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1999 Plymouth Neon Coupe

2dr Cpe Highline

Starting at | Starting at 28 MPG City - 39 MPG Highway

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  • $11,735 original MSRP
Printable Version

1999 Plymouth Neon Coupe

Printable Version

1999 Plymouth Neon Coupe

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Pre-Owned Profile: 1995-1999 Dodge/Plymouth Neon

Source: AutoTrader.com

Good looks and great performance from the company formerly known as Chrysler.

Chrysler introduced its compact Neon in 1994 as an early 1995 model with a cheeky "Hi" advertising campaign. The goal: to position the Neon as a fun-to-drive car that dared to look different.

The Neon did look different, but it also offered much more interior space and performance than its closest rival, which helped differentiate it from the rest of the economy-car class. And those differences are what have brought it sales success since its 1994 introduction.

The Dodge and Plymouth Neon (identical twins save for the nameplate)still look quite different from other cars on the road thanks to their cab-forward design, which has become a Chrysler hallmark. In some ways the Neon resembles the New Beetle, which so captivated the hearts of Americans when it went on sale in 1998.

But, in terms of performance and quietness, the Neon has suffered the effects of advancing age. It simply lacks the refinement of most Japanese models in the same segment.

However it does offer more space, style and excitement than most every other car in its class. If you want something more than a just a means of inexpensive transportation, a pre-owned Neon is a reasonable choice.

 

What You Need To Know:

1. Review of a 1995 Dodge/Plymouth Neon

2. Summary of Good and Bad Points by Owners

3. History of Neon

4. Review of Current Model

5. Basic Facts

6. Changes Year-to-Year

7. Safety Information

8. Value Guide

9. Option Installment Rate

10. Sales History

11. Awards and Commendations Earned

12. Other Reviews

13. Recall Information

14. Price of Spare Parts

 

1. Pre-Owned Vehicle Review -- 1995 Dodge/Plymouth Neon

Likes: great looking modern small car, zippy engine, even with automatic transmission

Dislikes: noisy engine

Competitors: Chevrolet Cavalier, Ford Escort, Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla

Miles: 55,700

Condition: A

Price new: $12,500 (est.)

Estimated 1998 value: $8,500

When Chrysler introduced the Dodge and Plymouth Neon in early 1994 as a 1995 model, it was well received (see below). It was viewed as a breath of fresh air in an otherwise generally dull entry-level basic small car market.

I was pleased to find that the 1995 Dodge Neon (identical to a Plymouth Neon) I drove still looked and felt good. It was a four-door sedan with the optional three-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning and a stereo radio/cassette player. The car's performance was decidedly peppy, compared to the rather sluggish response one gets from most four-cylinder engines with an automatic transmission. I would rate the performance with an automatic about the same as in other cars of similar size with a manual transmission. Thanks to the car's wide stance and long wheelbase, its handling is above average for a small car, which gives it a secure feeling.

The engine in the car I drove became a bit noisy at high revs and there were some vibrations from the front end, but it was no worse than I'd expect from a car with 55,000 on the odometer. The brakes were squeaky, though that might have been from lack of use, as much as anything.

What struck me most about the car was the amount of room inside for an entry-level basic car. Although the car's cute lines would lead you to believe otherwise, it has a higher roofline than most cars which provides good headroom, even for six-footers, in the back as well as in the front.

Interior appointments are simple but stylish, with just three gauges in the instrument pod (no tachometer). Storage options are adequate. The brightly patterned cloth seats were in good condition and the bucket seats still did a good job of holding one comfortably in place. The trunk is of a decent size, although the wheelwells take up space and the hinges protrude down unnecessarily when the lid is closed. Access is good thanks to a low lip.

One nice feature in the Neon is the use of real seatbelts, instead of the horrible mandated "passive" seatbelts attached to the doors in other cars of the Neon's ilk. This is an unintended advantage of dual airbags, which were not common in entry-level cars in 1994.

