"I'm the 3rd owner of this very basic version coupe. No a/c, cruise, or tilt wheel. Purchased after a complete pro going over in 2007, hasn't given me any problems that can't be attributed to WI winters EXCEPT the dash display/speedometer. This went out intermittently until it pretty much gave up the ghost (who still thinks it's funny to haunt me by working for a few miles when I'm not looking!)This is a known defect. I could change the speedometer and probably have the same thing happen so have driven it for close to 5 yrs without. Worrisome that the gas gauge and tripometer don't work but top it off beforehand.
This car has plenty of guts to achieve highway speeds. Love the cable clutch - very easy to learn stick and great starting on hills.
Mileage was excellent, more so when I was able to regularly use premium (every 3 tanks).
Rust is taking its toll and I'm getting too old to get out of it, especially with no tilt steering."
Pros: "economical to drive when in good condition"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I bought this car from my sister-in-law in 2008 so it was already 10 years old but I knew its history. Drove it for 3 years without any major repairs, then, typically, everything started to break down.
Great, fun little car to drive especially as a 5 speed. Cornered well and economical on gas. Also easy to change your own spark plugs and wires and make other repairs yourself.
All in all, I had fun driving this car but I'm now in the market for something a little newer."
Pros: "very fun driver, fit in spots other cars cant"
Cons: "noisy ride, crazy colored seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"decided to go for the neon because iv known a lot of people who drive them. I get the 5 speed manual, first manual I have ever drove so it was a learning experience. I can say probably the best car for people to learn on. I was off after 5 mins of instruction. lots of power hidden in these little cars everyone doesn't give credit to, but also coupled with great fuel economy. its like the perfect package. the only thing id say that needs work is the road noise and the crazy colored seats. I hit a moose with my neon and turned around and bought another one. what does that say to you bout the neon. do a little research, might find it surprising."
Pros: "Keeps on driving, cheap to insure and good gas mpg"
Cons: "engine issues/quality of build, not a chick magnet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I own a 1996 NEON BASE SEDAN model with automatic transmission, casette radio, a/c and rear defroster as the only options, and I bought this car off craigslist and I was scammed from the start because the owner had receipts and the old parts in the car,to "prove" he did the work.
Well when I first bought it, the car drove decently for 2 days, the 3rd day I smelled a really noticable oil burning smell and found out the oil was leaking somewhere. I bought 4 quarts of oil and put in about 2.5 quarts. The oil was being burnt off because there was no sign of the oil leak under the car. took it to mechanic and found out the valve cover gaskets and the spark plug filler tubes had oil in it and it was leaking from 5 different locations of the valve cover gasket. The previous owner SWEARED that he replaced the valve cover gaskets and showed me a receipt of the work before I bought the car. So he lied to me and somehow must have known someone who could "repair" it. The car also came with a bad inner tie rod on the passenger's side, check engine light on for missfire, and partially clogged gas lines. I bought it for $700.00 so I should have expected that. I went to a family mechanic and had the entire valve cover area replaced with new gaskets and sensors, also repaired the tie rod. got the car back a week later only to have it return to the shop not even 5 minutes after leaving with the car. The car sat in the shop for 1 month and I took the bus. Finally got it back and according to the mechanic it was a back vacuum line, brake booster and master cylinder. forked out a total of $1000.00 for just those past repairs combined. So I paid more than what I bought the car for. But I drive it on the highway daily for work now, the check engine light came back on last week for a missfire but the car runs and drives fine with NO indication of a missfire. So I just drive it with the light on and I can still push the car to go around 75-85 mph on the highway without much resistance from the car.
The automatic transmission likes to shift whenever it feels like so it feels sluggish and gets passed by everyone including those prius and sunday drivers, but can catch up and pass them eventually, I love how it can handle like an old go-kart when switching lanes multiple times at higher speeds. The rear end looks like it is sticking up in the air. The red, blue, green speckles against the grey cloth contrasts and reminds me of a blind and untalented artist. The factory speakers are only good if you HATE bass otherwise you hear the speakers buzz evertime the bass drops. Basic so manual locks and windows which lets you have a great wrist exercise turning clockwise and counter clockwise but NO petty electronic issues to deal with. Gas mileage is decent even though it could be better with a bigger gas tank the 12.5 gal disappears so fast. Great turning radius so no pesky three or more point turns to make.
NOT an attractive car. Also works as a theft deterrant I mean you have to have such a low self esteem to be stealing a Neon.
Other than that the car runs and in the end that is all that matters."