Archive for the ‘dart’ Tag

What exactly is the Hurricane engine?

Speculation/analysis. Last week, Allpar was the first to show one of the Hurricane prototype engines. It is a turbocharged two-liter, according to various reports; scuttlebutt had the goal at 300 horsepower or so for an SRT version, and the mid-200s for a standard model.

Alfa Romeo recently announced its two-liter four would hit 276 horsepower, but other than taking full credit for its development, said nothing about its origins. If it were based on the 1.75 liter engine they already have, we would expect them to say it, so we suspect they are using some version of the Hurricane.

Normally, it would seem that the Hurricane was an updated, turbocharged version of the current “World Engine,” but Bob Lees’ 2014 presentation included an image of a future four-cylinder engine family, to be made in two sizes, for the entire company: Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo (Maserati seems unlikely to use it).

Some of these technologies are being explored by Chrysler, such as the belt-starter alternator, stop-start system, cooled EGR, integrated manifold, and variable-displacement oil pump. MultiAir is from Fiat, and direct injection probably draws on Fiat’s expertise as well. The Alfa Romeo engine uses MultiAir and direct injection.

It’s possible that this will be the first appearance of the new engine family, which would, among other things, explain why the Alfa Romeo Giulia is taking so long to arrive.

It’s also possible that they are building on the existing Chrysler 2-liter engine and past work on trying to make a Dart SRT4. Alfa Romeo would have to do their own tuning and engineering, partly because the SRT engine would be built to a lower cost budget, partly because they have different goals.

Regardless, for marketing reasons, expect any new engine to show up as an Alfa Romeo first — because no premium car owner wants a mass-market engine under the hood. Since mass-market car buyers don’t mind high-end engines, even if Auburn Hills had done all the work on the new engine series (which they almost certainly have not), it would still be credited to Alfa Romeo.

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2015 Dodge Dart Sedan – Overview


What’s New for 2015:

– SE Convenience Group option package

– Dart SXT adds new aluminum wheel design

– Blacktop package comes with black and red interior

– Uconnect 8.4 is Android compatible

– 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine meets PZEV emission standard

– Three new exterior colors


The 2015 Dodge Dart competes against traditional compact cars but is actually rated a midsize car by EPA standards. The Dart’s competitive set includes the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta.

Models and Features

Five versions of the 2015 Dart are for sale, including the SE, SXT, Aero, Limited, and GT.

The Dart SXT adds equipment at the same time that it makes more options available. Highlights include a larger and more powerful engine, nicer interior materials, 60/40 split rear seat with a pass-through, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, power door locks with remote keyless entry, and air conditioning. Details include a trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, sliding armrest cover for the center console, rear center armrest with cupholders, electronic vehicle information center, and an overhead console with a sunglasses storage container. Additionally, the audio system gains additional speakers, and the steering wheel includes audio controls. The Dart SXT also includes automatic headlights, LED racetrack-style taillights, power side mirrors, unique trim detailing, and 16-in. aluminum wheels.

The Aero trim level is based on the Dart SE, but is packaged differently from the SXT. It has most of the SXT’s upgrades but includes a more fuel-efficient powertrain, active grille shutters plus chrome grille detailing, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and upgraded gauges including a tachometer and an illuminated surround. The Dart Aero also includes a Uconnect 8.4 touch-screen infotainment system with voice-command Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, a USB port, satellite radio, and a reversing camera.

The Dart GT is the sporty model, adding to the Dart SXT a sport-tuned suspension, 18-in. aluminum wheels with low-profile tires, fog lights, and dual exhaust outlets. The GT is also equipped with the same Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system found in the Dart Aero, plus leather seats, a 6-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control system, and keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting. Upgraded interior trim includes a soft-touch dashboard and nicer door panels, plus premium instrumentation with an illuminated surround, ambient cabin lighting, outside temperature gauge, compass, and a universal garage door opener.

The Dart Limited contains most of the same features as the Dart GT, swapping the 18-in. wheels for a smaller 17-in. design, ditching the sport suspension for a touring suspension with a rear stabilizer bar, and trading the standard manual gearbox for a standard automatic transmission. Additionally, the Dart Limited’s exterior trim is brighter and fancier, the leather seats feature exposed stitching, and the shift knob is covered in cowhide. Navigation, SiriusXM traffic, and SiriusXM Travel Link services are also standard, along with remote engine starting, active grille shutters, and a power sunroof.

Under the Hood

A 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in the Dart SE. Dart SXT, GT, and Limited trim levels are equipped with a 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Choose the Dart Aero for an exclusive turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 160 horsepower.

A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard for SE, SXT, Aero, and GT Darts. The Dart Limited is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is an option for the SE, SXT, and GT. The Dart Aero is offered with an optional 6-speed automated manual gearbox.

