1996 Chrysler Neon ACR 2.0 DOHC from North America


Still a great bang for the buck after five years


The head gasket failed (with a slight oil leakage down the back of the engine block) at roughly 33,000 miles -- a common problem with early Neons. The head gasket was replaced by the dealer under warranty with no argument. Apparently a redesigned gasket has been used since 1997 (known as MLS gasket) which has significantly reduced the number of failures.

Brakes have worn well. I replaced the brakes at all four wheels for the first time at 78,000 miles.

The original struts began to leak at roughly 80,000 miles. Replaced them with a new set of Konis.

There is some minimal wear on the leather wrap of the steering wheel. Probably to be expected as the car nears 100,000 miles.

General Comments:

The ACR (competition package) handles phenomenally well.

Acceleration is strong.

Reliability has been excellent.

Maintenance is key. If well-maintained from new, the manual-transaxle Neon will serve you well. I fully expect this car will turn 200,000 miles and still run strong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2001

9th Jan 2002, 11:14

At least your head gasket blew under warranty, most neons (like mine) blow out around 50,000 miles and the dealer won't help even though they know about their faulty head gaskets on all neons from 95-99 with the 2.0L engine and refuse to make a recall on them.

24th Jan 2003, 20:50

I have a 96 Neon and at 70,000 miles the head gasket is leaking once again. This and the paint have been a constant problem. The paint has peeled on the roof, two quarter panels and the hood. Chrysler fixed it once at no cost, the second time they paid half and now they refuse to fix it any longer. They should have repainted the car entirely if they new it was defective. This has been the worst car I have owned. Never again will I buy Chrysler, they build rubbish and run and hide with your money.

4th Dec 2003, 19:16

My '95 Neon has 190,000 miles on it and is going strong. Yes, I replaced the head gasket once at about 120,000 miles and I'm doing it again right now. Otherwise, repairs have been minimal. I'd buy another Neon without hesitation, but I expect this car to last another 2-3 years.

1996 Chrysler Neon LX 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Best family car in the UK for the money!


I've had no trouble with the Neon, it's a great car, excellent value for money.

General Comments:

The neon is a really trendy looking car, it drives well and has been totally reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2000

5th Mar 2001, 13:58

I have had mine 6 months now, and the only points that I have found are the very high back making reversing something of a guess, the small boot and the lack of storage space inside the car. On spec its impossible to beat at the price, and the build quality is hidden by a nice outer package.

Keith E

1996 Chrysler Neon 2.0 from North America


Mistake, avoid this car


Sensor after sensor has burned out.

Head gasket blown!

Reverse in transmission went out.

A/C has been gone, engine light will not go off.

Muffler fallen off twice.

General Comments:

This car is a heap of trash. Worst thing I have ever bought and no one will take them on a trade in! The extended warranty cost a fortune but covers nothing. Clear coat on bumpers peals off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th April, 2000

23rd Jan 2006, 12:47

There is a reason why the extended warranty cost a fortune. Chrysler knows full well how crappy these cars really are and is trying to protect itself. Let this be a lesson to you. Avoid anything from Chrysler in the future. Their cars are garbage.

4th Feb 2006, 21:53

I couldn't agree more. Car is poorly designed, badly engineered and local (Australian) agents have been absolutely useless. I cannot even GIVE my 1996 Neon away!