2005 Dodge Neon

2005 Dodge Neon Summary

The Dodge Neon is a practical, inexpensive car with a roomy interior. Neon's suspension nicely balances ride quality and handling agility. 

2005 Dodge Neon Review

The 2005 Dodge Neon SXT comes loaded with popular features. The SXT is available with a sporty front fascia, rear spoiler, fancy wheels and other exterior features.

Car enthusiasts gravitate to the Neon SRT-4, which boasts a 230-horsepower turbocharged engine, sports suspension, heavy-duty gearbox, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and 17-inch performance tires.

2005 Dodge Neon Trims and Styling

The 2005 Dodge Neon lineup has been streamlined. Three models are available: the basic SE, the sensibly equipped SXT, and the high-performance SRT-4. All Neons are four-door sedans with four-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive.

SE is the base Neon, and it is basic, with wind-up windows, manual door locks, and 14-inch steel wheels. Air conditioning costs extra. Mirrors and body-side moldings are black. Options: AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, cruise control.

SXT adds air conditioning, AM/FM/CD with six speakers, power front windows, power door locks (with speed-sensitive automatic locking), keyless remote, power mirrors, power trunk lid release, tachometer, map lights, 15-inch aluminum wheels, and body-color door handles and bodyside molding.

SXT and SE come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 132 horsepower. Power rack-and-pinion steering is standard on both models. Antilock four-wheel disc brakes (ABS) are optional $695 and come with electronic brake proportioning (EBD). SRT-4 comes with a turbocharged 2.4-liter dual-overhead cam inline-4 rated at 230 horsepower. SRT-4 also features a heavy-duty five-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, 17-inch aluminum wheels with 50-series ultra-high performance three-season tires, high-performance suspension, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Viper-inspired sport seats, plus special trim inside and out, including bright pedal pads. SRT-4 is available only with manual transmission.

The Kicker audio package for SXT and SRT-4 consists of a 208-watt Kicker amplifier, eight speakers, sub-woofer, and six-disc CD changer.

Safety features: Seat-mounted side-impact air bags are optional ($390) on all Neons; we strongly recommend them. Three-point seat belts are provided for all three rear-seat positions. The LATCH child safety-seat anchor system, an emergency inside release for the trunk lid, and child-protection door locks are standard on all 2005 Dodge Neons.

Dodge Neon is distinguished from other small cars by its cab-forward profile, arched roofline, and ovoid headlamps. Redesigned front and rear fascias, exterior door handles, bodyside moldings and other detail work freshened the Neon for 2003, and its appearance hasn't changed since then. 

Neon's long wheelbase and wide track contribute to its roomy interior, smooth ride quality and high-speed stability. The air intake in SRT-4's deep front fascia/bumper/air dam looks like an inverted version of the standard Neon grille, with two square air openings occupying the space above where the grille would otherwise be. Sill-mounted ground effects give SRT-4 the look of a sport compact. Big tires fill the wheel well openings. 2005 SRT-4s are available in a coppery color called Orange Blast.

2005 Dodge Neon Interior Features

The Neon boasts a roomy cabin. The Neon's front seating area has lots of hip room and legroom. Compared to the Honda Civic, Neon has more front seat hip room, comparable legroom, and less headroom.

The SXT's seats are quite comfortable, cushy and supportive. The body-color bezels that come with the Sport Appearance and SRT Design packages add a racy accent to the SXT. Back-seat riders benefit from the Neon's big interior. Neon's trunk is reasonably large, at 13.1 cubic feet, but about average for the class. The rear seat splits 60/40 and folds down for carrying additional cargo.

SRT-4 comes with special interior trim, including a satin-silver center stack, shift knob and door handles. SRT-4 seats are modeled after those in the Dodge Viper with enhanced lumbar and lateral sections for better support when cornering. Agate-colored cloth is designed to grip the driver.

First Drive '05 Neon
The Dodge Neon offers sporty handling and good acceleration performance. Neon's standard single-overhead-cam 2.0-liter engine delivers decent power. Step on the gas while cruising at 3000 rpm and the Neon slowly gathers speed. The suspension nicely balances ride quality and handling agility, making the Neon fun to drive on winding roads but pleasant when cruising around. The Neon responds well in emergency lane-change maneuvers. Soft springs and premium shocks are tuned to enhance the Neon's ride quality. The front disc/rear drum brakes that come standard on the Neon stop the car quickly and are stable under hard use. Whether the roads are slippery or dry, the antilock brake system helps drivers maintain steering control in panic braking situations. And disc brakes are less likely to fade on mountain roads than are the standard rear drum brakes.

The SRT-4 delivers serious sport compact performance. The SRT-4 was developed with input from Dodge engineers who spend their weekends racing at Sports Car Club of America events. Last year, Dodge recalibrated the SRT-4's engine control module and specified larger, higher-flow fuel injectors, not only for more horsepower and torque but also for a broader torque band. Neon SRT-4 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake distribution (EBD) are standard on SRT-4.

2005 Dodge Neon Conclusions

Dodge Neon is roomy and comfortable. The well-equipped SXT offers a strong value, while the racy SRT-4 delivers some of the best performance in its class.

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