Fuel Economy

Due to its economical, turbocharged, small-displacement engine, the Dart Aero is the most fuel-efficient version of this car, EPA-rated from 28 mpg in the city to 41 mpg on the highway, depending on transmission choice.

The most common Dart powertrain–the 2.4-liter with an automatic transmission as installed in the SXT and Limited trim levels–is just as fuel-efficient as the Dart SE’s 2.0-liter/automatic combination. The latter gets 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the larger and more powerful setup returns 23 mpg city/35 mpg highway. Choose a manual gearbox and the Dart SE is more fuel-efficient (25 mpg city/35 mpg highway) while the Dart SXT is less fuel-efficient (22 mpg city/35 mpg highway).

Select the Dart GT and you can expect to get 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the manual gearbox and 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the automatic.

Safety and Technology

Depending on the trim level selected, the 2015 Dart can be upgraded with rain-sensing wipers, automatic high-beam headlights, rear park-assist sensors, and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-path detection. Additional tech-related improvements include a configurable gauge display and keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting. The Dart is also available with a Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system containing a USB port, SD card slot, and voice-activated access to Bluetooth calling and music streaming. Options for this system include a Wi-Fi hotspot connection, navigation system, and a premium sound system.

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2014 Dodge Dart – Review

The Dodge Dart is now in its second model year, and the car that replaced the Caliber hatchback is already benefiting from some change. A new 2.4-liter four-cylinder is slowly making its way into new, high-trim cars, leaving the existing engine options–both, smaller four-cylinders–on the less desirable end of the spectrum.

The Dart, you might know, is Chrysler’s first compact car since it extinguished the Neon in the early 2000s. By interior volume, the Dart’s almost a mid-sizer, and it feels like it. But for marketing purposes, mostly price, it’s a competitor for compact cars we know and love–cars like the Mazda 3, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra.

In terms of style, the Dart is the halfway point between the current Dodge Charger and a mint-condition, old-school Neon. It’s larger than the Neon, but the proportions are similar–with a wide stance and a low cowl–but it’s brawnier like the Charger, especially from the rear. With its flowing dashboard, the Dart’s interior leans toward the sporty end of the spectrum. Well-equipped models come with an 8.4-inch display for the navigation, climate and audio controls, and a smaller screen displaying vehicle information sits between the gauges in the instrument cluster.

At the wheel, the Dart’s seats are comfortable front and rear, and the seating position isn’t as low as you’d expect from the car’s lines. Soft-touch materials on most parts of the dash coordinate nicely with harder plastic elements, though big swathes of hard black textured plastic still crop up in a couple of places inside the littlest Dodge.

The styling says the Dart is a performance car, but whether the car lives up to that expectation depends on your engine choice. The standard 160-horsepower 2.0-liter four is simply underpowered in this heavy compact. A 2.0-liter Dart feels significantly slower than competitors in the most demanding duties, like merging into heavy freeway traffic on an uphill ramp while heavily loaded. Opt for the turbocharged 160-hp 1.4-liter engine, however, and you’ll find more torque, better acceleration, and a sportier, more responsive drive. But you’ll have to keep your foot firmly into the accelerator to make it happen.

Like many cars with six-speed transmissions, the Dart is tuned to keep the engine running below 2,000 rpm under steady load, for best fuel economy. The 1.4-liter gives you power, but not until it revs past 3,000 rpm–which may mean not one but two downshifts. The 184-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder is now the standard engine in SXT, Limited and GT models, while a 41-mpg version of 1.4-liter is mated to a six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic in Aero model cars.

For gas mileage, the 1.4-liter turbo Dart is rated at 27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 32 mpg. The base 2.0-liter model gets a combined rating of 29 mpg, with both those figures being for the six-speed manual gearbox version. There’s also a Dart Aero model coming with extra tweaks for slightly higher fuel efficiency.

The Dart has achieved what’s essentially a bulls-eye in U.S. crash-test ratings–with top five-star ratings overall from the federal government and Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). That combination makes it one of the highest-rated cars for safety in this class–next to only the Honda Civic. The car comes standard with 10 airbags, along with the usual suite of electronic safety systems and also both blind-spot alert and cross-traffic detection, which are new to the compact segment. Outward visibility is admirable–far from the case in these days of strengthened roofs for rollover safety.

The 2014 Dodge Dart starts at $15,995 for the base-level SE model, and SXT, Aero and GT trims are available. On top of that you’ll have to add the mandatory $795 delivery fee, plus options from a lengthy list of ways to accessorize and personalize the Dart–which can be ordered in more than 100,000 different combinations, Dodge says.

On Styling
The 2013 Dodge Dart is distinctive and fresh, though you can see elements of the brawny Charger muscle sedan and cheerful old Neon.

