Used 2013 Dodge Dart Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Dodge Dart Sedan Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Dodge Dart Sedan

  • C Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Dodge Dart offers a lot of space, features and style for the money, but underwhelming performance and some refinement issues dull the overall experience.

  • Pros

    Spacious cabin; excellent optional electronics interface; quick acceleration from turbo engine; excellent safety scores; short braking distances.

  • Cons

    Pokey acceleration with base engine; unrefined performance of turbo's automated transmission; some may find the front seats lumpy and mounted too high.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Dodge Dart is an all-new small sedan.

Full 2013 Dodge Dart Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Dodge Dart is an all-new small sedan.


It seems fitting that we first drove the 2013 Dodge Dart in Austin, Texas. You see, this up-and-coming city represents a different sort of Lone Star State that's more tie dye than 10-gallon hat, more downtown condo than Southfork Ranch. And yet there's still plenty of barbecue-tinged Texas flavor to go around.

Similarly, the Dart is a different sort of Dodge. It's a front-wheel-drive small sedan based on an Italian hatchback that's a pretty sharp contrast to the brawny V8-powered Chargers and Challengers the brand is most famous for. And yet there's still plenty of true-to-form Dodge flavor sprinkled throughout to make the Dart fit in with its siblings and stand out in a very competitive field.

It starts with its basic structure, suspension and steering borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta sold in Europe. This produces a car that can be legitimately fun to drive, albeit in an agile, corner-taking sort of way rather than the tire-shredding "yee-hah" style of a Dodge Challenger. The optional turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine is also shared with the Alfa Romeo, and it balances its 160 horsepower with 184 pound-feet of torque, which makes this rather heavy car deliver one of the quickest 0-60 times in the class.

Yet the 2013 Dodge Dart isn't just a Giulietta with a trunk and a Dodge crosshair grille. It's bigger than the Alfa in almost every dimension, especially its extra foot of length. More importantly, it should make Texas proud by being one of the biggest small sedans on the market, with dimensions that exceed those of the Volkswagen Jetta. The Dart is especially wide, which not only imparts more passenger space but also creates the feeling that you're driving something rather substantial. It really doesn't feel like a compact car.

That's an important point, because it makes the Dart's reasonable price seem like a bargain in light of its ample list of comfort, convenience and technology features. Plus, Dodge has gone out of its way to offer the Dart in a refreshing selection of bright colors and different trim materials as a way to bring some of the Alfa Romeo's flair to the compact segment. Going from a Honda Civic with its three choices of gray paint to the Dodge Dart and its multi-hued palette is like falling asleep in Kansas and waking up in Oz.

However, that doesn't mean the 2013 Dart hits the segment bull's-eye. The 2013 Ford Focus feels more agile, yet also offers a quieter, more comfortable ride and plenty of interior space. The 2013 Mazda 3 is more fun still, and its new Skyactiv engine is a fuel economy champ. Meanwhile, the stylish 2013 Hyundai Elantra offers plenty of value, while the Chevy Cruze's turbocharged engine is standard on all but its base model.

Yet the fact that the Dart is deep in the heart of the compact segment at all is a coup for a brand that hasn't competed in this corner of the market since the Dodge Neon. The 2013 Dart may be a different sort of Dodge, but as with Austin, different can be a cool thing.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Dodge Dart is available in four trim levels: SE, SXT, Limited and GT. The GT, which Dodge originally said would be called R/T, is a midyear addition.

The base SE comes sparsely equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, power windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Value Group adds power mirrors, power locks, keyless entry and air-conditioning. The Aero package includes those features, plus low-rolling-resistance tires and the contents of the Popular Equipment Group (detailed below).

The SXT is like the SE with the Value Group, but also has 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a sliding front armrest, an upgraded instrument panel and a six-speaker sound system. The Rallye package adds to the SXT foglamps, unique exterior and interior trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The SXT is also eligible for several options packages. The Uconnect Voice Command package adds Bluetooth, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a USB port. The Popular Equipment Group includes cruise control, active grille shutters, underbody aerodynamic enhancements, remote ignition (automatic transmission only) and an enhanced trip computer with an upgraded display and tire-pressure monitoring information. The Uconnect Touchscreen Group adds an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, USB, an SD card slot and upgraded interior trim.

