Notes From the Parking Lot: 2013 Dodge Dart
Model: 2013 Dodge Dart Limited; 160-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic transmission
Base Price: $ 19,995
Options: Customer Preferred Package 24L (Technology Group: keyless access/engine start, rear park assist, blind-spot and rear cross path detection, automatic high beam headlamps, rain sensitive wipers), Premium Group (leather seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, remote start system, air conditioning with dual zone control, leather-wrapped shift knob, universal garage door opener), 6-speed automatic transmission, Uconnect, 9-speakers with surround sound amplifier
Price as Tested: $ 24,870
Total Miles Tested: 890 miles
Fuel Economy: 28.4 mpg
|Tom Appel: Dart is a car that impresses in stages. I don’t recall thinking much about the car until I was an hour into a long drive. It was at that time that the car’s airy cabin, composed ride, and overall quietness began to matter. Oddly, for a car called Dart from a brand that seems to beg to be recognized as sporty, our test Limited played better as an alternative to the very refined Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra. Reinforcing the lack of overall sportiness, power goes wanting with this engine and transmission despite the advertised 160 horsepower. With the arrival of Dart, each Detroit maker can, at the same time, claim to have a world-class compact car. I’m pretty sure that’s never happened before.
|Damon Bell: Dodge and Chrysler are under the umbrella of Italian automaker Fiat, but happily, the new Dodge and Chrysler products are retaining a distinct character. I’m impressed with how thoroughly Dodge has Americanized the basic Euro-market Alfa-Romeo Giulietta platform to create the Dodge Dart. In optioned-up Limited form, the Dart is a fairly posh machine, with a generous selection of luxury features. The compact-car market is as hotly contested as ever, and the Dart doesn’t seriously better the stellar competition. However, Dart’s broad range of model and option offerings and unique personality make it worth checking out.|
|Ed Piotrowski: Remember the Caliber? Yeah, well, don’t. Dart is so much better in every way, shape, and form, you can’t even compare them. While Dart is an excellent product, it’s not without its faults. The ride quality isn’t quite as controlled as I would like, and as-tested fuel economy in the high 20s won’t blow anyone away. Still, Chrysler’s superb exterior design and well-executed interior make Dart worthy of a top spot on any compact car shopper’s list.
|Don Sikora: The first 2013 Dodge Dart I’ve driven for any significant amount of time was this 2.0-liter/automatic transmission Limited test car. In this form at least, Dart isn’t particularly sporty but is quite refined and very comfortable on the road. Front seat room is good too. I wasn’t overly impressed with some of the interior materials (this pre-production car had fairly shiny plastic panels that will hopefully change for production) and throttle response was kind of lazy which might help explain why Dart feels pokier than some other compacts with less powerful engines. Overall, my impressions are mostly positive and I’m looking forward to driving more versions. There are a lot of really good compact cars on the market today, and it seems like Dart can safely be added to that group.
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