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Is a turbo-Neon coming to the USA? (Part 2)

by David Zatz on

On Monday, we talked about whether Dodge might use the Mexican 2017 Dodge Neon as a Dart replacement. Powered by a descendent of the 1995 Neon engine, this car is actually a restyled Fiat Tipo; it’s roughly Neon-length but somewhat narrower, and over five inches shorter than the Dart.

While critics praised the 2017 Dodge Neon’s ride and handling, they dinged the engines, which max out at 110 horsepower.  Now, reliable and eponymous source “Mr. Source” wrote that the company is looking into a turbocharged engine — the oft-criticized 160-hp Fiat 1.4 turbo engine, since it’s small, compatible, and available (and made in relatively-nearby Michigan). That powerplant would provide a healthy 184 pound-feet of torque.

The interior is nicely equipped for the price, which is around the same as the Nissan Versa; and the paint, fit, and finish are all good.

As a bonus, the Tipo it’s based on is already made in hatchback form as well, which could be a big selling point.

A US/Canada Neon could be faster, cheaper, and more credible than any other solution to keep Dodge (or Chrysler) in small cars, which would hedge against higher fuel prices and bring in (or keep) entry-level buyers.

While some may say that it’s a Fiat in Dodge clothing, it is still far more satisfactory to most buyers and FCA followers than a Chinese import, and it’s not as though Chrysler Corporation did not rebadge the Colt, Arrow, and Champ.

Full 2017 Dodge Neon coverage.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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