October 29, 2013
For several reasons, our long-term 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye was my support vehicle during my recent house move. Actually, it was part of a fleet of vehicles that included a 17-foot U-Haul truck, MkVI Volkswagen GTI and a two-decades-old Toyota pickup.
Obviously, a small sedan would never be anyone's first choice for moving, but over the course of a very long weekend, the Dart provided reasonable utility.
September 30, 2013
While six pairs of gold glitter ballerina flats may not exactly fill up the 2013 Dodge Dart's 13 cubic-feet of cargo capacity, they certainly help dress it up a bit.
September 18, 2013
It's possible the Dart's strongest interior trait is its many small-items storage bins. Here's a tour starting with the center console (above).
September 11, 2013
You'll be glad to know that our long-term 2013 Dodge Dart is following in the footsteps of generations of Grand Caravans before it by retaining Cheerio crumbs in its seats. Sure, the minivans probably hoarded them in seat rails, but the Dart keeps them right there in the secret storage bin beneath your passenger's butt.
August 5, 2013
The 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye's center armrest opener latch (or the cover for it, anyway) came off in my hand as I tried to access the center bin.
Apparently, I open things too aggressively for the new Dart. Or maybe it's that I have insanely strong hands.
May 29, 2013
That's a five-and-half-foot tall box filled with brand new brake lines from Right Stuff Detailing for a 1969 Chevy Camaro project my father and I have begun.
April 26, 2013
A quick trip to Whole Foods resulted in one small shopping bag holding three 1-liter bottles and a few apples. I needed to make another stop on my way home, and figured the refrigerated liquids would be better off hiding in the trunk.
April 12, 2013
I've been dealing with the arduous task of getting my Jeep Cherokee to pass a California smog test. It's been throwing codes for a while now, specifically blaming the first bank of catalytic converters for inefficiency. The Cherokee has a lame design that uses dual exhaust manifolds with a pre-cat attached to each. These then feed into a third cat. This design also uses four oxygen sensors. Sweet.
The search for California-approved, direct-fit replacement pre-cats led me to the OEM piece, worth a cool $1,700. An aftermarket Magnaflow piece was exceedingly more reasonable, but didn't line up correctly with the Cherokee's manifold design, and required a trip to FedEx for the return. Appropriately enough, it was one Chrysler vehicle helping another.
April 10, 2013
"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.
March 21, 2013
Sometimes it's the simple things that stand out. And with our 2012 Dodge Dart, I noticed immediately the convenience of the deep storage cubby at the bottom of the center stack.
Any space that can hold my ridiculously over-sized sunglass case gets my vote.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 4,000+ miles
March 14, 2013
It's one of those design ideas in a car that doesn't seem to have a purpose, until it does. Each time I drive our 2013 Dodge Dart SXT I find another use for the clever storage seat: Orchid transport without tipping over.
February 27, 2013
Dodge's new compact car goes by the name of Dart. And that's just plain weird given its roots (its platform is derived from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta) versus those of its namesake ancestor. Hell, that's like Pontiac calling a Daewoo-based subcompact a LeMans. Or Chevrolet calling a Toyota-based compact a Nova. Oh, wait, they did.
As most any middle-aged-and-up American can tell you, the old Dodge Dart was a very popular compact that competed against the real Chevy Nova and the Ford Maverick during the '60s and '70s. But very popular doesn't necessarily mean very good.
February 25, 2013
Since I was couch-ridden with back spasms, it was up to my friend Chris to load up the Dart come check-out time at our Lake Arrowhead cabin this past weekend. After the second load, he came back inside holding his cut and bleeding hand. Was he the victim of a bear? An enraged raccoon? Nope, Dodge Dart attack.
February 22, 2013
A compact car is not the ideal vehicle to take on a long-weekend road trip with four people and their stuff. And yet, with all our bigger sedans and SUVs already spoken for, the Dodge Dart was actually the most spacious car available for our weekend journey to Lake Arrowhead. No problem, I thought, we'll just have to make it work.
And make it work we did, as the trunk proved to be suitably ample without the sort of bulges or intrusions that can make a cargo area less useful than its cubic feet would indicate. It does have some nasty spikes in it, but I'll save that for the next blog. The cabin was sufficient for myself (6-foot-3) and my friend Chris (6-foot-4) up front, with our wives in back along with a few items that didn't fit in the trunk. Would there have been more room in a bigger vehicle? Of course, but as far as compact sedans go, the Dart was very impressive and I heard no complaints from my passengers.
February 12, 2013
A few days ago, I noticed that little tab sticking out of the front passenger seat and wondered what it's intended to do. So I tugged on it and found an odd little storage compartment. The owner's manual says nothing of its intended use, just that "some models may be equipped with storage under the front passenger seat cushion. Pull upward on the seat tether to open the storage compartment."
I found a use for it.