2002 Chrysler Neon Reviews

2002 Chrysler Neon LX 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10

Summary:

Nice motor

Faults:

This car has been good. Had no problems with it. It works.

General Comments:

Smooth to drive. Nice auto box change. Nice leather.

CD player has great sound, nice car to drive.

Bad points - parts have silly prices. Not good on fuel. Cramped engine, difficult to work on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th August, 2010

2002 Chrysler Neon LE 1.5? from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.5? Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired123000 kilometres
Most recent distance136000 kilometres

Summary:

Cheap, terrible, noisy, inexpensive but very shoddy cars. DO NOT recommend

Faults:

I AM no car mechanic, so I can't get into to much detail:

- Poor transmission

- No A/C

- Heats up really slow

- Takes a while to start up when holding key in ignition

- VERY LOUD. I could compare the noise of this car at 80 km/h to my 1997 Dodge truck that I used to drive

- HORRIBLE noise coming from behind the back right seat, never bothered to fix

- Stalls

General Comments:

This car is terrible!! At about 130,000 I started noticing problems with the transmission. I would roll up to a stop sign or red light, and right before the car would stop completely, it would jerk a lot. Even worse, when I would roll up to a stop and start accelerating, it wouldn't go in gear. During these few seconds, it would stall. If I were to give it gas, it would just rev the engine, worsening the problem. When you try and accelerate after it stops stalling, it would jerk the passengers and the car itself VIOLENTLY.

For example, if my girlfriend was putting on eye makeup as I would come to a stop, I would tell her to hold off for a minute, for fear of her jabbing her eye when the car jerks.

If you give it too much gas while it's stalling, it will shoot you forward right after. If you're at an intersection or a stop sign, this is a major problem. I have almost gotten into many serious accidents from my car shooting me forward into traffic!!! I believe this is a problem with the transmission and I WOULD NEVER have bought this (or any car) car if I knew this problem before hand.

It has very poor acceleration, and makes a ridiculous amount of noise for such a small car. The noise I'm referred to coming from behind the back right seat; I THINK it's something to do with the speaker or sound system. Some days it will be noisy, some days it won't. It is a horrible horrible noise, the kind that makes you grit your teeth when you hear it. It would get much worse making a left turn, but when turning right it would suddenly disappear.

Between the noise of the engine and the noise coming from the back, my ears would be ringing by the time I get out of the car. Combined with the fact that this car could accidentally shoot me into traffic and kill me, I can say the very least that CHRYSLER NEONS ARE TERRIBLE CARS TO BUY!!! I WOULD NEVER EVER EVER CONSIDER BUYING ANOTHER CHRYSLER EVER.

It feels like a big fun go-kart, but has no balls whatsoever and runs terribly. I really wish I had done more research on this car before buying it. I caution everyone buying Neons to think about what they are doing. I wouldn't pay more than 1500 for one, and that's if it's your only option. NEON'S are terrible cars, and I do not recommend them to ANYONE.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th December, 2009

2002 Chrysler Neon 4 Door 2.0 SOHC from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.0 SOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 kilometres
Most recent distance108000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Cheap to buy, but expensive to maintain

Faults:

I purchased a preowned Neon 2002 4 Dr. in 2005 with 70,000 Kms. Overall it came out to be an OK car in terms of performance. However I do have to say that every year I have to get some work done on it, like in 2006 I had to re-charge the air conditioning gas.

When this car reached 90,000, its check engine light turned on due to some bad sensor. Since then I am driving the car with this light still on, and it's running as it was when I bought it.

The same year I had to get the front tie rod fixed, and of course that comes with the wheel alignment issue to be fixed as well.

The next year I had to replace its rear wheel bearing since it got very noisy. To me it came as a surprise that rear wheel bearing actually went bad. It usually shouldn't happen, but anyways.

A couple of months later the power steering belt tension-er started making loud noise, and eventually gamed, leaving me going to the mechanic again for a long hourly job to fix the thing.

To my surprise, the rear wheel bearing that I got fixed a 7-8 months ago again started making a noise, and I had to get it replaced again. This time I asked my mechanic not to install Chrysler parts; instead use other brands like Motomaster or GM parts etc. Since then it's running OK.

I think Chrysler has some vendor issues with respects to their ball bearing quality. They get bad at low mileage!

As far as the slamming of pistons in concerned in the morning, I must say yes I have the same problem as well. The engine knocks badly at cold start-up for about 1-2 minutes, and then it gets quiet. I think it's again the timing belt tension-er that has to be replaced with the timing belt and water pump of course. Although I feel 108,000 Kms is still low mileage to replace timing belt! The cure that I have found to reduce engine knocking is I recently started using 91 octane gas, especially in cold weather with some octane boosters if needed when it is -30 Celsius. It really helps the engine in severe cold start.

Yes, one last thing before I stop writing, is that I do have a transmission oil leak somewhere between the engine and transmission, and it's very expensive to fix, so instead I pour transmission leak fix liquid every 2-3 months and make sure the transmission oil level is at the right level.

Using the back wind shield defrost in cold weather does cause the engine a bit vibrate more, and gas mileage goes down a little as well; maybe due to lack of electric amps in the engine.

General Comments:

Overall I am still driving this car since I know I will lose a lot of money if I try to sell it now. So I am continuing to drive it, and it drives OK by the way.

I never had any issues on the road, and I like the way it handles power in its own class compared to Honda and Toyota.

I must also say that this small car has very good road grip, even at 170Km/h. I will continue to drive it to get my money's worth for the next couple of years, and will junk it instead of trying to sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th December, 2009

6th Dec 2009, 10:55

I have a '95 Neon. I have had many of the same issues you have listed, except mine also came with the dreaded head gasket replacements of the early Neons. I must say that while it has gotten a bit pricey, I find the car to be quite enjoyable to drive. It's got some serious torque for a car of this class. I've blown away tons of Civic's and Corolla's at the lights. I only wish it came with the same reliability that a Civic or Corolla has.

10th Jan 2014, 06:28

Yes, you are right. Luckily the Neon that I have is a 2002. Chrysler actually fixed the head gasket issue in all Neon models built after 2001. So I never had any trouble with the head gasket.

It has been almost five years since I posted my first comment on this webpage, and surprisingly I still have that same Neon at 230,000 KM now. The car still has same old issue like replacing the rear wheel bearing every two years, leaky transmission etc. My plan is to junk it at 300,000 KM. I will keep you posted on that. Thanks.

Average review marks: 6.1 / 10, based on 11 reviews