This 2013 Dodge Dart video review talks about how it compares to other compact sedans. Fuel economy, price, features and space are discussed, along with safety and how it drives.
People haven't come to expect a lot of style or individuality from compact sedans. They probably haven't expected them to come from the United States, either. But the Dodge Dart defies both of those expectations. And although it's not our top choice, it's worth a look.
You can get a Dart in vibrant colors, which can also be sprinkled into the interior. Plus, there's a whole catalogue of Mopar customized items.
It's pretty interesting behind the wheel too. The steering and suspension are borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. That gives it an agility you wouldn't expect from a Dodge. At the same time, the ride is composed and comfortable.
The Dart's also bigger than most of its competitors, at least on the outside. It doesn't actually translate into that much more interior space, especially in the back and the trunk. You may also find this driver seat's lumpy and mounted a bit high.
Dodge Dart pricing starts off at about $16,000, but it's an extra grand for air-conditioning and power locks. The SXT and this sporty Rallye trim add alloy wheels, a folding rear seat and a better stereo for less than $20,000 and both grant you access to the sort of luxury car options we now expect in compact sedans. This Rallye costs $25,000 while a loaded Limited trim tops $27,000.
Those upper trims also improve the cabin materials with softer touch surfaces and in this Rallye, those fun interior color accents. You can also get Dodge's excellent touchscreen electronics interface. The buttons are huge, the menus are nicely laid out, and there's an auxiliary knob that makes it easy to flip though an iPod playlist or your Bluetooth phone's contacts.
The government gave it a perfect five stars for overall crash protection and it's an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety pick.
Unfortunately, there's trouble under the hood. The base 160-horsepower four-cylinder is an absolute slug with an automatic transmission. This car's optional 1.4-liter turbo is much quicker and actually capable of better fuel economy (31 mpg combined versus 27 mpg), but its optional dual-clutch automated manual transmission is a mess. It's slow to respond and often in the wrong gear. The standard manual transmission helps both engines, but not a lot of people row their own any more.
As a result, the Dodge Dart falls short of our favorite compact sedans that match or better the Dart in most respects. The Ford Focus has even more character, the Mazda 3 is sharper to drive, the Kia Forte is more stylish, and the Honda Civic is even more spacious.