Met up with a buddy today that I have not seen in a few months. He used to drive a 12sec eclipse but now its dead in the garage and he replaced it with an SRT-4 about 3 months ago. I rode in the car for about 20min while he had some fun and then I took it for a spin for about 15min.
Interior: Not that bad. Its pretty plain and plastic filled but for how much the car costs and what it was built for its not bad at all. The car felt pretty solid and he had the Viper seats in there.... They hold you in really well, but I would imagine them becoming very uncomfortable for any drives longer than 30min.
I still like my wrx interior better though
Handling: I must say, I am pretty impressed with the handling of this car. I expected much worse. He is on stock tires and wheels and the car is pretty nimble. Steering was kinda "mushy" but the car felt like it could hold it's own and grip rather well. For a FWD neon I was very impressed and it feels more nimble than my wrx, but my wrx def. is a better handling car in nearly every aspect.
Performance: This car hauls ass! There is so much torque available at the instant you request it. My fully catless wrx does not even come close to having the throttle response this car demonstrates. One thing I didn't like though was how even at 20mph the car would have noticable torque steer, and as far as launching it... forget about it! The thing really moves once it hooks up, but the tq steer and wheel hop is almost scary at some moments.
Overall though, I really like the accelerationg of this car. With a 6k redline the car pulls from the second you hit the gas all the way to redline. There is no waiting for power to build with this thing, between the torque and quick turbo spool it does really well.
My catless wrx seems faster in lower speeds, but he brought me on the highway and took it up to 130mph and I can say that his STOCK SRT-4 would hand me and my catless rex it's ass at high speeds.
Trans: Pretty smooth transmission. I didn't like how low the shifter is, but it slides in gear pretty well and the clutch is VERY easy to work. It's pretty fcking sad that my Japanese Subaru which costs about $6k more has a sh!ttier trans than a Dodge NEON!!
Then again, just about every car I have driven has a better trans
Overall: He has a 6disk changer, factory sub in the trunk, and sun roof. He got this car for just over $19,000 and that is one hell of a deal. Obviously, you can buy a Corolla for cheaper and have a better interior, but the peformance of this car is rather suprising and ofcourse its modability is great. It's nothing I would buy over my wrx, but for how much it costs and all the performance you get its def. a good pic. Not a neon in the least bit.
- I can't wait to see what he does with it. He is waiting until 5k miles to do any mods, but when he does I expect big things... He did a lot with his eclipse and had it running12's after only owning it 4 months.