700-Mile Family Road Trip, Part One - 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart: 700-Mile Family Road Trip, Part One

April 10, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart

"This is what we're taking?"

This was my wife upon seeing the Dodge Dart in our driveway. We were about to start packing for a four-day trip to visit her parents for Easter. "Yep. It's a Dodge Dart," I replied.

Somewhat disdainfully, my wife's eyes glanced over the car's lines some more. "It's kind of small. You're sure it's going to hold all our stuff?"

"It'll fit," I said confidently, while secretly wondering whether it actually would.

And thus began a 700-mile road trip test of our long-term 2013 Dodge Dart.

With two small children and a wife who doesn't understand the term "pack lightly," it's always a challenge preparing for road trips. No doubt something like Dodge's Journey or Durango would make things easier. But the Dart has a reputation of being roomier than the typical small sedan, so I figured this would be a good test.

The first order of business was fitting as much of our gear as possible into the trunk. At 13.1 cubic feet, the Dart's trunk is merely average for this class of car. I did manage to fit in a decent amount of luggage, including a large suitcase, two small suitcases, two duffel bags, a computer laptop bag, a portable crib, and a garment bag. But it took some mad Tetris skills to make it happen.

2013 Dodge Dart

Unfortunately, I had neglected to read James' "Beware of Trunk Spikes" warning and consequently got a nice scrape on my hand when moving some stuff around at the top of the trunk area.

Even with the trunk full, I still had to put a variety of items in the back seat. (And no, I'm not just talking about our kids.) Here the Dart's slightly bigger than normal size came in handy, as I was able to utilize the middle seat area as well as the floor while still leaving the front seats in their preferred positions. Installing a front-facing child safety seat and a booster seat were also no problem.

2013 Dodge Dart

In the end, we were able to fit everything we wanted. It was cozy, yes, but also showed once again that you don't absolutely need a big crossover SUV for such things.

In my next update I'll cover how the Dart drove.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,462 miles


Comments

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Hopefully this trip doesn't include many steep grades.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @fordson1: I'm sure it'll make it up 'em. Slowly.

  • usa1fan_ usa1fan_ Posts:

    Sure, it proves you don't need a big SUV for trips like this, but those big vehicles make the trips a lot more enjoyable, especially when you're at the rest stop and realize that, like a dolt, you put that one thing you need that instant (for a screaming child, maybe) in the front of the trunk. Start unloading it all.. Been there, done that. I'm downsized to a CUV now, but, even though its only a bit more roomy storage wise than the mid sized sedan I replaced it with, it's tons more friendly to put things in, take things out of, or even just organize for the trip. :)

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