Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Just one engine is offered, a petrol 2.0-litre. There's plenty of punch to it, with good acceleration and unstressed motorway cruising. But it's an unrefined and noisy unit. Go for the manual if you've got the choice, as the auto gearbox really blunts performance.

The power-assisted steering is surprisingly sharp and well weighted. It's also responsive, easy to drive around town and a cinch to park. The driving position is good, as is visibility. The firm suspension means the Neon sticks to the road well, so it can be pleasing to chuck it around corners.