2013 Dodge Dart Review

The Dodge marque of Chrysler LLC is rolling out the Dodge Dart later in July 2012 for the 2013 model year, although it is hardly the car's first appearance. The Dart had actually debuted in 1960 and would be produced for the next 16 years as it gradually shrunk from a full-size vehicle to a compact one. Now, after a 36-year absence, the Dart is back -- redesigned for a new millennium, trying to keep up with the times.


Replacing the Caliber as Dodge's least expensive model, the four-door Dodge Dart sedan consists of four trims: the SE, SXT, Rallye, R/T and Limited. The car has a generous three-choice offering of four-cylinder engines: a turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter that doles out 160 horsepower, and 2.0-liter Tigershark that offers the same amount of horsepower and 2.4-liter Tigershark with MultiAir II that generates 184 horsepower. The top-level R/T, however, only comes with the 2.4-liter. 


Transmission choices are also generous, allowing customers to choose between a six-speed manual, six-speed dual dry clutch semi-automatic, six-speed automatic Powertech and nine-speed ZF automatic. Fuel economy is a bit on the upside; some tests have revealed a fuel efficiency topping at 40 miles per gallon. Customers who crave a sport-influenced drive at a comparatively inexpensive price might want to consider the Dodge Dart. Using a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout, the car uses a Compact U.S. Wide platform, a variant of the Fiat Compact Platform applied on the small Alfa Romeo Giulietta car. However, the Dart is 1.5 inches wider and has a larger wheelbase by 3.7 inches. The four-wheel independent suspension -- MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers and stabilizer bar in the front; and multilink suspension in the back -- is meant to provide agile handling, quick reaction and impressive body control required of a sports sedan. When the Dart finally hits showrooms, it is expected to start at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of around $15,995. If you are curious about the cost of insurance for this vehicle, you should do an online insurance quotes comparison at Kanetix to find out what the range of insurance rates is and to see which insurance company can offer you the cheapest car insurance quote


The Dodge Dart is also designed to appear sporty -- with dual exhaust, projector headlamps, LED tail lamps, split-crosshair grille and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The upper-tiered trims, such as the Rallye and R/T, have even more standard sports-like features like blackened grille and headlamp bezels, leather-wrapped steering wheels and projector fog lamps. Also, the car offers a choice out of 12 exterior colors.


Inside the car, Dodge has tried to make the resurrected vehicle as modern as possible, loading it with the latest technologies. Chief among them is the Uconnect Touch 8.4 system, which includes a stereo system consisting of AM/FM radio, CD/MP3 playback, Sirius Satellite Radio capability, USB port for digital data storage and iPod mobile device control. Also included are hands-free voice activation and Bluetooth capability, and Uconnect also offers Garmin Navigation and SiriusXM Travel Link as options. Customers can choose between 14 interior combinations.

Safety Features

The Dodge Dart is loaded when it comes to safety features. The standard air bag count is 10, and reactive head-restraint system to prevent whiplash when in an accident. Electronic stability control and roll mitigation are meant to improve the Dart's stability by detecting and minimizing potential skids, and brake assist increases braking pressure when an emergency situation occurs. Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring for better observance of the driver's surroundings when driving and rear cross path detection to keep the driver within the proper lane.

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