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1996 Dodge Neon Overview

The Dodge Neon is not only a great-value subcompact car, it is highly energetic and actually pretty fun to drive. Its cab-forward design, with a high rear deck, wide wheelbase, and long hood with oval headlights, gives it a bit of flash while also improving its stability on the road.

Because its M.O. is affordability, the base Neon never came with many standard features or options. But in 1996 Dodge added more features and options. A 2-door base coupe was now offered, and if purchased with the racing-inspired Competition Package, could come equipped with a speedy 2.0-liter, twin-cam, 150-hp engine. Base sedans received more features, such as 14-inch wheels, tinted windows, intermittent wipers, and body-colored bumpers. They came standard with the single-cam 2.0-liter engine, rated at 132 hp. ABS was now only an option on all trims, including the Sports, on which it used to come standard.

The 1996 Dodge Neon tried to appeal to poor young hipsters with its Expresso Package (kind of cute, in a conservative, stuffy, white-corporate-businessman way), which turned the Neon into a sportier urban vehicle on the outside, with a deck spoiler, hood bulge, and white wheel covers. The Highline and Sport trims continued to offer more options and more comfortable and supportive seats. All 1996 Neons were surprisingly roomy for a subcompact, due to the cab-forward design.

Overall, owners either love or hate their Neon. They love its semi-sporty look (for a subcompact), its quick engine, its smooth handling in any situation, its durability, and its fuel economy. But a lot of owners have been disappointed by a faulty transmission, head gasket failures, rear blind spots due to the high deck, and road noise.

Updated by Anonymous

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