Fuel Economy Update for May- 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart: Fuel Economy Update for May

June 3, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart

We've put just over 10,000 miles on our 2013 Dodge Dart, and at this point we're starting to get alarmed about its fuel economy.

Compared to an EPA combined rating of 31 mpg, our average stands at 27.7 mph. That's 3.3 mpg shy of the rating, which represents an 11-percent miss.

Lest you think this is a result of lead-footed journalism, know that I personally drove the last tank and my commute-to-work driving style is pretty boring. And I tend to do quite well unless the traffic is absolutely solid, which it wasn't. I got 26.2 mpg.

Our best highway tank so far (35.6 mpg) came on Kurt Niebuhr's road trip. I don't know if he was flying or trying, but the EPA highway rating stands at 37 mpg, so he got somewhat close. Within 4 percent if you want to put a number on it.

But that tank was an anomaly. Only a handful are in the 30s, and 31 mpg is supposed to be the overall average here.

I'm beginning to wonder if small turbos do as well in the real world as they do on the dyno running the EPA test procedure. And this isn't the first such "ecologically boosted" engine to leave me with that impression, either.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 10,680 miles

Worst Fill MPG: 16.8
Best Fill MPG: 35.6
Average Lifetime MPG: 27.7
EPA MPG Rating (City/Highway/Combined): 27/37/31
Best Range: 487 miles
Current Odometer: 10,680 miles


  • dby2012 dby2012 Posts:

    You guys never answer the same question we have asked over and over here- the EPA mpg is rated using 91 octane gas. Are you using 91 octane gas?

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    It should be obvious by now (and is to consumers spending their own money) that the combination of Fiat engineering and Mopar "quality" is in no way particularly appealing or effective.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Come on - I don't care what the EPA estimate is. This is a 3300-lb. car with a 1.4T where you have to be into the turbo most of the time in normal driving. And really, if it said the EPA combined was 28, would you be OK with that? But since the EPA says it should get 31, 27.7 is bad - ? This car is around 3300 lb., like the LT Cruze, it has a 1.4T, like the LT Cruze, and it gets about the same mileage as the LT Cruze. In my experience, the really tiny turbo engines don't do that much better than say the 2.0T engines, and the 2.0T engines at least have some power in return for their 25-mpg averages.

  • dby2012 dby2012 Posts:

    Wrong- I had a Cruze LT with the turbo- averaged 34mpg lifetime over 32,000 miles with the 1.4turbo and 6sp auto. I currently have a Dart Limited with the 2.0 Tigershark and 6sp auto and am averaging 31 over 7500 miles so far. I suspect they are using 87 octane gas with the turbo, which you can do with no problem ( as they stated in ealier Long Term updates), but I think you should expect less then the EPA since it clearly states the EPA ratings are from using 91 octane.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Several of the Edmunds staff have an issue with putting Premium in any car that costs less than $60k. dby2012 is spot on in that we have not had full disclosure when it comes to the gas mileage numbers vs the fuel grade. As it gets hotter the 87 octane penalty will get worse, as was proven with the long term Cruze.

  • rem83 rem83 Posts:

    What's sad is that they actually have a chance to provide useful consumer information here, yet obstinately either choose not to, or choose to put out deceptive numbers that might be consumed by ignorant consumers (especially since they've stopped posting the disclaimer that they're only using 87 Octane). Fortunately there are sites out there like Fuelly, which show turbo Darts mostly averaging 29 and up.

  • Maybe this is wrong of me, but I never think "Does this car do worse than EPA," I think "Does this car do better than I expected?" Honestly, this mileage seems OK considering the combination of engine output, car weight, and the fact that they are most likely using 87 octane. I mean, they weren't getting THAT much better MPG with the 1.6l turbo in their long-term Cooper S, and that car was half the size of this one.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    misterfusion, I think this is the bottom line, too. It's whether the car gets the fuel economy I would expect, not whether it aces the EPA test. And @dby2012, no, I am not wrong - the LT Cruze LTZ 1.4T got 25.3 mpg over the 27,000+ miles Edmunds had it, against an EPA combined est. of 28.

  • dby2012 dby2012 Posts:

    Bottom line is that they are being critical of fuel economy numbers by comparing EPA numbers that were achieved using an octane of gas they are (at least we assume from previous postings) not using. Is that good reporting? I say no. You were saying a 1.4turbo can't get good mpg with a 3000+ pound car- I say you are wrong. I got 34mpg lifetime over 32,000 miles with a Cruze LT with a 1.4 turbo and auto transmission.

  • jlh3 jlh3 Posts:

    I also agree with dby2012....I have rented the chevy cruze with the turbo engine about 3 times on different business trips. Each time I check my fuel mileage (the good old fashion way) I average 35 MPG, that was about 90% highway driving.

  • milo1951 milo1951 Posts:

    You boys should of laid off the turbo! did you actually expect the same EPA on a high performance engine. 91-93 octane either way I doubt you will ever see it. I got the standard engine and I average on a trip 36.6 MPG but that's running between 70 to 85 MPH. I guess if I wasn't so apt to get there fast I could hit nearly 40. But best thing is I am running low octane. So cant peel the tires but I save a ton of money. I suggest you hot rods purchase online a gadget called the Turbinator. works with any gas engine no DMG or warranty problems it just changes the air movement. It can get that extra your hunting for.

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