2005 Dodge Neon

  • 2005 Dodge Neon SE Sedan

    SE Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Dodge Neon SXT Sedan

    SXT Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
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2005 Dodge Neon Review

Offers capable handling, a high-quality audio system, and a reasonable price.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The Dodge Neon has fallen under criticism for a noisy engine and cabin, yet simultaneously garnered praise for its nimble handling and spacious cabin since its introduction in 1995. The 2000 model year saw a redesign that updated the compact car’s looks, reduced the engine noise and vibration levels, and improved the ride and handling. For 2002, the Neon finally came with a four-speed automatic transmission, and in 2004 Dodge further updated it with new front and rear fascias, light clusters, and interior features. New engine mounts and a taller fifth gear in manual-transmission SE and SXT models help to smooth out the Neon’s two-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The high-performance R/T model is eliminated for 2005, replaced by an appearance package designed to mimic the appearance of the SRT-4. Although the 2005 Dodge Neon still lacks refinement and interior quality, its sporty handling and good sound system are appealing.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Dodge Neon SE, Dodge Neon SXT, Dodge Neon SRT-4

What's New

The 2005 Dodge Neon carries over from 2004 with few changes. The R/T model is dropped in favor of an SRT-4 appearance package, and SXT models now feature a new Kicker audio system.


The compact 2005 Neon is 174.4 inches long overall. Its styling evokes the look of the original 1995 Neon but with an attempt at a more mature appearance. The Neon features a distinctive, cab-forward profile, arched roofline, and ovoid headlamps. Its long wheelbase and wide track allow for a roomy interior, smooth ride, and stability at high speeds. The current Neon also has a more rigid body structure than first-generation models, which results in a smoother, quieter, more controlled ride.

The base SE model of the features 14-inch black steel wheels, while the SXT upgrades to 15-inch aluminum wheels. The SXT also adds front foglights. An SRT Design package includes a power bulge hood, dual exhausts, and a rear spoiler.


The 2005 Neon boasts a roomy interior and a high driver’s seating position for good visibility. The SXT model’s seats are quite comfortable, cushy and supportive, although the side bolster appears soft. The front edges of the seats are trimmed with vinyl for a finished look. The dash and door trim are made of premium soft-touch materials, but other components are made of cheap plastics. The Neon's trunk is reasonably large at 13.1 cubic feet, and the rear seat folds down for extra cargo space. All Neons seat five people on a pair of front buckets and a three-place 60/40-split folding rear seat.

The SE trim is basic with manual windows and door locks, tilt steering, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a four-speaker AM/FM cassette radio, rear-window defogger, and a center console with four cup holders. Air-conditioning is available as an optional upgrade.

The SXT adds air-conditioning, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, power front windows, power door locks, keyless remote, power trunk lid release, and a tachometer. Optional upgrades on the SXT include a power sunroof, six-disc in-dash CD changer, and a trunk-lid spoiler. A Sport Appearance group includes the spoiler, foglamps, body-color or satin-silver bezels for the instrument panel, center stack, and shifter, and differently styled 15-inch aluminum wheels. 2005 SXT models are also available with the SRT Design Package, which includes most of the Sport Appearance items and adds a power bulge on the hood, unique front fascia, and dual exhaust tips. The optional Kicker audio package includes a 208-watt Kicker sound system with eight speakers and a separate amp.

Performance & Handling

The standard engine for the 2005 Dodge Neon is a two-liter inline four that produces 132 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the SRT-4 carries a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, capable of 220 horsepower and 245 lb-ft of torque. Drivers have a choice of four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. As far as economy sedans go, the 2005 Dodge Neon is somewhat noisy. The handling is solid for a small front-wheel drive, and the well-weighted steering gives excellent ride quality around curves.


Front disc and rear drum brakes are standard and anti-lock brakes are optional on both the SE and SXT. Side airbags for front occupants are also optional. In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s frontal impact crash testing, the 2005 Dodge Neon receives four out of five stars; in side-impact tests, it rates three stars for front and rear passenger protection. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Neon its second-lowest rating of ?marginal? in frontal-offset crash testing.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Neon SE/SXT: 25/32 mpg city/highway
Dodge Neon SXT-4: 19/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong brakes
  • Good ride quality
  • High-quality sound system

You Won't Like

  • Lacks refinement
  • Low-grade interior components
  • No power rear windows

Sum Up

Offers capable handling, a high-quality audio system, and a reasonable price.

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