The Second Generation NEON
 
(pic below left from http://www.allpar.com/ and the rest from  http://www.car-truck.com/chryed/detroit/neon2000.htm)

Standard Equipment:

  • AM/FM cassette radio with six premium speakers, including the first use by DaimlerChrysler of dome tweeters
  • Four cup holders -- including those with Big Gulp(R), handled-mug and juice box capabilities
  • Split rear folding seats
  • Full trunk trim, including decklid
  • Infinitely variable intermittent wipers with mist feature
  • Bolt-on, 15" wheelcovers
  • Rear defroster
  • Body colored bodyside moldings
  • Body colored door handles
  • Visor vanity mirror
  • Floor mats
  • Trunk light
  • Body colored front and rear fascias

Front of 2000 Neon; light color

Classification: subcompact sedan.

 

  • Engine: 2-liter, single overhead cam, four cylinder.
  • Power: 132 bhp at 5,600 rpm.
  • Fuel: unleaded regular.
  • Transmissions: five-speed manual, three-speed automatic optional.
  • Wheelbase: 105 inches (1 inch longer than current model).
  • Overall length: 174.4 inches (2.6 inches longer than current model).
  • Cargo volume: 13.1 cubic feet (1.3 cubic feet more than current model).
  • Options: four-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes with low-speed traction control; keyless entry and anti-theft alarm package; tilt steering; cruise control; aluminum wheels; air conditioning.
  • Cup holders: four.
  • Assembly: Belvidere, Ill. (Toluca, Mexico, plant may also produce 2000 model if demand warrants).
  • On sale: January.

Rear of 2000 Neon

 

Optional equipment highlights include four-wheel disc brakes and ABS, with electronic brake proportioning and low-speed traction control, new Sentry Key(TM) Security Group with remote keyless entry for increased safety and convenience, and a new anti-theft alarm with a tamper alert feature. Items such as tilt steering, cruise control, aluminum wheels, power windows and air conditioning also are available.

Interior of 2000 Neon

My first impressions...

I like the rear of the car- it's very much a Chrysler. The interior looks inviting apart from the steering wheel...then again I have the 95 with the teeny tiny wheel; so that's what I'm used to. HVAC controls look similar; and are unfortunately still higher than the sound system. It appears that the cup holders now have the vertical room necessary to hold larger cups; and if they don't you can always use the one rearward of the shifter... I like how the speaker is angled up towards the driver. The white gauge faces are awesome; this pic is of a Dodge; I hope the Plymouth has them too....

But when I look at that front end I can't help but see Taurus. Hopefully that impression will change when I see one in person.

 Only thing is, the coupe is an endangered species. I don't know if I would buy a four door; I really want two...

If you feel as I do, there's a petition out there to Keep the Coupe...sign it!

What a PL2k coupe might look like....
This photo from http://www.erols.com/spoulson/gallery/pl2000/

PL2K Review!
On February 20,1999 I spotted a 2000 Neon at the dealer and took it for a spin. These are the comments I posted to the Neon mailing list:

Saw a new Neon today while out on the road and later on I swung by and absconded with it for a bit.
Impressions:
It was a stripper. A/C, Auto, rear defroster. That's it. Sticker was $14,490. MUCH Less road noise than my '95. Not even close. Engine noise however still says it's the 2.0 :) This car, with 7 miles on the odo, had more B pillar wind noise than my car, and there was a rattle in the lower passenger side dash. The trip odo didn't work (there was a button for it but the display was blank).
I was unimpressed with the glove box; the door is much cheaper; it doesn't have the solid feel of the first gen. The effort to engage the turn signal is much reduced; but the 'click click' is just as loud. a different tone - not better or worse, just different.
The center console cubby is nice; I like the fold back top with he cup holder, though I fail to see how you put a tissue pack in the holder unless you just squish it in there. the coin holder is a bit more forward than before, but holds more coins. The cup holder placement has improved subtly, like the controls, but it's noticeable. Instrumentation is easy to read.
The fan speed knob is a bit too recessed for me; I like the 1st gen better. But the feel of the other HVAC controls has improved a bit. But they weren't bad to start off with IMO. Seat movement is activated by the same horizontal bar as in our Neons.
Doors open & close with a satisfying thump. There's a LOT of room behind that engine. Something's up with that; it bears watching. I mean there's an ocean of room back there.
I like the road manners; and like the new steering wheel, both to touch and to use. Those who grip the lower two spokes will still be able to. I agree with Greg Smith; the radio/HVAC controls are a bit closer. A subtle difference, but noticeable. I was expecting more of a padded dash for some reason; to me not much of a difference. YMMV. The little shelf is kinda neat; sticky pad or no stuff will fly off there during spirited driving however.....
Forgot to look in the trunk :(
The car arrived before any documentation; no brochures, nothing. The guy I talked to hadn't driven it yet and had no knowledge of it...I knew more than he did (thanks list!:)
Would I trade in my 95? Not now, no way. This car's been too good to me and I really enjoy it still. IMO the biggest advantage to the new one is the road din is much less, but that's not enough for me to make the switch, especially when I have to settle for a four door. If they wake up and make a coupe then I might be in line, we'll see how it holds up. If (God forbid) something should happen to my baby soon....I think I would try to find a 99 coupe. Especially until they work out the teething problems.
It would have been nice to drive one with some toys on it, but maybe they're only making strippers to start.


Further along the Second Gen trail....some shots of the 2002/2003 Neon! Clockwise from left, the 2002 (Dodge only from here on out) get a new front, the 2003 gets a tweaked rear *and* front, and a new steering wheel.

 Back to the Neon page
Last Updated 9/28/05