Short Gearing - 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye: Short Gearing

September 10, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye

I hadn't driven our 2013 Dodge Dart before this week. And other than a few comments about its transmission, I had no prior impressions. Here's my first observation. At 70 the engine is cranking at about 2,600 rpm in sixth gear, which is enough to be noticeable — disturbing, even — in the cockpit.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor


  • yellowbal yellowbal Posts:

    That isn't bad. My Civic Si is at 3,000RPM @60mph.

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    Let's not forget the trade-off of physics. Small displacement without forced induction = not much torque. Probably an okay trade off for not having to drop two or three gears to make a pass.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @reminder: They have the 1.4L turbo. But yes, I think most small engine cars have this characteristic. Its actually not that 2,600 is so bad at 70 (could be ALOT worse), it just needs some more sound insulation.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Josh, you're kidding, right? 1.4 turbo in a 3000lb+ car and you are surprised it needs 2600 rpm for 70? Really?

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    My tiptronic equipped '04 Jetta 1.8 Turbo is turning 3k rpm's at that speed.

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    No, what's disturbing is when you're in my 2000 Miata and cranking out 4,200 RPM at 80 mph (70 mph speed limit) with a pretty loud factory exhaust. For the first month or two, I kept trying to Up Shift it beyond its 5 speeds.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I find this complaint mysterious - short gearing, you say...compared to what? Spend some time with the Google and tell me how many cars in this class are below say 2500 rpm at that road speed. Your 2010 GTI and your Turbo Beetle were turning around 2700 at that speed, but nobody ever complained about it because that is a very quiet, refined engine, and the one in the Dart is not. The issue is not short gearing, it's this loud, unrefined engine. And that is particularly unforgivable with a turbo engine, because typically putting a compressor wheel in the exhaust tract is a significant help in making those engines quieter - it's very common for reviewers to complain that turbo engines don't have a sporting-enough exhaust note.

  • huisj huisj Posts:

    A manual Fit is at about 3500 at 70. Big whoop. About the only small car I've seen that's lower than the Dart is a Cruze Eco.

  • cynic783 cynic783 Posts:

    ^^^reminder the long term car that Josh is reviewing -is- the turbo lol you fail

  • bgsntth bgsntth Posts:

    Agree with the comments - not so surprising in a small, amped-up four cylinder. Now, 2950RPMs @ 70 in my Cayenne GTS Manual transmission with a 4.8l was odd, but the sound - glorious.

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    Small forced-fed engines have found a niche in the current market, but are still no replacement for cubic inches when it comes to low rpm torque. ^^^cynic783 you fail. LOL

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    LOW rpm? Most 2.0L turbo engines are making more torque at 1800 rpm than a 4.0L NA engine is.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Other than a slight lag off idle, my Jetta pulls much stronger than the NA 2.5L in 2007 Forester and the 3.4L V8 in my '96 Taurus SHO (the engine looked fantastic and sounded glorious at 7k RPM's, but was one of the most gutless I have experienced in the 20+ cars I have owned).

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    A V8 Challenger this is not.

  • jlh3 jlh3 Posts:

    My infiniti M35 used to rev at 2800 at 70 MPH It was a 5 speed auto

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Yeah, the issue is that this engine has a drone because it's not very muffled compared to the other engines available. But 2600 rpms itself isn't very unusual; most mid 2000s Hondas seemed to churn at 3.5k rpm on the freeway....

  • barich1 barich1 Posts:

    "A manual Fit is at about 3500 at 70. Big whoop. About the only small car I've seen that's lower than the Dart is a Cruze Eco." The Skyactiv Mazda3 is running at 2100 RPM at 70 MPH. My previous generation 3 with the 2.3 was geared lower than the Dart, but the engine was pretty much inaudible on the highway. Of course, the higher than average road noise could have been a big part of the reason.

  • cx7lover cx7lover Posts:

    The gearing for the dart is short though. It needs 2 shifts well before it reaches 60

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