Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
Recent pushes to increase fuel economy by all automakers have created some odd circumstances. Case in point: our new 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye. It has the optional turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and yet it doesn't deliver any more horsepower than the standard engine. What it does deliver is 36 extra pound-feet of torque and improved fuel mileage.
Furthering this fuel economy gain is our Dart's six-speed dual-dry-clutch automated manual transmission. While less efficient than the standard six-speed manual, the dual-clutch setup is good for an EPA estimated 27 mpg city/37 highway and 31 mpg combined.
Fuel economy is all well and good, but we wanted to know what that extra torque would do when pushed to the limit, so we took our Long-Term 2013 Dodge Dart to the track to find out.
Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart Track SXT Rallye
Driver: Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front engine, front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed dual-dry-clutch automated manual
Engine Type: Turbocharged, port-injected inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,368/83
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 160 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 184 @ 2,500-4,000
Brake Type (front): 12-by-1.1-inch ventilated cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 10.4-by-0.4-inch solid cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 225/45R17 (91H) M+S
Tire Size (rear): 225/45R17 (91H) M+S
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ContiProContact
Tire Type: All-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,300
0-30 (sec): 3.4 (3.7 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 5.5 (5.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 8.6 (9.0 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.2 (8.5 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 12.7 (13.2 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.3 @ 86.1 (16.6 @ 85.4 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 30
60-0 (ft): 117
Slalom (mph): 63.9 (63.1 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.83 (0.83 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 43.1
Db @ Full Throttle: 71.9
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 60.8
RPM @ 70: 2,500
Acceleration: Pretty laggardly off the line. Not sure if it was more turbo lag or a hesitant dual-clutch transmission. Was able to power-brake to 2,500 rpm, which netted about 0.3 second. The slow upshifts come at 6,000 rpm. There's lag with each shift until the tach gets to 4,400. Manual shifting is via console lever (push forward for downshifts, correct!). Does not hold gears to limiter, but does blip throttle on downshifts.
Braking: Firm and consistent pedal. Significant brake odor by completion of tests. Pulled significantly to the right with every stop. Very little nosedive. First stop was the shortest at 117 feet. Sixth and final stop was longest at 119 feet.
Skid pad: Decent steering effort, although there isn't a ton of actual feel. What's cool is that the Dart responds well to throttle changes, although it's difficult to say fully to what extent because the ESC system spends a lot of time grabbing the brakes.
Slalom: The Dart gets around the cones reasonably well considering the soft suspension and large amount of body roll. It went slightly quicker with TC off. I didn't feel any less ESC intervention, but maybe the fact that it allowed it to spin the tires with TC off at slalom exit helped.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.