All told, the Neon offers good value for the money, if you are looking for an entry-level car with plenty of space and good performance. You'll have a tough time finding any with modern conveniences such as power windows or remote door locks, but most have air-conditioning systems installed. The Sport model with the 150-horsepower engine offers better performance without sacrificing too much in fuel economy. Neons are great amateur road-racers -- watch out for ones that have been involved in competition.

 

2. Summing It Up -- Owners' Views

Good: N/A

Bad: N/A

Verbatims: N/A

 

3. History of Neon

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Chrysler has made a name for itself as the producer of innovative cars that look different from the competition. In the past, domestic manufacturers tended to produce plain entry level cars, all but leaving the small car field to foreign manufacturers. They complained that it was impossible to make money on them anyway.

Chrysler successfully overcame these complaints with the introduction of the Neon in early 1994. In identical form with either a Dodge or Plymouth badge, it was hailed by critics as the best small car ever from a domestic manufacturer and was even regarded as being on par with the best small cars from Japan, but for a lot less money.

Its introduction was greeted with a cheeky "Hi" advertising campaign leading to a hoopla somewhat akin to the more recent introduction of the New Beetle. Thanks to its "cab-forward" design the Neon packs a lot of space into a small area of road. What's more, Chrysler installed a powerful 2.0-liter engine that gave the car a sprightly performance from the word go.

As an entry-level car it did not come with a long list of features such as power windows or air conditioning; yet it did have dual airbags which was not the norm in 1994. Apart from the peppy performance, even with the optional three-speed automatic transmission, the car also offered good handling thanks to location of its wheels at each corner. With some prodding from Chrysler, the Neon quickly became a favorite racecar with weekend racers often beating sports cars such as the Mazda Miata.

Within a year of the initial introduction, the 4-door Neon was joined by a sporty 2-door coupe. This was also offered with an optional 150 horsepower DOHC version of the engine. With ABS brakes as standard the cost of the Coupe was considerably higher than the base 4-door sedan.

Recently, buyers have shifted away from small cars in droves. In order to maintain sales of the Neon, Chrysler has shaved the price each year since introduction, making the car even more of a bargain today compared to when it was introduced as well as to other cars on the market. There has also has been some shuffling of options in the different packages over the years which makes price comparisons difficult.

 

4. Review of Current Neon

The 1998 Neon is still essentially identical to the original model introduced in 1994. An all-new model was announced at the end of 1998 for introduction in 1999 as on eof the first 2000 model year cars.

Despite the upcoming arrival of an-all new model, Chrysler has continued to fine-tune the Neon. It has especially attempted to dampen out some of the engine noise and harshness, which is not as good as newer cars from the likes of Honda and Toyota. A Dodge R/T version was introduced in 1998 and it offers even more sporty features and a paint scheme that shows a family relationship with the Dodge Viper.

Despite tougher competition now than when it was introduced in 1994, the Neon still features best-in-class standard-engine horsepower; with a spacious interior that makes the two-door coupe the roomiest in its class.

 

5. Basic Facts: 1995 - 1998 Neon

Vehicle Type: Compact Sedan/Coupe

No. Passengers: up to five

Origin of assembly: Belvidere, IL and Toluca, Mexico

Engine (standard): 2.0-liter 132 hp SOHC I-4

(optional): 2.0-liter 150 hp DOHC I-4

Transmission: 5-spd manual, 3-spd. automatic; front-drive

Length: 172 inches

Wheelbase: 104 inches

Width: 67 inches

Height: 55 inches

Curb weight: 2500 lbs. (approx.)

Cargo volume: 12 cu. ft.

Fuel tank capacity: 12.5 gals.

