Dodge SX 2.0 (aka Neon) - Opinions?


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MulletRobZ

Greetings!

Within the next two weeks, I'm planning on buying my first car, now that I've finished school and got a new job and all. So today, I went around to find out which models I should look into and I'm seriously considering getting this 2005 Dodge SX 2.0. It's got 64 000 km, loaded, a spoiler, very good fuel economy (8.0 L/100 km city, 5.9 L/100 km highway), and a 5-speed manual; and it's currently selling for $8000 CDN. In spite of this, I am also concerned about whether such a low price point could indicate something bad, seeing how other 2005 cars such as the Mazda3, Civic, and Corolla sell for at least $14 000 CDN. Yet on the other hand, I know some people who used to drive older Neons and they were pretty reliable.

While I plan to do a test drive next week, I would like to know what some of the other forum members think about the SX 2.0 (Neon in the USA) and see whether I should go for that or one of the following alternatives I'm also considering:

- 2005 Honda Civic (70 000 km, loaded, sunroof, 5-speed manual; $14 500 CDN) - However, I could also get one for less than $11 000, which does have some dents on the roof resulting from a recent hail storm.

- 2008 Toyota Yaris Sedan base w/ 5-speed manual ($14 535 after $500 grad rebate and eligible for $1000 government rebate)

Thanks in advance

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SoCalledChaos

Neon's and SX 2.0's suck. they'll break down quick. they are not worth 8000$ for a 2005

get a Japanese car. they'll last longer.

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MR_Candyman

don't get it, way too much money and they really do suck (and I love dodge)

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revvo

If you ask me, the only Neon worth buying is the Dodge SRT-4 which is turbocharged and it's actually well built for an American car trying to mimic the Japanese.

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SoCalledChaos
If you ask me, the only Neon worth buying is the Dodge SRT-4 which is turbocharged and it's actually well built for an American car trying to mimic the Japanese.

even the SRT-4 isnt worth it.. there are better... faster cars.. for cheaper.. WAY cheaper

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MulletRobZ

OK. I've checked out some reviews for this vehicle and while they indicated issues such as noise levels and cheap interiors; these problems are also reflected in the other domestics for that year (2005) and these problems are minor to me for now. What I am looking for is a used vehicle that is fuel efficient, fun to drive, somewhat reliable, and no more than four years old.

Now to set the record straight, I would much rather get a Civic or Corolla over the domestics any day, but the problem is that I find the prices of the used versions to be unjustified. After all, I could purchase a new 2009 Corolla CE (base model) for around the same price as the 2005 model ($15 000)! The other domestic compacts are similarly priced, but I feel the SX 2.0 is superior to the Cavalier/Cobalt and Focus; given its comparable performance and superior fuel economy, especially with the 5-speed manual. So my question is the following: Is it really worth paying double the price of a used domestic compact in order to get a used import (or a new Corolla)?

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MR_Candyman
OK. I've checked out some reviews for this vehicle and while they indicated issues such as noise levels and cheap interiors; these problems are also reflected in the other domestics for that year (2005) and these problems are minor to me for now. What I am looking for is a used vehicle that is fuel efficient, fun to drive, somewhat reliable, and no more than four years old.

Now to set the record straight, I would much rather get a Civic or Corolla over the domestics any day, but the problem is that I find the prices of the used versions to be unjustified. After all, I could purchase a new 2009 Corolla CE (base model) for around the same price as the 2005 model ($15 000)! The other domestic compacts are similarly priced, but I feel the SX 2.0 is superior to the Cavalier/Cobalt and Focus; given its comparable performance and superior fuel economy, especially with the 5-speed manual. So my question is the following: Is it really worth paying double the price of a used domestic compact in order to get a used import (or a new Corolla)?

if it means you aren't getting an sx 2.0 then ya, it's worth it. As I said, I love Dodge, I used to sell them. I NEVER encouraged anybody to buy and sx 2.0. They are very unreliable. I'll list a few common things: engine mounts: they suck; alignment issues galore, you nudged that curb when parallel parkng? You need an alignment; lighting, there's gremlins in the lights I tells ya! Why is ONE foglight on without any of the other lights being on for instance? These happen very frequently. The engine itself is pretty good, but everything else is quite the opposite.

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Brian

After 2003 the above mentioned issues were taken care of... The fog lights were a big deal, including overheating of the switch but the mount and gasket issues were also all taken care of. I almost bought a 2003 and was trying to sell my 05 Honda Civic Si coupe to get one because my coupe is a pretty car, but an auto. This baby right here. I think I'm just gonna keep it until I'm no longer upside down on the lien though. 2005 Civic Brian If you're looking for an SX at least make sure it's the R/T in my opinion though... 150 hp over the base's what, 120 some?

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MR_Candyman

do't know why you think the issues were taken care of because they definitely were not.

