Dodge Neon SRT-4 vs Subaru WRX

What are thekey differences between the SRT-4 and the Subary WRX? Why would someone want to purchase one over another? Thanks.

SRT-4: 2.4L/215HP/V4/FWD; 2939 lbs; MSRP $19,480

WRX: 2.0L/227HP/V4/AWD; 3085 lbs; MSRP $24,195

Formulate conclusions at will.

V4? IIRC the SRT-4 is a straight 4, and the WRX is a horizontally opposed “boxer” 4.

Don’t worry about it, I make the same mistake all the time. Unless, of course, you meant something else by “V4”, in which case I’ll look like an idiot. :smiley:

Also, the WRX has automatic as an option while the SRT-4 is only available in manual.

My guess is that the V4 refers to 4 valves per cylinder.

The WRX is currently on the Car and Driver 10 best cars list a Neon would never be. The Subaru costs 5 grand more. The
Subaru goes 0-60 in less than 6 seconds and the 1/4 in 14.5. The Dodge is a little faster with a 5.6 and 13.8 respectively. Rice boys will love both, although still not as much as heavily stickered Civic.
If I had to choose, I’d got with the Subaru any day of the week. I also live in a place that gets snow. And have a lifetime of bad experiences with Chrysler products.

The Subbie is three times the Car the Neon could ever hope to be… it is a sports car.

The Neon will also be worth about $4K in about 3 years. The Subuaru will probably be closer to $15K-$16K

If you can afford it, go for the Subaru. If you can’t quite afford the WRX, strongly consider a 2.5L RS. They’re still a fantastic car for the price.

Forget the Neon. I’ve been a car saleperson for about five years now, and I must agree with Bernse. Don’t choose one car over another simply because of something as arbitrary a 0-60 times. Resell value is everything when purchasing a new vehicle. The Neon is only cheaper on paper. By the time you trade either of these cars in, you will have lost less money on the Subaru. As for which is better-it ain’t the Dodge. I haven’t driven or even seen the WRX, but Dodges (and all Chryslers in general) are poorly-built.
BTW- The dealership where I work sells Dodges and Nissans (about 60% Dodge and 40% Nissan). We have seven Dodge technicians and one Nissan tech

Here’s my $0.02:

  1. The WRX is all wheel drive. This would be a big advantage in snow or off road racing, and something of a significant advantage if you’re racing it on pavement. For normal driving on dry pavement, this wouldn’t be a factor.

  2. The WRX will probably have more resale value. Good if you want to keep it for 3 years or so. Bad if you want to buy a used one three years from now. Not an issue if you plan to drive it until it falls apart - I’d expect either one to last over 10 years if you don’t abuse it, and either one could break if you do something boneheaded to the engine. (And yes, I did have one of Chrysler’s turbo K-cars. That one was hauled to the scrap yard after about 12 years on the road. I’d expect the Neon to hold up a bit better.)

  3. Uh, neither one is a sports car by my way of thinking - they’re both sedans (well, the WRX can also be bought as a wagon). It’d have to be a two seater to be a sports car.

  4. The Neon is cheaper, and has a 7 year warranty.

  5. Both cars have an interesting racing history. Neon ACR’s were dominant in SCCA Showroom Stock road racing for years, while the WRX grew out of Subaru’s rally racing events on dirt roads.

If budget were not a concern, you lived someplace where it didn’t snow, and you plan to keep it long after it’s paid off, I would get the Neon. If I could easily afford the extra expense (or planned to sell it in 3 years) and wanted to drive it in snow, the WRX might be a better choice.

Thanks for your agreement in general with me, caracal, but that last statement is a gross overgeneralization.

The fit and finish on DC cars may not be the best, but I would hardly call them poor. They are a “good buy” in general and the quality is OK. My 98 Jeep Cherokee in particular has been extremely reliable and still looks brand new after 4 years. My mom and stepfather have 1994 Ram 1500 club cab that hasn’t given him a day of trouble.

That being said, I have yet to see a mid-range DC vehicle even approach the quality of any newer Subaru. If the OP is seriously considering both cars (and can afford the Subbie) there is no competition whatsoever. The Subaru is, with absolutely no question, the superior vehicle.

Neon = hot rod

WRX = “driver’s car”

My 1996 Neon experience:

  1. Replace head gasket. They paid for half even though it was no longer under warranty because it was a known defect and there was no recall…but it was still expensive.)

  2. Replace head gasket again because they screwed it up. No cost this time.

  3. Replace heater blower.

  4. Fix transmission fluid leak

  5. Fix oil sensor light

  6. Some kind of plug blows out of wherever the oil is held. Oil sensor light did not come on until I came to a stop after driving on the highway for half an hour. Had to replace the plug and purchase an additional part to hold in the plug that shouldn’t have come out in the first place. Paid for all of this even though Dodge had put out a service bulletin out on it and I bitched like hell to the dealer.

  7. Sell Neon (at a loss) before whatever damage done by the oil incident surfaces and buy a Honda. Never return to Chrysler dealer.

There was more but I don’t remember the rest of the problems I had off the top of my head.

I had a 96 Neon EX (leased). It was, without question, the most fun car I have ever driven. Peppy, tremendous in corners, and very good in snow and cold. Then, in the last month I had it (this past March), EVERY seal in the engine blew, one after the other. As AllShookDown noted, the gaskets are a known problem, but I received no break on the cost of having my motor stripped down on four separate occasions for a seal replacement. It cost me nothing but money in those final days and was a major relief to return to the dealer.

When looking for a replacement, featherlou and I did our homework and looked long and hard at the Subaru as an option. Unfortunately, it was out of our price range, so we settled on a 99 Tercel, which is underpowered, IMO, but has a tremendous reputation for reliability.