$ money pit $
Bought this not even one year ago from a used car dealership.
I liked that it was 1 owner after being bought from a rental car auction. From the CarFax report, it appeared to be a well-maintained, great buy at 71K miles... Right?
The first day I brought it home, I noticed the brakes would squeal a bit when I depressed the pedal. Low brakes, right? No, cheap brakes was what I was told, with 80% pad on the front, and the drum brakes looking great as well.
The second thing that I noticed that very first day was the poor craftsmanship of the interior. My son went to find the hook to his seatbelt, and ended up pulling up the whole back seat! It surprised me to see that the seat was no more than stacked foam padding, with a hook that snapped into the metal!
The next month thereafter, the interior right trim molding that leads from the seat to the headliner mysteriously popped off at one end. I noticed it hanging when it caught my eye in the rear view mirror!
75K miles and my front driver's side tire began to clunk when it turned. Bearings were blown. Another 100 USD!
A little more time passed, and I began to feel that the engaging and disengaging the gas pedal jerked my car. Why? Busted engine mounts. Really? I'm a mother of two. I drive slowly over bumps and I don't go off-roading in this thing. Turns out, the mounts break like crazy on these things, and are so cheap that the mounts sell for about 35 USD a mount!
At 89K miles, I began to hear a swishing noise around my front driverside tire. A worn out bushing. About 100 USD to replace one. But wait! I would need to replace the other as well to ensure even wear!!
At 92K, most recently, I had a bad scare. My brakes were totally depressed and I was coming to a stop, but the stop never happened! Until I rolled into the back of a big rig truck. I had depressed the brakes, put the car in Park, and even pulled the emergency brake, and nothing would stop that car! Well, yeah, until rolling into the back of a big rig at about 5 MPH, which did about 2,000 USD of damage.
Another Neon owner and I compared notes. Our results: they are a MONEY PIT! They are so bad that their trade-in value is only just over a couple of thousand USD, if it's excellent-looking with low miles, that is! Don't make the same mistake that I did.
**Buy Japanese or buy Ford.**
Sporty and cute, but buyer beware!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 31st January, 2011