A/C compressor went out at 65k. Now, that sucked, but it wasn't the compressor's fault in this case. Leaves and crap somehow blocked the air tube that cooled the compressor, and it burned up trying to cool itself. It was a freak thing. I replaced the compressor and never had a problem again.
Radio started malfunctioning somewhere about 100k
Driver's seatbelt showed considerable wear at 150k, with front seat belt female receivers losing their fascia/covers sometime after that.
Cruise control went out at about 180k.
Replaced the radiator somewhere after 200k, I think. Might have replaced an alternator somewhere after then as well.
Instrument cluster got touchy somewhere after 200k, and speedo and tach eventually did quit altogether.
Burned oil about the last 100k, started to smoke about the last 80K, but still ran fine. Like, whatEVER, dude! Sold it to a teenager for $250 last year.
Best car I've ever owned. Bat out of hell! Had it at 102 mph with 1500 rpms left on the tach, and did 90 mph in 3rd gear one time. Ran it accidentally once into a 25mph curve at 55 mph in cruise when the original Goodyear Eagle GA's were on it. It just hunkered down, chirped a bit, and stayed in the curved as I modulated the brake out of it.
The ONLY real Neon was the 5 speed manual, in my opinion. I've been in and around the car business for most of my life, so once I became a Neon owner, I made a point of asking other Neon owners what they thought of it. Generally, all you had to do is ask if they had the stick or automatic. If they had the stick, they loved it. If they had the automatic, it was transportation at best. Putting an automatic in a Neon sucked the power and efficiency out of an otherwise great little car, and made it forgettable.
The 5 speed, however, on the first generation Neon (1995-1999), was geared tall on purpose; if you buried the tach needle up above 3k when taking off in first, it was easy to chirp the tires from a stop, and running out the rest of the gears was fun and effective. Fifth gear was really tall, so it was great for cruising as long as you weren't going up more than a 5% grade for any length of time. In fifth gear, the engine was turning about 2400rpms at 65mph. I averaged, seriously, year after year, about 40 mpg hwy and a regular 30 mpg in town. Most folks didn't realize that the transmission made all the difference. The 3 speed automatic lost about 5 mpg city/hwy to the manual. Ouch!
The engine never quit, and loved to work. For 1995, it had about 12-30 more horsepower than other base engine in its class. Not a whole lot more to say here. It just wouldn't quit. The dealer tried to sell me a head gasket replacement at about 80k, but I made an educated gamble and it never manifested a problem, at all. Never had an overheating problem, oil/water mixing, or any other typical head gasket symptom, through the time I sold it in Spring of 2009.
The inside was very roomy, thanks to its cab forward design, for a subcompact car. My 6'3" father-in-law sat in the back seat, behind me as a driver, one time, and his knees didn't hit my seatback, and his head didn't hit the headliner. Never could have said that in a '95 Civic, Sentra, Cavalier or Escort. Maybe the Mazda Protege, but it didn't have nearly the sporty performance or spunky character of a Neon.
In the early 2000's, before we had a minivan, my wife and I would pack into the Neon: 2 microphones and stands, cymbal and stands, bongos and stands, guitar, pedals and amp, luggage for 3, our baby girl and her seat, food for the trip, and for the first 15 minutes, our 50 pound dog to drop off at a friend's house, on our way to a music gig 250 miles away. The Neon held it all. We were amazed.
Again, "a great transmission pardons a multitude of sins." If you don't like your Neon, you either have/had a second generation Neon, which was heavier and had shorter, less efficient tranny ratios from 2000-2003, or you had an automatic in the first generation.