The Dart Limited includes all of the above, plus a six-way power driver seat with four-way power lumbar adjustment and chrome exterior trim. The Dart GT (late availability) is also well equipped like the Limited, but gets a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and different exterior and interior trim.

Both the Limited and GT can be equipped with the Technology Group, which adds keyless ignition/entry, automatic wipers and high beams, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and a rear cross-path warning system. Also available on both trims is the Premium Group, which adds leather upholstery (Limited), heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and dual-zone automatic climate control.

A navigation system can be added to models with the 8.4-inch touchscreen option. A sunroof, LED taillights, satellite radio and a nine-speaker Alpine sound system are stand-alone options that can be added to every Dart except the SE. The Limited can also be optioned with xenon headlights.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2013 Dodge Dart except the GT comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 160 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, the 2.0 engine with a manual brought the Dart from zero to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds, which makes it one of the slowest vehicles in the class. Estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 24/34/27 with the automatic.

Optional on all trims but the GT is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automated manual transmission (Dodge calls it the "DCCT") is optional. In Edmunds testing, we found that the turbo and manual transmission combo was good for a 0-60-mph time of 8.3 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest cars in the class. The DCCT adds only 0.3 second to that time.

Given its swiftness, the turbocharged engine's estimated fuel economy is impressive at 27/39/32 with the manual and 27/37/31 with the DCCT. The Dart SE with the Aero package is slightly better at 28/41/32 with the manual and 28/40/32 with DCCT.

Finally, the Dart GT (late availability) gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 184 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. It gets the same transmission choices as the 2.0-liter.


Every 2013 Dodge Dart comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. A rearview camera is available, as are blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert.

In government crash testing, the Dart earned a top five-star overall rating, with five stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety similarly awarded the Dart a top score of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In Edmunds brake testing, the Dart came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, putting it among the best in the segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Dodge Dart features one of the nicest cabins in its class, and it only gets nicer as you move up the trim level ladder. Whereas competitors just add leather upholstery or some fake metal trim to improve the ambience, the Dart actually slathers on extra padded surfaces, dash stitching and flares of colorful trim.

The Dart's dimensions also reinforce an experience that's more than you expect from a small sedan. It's noticeably wide, with a generous amount of rear legroom, so we expect the Dart will have one of the most welcoming backseats in the class. Space up front is what you'd expect, but the driver seat feels as if it's mounted too high and can't be lowered enough for those of longer leg. Some may also find the seat cushioning to be a bit lumpy, hurting comfort over long distances. Trunk space stands at 13.1 cubic feet, an average capacity in this class.

We highly recommend springing for the available 8.4-inch touchscreen interface for the entertainment and navigation systems. Also found on some other Dodge models, it features easy-to-navigate menus, big touch buttons and an accompanying knob that makes whipping through iPod menus a breeze. On models without it, the standard stereo head unit clumsily plugs into the spot where that big screen should be, reinforcing the notion that you missed out on something better.

Driving Impressions

With underpinnings sourced from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the 2013 Dodge Dart boasts the sort of lively, responsive handling you'd expect from something with Italian DNA. The steering is well weighted, and the car does a nice job of driving around turns confidently while also offering the sort of comfortable ride that you might expect from a larger car. The Ford Focus and Mazda 3 are more nimble, but the Dart's bigger dimensions make it seem more substantial when cruising down the open road.

The base 2.0-liter doesn't really have enough guts for a car this size. It can feel passably robust with the standard manual transmission, but opting for the six-speed automatic sucks even more life out of this engine, and we found that it can be slow to downshift. We recommend paying extra for the turbocharged 1.4-liter, which achieves better fuel economy, a punchier power delivery and quick acceleration.

