The Dodge Neon is a 4-door compact car, manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation for the Dodge brand. The Neon made its impact on the market with its unique styling and standard features. For those looking for a cute, frugal and relatively inexpensive compact car, they would have done well to take a look at the Dodge Neon.
The Neon used two engine options in the 2005 model year. The first option was the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that was also used in the larger Stratus. This engine produced 132 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 130 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. The most powerful engine in the Neon lineup was the turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Reserved for the SRT-4, this engine produced 230 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 250 pound-feet torque at 2,200 rpm. All engines were mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, with a 3-speed automatic transmission being offered as an option on all trims except the SRT-4.
The Neon is the descendent of the Dodge Shadow, Plymouth Sundance, and Duster compacts. Introduced in 1994, the Neon was spread out over three different marques while using the same name, styling, and mechanicals. Therefore, there is little to no difference between a Dodge Neon and a Plymouth Neon prior to the introduction of the second generation models. The Neon was also exported to markets outside the United States, where it was often rebadged as a Chrysler. The second generation Neon brought with it a distinctive crosshair grille, while the Plymouth soldiered on with a slightly reworked grille until it was discontinued in 2001.
For the 2005 model year, the Neon was available in three trims: the entry-level SE, the sportier and better equipped SXT, and the SRT-4. The SE and SXT both used the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine as standard. The SRT-4 distinguished itself visually from the SE and SXT trims thanks to the use of a unique grille, body cladding and interior appointments. The SRT-4 gained a cult following thanks to its performance, which was better in many respects than the R/T package due to the upgraded engine. A driver and passenger-side air bag was standard on all trims with optional front-side air bags with head protection available. Power windows were standard on the SXT and SRT-4, as were power door locks and keyless entry.
The Neon's price was competitive with other similar compact vehicles including the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, and Honda Civic. The Neon SE started with a MSRP of $13,800, while the SXT started at $15,000. The SRT-4 proved to be a very good deal, with a MSRP of just $20,700. The Neon showed it could hold its own in the compact marketplace with a combination of good engines, great styling, and standard features
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