The head gasket started leaking at 57,000 miles. The mechanic's recommendation was to drive until the leak became serious.
Transmission self destructed.
Block cracked at around 120,000 miles.
Replacement parts are very expensive. Factory exhaust over $430 for parts alone. Despite stainless steel exhaust system, it needed replacement in only 2 years.
This car is a mixed issue. The handling and performance are well beyond anything in its price range. It out performs much more expensive sports cars. To be able to go from 45 behind slow moving traffic on a two lane road and be doing 85 by the time you pass them is incredible. Taking a 40mph curve at 65 without feeling a thing, cornering flat is well worth the admission.
However engine problems are prevalent, particularly the head gasket which is a common problem for all Neons, but which Dodge never addressed nor of course paid for...
As mentioned above, parts are very expensive. For the exhaust I recommend Monroe and having it custom bent to replace the original. $125 versus $430+. Front struts $750 each!!! Aftermarket Konis are the solution. The same adjustable competition strut is available from Koni without the Dodge name on it for half the price.
Visibility is terrible with the large A and B pillars.
The car has a great deal of road noise, be ready to turn up the radio. Wind noise at the windows is very annoying. You often have to roll down the window and back up to try to lessen the noise or re-close the door and hope it seals better.
11th Jan 2005, 21:38
Just note that the purpose of the Competition Coupe (aka ACR) is.. get this..competition. Street legal low cost factory road racer. They leave out extras like sound deadening and such for weight savings for racers. This also means special, higher cost parts such as the adjustable Koni struts you mentioned... just the nature of the beast.