We say goodbye to our SRT-4

Day 7

Looking at the SRT-4 out my window it's a mixed feeling to know it's going back today. In the end I don't think it's a car I would ever spend $20,000+ on. But for a week of joy-riding it's a blast. Those that would be seriously interested in the SRT-4 would first have to be Neon fans. I was impressed with this Neon's solid structure, sturdy ride & stop on a dime brakes, but not the standard Neon looks. The visceral thrill from the turbo boost comes not just from its power but also the sound it makes. Unlike other turbos I've driven that make a subtle "whoosh" sound, the SRT-4 makes a loud whistle straight from Knight Rider. Sweet.

The performance value of the car really can't be argued against. Everything else however…For example power windows and sunroof should be simple options. But every time I rolled down the windows they took so long I thought they were fully down when they were not. The same goes for the achingly slow sunroof. Plus the awkward switch for the sunroof disrupts the look of the interior. The stereo grew on me but only when listening to loud hard rock or hip-hop. There isn't much range for this bass driven unit. Environmental controls were also out of date in look and feel. And then there are the gauges. The silver and green scheme is flashy during the day time, but at night they are almost impossible to see, even with the dimmer on the highest level.

But all the little annoyances are clearly overshadowed by such an easy, everyday super car. The Viper styled hood scoop and seats, along with one of the coolest shifters I've tested in a domestic car, cement it as one of the top vehicles in this segment. In the end the SRT-4 is about performance but still makes a great commuter. The looks won't impress anyone but the tuners and car enthusiasts you regularly pass on the road.

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