Questionable Build Quality - 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT: Questionable Build Quality

March 13, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart SXT

I opened the rear door to load something in the back seat and heard an awful plastic-popping "clack-clack-clunk!" It sounded like something was about to break (see video after the break).

A simple hex-wrench saves the day but it does make one wonder what else might be loose and where. This is the kind of stuff that kills consumer confidence.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 3,834 miles


  • meh, Just new model glitches. My CX5 had a misadjusted hood latch that left it with play in it when closed and loose bolts under the cowl that lead to a really bad rattle.

  • meng_mao meng_mao Posts:

    Did that make you check the other door check bolts while you had the hex key out?

  • benson2175 benson2175 Posts:

    It's a car built by Fiat and Dodge, how much build quality do you expect?

  • maybe when they assembled it they used a hex wrench on a bolt that was made for a torx bit :)

  • g35buf g35buf Posts:

    I blame the Italians...

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Did Tony fix that for you? ;)

  • cwalton1 cwalton1 Posts:

    To meng_mao: Actually, I did the other three bolts and they were all snug. I didn't go as far as putting a torque wrench on them to see what the proper spec was, however. Chris

  • The front door of my 2010 Lancer JUST did the same thing! However, it cost about the same as the Dart, and my drivers door has been opened and shut prolly 2000 times in the last three years.(unlike this REAR door of the dart which has been opened...prolly 6 times?) AND it required a socket wrench to be tightend down again. Does a three year old Mitsubishi have better build quality than a brand new Dodge?? Troubling...

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    Fiat and Chrysler get together to build a car, and the build quality is suspect. Who would of thunk it?

  • mrh1965 mrh1965 Posts:

    Is it me or have 90% of the posts on the Dart been of the critical variety? Which doesn't bother me, it's just too bad to see a kind of nice looking car, and an important one for Chrysler, fall short in so many ways.

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Show a video of the headlight switch. The two I test drove - plus one at the auto show - are all loose in the dashboard. That was a confidence killer for me.

  • I like this car, but even I would wait until the 2nd or 3rd model year before considering one. Same goes for any brand-new model built on a brand-new (or newly-adapted) platform. I'm actually surprised that the Passat is doing as well as it is, considering it's a new version on a new platform built in a new factory!

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Somehow Dodge has managed to build a car even more unlikeable than the Chevy Cruze. Quite an achievement. At least the Cruze earned some grudging respect from Edmunds for its solidity. That does not look likely with the Dart.

  • al2travel al2travel Posts:

    Gotta love the UAW!

  • dby2012 dby2012 Posts:

    It's obvious some type of agenda is going on with Edmunds. I would have no problem with such intense scrutiny of the Dart if they applied that to all the long term test cars. They already posted a few pieces of false info in these updates and have not bothered corrected themselves. You are totally false about the functioning of the HVAC system (it clearly displays the fanspeed at all times), the manual clearly states to use 91 octane for best performance with the turbo. The EPA's mpg measurements are for using 91 octane yet you guys used 87 so far and then complain about the gas mileage. I sat in all the C Class cars recently at a large autoshow- I nitpicked and could find build quality issues in all of them- the worse was the Focus btw. I can't believe you would judge the whole car on one bolt that may not have been torqued correctly and they have a headlines like questionable build quality. I did not see such headlines when you found quality issues with your Focus ST long term test.

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