The 2014 Dodge Dart doesn’t look like all the other compact sedans, thankfully. Whether in visual proportions or in up-close details, the Dart strikes a refreshingly different pose—class that includes plenty of lookalikes.

If you’re a good car-spotter, you might see the Dart as a halfway point between the current generation Dodge Charger and a mint-condition, old-school Neon. Its cowl isn’t actually any lower than in other cars, but its wide stance, lower fender tops, and long flowing roofline make it look larger and lower. By design, it’s neither as boxy and upright as the Chevy Cruze nor as slab-sided as the Ford Focus sedan. And in back, there’s an upright, chiseled kick that nods to Dodge’s muscle cars, like the Challenger and Charger, with a full-width taillight cluster that offers the option of fitting 152 LED lights inside. The exhaust tips are large 3-inch oval shapes in the rear apron, unlike more basic compacts that use only a single exhaust pipe.

In all, it’s far more extroverted than the likes of the Hyundai Elantra, or even the new 2014 Toyota Corolla. The styling says the Dart is a performance car, but whether the car lives up to that expectation depends on your engine choice.

Inside the Dart, the dash is businesslike yet flowing and sculpted. Dodge’s designers said they intended users to have fun while looking at the shapes, and perhaps the most noticeable feature is what they call the “floating island” center bezel–an oblong instrument panel and control surface, essentially.

With its flowing dashboard, the Dart’s interior leans toward the sporty end of the spectrum. Well-equipped models come with an 8.4-inch display for the navigation, climate and audio controls, and a smaller screen displaying vehicle information sits between the gauges in the instrument cluster.

On Performance
The 2014 Dodge Dart remains full of delights and letdowns; go for the rev-happier 1.4T if you want driving fun, as the base 2.0-liter feels anemic here.

The 2014 Dodge Dart might appear to be a performance car, although whether it lives up to that expectation or not depends on which trim level (and engine) you choose.

The standard 160-horsepower 2.0-liter four is simply underpowered in this heavy compact, and its ‘TigerShark’ name is a bit misleading. It puts out 148 lb-ft of torque, it fall flat of expectations in this car that weighs about 3,300 pounds—considerably more than some of its rivals. In more demanding driving, whether it’s quick acceleration from a stoplight or merging into fast-flowing freeway traffic from uphill ramps, the 2.0-liter Dart feels significantly slower than most competitors.

The optional turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine puts out the same 160 hp, but 184 lb-ft of torque, and is considerably more entertaining to drive. The catch is that this engine also feels sluggish below 2,500 rpm; you’d better enjoy driving like an Italian, which is to say keeping your foot in the engine and routinely revving it from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm, because that’s where the power is. (Yes, gas mileage suffers as a result).

There’s a third engine option that might be the sweetest, although we still haven’t driven any Dart with it: The 184-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder is now standard in SXT, Limited and GT models.

Across the board, you can pair these with a Fiat-sourced six-speed manual gearbox. The non-turbo engines can also be ordered with a six-speed automatic transmission (provided, surprisingly, by Hyundai), while you can get the 1.4 turbo with a six-speed dual-clutch (automatic) gearbox as well.

We have one cautionary note about drivability: To eke out every last point of fuel economy, the transmissions are all seemingly tuned to keep the engines below 2,000 rpm in most circumstances—with tall gearing. That means that when power’s needed, not one but two downshifts are required—and the driver has to learn to anticipate and plan for that. It might not be so happy in hilly terrain.

The news is better on the handling and suspension front. The weight that hurts performance gives the car a nice planted feel, and Dodge has managed to imbue the electric power steering with enough feedback and road feel.

On Quality
The Dart is comfortable, spacious, and well designed inside; it rides well too, although tire roar can be an issue.

If the 2014 Dart seems a little bigger than you expected, that’s no mistake. Based on its interior volume, the EPA actually classifies it as a mid-size sedan—and by the numbers it’s right in the ballpark with its assumed bigger sibling, the Dodge Avenger.

That said, both the front and rear seats are very comfortable, and the cabin feels as wide as that of any competitor. The seating position is a little higher than in other compact sedans, with the driving position more legs-out than typical, but lower seat cushions are wide and long enough, yet supportive for a wide range of sizes.

Trunk space is surprisingly abundant, although the opening is quite small and constricted; for larger items you’ll need to use the wide-opening rear doors and split folding rear seatbacks.

The Dart has quite a lot of useful storage pockets, cubbies, and trays in the door and console. And the glovebox is large enough to accept a laptop computer. There’s also a storage compartment available in the front passenger seat, although some passengers noticed its reinforced cloth pull-tab.