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway): 29/38 (2.0-liter, manual); 25/33 (2.0-liter, auto)

 

6. Changes in the Dodge/Plymouth Neon Line 1995 - 1999

1995 Model Year

Initial introduction, January 1994 as 1995 model

Four-door hardtop sedan

Two-door Coupe introduced later in year

Front door power windows available on Sedan later

1996 Model Year

Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes optional on all models

Remote keyless entry system w/panic alarm & illuminated entry

Power sunroof optional

Power windows optional on Coupe

1997 Model Year

Structural oil pan for quieter operation

New cast aluminum wheels

Sedan dynamic side impact protection

Reduced evaporative emissions

1998 Model Year

New generation airbags

Improved transmission housing for less noise and harshness

R/T performance package added

New anti-lock brake system

1999 Model Year

No changes

 

7. Safety Notes

NHTSA Crash rating (?95 model year): Driver 3; Passenger 4 (5 is best)

ABS standard on Sport model in '95 only, optional '96 on

Dual air bags standard from 1995

 

8. Value Guide:

Prices listed are for base models. Options can add considerably to the lowest price listed as these are usually "stripped" models. In many cases, very few vehicles are ever sold at the lowest price listed! Source: Kelley Blue Book

1995 Model Year

New: $10,000 to $13,767

1996 Model Year

New: $10,590 to $13,295

1997 Model Year

New: $11,500 to $13,170

1998 Model Year

New: $10,900 to $11,355

 

9. Option Installment Rate

Generally, when you order a new car you have a choice of factory-installed options. When you buy a used vehicle the choice is limited to what was actually installed on vehicles sold in that model year. Use this option installment rate as a guide to the chances of finding particular options on a used vehicle. Source: Ward's Automotive Yearbooks

1995 Model Year

Installment Rate

Engine:

2.0-liter (SOHC) 97%

2.0-liter (DOHC) 3%

Transmission:

Auto 76%

Manual 24%

Air Conditioning: 97%

Cruise Control: 32%

ABS Brakes: 29%

Power Windows: 3%

1996 Model Year

Installment Rate

Engine:

2.0-liter (SOHC) 96%

2.0-liter (DOHC) 4%

Transmission:

Auto 80%

Manual 20%

Air Conditioning: 96%

Cruise Control: 20%

ABS Brakes: 6%

Power Windows: 4%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 3%

1997 Model Year

Installment Rate

Engine:

2.0-liter (SOHC) 72%

2.0-liter (DOHC) 28%

Transmission:

Auto 83%

Manual 17%

Air Conditioning: 95%

Cruise Control: 21%

ABS Brakes: 3%

Power Windows: 5%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 2%

 

10. Production/Sales Volume History:

Normally a model year runs from Oct. to September. Often though, when a new version is introduced it hits the market before October. Legally, a model year can start as early as January of the preceding year. Accurate model year sales counts are almost impossible to collect as different model year vehicles are regularly sold side-by-side for several months. Production figures, when listed, include vehicles made for export to Canada, Mexico and overseas. Source: manufacturers

1995 Model Year (first year for model)

Production run: Jan. 1994 through Sept. 1995

Total number produced: Plymouth, 262,188; Dodge, 284,191

Total no. sold in U.S.: Plymouth, 169,695; Dodge, 200,336

1996 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1995 through Sept. 1996

Total number produced: Plymouth, 124,070; Dodge, 152,665

Total no. sold in U.S.: Plymouth, 108,037; Dodge, 140,189

1997 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1996 through Sept. 1997

Total number produced: Plymouth, 116,720; Dodge, 148,792

Total no. sold in U.S.: Plymouth, 84,441; Dodge, 116,651

1998 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1997 through Sept. 1998

Total number produced: n/a

Total no. sold in U.S.: Plymouth, 84,503; Dodge, 126,289

 

11. Awards and Commendations

1995

"Automobile of Year" - Automobile magazine (awarded in Jan. 1994)

"World Car of the Year" - International jury of auto magazines (awarded in 1994)

1996

"Best Buy" - Consumers Digest

1998

"Ten Best Buys" - New York Times

"Ten Most Likely to Succeed" - American Women Motor Scene

 

12. Quotes

The Neon was well received by the automotive press upon introduction. For example, it was unusual for an enthusiast magazine, such as Automobile, to give its car of the year award to a basic domestically made small car.

