Best car! I love my neon, you got ripped. Your ignition won't turn?, try turning the wheel all the way right or left as you turn the ignition... it works. I've had my car for 6 months, it has 68,000 miles on it. It's a tough car, its gotten me through unplowed roads with 5 inches of snow on it. Don't say its not a well built car.. Give it a chance, it was used!
I tend to agree with these other couple of comments. With safety mechanisms being what they are, I've seen several cars that at first the ignition switch won't turn. You have to make sure that the steering wheel is jiggled to make sure it's unlocked. Usually if you jiggle the wheel and key, it will work. Sounds stupid, but there it is.
As for the wheel lugs -- I suspect this is not the car's fault, but can be attributed to an overzealous application of an air wrench. When you go somewhere, tell them that by god you want them to do the final tightening with a torque wrench, not an air wrench. Your other problems may be due to maintenance -- fluids, belt tension, etc.
I´m from El Salvador, I used to drive a Plymouth Neon LX, I sold it because the high price of the parts here in El Salvador, but the car was awesome, The fuel economy is good for a 2.0 Liter engine, compared with others the neon is a comfortable car with a lovely style and a perfect interior.
The only problems I´ve found is the visibility, and the power steering, but not a big deal!, cause the car has an excelent engine. I sold it only because of the price of maintenance, but I guess this problem is just in El Salvador, but for the people who lives in USA that´s a good option!
I think the quality depends of the kind of care that you give to your car and the way you drive it! but after all the NEON is great! I still miss my NEON.
I love my NEON, I got him about 6 months ago and named him Wesley. I also had problem with starting the car, the key just would not turn, but if I don't lose my patience and just work with him he starts eventually. The car is in awesome condition it just rides a little rough, oh and my motor mounds are cracking so Wesley shakes every once and a while, which I guess is to be expected for how many miles I have on it. GREAT CAR.
I have to say this 2001 Neon is the WORST car we have ever owned and is up for sale. Yes I bought it used, but I have all 3 of my other vehicles... and they are still running. Well so is the Neon now that it has a new engine after only 130,000 miles I had it all of 4000 miles! Meanwhile our little Ford car has over 200,000 miles and still running original engine AND gets better gas mlg. I am getting 41 mpg with my little mid 80's car and only 34 mpg with this neon. Neon is for sale if there is any takers.
I will give it that it is appealing to the eye inside and out, but to me it isn't worth it. I don't have the issue that I read here with the ignition.
We have a 2001 Plymouth Neon and love it. It has been an excellent car. I think as with anything it depends whether or not the car has been taken care of, routine oil, maintenance etc. Looks and runs great. we bought it with 13000 miles on it and now have 100,000. Still running strong.
Sounds like you got a lemon. I'm sure it puts a bad taste in your mouth, but not all Neon's are like that. We love ours. Good luck with your next purchase.