1997 Dodge Neon from North America


Decent value for the money, but be prepared for problems


The head gasket has been replaced at least 3 times.

The engine was replaced at 150,000.

The transmission malfunctioned when the parked vehicle was put into drive causing the vehicle to accelerate without the gas pedal being touched, resulting in a serious accident.

The shoulder harness clip on the seatbelt disengaged at impact.

The air conditioning only worked briefly and was back to the dealer several times during the warranty period. Finally I gave up and contented myself with driving without air conditioning.

General Comments:

The car was very affordable, just unreliable.

When it was working properly it had, for a small car, lots of power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2002

1997 Dodge Neon Sedan 1.8L from North America


A good bargain, but you get what you pay for


The head gasket blew around 60,000 miles, but luckily it was still under dealer warranty.

The "check engine" light would go on for a while, then shut off. When I took it to the dealer to have it checked, they could find nothing wrong.

The transmission would occasionally skip, usually around the time that the "check engine" light came on.

Very hard to handle in the snow.

The tires wore very unevenly and the car always needed an alignment. My mechanic told me this is because the Neon uses camber-adjusting bolts on the wheels, which require tire rotation every 10,000 miles.

General Comments:

Overall, this was not a bad car, but the dealer's inability to discover why the "check engine" light came on was problematic.

This was the worst car I have ever owned in terms of snow handling.

The interior is very roomy and comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th September, 2002

24th Mar 2003, 16:28

Poor in the snow? I live in central New York state (out in the country, NOT New York City) and is snows a LOT here! In the wintertime it snows nearly every day, and that is a fact. My 1995 Neon is the only car in our driveway that can get out and about if the snow is over 8-10cm deep. I have a 5-speed manual transmission in my car. You must have an automatic transmission, as they make it much more difficult to control wheelspin. Also, the American version of the Neon has a 2.0L engine, and mine is the DOHC version which makes 150 hp, far more than your 1.8L SOHC so power isn't the issue.

5th Jul 2003, 01:21

Dodge never offered a 1.8L engine in the neon.

1997 Dodge Neon 2.0L SOHC from North America


This car may outlive me


Very few machanical problems.

Replaced valve cover gasket.

Routine maintenance items (plugs, wires, brakes)

Steering wheel wore through after 280,000 miles.

General Comments:

Although it is now beyond its prime, this car seems to be invincible. I bought it from my employer (it was my company car) and it had been seriously neglected. The oil hadn't even been changed in 40000 miles!

Once I got the car, I merely changed the oil and flushed the fluids and put it back on the road.

It has started leaking and burning a little oil, but what would you expect out of a car with this many miles.

This car has continued to run for me with a minimum of expense. In the past eight months (52000 miles) I have spent around $400 on the car. This includes oil, transmission service, tires, brakes, and misc. service parts. Not bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2002

24th Aug 2002, 01:39

I would have to say that you are one lucky dog. My 1997 is nothing but trouble, and everything goes wrong. The speedometor doesn't work, the odometer is broken, it rattles going over 40, wheels shake, trunk leaks, battery dies...don't get me started. Everyone I know with a neon has regretted it. I say you are lucky, but beware... the day will come when it will not start.

14th Apr 2004, 23:28

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a neon that simply will not die. My 1997 Neon has a mere 447000Km (203000miles) and simply refuses to die. Tune-ups and oil changes is all she requires to live on. Blew head gasket once however not replacing your PCV valve after 150000 some miles will do that do a car that often sees the redline.

Best of luck with your neon!