January 07, 2014
We added about 2,100 miles to our 2013 Dodge Dart before the year's end. We were looking to add about another 300 to push the odometer past 20,000 miles, but our time with the Dart came to a sad, abrupt end (more on that in a follow-up post).
December 03, 2013
We added about 1,400 miles to our 2013 Dodge Dart Limited during November. Some of that mileage came from normal commuting, but we also made a trip from our Los Angeles offices to Las Vegas for the SEMA show.
For the month, we averaged 29.4 mpg. We also saw our best range from a tank so far: 502 miles.
November 21, 2013
The Las Vegas Strip is 280 miles from the Edmunds.com offices. I probably could've squeezed an additional 60 miles of range out of our long-term 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye by hypermiling on my road trip to Vegas. And I might've made it back from SEMA without stopping to gas up, but in the end, I still drove the Dart 506 miles on just one tank of gas.
November 4, 2013
In the month of October, we added approximately 1,300 miles to our 2013 Dodge Dart's odometer.
We averaged 27.5 MPG during that time, which is just one-tenth off from our lifetime average.
October 7, 2013
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.
October 4, 2013
We put 1,713 miles on our long-term 2013 Dodge Dart in September. With the help of a road trip from Los Angeles to Monterey, California, our lifetime average crept up to 27.6 mpg (up from 27.4 a month ago), and we set a new high for mpg.
October 2, 2013
Photo guy Kurt Niebuhr reserved a campsite at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca a few months back, so I decided to tag along and check out the FIM Superbike race with him. Initially, I had the idea of renting a big ol' camper trailer and tow it up behind our long-term Silverado. Unfortunately, those plans fell through and we had to resort to tenting it.
A few days before we left, I checked to see what cars we should take. As it turns out, the long-term Focus ST and Dodge Dart needed miles and the 600-mile round trip would definitely help out with that. When I told Kurt our choices, he claimed the Focus before I could even finish saying Dodge Dart. No big deal, I thought. I haven't spent a lot of time in the Dart and this would make up for that.
September 25, 2013
This morning's fuel stop to fill the 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye year-long tester cost me a significant $55.33. I pumped 13.8 gallons, or 376 miles worth of fuel.
September 4, 2013
For the month of August we logged just 508 miles on our 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye. Why so few miles? The Dart spent several days out of service with a broken door handle, which has since been repaired.
August 2, 2013
We've had our 2013 Dodge Dart about seven months and in that time we've driven it 12,705 miles, which works out to 1,815 miles per month. And that tally includes this past July, a fairly light month in which slightly less than 1,000 new miles were added.
Still, we'll reach our 20,000-mile goal if we can manage 1,450 miles per month through the end of the year. I think we can handle that.
August 1, 2013
I hate the way fuel economy is marketed and sold, and this 2013 Dodge Dart billboard is Exhibit A. Let's run down what's wrong with it.
The "41 mpg" Dart is really only good for 32 mpg. That's the EPA Combined rating, the one that really applies in day-in-day-out usage. Most car owners have a hard enough time matching EPA Combined. The highway by itself number is fairly useless.
The "41 mpg" Dart is in fact the Dodge Dart Aero, but by not disclosing that little nugget this billboard implies all Darts are good for 41 mpg on the highway.
The "41 mpg" Dart Aero is a $3,300 option package available only on the base SE trim. It's not standard equipment.
The "41 mpg" Dart Aero is not the one pictured on the billboard. They're showing an SXT with the Rallye package that looks exactly like our long-term test car. A real 2013 Dart SE Aero won't have the tough looking blackout headlights, blackout accent paint or fog lights. I just asked Dodge public relations for a stock photograph of a 2013 Dart SE Aero and they didn't have one.
July 3, 2013
Here is the June fuel economy update for our long-term 2013 Dodge Dart. In the past month we drove the Dart 1,200 miles. This falls 500 miles short of our monthly goal. After 7 months of service, however, we are exactly on track to reach our 20,000-mile long-term goal for the car.
June 3, 2013
We've put just over 10,000 miles on our 2013 Dodge Dart, and at this point we're starting to get alarmed about its fuel economy.
Compared to an EPA combined rating of 31 mpg, our average stands at 27.7 mph. That's 3.3 mpg shy of the rating, which represents an 11-percent miss.
May 2, 2013
We threw a few thousand miles at our 2013 Dodge Dart in April. Were in-house records broken? Did the overall average increase or decrease? Click on through before you fall out of your chair.
April 2, 2013
We added close to 2,000 miles to our 2013 Dodge Dart during March. The miles were added both from commuting around Los Angeles and from some long-distance highway driving around California. The result for the month of March was an average of 28 mpg.
March 4, 2013
Our Dodge Dart drove nearly 1,200 miles throughout the month of February, our second full month with the car. We averaged 26.5 mpg for those 28 days of mixed driving, which is slightly better than our overall average of 26.2 mpg.
Like Chris Walton mentioned last month, we're still well below the EPA's estimate of 31 mpg for combined city and highway driving. This month we filled up the tank exclusively with 87-octane fuel.
February 4, 2013
After our first month of mixed driving in our brand new 2013 Dodge Dart SXT, one fill-up occurred after a mere 67 miles and the longest came after 368 miles. After 2,400 trouble-free miles, the preliminary fuel economy verdict is in. Where the EPA officially rates our particular Dodge Dart with the optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine at 27 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway, and 31 mpg Combined, our lead-footed staff achieved disappointing results.
With an average 26.2 mpg, we're 5 mpg shy of the EPA's combined estimate? That's not a good sign. Maybe our staff are still in the "Let's see what this thing's got" stage. Maybe the much-maligned DDCT automated-manual transmission is so frustrating that elicits aggressive throttle use (heh-heh).
Whatever the case, it's also interesting that the EPA's figures were the result of using premium fuel (that's 91 octane here in Santa Monica, CA), and the majority of our refueling was with 87 octane gasoline. The blank fuel door isn't explicit about the type of gasoline that should be used, but the owner's manual reads "87 octane acceptable" and "91 octane recommended." Stay tuned for more fuel updates in the coming months.
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 2,435 miles
Worst Fill MPG: 20.7
Best Fill MPG: 30.3
Average Lifetime MPG: 26.2
EPA MPG Rating (City/Highway/Combined): 27/37/31
Best Range: 368 miles
Current Odometer: 2,435 miles