The 2013 Dodge Dart is an all new vehicle, and so far it is struggling to impress, when it comes to performance. That being said, there are a few qualities keeping in the running with other small sedans. With the exception of GT, all Darts get a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder married to a six-speed manual transmission. It offers 160 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which gets the car to 60 mph in a very slow 9.9 seconds. Fuel economy is enough to keep most satisfied at 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The optional six-speed automatic barely affects these numbers. Optional is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that delivers 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Paired with the manual transmission, it becomes one of the segment's quickest cars, reaching 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. If you add the Aero package to this combination, you enjoy phenomenal fuel economy at 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Lastly, the GT model is motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. When you slip behind the wheel you can tell Dart has Italian DNA. Its underpinnings come from the Giulietta, and it shows. This is a fun car to drive. The ride is comfortable, steering is nicely weighted, and it boasts a ton of confidence on a winding road.
• Audio - No one will be jumping up and down over the four-speaker base audio system that comes with an auxiliary audio jack and Cd player. However, the available 506-watt, nine-speaker Alpine® sound system is something to get excited about.
• Satellite Radio - Available SiriusXM satellite radio gives you hundreds of commercial-free stations.
• Uconnect® - The available Uconnect® 8.4-inch touchscreen is a standout feature. You can get real-time traffic, directions, weather, and more with SiriusXM Travel Link and Garmin® Navigation. It even comes with steering wheel controls.
With 60 safety features either standard or optional, Dart is already being labeled a class leader in safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded it a -Top Safety Pick,- and it earned a -Good- rating in front, roof, and side-impact crash tests. When braking abilities were tested, Dart put much of the segment to shame, stopping from 60 mph in only 118 feet. Features available or standard include:
• Cross-traffic alert
• Blind-spot monitoring
• Rearview camera
• Traction control
• Front knee airbags
• Stability control
• Turn signal mirrors
• Tire pressure monitoring system
• Emergency interior trunk release
• Remote anti-theft alarm
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Rear door safety locks
• Daytime running lights
• Child seat anchors
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Engine immobilizer
Although base models are a little plain, the higher up you go in trims, the more exciting the exterior gets. The available crosshair grille with black surround that is available completely transforms the appearance of Dart. Projection headlamps, available fog lamps, bright-tipped dual integrated exhaust, and 152 individually placed LEDs in the rear provide enough finishing touches to keep it interesting.
The first thing you notice about Dart is that it is pretty wide. This translates to a very spacious cabin. It definitely has one of the segment's most welcoming rear seats. Unfortunately, the seat cushioning in both rows is a little lumpy. The cabin style is attractive. It is nicely designed with stitched details and padded surfaces. Large and thoughtfully placed controls are easy to use without taking your eyes off the road.
Trunk space is 13.1 cubic feet. This is not overly generous, but it is about what you expect to find in a small compact.