1 Sep 1999
By CHRIS HARRIS
A new platform, a stronger, safer and more refined body and a redesigned interior signalled the second generation Neon.
Again built in the US, the Neon was sold in two variants – as the base SE and luxury LE.
Over their predecessors, the former gained power windows and an immobiliser while the latter – replacing the LX – also added traction control, a CD player and remote central locking.
New suspension and a revised version of the 98kW 2.0-litre engine improved the handling and ride characteristics, while the bodyshape’s bonnet reaching cabin meant the class-leading interior space remained.
In mid-2001 a four-speed auto finally replaced the old three-speed auto unit, while the five-speed manual gearbox remained the same as before.
But sales still remained low, so DaimlerChrysler discontinued the Neon line during the middle of 2002.