Changed front engine rubber pad 3 times for 117,000 km.
Thermostat at 105,000.
Radiator cap at 105,000.
Repairs on the car front at 78,000 km.
Headlight interior switch at 107,000 km.
Front brakes discs at 96,000 km.
I still own ’95 Neon. I bought it from a friend almost 12 years ago at 40,000 km for about 6,500 EUR, and now it has 117,000 on it.
It turned out, that we didn’t drive it too much; my wife and I have always had other cars besides the Neon, but still it’s quite a period of time, and I think it's worth sharing my experience with this car here.
I see here many people having bad experiences – well, mine is in the opposite direction. Besides the regular stuff (belts, oil, spark plugs, filters, pads, etc.) for all these years, I had one, more significant, repair and parts change on the car front; changed the thermostat once, one minor problem with the speedometer (cost - about 20 USD), twice changed the front engine rubber pad, and... that’s pretty much all.
I have to replace now the battery, which is a 7 year old regular car battery, and that means the electrical system and alternator still works great. I’ve never had a problem to start the engine, even at -20 C, and the car has never left me on the road.
Rear brakes squeal, when cold or wet. I see it’s a common problem, but it doesn’t bother me much. Front brake pads last almost 60,000 km (I have to change them for the second time only, about 40% city driving), quite decent in fuel consumption - 450 km average with one tank.
Suspension is still OK.
There are slight traces of rust already on the corners of the front doors, but considering the car's age, and the fact that I don’t keep it in a garage, it is the least to be expected.
What I must mention is, that the car is US made for Europe (manual transmission, Mitsubishi 2.0i 16V engine). I’ve no idea if it refers somehow to the overall quality or not, but for me this simple car appears to be the most maintenance free vehicle I have ever owned! And I have grounds for comparison to European, Japanese and other American (GM) car makers; this Neon strongly beats them in terms of reliability and low cost of maintenance. I’m surprised to see so many people with such a bad experience!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th November, 2011