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1996 Plymouth Neon

  • 1996 Plymouth Neon Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
      38
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      132/129
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $9,890
  • 1996 Plymouth Neon Base Sedan

    Base Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      38
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      132/129
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $11,595
  • 1996 Plymouth Neon Highline Coupe

    Highline Coupe

    • MAX MPG
      38
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      132/129
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $11,395
  • 1996 Plymouth Neon Highline Sedan

    Highline Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      38
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      132/129
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $11,595
  • 1996 Plymouth Neon Sport Coupe

    Sport Coupe

    • MAX MPG
      38
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      132/129
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $12,795
  • 1996 Plymouth Neon Sport Sedan

    Sport Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      38
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      132/129
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $12,795
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  • Review

1996 Plymouth Neon Review

A compact for a stellar value.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1996 Plymouth Neon serves as a front-drive, compact car. The Neon sells as both a two-door coupe and a sedan. It has been referred to as the “Japanese car killer? due to its relatively low production cost. The Neon boasts good looks, power, and price. It successfully blends power and personality with practicality and affordability and competes with cars such as the Honda Civic, Pontiac Sunfire, Nissan Sentra, Ford Escort, Chevrolet Cavalier, and Toyota Corolla.

The Plymouth Neon comes in three trim levels–the base, Highline, and Sport.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door coupe, sedan
Engines: 132-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 150-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Plymouth Neon coupe, Plymouth Neon sedan, Plymouth Neon Highline coupe, Plymouth Neon Highline sedan, Plymouth Neon Sport coupe, Plymouth Neon Sport sedan

What's New

For the 1996 model year, the Plymouth Neon offers optional anti-lock brakes for each model. Anti-lock brakes once came standard with the Sport, but now provide an option across the line.

1996 base models pack more standard features than ever before. A base two-door coupe makes a new addition to the model mix.

To appeal to younger 20-something buyers on a budget, a value-packed Expresso package includes air-conditioning, a bulged hood, a deck lid spoiler, an upgraded interior trim, and white wheel covers and graphics.

Upgrades increase fuel-tank capacity, while also making the Neon a much quieter car. A four-spoke wheel replaces last year’s two-spoke steering wheel. New options include a power moonroof, power windows, and a remote keyless entry system with a panic alarm. The Nitro Yellow color has been discontinued but the color palette adds two new colors.

Exterior

The 1996 Plymouth Neon rides a 104-inch wheelbase. It measures 171.8 inches long and 67.5 inches wide. It stands at roughly 53 inches tall, with the sedan models being an inch or two shorter. The Neon uses rack and pinion steering and full independent suspension.

The base Neon features standard 14-inch wheels, tinted windows, body-colored bumpers, and intermittent windshield wipers. Options include a power moonroof, anti-lock brakes, and alloy wheels.

Interior

The Plymouth Neon’s interior seats five. Front headroom measures in at 39.6 inches, with front legroom at 42.5 inches. Rear headroom reaches 36.5 inches, while legroom in the back seat totals 35.1 inches. This feels rather cramped for grown adults seated in the back.

The front of the 1996 Plymouth Neon has bucket seats with cloth upholstery. Gauges and controls seem logically placed, and both legible and accessible. Air-conditioning, an AM/FM radio with a CD or cassette player, cruise control, power windows, and power locks provide options.

Visibility from the rear window can be problematic to some, and the Neon has a few blind spots as well.

Performance & Handling

The Neon comes standard with a 132-hp, two-liter, four-cylinder engine that pairs with a five-speed manual transmission with overdrive. A twin cam, two-liter engine remains available as an option with the Sport sedan. A three-speed automatic transmission provides yet another option.

Overall, the Neon offers a great ride and handles well in good weather; however, it experiences issues with durability and overall reliability. After its fair share of use, the 1996 Plymouth Neon tends to rattle, squeak, and need repairs.

Safety

The 1996 Plymouth Neon comes standard with driver and passenger front airbags. The Sport sedan earns four stars for driver and passenger safety in front-onset crashes conducted by the NHTSA. IIHS crash tests contradict the NHTSA rating, ranking the Neon as “Poor? in frontal crashes.

EPA Fuel Economy

Plymouth Neon: 28/38 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Ride and handling
  • Style
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

You Won't Like

  • Bad electrical system
  • Blind spots
  • Rattling
  • Prone to wear and tear
  • Lacks legroom in back seat

Sum Up

A compact for a stellar value.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Nissan Sentra
  • Ford Escort
  • Chevrolet Cavalier
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Honda Civic
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