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Brian

They definitely were. To the OP, read around some more, the car isn't a bad buy... You have to understand that the noise level is a subjective opinion and the 2.0 is a very reliable engine. I would say take it for a drive and make your own decision. I absolutely love the clutch feel and steering of the car compared to standard Civics I drove and I was quite impressed with the trim of the car I drove. I will say that the one I drove had the leather option and the 6 CD changer but the A/C is top notch compared to my car and I was happier with the stock stereo in that car over mine. Definitely avoid the automatic transmission in those cars, the setup didn't change from when they were a three speed so it is a little rough but the 5-speed, just like any Neon from the beginning was a good buy. Take it for a drive and base your own opinion on the drive rather than the reviews. I like my Civic but I liked the SX 2.0 better. I will never buy a 2 door sport compact again I will tell you that!

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MR_Candyman

Dude, I've seen hundreds of these cars and almost every one of them that came to us used had these problems, no matter what year it was. These problems were not "fixed" in the 2003 model of the SX2.0, it was the first year for them. If you're comparing to the neon, then ya, they fixed a lot of the neon's problems, but the issues I listed are in every year of the SX2.0 (2003-2005). It sounds like you are just comparing to one you drove on a rental or something. As I said I've seen hundreds of these things when I was selling them. They are not good cars at all.

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Brian

It's the same car, the only addition for 2003 was the name change and the 4 speed auto. The 2003 and later cars DO have the issues fix, especially the 2004's and 2005's, and if you look at the predicted reliability of the cars from CR for those years, you'll see above average. Looking back on them now as well, you'll see that from 2003 and onwards (2003 being the start of the fixes) the cars were solid. The issue you get will small sportyesqe cars is the drivers, and if you drive any car into the ground you'll have an issue. Just like with a Civic, make sure before you buy it you learn it's history because you can have a car that the previous owner slaughtered because they thought it was a sports car. I'm not a Dodge fan, but I evaluated the SX for over 6 months, drove 13 different cars, talked to mechs and read every possible thing I could because I wanted the car. To the OP, give it a shout, try it out and read some more reviews but don't let them sway your opinion. As long as the car is 2003 or newer, it's a good buy. Please, please, please don't buy a Cavalier or Sunfire though :D

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shockz

You'll really regret it... i see these cars broke down on the side of the highway all the time. I'd avoid them at all costs.

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JoDaddy

I really reccomend a used Civic, although I know you just wrote it off for being expensive. I just bought an 02 Civic in great shape at CarMax for ~$10,000, with very low mileage. Yeah, it's more expensive than a comparable domestic, but the track record for the Hondas are much better, as well. Plus, it gets ~40 mpg. I don't think Neons do that, but not sure.

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Brian

Lots of hate for the poor Neon. Not gonna lie, there ARE better choices but I wouldn't fully discount it is what I'm getting at. The 2005 Civic you're listing is about on par with what I was asking for mine, I was trying to sell it for 15.5 but it's got just over half the mileage of that one.

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Randolph

I also would say if you're going the Neon route...go for the 05' Dodge Neon SRT-4. (Y)

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neuroticdave

Earlier model Neons were some of the better ones. The age when Chrysler wasnt cost cutting so much, as they have from about 2002+. Neons are very very VERY small cars, so if you are a big person, dont even bother. Head room is limited, side space is limited, and you can probably park the darned thing in your hallway. But other than it being a small car, it does have good fuel economy, and I see them left and right running strong. The only problem is, you have to choose the right one, inspect the hell out of it and ask if there are any extended warranties available. These cars were a big elderly people attraction, and Ive seen elderly people go 17K miles without an oil change, among other things. Check its background, how many owners its had, reason for sale, etc etc and you should be fine.

My biased opinion? Go for a Chrysler 300M. Its the car I drive and I love it! Roomy, comfortable, sporty look, powerful enough. But I never said that. :rolleyes:

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  • 1 month later...
MulletRobZ

Well FYI, I chose not to get the Dodge SX 2.0 after all. Instead, I just put a down payment on a 2008 Civic DX-G with manual transmission and will be picking it up tomorrow. Drives so much nicer than the 2009 Corolla and gets similar fuel economy.

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rathefeare

Grats on your purchase. Enjoy it and maybe give us a review after you have owned it a month.

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El-Diablo

awesome, glad you chose the civic.

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chconline

Great choice on the Civic (Y)

Why didn't you get the LX? It's only $1000 more. :p (And so goes the ugly rims :| )

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MulletRobZ
Great choice on the Civic (Y)

Why didn't you get the LX? It's only $1000 more. :p (And so goes the ugly rims :| )

The LX is a bit too expensive for me, but I like those rims better anyway! :D However, driving a stick sure takes some time to get used to. First drove it yesterday and I must have stalled at least ten times, but I'm starting to get the hang of it now and it's definitely better than with the automatic I did the test drive on a couple of weekends ago.

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