Most interior surfaces are covered in soft-touch plastics, with color and texture used as accents–which matches the car’s sporty flavor–more than the more traditional wood and chrome. The softer materials match well with the harder plastics in places like the door pockets, though on the lower dash there are a few broad swathes of hard-textured black plastic that echo the bad old days.
Engine noise is a little more prominent than in other compact sedans, whether with the 1.4T or the 2.0-liter engine, but otherwise the Dart is relatively peaceful and quiet. There’s a fair amount of road noise on some surfaces, although it probably ranks as one of the quieter cars of its kind.

Dodge says it’s taken great care with the quality of its materials, including the operating mechanisms of its dashboard vents, and there’s a huge improvement over the Chrysler products of the past.

One surprise is that there’s no auto-up feature on at least the driver’s window–a feature that should be standard equipment on every car in our opinion.

On Safety
Ten standard airbags plus crash-test results that are almost unanimously top-notch mean this is one of the safest small-car picks.

The Dart has achieved what’s essentially a bulls-eye in U.S. crash-test ratings–with top five-star ratings overall from the federal government and Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). That combination makes it one of the highest-rated cars for safety in this class–next to only the Honda Civic.

Every 2014 Dodge Dart comes standard with 10 airbags, along with the usual suite of electronic safety systems and also both blind-spot alert and cross-traffic detection, which are new to the compact segment. Outward visibility is admirable–far from the case in these days of strengthened roofs for rollover safety.

There’s one area where the Dart could have done better, and that’s in the new IIHS small overlap frontal test, where it achieved a second-best ‘acceptable’ rating. Chrysler notes that the car’s frame uses 68 percent high-strength steels.

We appreciate how Dodge has considered outward visibility with the Dart—both with a high-enough driving position, and with the glass triangular third window behind the door windows on each side. Some other compacts could take a few lessons.

On Features
With several class-exclusive features and lots of personalization options, the 2014 Dart impresses even in its crowded compact-car field.

Dodge claims that the Dart can be equipped in more than 100,000 different build combinations—a boast that should give buyers plenty of opportunity to find the 2014 Dart that suits them best.

While many rival models (like the Kia Forte or Hyundai Accent) are sold in a very limited number of builds, with just a few option packaged, Dodge has “unbundled” its most popular options so buyers can mix and match at will—and it says it can deliver a specially ordered car in 30 to 45 days.

The 2014 Dodge Dart starts at $15,995 for the base-level SE model, and SXT, Aero and GT trims are available.

The base-level Dart SE features 16-inch wheels and tires and power windows, but forgoes air conditioning. It also has manual windows and door locks, cloth seats, and an AM/FM radio with four speakers. Next up is the SXT, which adds premium cloth trim and door panel trim, a center console, keyless entry, a six-speaker AM/FM radio, air conditioning, and 17-inch alloy wheels and tires. Options include a nine-speaker premium audio system, the 1.4-liter turbo engine, a sunroof, a rather nice dark-grey “denim” interior fabric, and the latest Uconnect infotainment system, which includes an 8.4-inch center touchscreen.

Above that is the Dart Rallye model, starting at $18,995, with a unique front fascia, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, fog lamps, premium cloth seats, and steering-wheel audio controls.

The Dart Limited—essentially the luxury model of the lineup—adds to the Rallye a chrome grille, contrast interior stitching, a power six-way driver’s seat, a 7-inch Thin Film Transistor instrument cluster, extra gauges, active grille shutters, and an array of standard and optional features that include 17-inch polished aluminum wheels, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, Nappa leather, heated front seats and steering wheel, and cross-path collision detection. Limited models for 2014 all include the automatic transmission and get the navigation and Uconnect system standard, as well as keyless entry with push-button start.

The top of the range is the high-performance Dart GT, which includes the higher-output 2.4-liter engine along with a host of appearance extras.
There’s also the Dart Aero model. It’s essentially an SXT model with additional fuel economy features–including low-rolling resistance tires, some mild aerodynamic enhancements, and lighter-weight suspension components.

On Green
Gas mileage for the 2014 Dodge Dart remain unimpressive–and we haven’t seen frugal real-world numbers from the 1.4T.

The 2014 Dodge Dart achieves the best gas mileage of any other vehicle in the Chrysler group; but among small cars, it’s nothing especially noteworthy.

The 1.4-liter turbo Dart is rated at 27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 32 mpg. The base 2.0-liter model gets a combined rating of 29 mpg, with both those figures being for the six-speed manual gearbox version.

There’s also a mileage-minded Dart Aero model; it provides better city and highway mileage through lower weight and better aerodynamics. The Dart Aero is lighter than the standard 1.4-liter model with six-speed manual, with forged aluminum suspension components replacing some steel parts, and it has some small aerodynamic aids along with low-rolling resistance tires. Fuel economy is as high as 41 mpg highway.
Dodge notes that it uses seven different underbody panels to smooth airflow under the car, along with fitting active grille shutters to some models to block airflow through the engine compartment when cooling demands are low. All these items reduce aerodynamic drag.