Unfortunately, this 1.4-liter engine can sound noisy at times and its optional automated manual transmission is not a good example of this increasingly common technology. It is slow to respond to throttle inputs and prone to picking the wrong gear. We'd suggest sticking with the standard manual transmission, but obviously the number of drivers interested in that is few and far between.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 71 reviews) Write a Review

Dodge fiat throw away cars

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Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

Buying new, my 2013 Dodge Dart is a great looking great gas mileage car, however, there is no resale valve, a/c problem with moisture in car, dealer says they made the part small for better mpg , well I get very close to 40 highway if it was 1or2 less I wouldn't care if the a/c worked good... they have changed for 2015 knowing there was a problem, I tryied working with dealer from the second day I owned and I would of lost 10k in one day.. that is crazy .... now after paying 24k new it is worth 9k .... it is a garage kept car, always clean and detailed. 26k for mileage.... the 6 speed auto shift is very it shifts when it wants... it is not smooth at all... I would never rebuy this car any any of the line up check Edmond FIAT DODGE JEEP made 5 of the top 15 autos NOT TO BUY this year.... I got screwed...I love the car but the problems are terrible.... as I need a/c when I ask what happens when I go to California,,, they said don't go a/c will not keep you cool.. other than computer problems the dealer says needs to be flashed.... I love the car... I can't even sell mine for 14k and have had it ad for 2 years now. reline with lots of nice things...

Dont ever buy dodge dart

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Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I have been having a problem with my dodge dart 2013 coming up with service transmission not once or twice but five time i brought it in to dealer and the first time they said it was my driving. I brought it back again and this time it wasn't my driving they said it needed to be reset so I said why does it need to be rest I got the best answer I have ever heard they don't know. Now it went back in this time I was having problems starting up car it won't turn over but I did have power to the car they couldn't figure it out for two weeks they had it at the dealer and NOW my car is blowing blue smoke out the tailpipe when i am sitting at lights why is now NO ONE SHOULD EVER BUY DODGE THEY DON'T STAND BEHIND THERE CARS I TRYED TO GO THROUGH THE LEMON LAW IT WAS DENIED WOW WHAT A GREAT COMPANY TO BUY FROM ALSO THERE IS RECALL ON THE TRANSMISSON AND THERE IS NO FIX FOR THIS RECALL

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Wholly unsafe vehicle.

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Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart SXT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

This vehicle is another example of an "American" (owned by Italians, Fiat) company putting out a substandard product that should not be on the market. I own a 2013, Dodge Dart Rallye 1.4l, manual transmission. The hydraulic system for the clutch has failed not once, not twice but three times and the vehicle barely has 37000 miles!!! The second time we were traveling through the Smokey mountains, thankfully we were able to coast to the next exit and get the vehicle working again. When I say that this vehicle has endangered the lives of my family, it is no exaggeration. As you can read in any of the other posts, this vehicle is plagued with an assortment of other issues. (P.S. The vehicle is still sitting at the dealership for the third instance of the clutch going out). Vehicle aside, Chrysler customer service is run by what seems to be children who have no grasp on the real issues that their customers are experiencing. The second time this happened I was in the middle of moving to a new base and was unable to retrieve the vehicle for sometime. This was of no import to the people of Chrysler Case management, I had to request two different case managers due to their unwillingness to return phone calls. Finally after sitting at a dealership in Tennessee for 2 months they returned my vehicle, less than a week after I received it, the clutch failed again! All beware who buy this vehicle, it is not economical, and it is certainly not safe!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Not what i thought it would be. ...

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Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

First, I didn't buy new so I can't say anything prior but since I've owned it (3 months), it's been in the shop 5 times for strange popping noises in front end area. I've taken it to two different dealers and have gotten two different reasons why is doing it. But neither say it can be repaired. One says it's a design flaw, the other just doesn't know why. Bottom line, it's a great looking piece of junk. I wonder if it was really built by Yugo!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Battery issue

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Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I, like many of the other reviewers, purchased my Dogde Dart 2013 in December 2012 and am having battery issues. Today my car would not start, which has me completely baffled since the car is only 2.5 years old with only 57,900 miles. And, don't get me started on the gas mileage not being as good as reported/advertised!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Battery replacement

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Vehicle: 2013 Dodge Dart Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

We purchased the 2013 Dodge dart Lmtd brand new in Dec 2012. Since then we have had two issues with the battery and only recently had to have the entire battery replaced. The Dodge dealership confirmed that it was an internal problem with the battery! Has anyone else had these issues? The car has completed about 26K miles.

Talk About The 2013 Dart

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Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 36
  • highway
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$83.00 per month*

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