2013 Dodge Dart Sedan Limited (6-spd manual w/opt 1.4L 4-cyl. Turbo)
The Dart is a roomy compact car with responsive handling and good refinement. The turbo engine has some idiosyncrasies but has solid acceleration when called upon. A competitive car in its class.
PerformanceTurbo engine is kind of a mixed bag. Manual gearbox has long shift throws but it is otherwise enjoyable. Handles well at a medium pace, and appears to have a fundamentally sound chassis and great steering tuning.
At full throttle the turbo inline-4 moves with good punch. However, at times it can be caught off boost, particularly at low revs. Especialy sluggish when the engine is cold.
Short stopping distances for its class. Brakes feel natural and progressive. A good result when you consider it has all-season tires and not stickier summer tires.
Quick and well weighted, especially natural-feeling for electric power steering. Helps make the Dart to be more fun to drive.
Routine handling is enjoyable and responsive. Not a sports sedan but might make the basis for a good one.
Poor drivability when cold due to very retarded ignition timing which makes the car sluggish. Noticeable off-boost behavior when driven conservatiely on 87 octane.
ComfortThe Dart is compact, but offers the comfort of a larger car. Its width has a lot to do with this impression. The ride quality is well-snubbed rather than floaty and the seats also feel as though lifted from a larger car.
Seats are plush and comfortable in a traditional American way. Their bolsters appear aggressive but it's mostly a visual trick.
Picks up its feet well over bumps. The independent rear suspensions shows its value here. Well damped; crisp, not squishy.
This is a refined car when it comes to wind and road noise. Engine noise also has been quelled so that it is gone when you want it to be gone
InteriorGood ergonomics, space and functionality, but a few low-rent pieces inside cheapen the vibe.
Big central multimedia screen has large icons and an easy-to-navigate interface. Small, cramped numerals on gauges are victims to style. Simple HVAC interface a plus.
Doors open widely, and this works with modest seat bolsters to facilitate ease of ingress and egress.
Feels spacious and wide for a compact car. Backseat headroom is snug for six-footers, though legroom is ample.
Large C-pillars and a tall deck mean reward visibility could be better. Good view forward through windshield. Speaker grilles on dash reflect into windshield on direct sunlight.
Good-sized cargo hold with wide aperture. Gooseneck trunk hinges may intrude on objects.
ValueOur test car is a fully optioned Premium trim that is near the upper end of compact car pricing. Still, the Dart is worth a look for its blend of space, refinement and dynamics.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Some cheap looking plastics in the cabin. Overall build quality appears adequate for the class.
Not as feature laden as Korean competition, but that's not to say the Dart is lacking. Our tester was equipped with navigation and heated front seats.
Competitive in its class, though at the upper end of the compact classin Premium trim like our test car.
EPA ratings of 27 mpg/39 mpg highway are pretty solid for the class. In our testing of a single tank, the Dart only achieved 22 mpg, but this is not statistically significant.
Fun To DriveHandling and steering give the Dart a bit of verve to raise it above the cattle-car class of compact cars. You can have genuine fun hustling it along at a moderate clip.
For a compact sedan the Dart acquits itself for its driving engagement.
Some of the Dart's personality traits like its turbo engine's sometimes-meek power delivery could be improved upon, but overall this is a car with an agreeable skill set.
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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Dodge Dart Sedan in VA is:
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