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2013-2016 Dodge Dart: a new car with an old name

2013 Dart

For 2017, expect a “lighter” Dart, with the nine-speed automatic, and an optional turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder. 2016s are mainly unchanged.

2015 changes to the compact Dodge Dart were fairly minor, including making air conditioning and power equipment optional on the SE, and adding “Laser Blue,” “Vitamin C,” and “Passion Red” paint. With destination, the Dart SE starts at $17,490; the top end Limited runs $23,990. The Aero runs $20,990 and the GT runs $21,990.

For 2014, the 2.4 liter engine became standard on every car but the SE and the Aero. In all cars but GT, which has special gear ratios and tuning, the 2.4 has better highway mileage than the automatic 2.0, and matches the stick-shift 2.0. The seats have also been redesigned for comfort. (The Dart 2.4, except in GT, has highway mileage ratings of 36 with manual, 35 with automatic.)

The dual-clutch is smooth and sure, and often felt like a standard automatic. Using the electronic range select (gear up/down buttons) resulted in nearly instant shifts — smoother than they had any right to be. The dual-clutch turns in the same city mileage as the stick-shift, but knocks 2 mpg off highway mileage, turning in EPA ratings of 27 city, 37 highway in the Dodge Dart Aero, which adds low rolling resistance tires, weight cuts, and better aerodynamics along with the 1.4.

new dart cars for 2013

The Dodge Dart is a quiet, sporty car with good interior space and fine grip. It has modern features, a flashy dashboard, and a balance of economy and acceleration. Compared with other cars in its class, the Dart has the longest wheelbase, front track, length, and width. 

Dodge Dart SE does not have the configurable dash, big touch screen, which are on the Limited and GT. More details, models, and pricing.

hatchback
Artist’s rendition of a possible Dart hatchback

The optional full-width tail-lamp design accentuates the Dart’s width, using 152 indirectly glowing LEDs through an internal lens that creates a fractal glass appearance. Both front and rear of the car are rounded. Up front, an active shutter system directs air around the car when extra engine cooling is not needed, increasing aerodynamic efficiency; the underbody is covered for the same reason (the shutters and underbody treatment vary by model).

The new Dart car is, as Allpar forum member ChrycoFan predicted, around a foot longer and two inches wider than the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. It is being made in the United States, and will finally fill in a gap left by the Neon. The same basic architecture will spawn at least one crossover and hatchback.

cutaway dart

Why name the car “Dodge Dart?” According to Reid Bigland, CEO of Dodge,

Anyone that we spoke to that was under the age of 35, we showed them pictures of the 2013 Dart ... and asked them which names they thought fit best. Dart was the overwhelming bulls-eye. These people weren’t very familiar with the 1960-1976 Dart. They were just looking at Dart for matching the design and the aero of the current car.

Then on a demographic of 45 and older, there was a lot of affiliation with name Dart. The affiliation with the name Dart, the original, was very positive.

crosshair grille

The 2013-15 Dart uses Chrysler and Fiat engines (at 160 and 184 hp), with rumored optional all wheel drive coming; it has MacPherson struts up front, and a bilink suspension in back, both in aluminum cradles. Transmissions are a Fiat six-speed dual-clutch, a manual version of that transmission, and a “PowerTech” six speed which is sourced from Hyundai (there were no Chrysler units that would fit).

TFT virtual speedometer

oh2o wrote, accurately, that a high priority was placed on aerodynamics, with underbody covers and active grille shutters. Dodge described the many steps taken to increase aerodynamic efficiency, including over 600 hours in the wind tunnel; cutting the drag coefficient to an impressive 0.285 helps increase gas mileage and effective highway power, and cuts wind noise.

virtual gas mileage

It is the longest, widest, and tallest car in its class, and the interior is quieter than the Chevrolet Cruze. The new raised chrome Dodge badge uses the red twin-stripe logo.

Safety and such

Dart nameThe Dart’s headlamps are projector versions while tail lamps are light-emitting diodes (LED) for compressed, sleeker and wider looking graphic shapes. Glossy black paint-in-mold finishes are used on all models. Dodge’s “Hyper Black” is exclusive to the GT.

The 2013-15 Dodge Dart was built with 68% high-strength steel; it has ten standard airbags, unsurpassed in the segment. The 2013-2015 Dodge Dart is the only car in its class to offer blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. See Dodge Dart quality and safety. The Dart is built in Belvidere, Illinois.

Lots more 2013-2015 Dodge Dart car information

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