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The Original Scat Pack Auto Show Debut

Old-school enthusiasts first fell in love with the original and iconic Dodge Scat Pack vehicles at auto shows across the country during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, a new generation of car lovers is being initiated to the reborn Dodge Scat Pack at events such as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Mich., open to the public January 18 – 26.

The Dodge brand display at Detroit’s COBO Center will host a special 2014 Dodge Challenger — a member of the revived “hive,” which also includes a 2014 Dodge Charger and 2014 Dodge Dart, all modified with new Scat Package Performance Upgrade kits that will soon be available for Dodge owners who want to flex a little muscle. The COBO venue is fitting: It was at just such events as the 1968 Detroit Auto Show at COBO that the famed inaugural Dodge Scat Pack vehicles — the Dodge Charger R/T, Dodge Coronet R/T, Dodge Dart GTS and Super Bee — first wowed crowds.

Those original Dodge Scat Pack vehicles traveled the circuit from 1968 to 1971, hitting auto shows not only in Detroit but also other major cities, like Chicago, New York and L.A., as well as many state fairs. Collectors would likely give their right arms for one stunning vehicle that traveled the circuit: a 1968 Coronet R/T convertible, yellow with a blacked-out hood — the original Super Bee car.

“The crowds were so excited,” recalled Andy Agosta, a retired Dodge marketing executive who worked for the brand during the Dodge Scat Pack’s birth. “We displayed Scat Pack vehicles in all the hot colors — HEMI® Orange, Top Banana, Go Mango and Plum Crazy. All the cars had the Bumble Bee stripes. The displays were a big hit and played an important role in the popularity and reputation of the Dodge Scat Pack program.”

Another highlight of early Dodge Scat Pack auto show displays was the presence of the Dodge Safety Sheriff, Joe Higgins, who advised Dodge owners in TV and print ads, “Ya’ll drive careful now, hear?”

“We featured the safety sheriff at the 1969 Chicago Auto Show, with cutouts of his face that fans could wear,” remembered Agosta. “Joe signed so many autographs his hand went numb.”

Dodge spokesmodels also traveled the auto show circuit, answering questions about the Dodge Scat Pack vehicles while garbed in the latest fashions — adorned prominently with the Dodge Scat Pack logo, of course. Marketing materials such as “Run with the Dodge Scat Pack” bumper stickers were produced, rapidly becoming mementos much sought after by clamoring show attendees.

One exceedingly rare marketing knickknack was the Dodge Scat Pack Mini-Tickler, a unique piece of costume jewelry that was produced in numbers of fewer than 1,000 and distributed to Dodge spokesmodels and female members of the Dodge Scat Pack club (“For all the scat kittens who swing with the Scat Packers …” began the oh-so-1960s marketing copy).  An original piece was recently valued at $800.

The modern-day Dodge Scat Pack is getting much the same treatment as its acclaimed predecessors. Dodge spokesmodels, outfitted in retro attire — emblazoned with the Scat Pack logo, and specially reproduced versions of the Mini-Tickler — will be a fixture at auto shows throughout 2014, providing information about the new Dodge Scat Package vehicles and performance upgrade kits on display.

The reincarnated Dodge Scat Pack vehicles and display will be coming soon to an auto show near you — ready to quicken the pulse of fans of the original lineup and to fuel the passion of a new generation of enthusiasts.

For more information on the Dodge Scat Pack, visit

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New Dart Blacktops coming

Dodge is adding its Blacktop packages to the 2014 Dodge Dart; there are already Blacktop packages for Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey, and even Grand Caravan. It will debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Dodge Blacktop vehicles add unique gloss black wheels and painted split-crosshair grilles with matching grille surrounds, darkened headlamp bezels, and some interior touches and special paint colors. The Dart package will arrive at dealers by March 2014.

Based on the 2014 Dart SXT Rallye, the Blacktop package adds gloss black mirrors and 18-inch gloss black aluminum wheels. The Rallye group already has a gloss black mask and split crosshair grille, dark-tinted projector headlamps, projector fog lamps, integrated dual exhaust, LED racetrack tail lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Bluetooth. Dodge Dart Blacktop will be available in Redline Red, Header Orange, Blue Streak, Granite Crystal Metallic, Billet Silver, Pitch Black, and Bright White.

Interior details are a black/red premium cloth interior with red accent stitching on the instrument panel brow, center console, and seat bolsters; along with dual red accent stripes on the front seats and accents in the door trim panels. A black/light gray cloth interior is also available.

Standard SXT options are also available, including the Sun and Sound Group, which features a power express open/close sunroof, nine Alpine speakers with subwoofer, 506-watt amplifier, Uconnect 8.4 touchscreen radio, iPod control, satellite radio, rear backup camera, illuminated instrument panel surround, navigation and the cold weather group, which includes heated exterior mirrors, heated front premium cloth seats, tire-pressure monitoring display and remote start (with automatic transmission).

