2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test


2013 Dodge Dart: Superbike Road Trip, Part Two

October 7, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart

Our 2013 Dodge Dart and I showed up at our campsite just above turn 6 at Mazda Raceway around 12:30 in the afternoon. It was pretty easy spotting the Tangerine Scream-colored Focus ST amongst the RVs trailers and tents. I had my tent habitable in no time and we wandered the track for a few hours. It was a little unsettling to see how light the crowds were for a Saturday, I must admit, but it did make getting around a lot easier.

About halfway through a Harley race, we decided to head into town to hit up my favorite place, The Crown and Anchor pub. A few Boddingtons and a prime rib later, I was feeling pretty good. Kurt said he had problems starting a campfire the night before, so I readily admitted that I was a pyromaniac as a child. It was actually the only thing I was good at when I was briefly a Boy Scout. My search for a hand ax at the local Walgreen's turned up nothing, though. I'd just have to make due with a leatherman multitool.

My firebug skills proved useful as we had a good fire going within 10 minutes.

Race day went well, with no big surprises in the races we watched. We pretty much bolted from the track after the second Superbike race, beating the RVs off the premises by a sizable margin.

When we hit Highway 101, the distance to Los Angeles was 318 miles and I had 325 miles of range estimated. I figured I'd be able to make it without refueling. 45 minutes later, I had built up a 30-mile buffer zone, so I definitely would not be stopping. Then Kurt said he needed gas. I decided to follow him anyway. I was pretty tired and a Red Bull would be helpful at this point. And it was.

We rolled into L.A. right around 8:00 p.m., after about five hours of drive time. As with the trip up, I really didn't suffer much and there were no unpleasant surprises. I averaged 36.6 mpg, which is right in there with the EPA's 37-mpg estimate.

But considering that the base Focus ST and our as-tested price for the Dart are really close, choosing between the two is a no-brainer. I'd pick the fun Focus in a heartbeat, as it's better in every way.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 14,754 miles

Comments

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    I always enjoy your posts, Mark. They are very entertaining. I would take the Focus too at those prices, and would pay more for the better car. But the purposes of these models are not really comparable to begin with--the ST has true sporting goals. Maybe the dart will have a really sporting "RT" drivetrain Dodge hints at some day with something more powerful than the current 2.4.

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    $100 to the first Edmunds writer who comes out and speaks the truth, instead of dancing around it: this car is [non-permissible content removed].

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    The only objective reviews are possibly on Consumer Reports. Dodge as advertised on the Edmund' s site. The right side of the comments page has two of them. There have been plenty of criticisms so far. Why do you feel like they are not writing truthfully?

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I think the term is "make do."

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    noburgers - The Dart has to be one of the poorest domestic efforts in recent memory, and that's really saying something. The Dart needs to be called what it is - garbage, pure and simple. True, Edmunds writers do grudgingly report on these faults when they need to, like today's post about the ETS failure (which should be a car killer right there) but most of their long-term "reviews" of this car are pure puff pieces about road trips, and meaningless praise of trivial aspects like the center console storage. The Dart is [non-permissible content removed]. That needs to be said - hell, it needs to be screamed.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    @nukedetroit, saw and commented on the new sensor/failure, finally agree with you. Next year's consumer info should show a big hit in reliability, I suspect. I only came back to this post out of curiosity

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Dodge Dart in VA is:

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