"Highs: Great performance, great spaciousness, great fun, great price." Car and Driver, Apr. 1994

"Neon performed admirably, impressing all who drove it...Not only is it reliable, but it caters to those with frugal spending habits who can't resist the call of the empty, winding road." -- Road & Track

"...The Neon...exhibited excellent fuel mileage and attracted a lot of attention on the freeways. Its superb steering and precise gearbox offered driving fun on the twisties, while its good ride and solid road feel made it a comfortable long-range cruiser. And there was plenty of space for me and my cargo..." -- Road & Track

 

13. Recalls (Only major recalls listed)

Year: 1995
Year of Recall:'94
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2,700
Summary: the ABS brake master cylinder rear seal allows air to enter the brake system, causing spongy brakes or partial brake system loss. Air entering the brake system caused extended stopping distance or partial loss of brakes, which may result in an accident.

Year: 1995
Year of Recall:'94
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7,100
Summary: moisture can get into the powertrain control module (pcm) causing driveability malfunctions, including stalling. Should drive ability malfunctions or stalling occur while the vehicle is in motion, a traffic accident may occur.

Year: 1995
Year of Recall:'94
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7,100
Summary: the rear brake hose mounting bracket screws can fail allowing the brake hoses to move out of position. The unrestrained hoses are then susceptible to damage, which could result in brake fluid leakage. Brake fluid leakage will reduce the braking performance of the vehicle, extend stopping distances, and could result in an accident. The rear brake line hose bracket screws on these vehicles will be replaced.

Year: 1995-'96
Year of Recall:'96
Potential Number of Units Affected: 151,800
Summary: the brake master cylinder can leak brake fluid due to a damaged double lip rear piston seal. Brake fluid leakage can result in diminished effectiveness of one half of the split brake system. The instrument panel warning light(s) will signal system impairment prior to partial brake system loss. Dealers will replace the rear brake master cylinder piston assembly.

Year: 1995
Year of Recall:'96
Potential Number of Units Affected: 180,000
Summary: The fuel and rear brake tubes can experience accelerated corrosion between the tubes and a rubber isolator. Corrosion of the tubes can lead to brake fluid or fuel leakage. This can cause a loss of brakes or result in a fire. Dealers will inspect the brake, fuel supply and fuel vapor tubes for the presence of corrosion. Any tubes showing corrosion will be replaced. All vehicles will have the rubber isolator replaced with a plastic clip.

Year: 1995
Year of Recall:'97
Potential Number of Units Affected: 375,000
Summary: Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles. The steering column coupler can become disconnected when the vehicle experiences an underbody impact. Loss of steering control can occur. Dealers will replace the steering column coupler with a coupler design that collapses on impact.

Year: 1996
Year of Recall:'96
Potential Number of Units Affected: 150,00
Summary: an engine wiring harness can short circuit due to contact with the exhaust gas recirculation tube. Shorting of the wiring harness can cause various electrical malfunctions, including engine stalling.

Year: 1997
Year of Recall:'97
Potential Number of Units Affected: 125,000
Summary: The electrical circuit design allows the potential for an inadvertent air bag deployment upon vehicle ignition shut down. Unexpected air bag deployment can result in occupant injury.

 

14. Cost of Parts (relative to other vehicles)

Headlight unit: $177 (above average)

Side marker lamp: $14 (below average)

Door (left front): $330 (below average)

Fender (left front): $177 (average)

 

Note: these are estimated retail prices for commonly replaced body parts on a 1995 model. Prices are current as of mid-1998 but will vary from region to region and are subject to change at any time. Source: ADP Collision

 

The Rettie Report and Pre-owned Profiles contain objective information from a variety of sources. The subjective comments are those of John Rettie.

 

 

Printable Version

1999 Plymouth Neon Coupe

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

1999 Plymouth Neon Coupe

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/100,000 Miles

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1999 Plymouth Neon Coupe

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