The Dart Blacktop package is just $295 more than the SXT with Rallye group.

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2014 Dodge Dart, Dodge Avenger, and Chrysler 200 — have achieved Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS)

Three Chrysler Group cars — the 2014 Dodge Dart, Dodge Avenger, and Chrysler 200 — have achieved Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the sixth time the IIHS has commended the Avenger and 200 mid-size sedans, and the third they have  hailed the Dart.

citrus-dartAll three cars have significant advanced-technology steel content, which enhances structural integrity. The Dart’s 68% content ratio of high-strength steel is among the highest in the industry, and also helps Dart to gain a five-star safety rating from the Federal government.  The Dart has also 10 standard airbags, unsurpassed in its segment.

To be an IIHS Top Safety Pick, a car must achieve a rating of “good” in the moderate-overlap frontal crash, side impact test, roof strength test, and whiplash test, and must rate “acceptable” or better in the IIHS’ new small-overlap front crashworthiness evaluation.

All available safety features on the Avenger and 200 sedans are standard, including supplemental side-curtain airbags for front and rear outboard occupants.

Only 39 vehicles, all together, were given the Top Safety Pick rating, down from 130 last year, due to tougher standards. The insurance-company-funded IIHS crash-tests around 80 vehicles per year, and now gives extra points to frontal crash avoidance systems (available in Dart and Chrysler’s large cars).

Honda had six winners, including two Acuras; Volvo and Toyota each had three (plus one Scion). GM’s only listed car was the Korean Chevrolet Spark. Toyota’s win for Camry was especially important to the company, since Consumer Reports is putting Camry back onto its “recommended” list as a result.  Overall, Chrysler’s showing was fairly impressive; the results for the 2015 model year may be different, as  the 200 is being replaced and Avenger will reportedly be dropped.

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2013 Dodge Dart GT

My younger brother bought a Dodge Dart earlier this summer. It’s a basic SXT, in Maximum Steel Metallic, with the 2.0-liter engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and not a whole lot else. Unfortunately, at the time, the Dart was one of the few cars in the compact class I’d never driven. I didn’t know a lot about it, and therefore, didn’t have a lot to say when he bought it. I think the words “based on an Alfa,” popped out when I first saw it.

As it turns out, he’s grown quite fond of the dark gray sedan, so it was with some degree of enthusiasm that I paid him a visit in this bright-orange Dart GT. I was excited to see what it was about the Dart that he enjoyed so much, despite my tester featuring a different engine, transmission and a lot more tech. After a week with the car, though, I must say: I don’t quite see what all the fuss is about.

Driving Notes

The GT receives the most powerful engine in the Dart line – a 2.4-liter four-cylinder complete with 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Mated to the buyer’s choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, it’s easy to imagine that the Dart’s on-paper performance is more than adequate.
That said, this is a thrashy, buzzy and generally unlovable engine. Peak torque arrives at 4,800 rpm, or about 1,700 rpm south of redline, meaning it needs to be pushed to really deliver its grunt. This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the largely unpleasant noises coming from under the hood and out the back. It sounds like Dodge attempted to engineer a sporty soundtrack for the 2.4, but the resulting audio comes across as too rough.
Despite having to push the engine harder than I’d like, fuel economy was right around the 27-mile-per-gallon combined rating promised on the window sticker. The 33-mpg highway rating seems rather lofty, though, as the majority of my drive time was on the highway. Of course, if fuel economy is really your concern, you’ll be better served by either the base 2.0-liter or 1.4-liter turbocharged four.
The other issue with the Dart’s powertrain was my tester’s six-speed manual. For starters, the shift knob’s size sits somewhere between a tennis ball and a softball, meaning that even for someone with large hands like me, it’s difficult to get the right kind of grip on it. Follow that up with overly long, almost Jeep-like throws for the shifter, and a clutch with too much travel and a vague, difficult-to-find catch point, and the 2.4/6MT combo is shaping up to be one we’d avoid.
The ride/handling of this sportiest Dart are somewhat unimpressive with regard to the general compact class. If you happen to value handling and feedback, we can’t help but think you’d be better served by the Mazda3, as the Dodge feels rather disconnected both in terms of the chassis and steering. It isn’t uncomfortable, though. The ride feels reasonably composed over rough sections of road and doesn’t porpoise about if things do get bumpy.
If you’re just looking for the class-exclusive or class-leading features, the Dart GT is a solid choice. We mentioned a few of them already, but they bear mentioning again: Chrysler’s UConnect system is really one of the best touchscreen setup in the game (if not the best), both in terms of responsiveness and sheer size and clarity. The 8.4-inch display is, simply put, a must-have if you’re considering not just the Dart, but any Chrysler Group product. The other options, like a heated steering wheel and the reconfigurable dash are just plain cool at this price point. That TFT display in the instrument cluster is a ridiculously pretty way of displaying normally boring stuff like trip and fuel economy data.
Ignore the optional goodies, though, and the cabin is merely par for the course. It’s not as well done as a Ford Focus or Hyundai Elantra, but aside from some of the harder, scratchier plastics, it’s not a terrible place to spend time. The leather on the seats is rather cheap feeling, and I’m wondering how well it will age (to be fair, this is true of a lot of leathers used in the compact segment). Backseat space is solid, so long as Shaq isn’t parked in the driver’s seat.
Pricing for the Dart GT starts at a reasonable $20,995 and will automatically net owners a set of stylish 18-inch, five-spoke wheels, the more potent engine, push-button start, a power driver’s seat, the 8.4-inch display (sans navigation), heated seats and steering wheel, the reconfigurable dash, sport suspension and satellite radio. From there, the options list is relatively slim. Owners can add navigation to their touchscreen display for a very reasonable $495, swap the silver wheels for hyper black wheels for an extra $395, or fit a $995 Sun/Sound package that adds a nine-speaker Alpine stereo and a sunroof. All in, my car totaled a tidy $23,875, including $995 for destination.
There is much to recommend about the Dart, particularly if you’re clamoring for the latest batch of automotive tech. Its huge central display and gorgeous TFT screen in the instrument cluster are markedly better than what’s in the rest of the class, making the Dart the obvious choice for the tech savvy. Those who prioritize ride and handling, however, are likely to be better served elsewhere. The Dart’s middling driving character is overshadowed by newer enthusiastic offerings like the Mazda3, while those who value a bit more comfort and refinement will be better served with a Ford Focus or Chevrolet Cruze.

