve ball. All in all though, they missed the mark on the Neon.
I rented the newly styled 2001 models so that I could take it on an extended test drive. The outside shell of the car is sporty and gives the test driver an aura of speed and class. Smooth lines and sharp curves move the car into the eye candy section of the lot. The interior is quite spacious even for me (6’4’’) and Dodge has done a good job making use of the cab-forward design. The layout of the dash is friendly and natural; everything in it’s place and a place for everything. This my friends is where the positive side of the Neon ends.
The 4-cylinder engine produced adequate power, but the automatic transmission does not make good use of it. Torque and overall horsepower seem to have left the premises in favor of a mediocre gas mileage. I know that you usually have to sacrifice power for mileage or visa-versa, but this contraption got ride of both. The Neon boasts a Highway mileage rating of 23 Miles/Gallon, which is not all that great when compared to similar model made by Honda. And to be trite, the get up and go that is supposed to power the car forward, got up and went somewhere else.
Engine noise in the cabin is manifest. Vibrations and shakes are annoying and the suspension that is supposed to smooth your ride has apparently taking a vacation and will be sorely missed. Tiny tires, that are also very narrow provide little road contact and prove that tires really are a vital part of a car (Someone needs to explain this to the Neon engineers).
Nice on the outside…okay on the inside, but down right miserable when you get to all the parts that really matter. The car reminds me of the old saying, “Never judge a book by its Cover” That’s a wise saying. Always remember to take a close look at what you are getting into. The Neon has the dressing of a lion, but the heart of a rabbit and is just not very exciting when you look at all the other cars you could have spent your time in.
As always, thank you for taking my opinion into consideration. I hope that I was helpful. If you have any questions or comments for me, please email me at Diversion4u@excite.com.
Amount Paid (US$):
2001Model and Options: