Dodge Neon Origins
The Dodge Neon debuted as a replacement for the Dodge Shadow. Chrysler designed the Neon with a simple shape, sporty stance, and well-tuned suspension to appeal to young drivers.
The first-generation Neon comes as either a two-door coupe or four-door sedan; both contain a two-liter, 4-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Later in the vehicle’s run, the company added an optional three-speed automatic transmission. The base Neon and Neon Highline trim offer a 132-horsepower engine, while a Neon Sport trim provides 150 horsepower. Chrysler later renamed the trim levels to SE, SXT, and R/T.
A 2000 remodel resulted in a somewhat larger and heavier second generation. Chrysler increased the Dodge Neon’s wheelbase and track to improve its interior space. The coupe option was eliminated, leaving only base and Highline sedans.
Chrysler supplemented the Neon lineup with a 215-horsepower turbocharged Neon SRT-4 in 2003. In addition to its more powerful engine, the SRT-4 is fitted with details such as a sporty hood vent, fog lights, and a rear spoiler. A 2003 face-lift revised the Neon with new fascias and a more modern interior.
The four-door Dodge Caliber replaced the Dodge Neon after 2005.About the Dodge Neon
The Dodge Neon is best known for its affordable compact design and sporty performance.
Athletic handling and a quality audio system make the Neon a popular choice for new drivers, while a budget-friendly price tag and an available four-door version appeal to parents looking for an entry-level family car.
Neon models with a manual transmission also earn praise for their fuel economy, boasting EPA ratings of 29/36 mpg city/highway. Switching to the automatic transmission lowers mileage to 25/32 mpg city/highway.Dodge Neon Features
The last Dodge Neon was produced for 2005. The 2005 Dodge Neon comes in three trim levels: a base SE, mid-level SXT, and high-performance SRT-4. The SRT appearance package, introduced for 2005, replaced the previous R/T trim level.
The first two trims have a 2.0-liter, 132-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, while the SRT-4 features a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 220 horsepower. Transmission choices include a standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic.
Standard equipment on the Neon SE includes 14-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a split-folding rear seat, child seat anchors, front airbags, a rear-center three-point seat belt, and a cassette player. Options for the SE include a CD player and air-conditioning.
Upgrading to the SXT adds standard air-conditioning, a CD player, 15-inch alloy wheels, power locks, power mirrors, and power front windows. SXT options include cruise control, anti-lock brakes, and an eight-speaker Kicker audio system with CD changer.
The SRT-4 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, a dual exhaust system, fog lights, a rear spoiler, a leather steering wheel, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player. An SRT appearance package updates the SXT trim with the dual exhaust system, fog lights, and a rear spoiler. Side airbags come as an option on all trim levels.
The 2005 Dodge Neon measures 174.4 inches in length, 56.0 inches in height, and 67.4 inches in width. Inside the car, front passengers receive 38.4 inches of headroom, 42.2 inches of legroom, and 52.4 inches of hip room. Rear passengers have 36.7 inches of headroom, 34.8 inches of legroom, and 52.9 inches of hip room.Dodge Neon Evolution
The Dodge Neon debuted in 1995 as an entry-level compact available in coupe or sedan body styles. Three trims were initially offered, each equipped with a 2-liter inline-four engine. Base and Highline models feature an engine output of 132 horsepower, while the Sport model boasts a gutsier 150-horsepower twin-cam.
For 1996, Chrysler added standard keyless entry, a four-spoke steering wheel, optional power windows, and a larger fuel tank. A special-edition Expresso Package features a rear spoiler, 14-inch wheels, white wheel covers, standard air-conditioning, body-color bumpers, and interior trim from the Sport model.
In 1997, a Sport Package on the Highline trim replaced the Sport trim. Highline models can also be upgraded to a twin-cam engine.
Chrysler rearranged the Neon’s trim levels in 1998, renaming the base trim the Competition and adding an R/T trim with sport-tuned suspension, racing stripes, 14-inch wheel covers, fog lights, disc brakes, and a unique interior.
The second-generation Neon debuted in 2000 with a new body featuring a smoother roofline and more refined silhouette. Two trims, the Highline and ES, are both equipped with the 132-horsepower, four-cylinder engine. Chrysler eliminated the coupe, leaving only the four-door sedan. Other changes include a revised suspension and steering system, a quieter engine, and updated exterior lights.
2001 welcomed the return of the R/T trim and the addition of the ACR trim. Both new models feature the 2.0-liter, 150-horsepower engine once available on the Sport. New options for 2001 include leather seats, side airbags, and a four-disc CD changer.
In 2002, the three-speed automatic transmission was replaced with a four-speed gearbox. The SXT trim returned for 2002. In 2003, the turbocharged SRT-4 was added to the Neon lineup.