Dodge Dart 100 Easy Steps

making a dart 100 steps copy

The NEW 2013 Dodge Dart is HERE in our Showrooms!

The NEW 2013 Dodge Dart has made it to our Showrooms
and we are excited to show it off!!

We are also very excited to announce that we can OFFICIALLY start taking orders on your very own 2013 Dodge Dart! Our knowledgeable sales staff is ready and waiting to show you all the 2013 Dodge Dart has to offer you starting at ONLY $15,995!

Experience the largest touchscreen in the compact car class, available Uconnect® 8.4, featuring AM/FM/CD/MP3 and available SiriusXM Satellite Radio+ with replay mode. Get up-to-the-minute weather, fuel prices, sports and movie listings with available Garmin® Navigation and SiriusXM Travel Link™+. Crank up your own tunes via remote SD card or remote USB Port with iPod® mobile device control and more!

Stop in today and see it in person!

Dodge Announces Pricing for the All-new 2013 Dodge Dart With a Starting U.S. MSRP of $15,995

Groundbreaking Car delivers on Style, Innovative Features, Great Driving Experience and Value
  • 2013 Dodge Dart delivers exceptional value with a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of just $15,995 MSRP
  • All-new Dart hits the mark with features and benefits never before seen in a compact car
  • Five well-equipped trim levels offer class-leading safety features, unparalleled customization, breakthrough technology and amenities typically found in more expensive vehicle segments
  • Built on a world-class architecture, Dodge Dart offers three technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and powerful engines including the 1.4L MultiAir® Turbo
  • The 2013 Dodge Dart competes in the largest retail automotive segment in the United States, the compact car segment, which represents approximately 15 percent of the new car market
April 16, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart leverages the world-class architecture and DNA of Alfa Romeo and then infuses it with Dodge passion and design, creating an agile, fun-to-drive compact car with mid-size levels of interior roominess and unmatched style, technology, safety and customization. The Dodge Dart brings this style and technology to market starting at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $15,995 (excluding destination), delivering a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s beautifully designed and crafted with high-quality materials, attention to detail and precision craftsmanship.

“The all-new Dodge Dart is a groundbreaking car, offering features and benefits never before found in a compact car,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Dodge Brand. “With class-leading style, customization, safety, technology, and interior levels of roominess, the all-new Dart perfectly blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge passion and style into one all-new car that customers will be proud to own and look forward to driving.”

Loaded with innovative technology, class-leading safety features and clever functionality, the 2013 Dodge Dart sets a new standard in the compact car segment by offering unmatched personalization, roominess, style, functionality and fun-to-drive dynamics.

The 2013 Dodge Dart is available in five different trim levels in the United States. Customers can choose from the SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited and R/T.

