1999 Plymouth Neon Expresso 2.0 DOHC
Economy meets power and styling
Fuel pump went out around 115,000 miles. I did the repair myself and it cost me $75.00 because I ordered a replacement pump myself, soldered the wires, and put the pump into the in tank module. My only complaint is the plastic ring that holds the pump into the tank is difficult to remove. A dull chisel must be placed on a plastic lip and tapped until the thing threads off.
Before I purchased this car the head gasket was replaced, virtually all neons from this year have either had the head gasket replaced or need it to be replaced, it is a known problem.
The previous owner prophylactically replaced the timing belt at around 80,000 miles.
This car produces 150 HP at around 5000 RPMs, which isn't as high as it sounds because the red line is at 6500. The car produces just 90 horsepower near idle. These large differences is what allows the car to produce all the power needed, but still get 40 MPG on the highway. The power is in the hands of the driver who is selecting the gears. I do not believe I would like an automatic in these cars for this reason.
This is not a luxury car, it is an economy car, so the seats are not very comfortable, and are not adjustable. The interior on these cars is very nice and well constructed. The car is somewhat noisy on the highway, the design of the windows means that some wind does leak through the weather seal, especially when the wind is blowing. Anyone purchasing one of these cars should take it to a mechanic for an inspection, insure that the head gasket has been replaced. If it has not been replaced, assume you will have to have it done.
I really like these cars, I think they are highly underrated due to their known flaws, and the character of the types of people who typically purchase them. They see a lot of abuse, but in the right hands they offer perhaps the best balance of fuel efficiency and power on the road.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th April, 2006
6th Sep 2010, 16:57
Thanks for the great review! I just picked up a '99 Neon Espresso, and you provided a lot of excellent information on what to look for. The heads up about the head gasket was really helpful.
You're absolutely right about the car being solid with no frills. I'm in college, and this used car has a lot of miles on it, but also a lot of life in it. It's exactly what I need, and I can't really complain about anything on it. Thanks again for the review!