The starting U.S. MSRP for the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart (all prices exclude$795 destination):

  • Dodge Dart SE $15,995
  • Dodge Dart SXT $17,995
  • Dodge Dart Rallye $18,995
  • Dodge Dart Limited $19,995
  • Dodge Dart R/T $22,495 (available Q3 2012)

2013 Dodge Dart SE – $15,995 starting U.S. MSRP
The Dodge Dart SE offers customers a stylish new car that breaks the mold of the typical compact car, while delivering great value. It’s powered by the new 2.0-liter 16-valve Tigershark I-4 engine, which produces a best-in-class standard 160 horsepower (hp) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or available six-speed automatic.

Select standard equipment includes class-leading safety features, such as 10 standard air bags, four wheel disc anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control (ESC) and traction control. Dart separates itself from the competition with world-class aerodynamics and distinctive style with standard projector headlamps, LED taillamps, body-color crosshair grille and laminated windshield. The interior features a premium soft-touch instrument panel with bright accents, six-way manual driver seat with height adjuster, unique ‘Denim’ cloth seats, power windows, AM/FM CD with MP3 and much more. All 2013 Dodge Dart models feature the security of a 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

2013 Dodge Dart SXT – $17,995 starting U.S. MSRP
The 2013 Dodge Dart SXT model includes the standard equipment of the SE model, as well as 17-inch aluminum wheels; power body-color mirrors and door locks; remote keyless entry; six-speakers; security alarm, 60/40 split folding rear seat, sliding armrest; air conditioning with micron filter and more.

Owners can customize their SXT with a wide array of options, including the class-exclusive 8.4-inch touch screen, Garmin navigation, in-seat storage, rear backup camera, power sunroof and a 506-watt sound system.

2013 Dodge Dart Rallye – $18,995 starting U.S. MSRP
The Dodge Dart Rallye adds a customized look to the Dodge Dart with distinctive performance front and rear fascias and a choice of four interior colors – Black with Light Diesel Grey, Diesel with Light Diesel Grey, Black with Ruby Red or Diesel Grey with Citrus Peel.

Rallye includes the standard equipment of the SXT model and also adds the following to create a one-of-a-kind look: unique black front fascia accents; black headlamp bezels; projector fog lamps; class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust with bright exhaust tips; leather-wrapped steering wheel; speed control; steering wheel audio controls; trip computer and more.

Rallye customers can further express themselves with class-exclusive Hyper Black wheels or the powerful efficiency of the 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo delivering 160 horsepower and an impressive 184 lb.-ft. of torque.

2013 Dodge Dart Limited – $19,995 starting U.S. MSRP
The all-new Dodge Dart Limited represents the ultimate in luxury with mid-size levels of interior roominess, class-leading safety and technology, all for less than $20,000 MSRP.

The Dodge Dart Limited includes the standard equipment of the Dart SXT and adds the following impressive list of equipment, including unique bright grille and door handles; 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen with rear backup camera; class-exclusive 7-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) reconfigurable instrument cluster display; floating island bezel; projector fog lamps; 10-way power driver seat; automatic headlamps; active grille shutters; premium accent stitching on the instrument panel; and much more.

Limited customers can indulge in a variety of class-exclusive features, including premium Nappa leather with heated steering wheel, Garmin navigation, rear cross path detection and polished aluminum wheels.

2013 Dodge Dart R/T: $22,495 starting U.S. MSRP (3rd quarter 2012 availability):
The Dodge Dart R/T pays homage to the heritage of the R/T badge with distinctive styling and performance attributes that cater to the performance enthusiast with discriminating taste.

The Dodge Dart R/T is powered by the new 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 4-cylinder that produces an impressive 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or available six-speed automatic with AutoStick.

The R/T features the standard content of the Limited and adds the following distinctive equipment: 18-inch aluminum wheels; sport suspension with frequency-sensing damping shocks; unique performance front fascia with black accents and Hyper Black grille; black headlamp bezels; integrated dual exhaust with bright exhaust tips; R/T-unique premium Nappa perforated leather seats; dual- zone automatic temperature control; heated seats; class-exclusive heated steering wheel;and more.

Customers can also enhance their R/T with class-exclusive Hyper Black aluminum wheels, Keyless Enter ‘n Go, HID Headlamps and a 506-watt sound system, to name just a few features.

Production of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart begins at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant in the second quarter 2012 and will begin arriving in U.S. dealer showrooms in June 2012.

About Dodge:
For nearly 100 years, Dodge has defined passionate and innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and in style. Building upon its rich heritage of muscle cars, racing technology and ingenious engineering, Dodge offers a full-line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs built for top performance – from power off the line and handling in the corners, to high-quality vehicles that deliver unmatched versatility and excellent fuel efficiency. Only Dodge offers such innovative functionality combined with class-leading performance, exceptional value and distinctive design. With the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart, the all-new Dodge Charger paired with the ZF eight-speed transmission that achieves a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway, the new Durango and the significantly revamped Grand Caravan – inventor of the minivan – Journey, Avenger and iconic Challenger, Dodge now has one of the youngest dealer showrooms in the United States.

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