MPG-o-Matic 2013 Dodge Dart Rallye Review Summary: For many folks, the old Dart wasn’t legendary (Klick and Klack aside). It was a compromise, the little Mopar you bought if you couldn’t afford one of the truly sought-after models, like the Barracuda, Challenger, Road Runner, Charger, or GTX. Be that what it may, today’s Dart is a splendid and affordable sedan, with a chassis that owes its heritage to Alfa Romeo and a power plant swiped from the mighty little Fiat Abarth. With plenty of interior room and top-notch in-cabin technology, the Dart is well worth a look.
The 2013 Dodge Dart is available with a trio of inline four-cylinder power plants. There are naturally aspirated 2.4- and 2.0-liter Tigershark four-bangers, along with a mighty little 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo, which is lifted from the Fiat Abarth, and rated at 160 horsepower (HP) and 184 foot pounds of torque. Transmission chores are handled with either a six-speed manual or dry-dual-clutch automatic. There are five levels of trim: SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited, and GT.
We tested a Dart Rallye equipped with the optional 1.4-liter intercooled turbo and dual-clutch automatic. The official mileage estimates for the automatic 1.4 turbo are 27 city / 37 highway miles per gallon (MPG). We hit the EPA numbers in our Header Orange tester, rolling up hundreds of miles in a mid-winter week where the temperatures averaged in the thirties (with some mornings in the teens). Highway mileage clocked in at 37.3 MPG, with combined mileage at 29.8 MPG. The trick, as with any turbo, is to keep your foot out of the boost. That’s often easier said, than done.
While the Dodge Dart Aero is fitted with the same turbocharged engine, its rating of 28 city / 41 highway is largely by benefit of its improved under-car aerodynamic treatment and tweaked gearing.
Our test vehicle was fitted with the optional 17 x 7.5-inch cast aluminum-alloy Hyper Black wheels and 225/45 R17 all-season Continental ContiProContact tires.
All 2013 Darts are equipped with a 15.8 gallon fuel tanks, with the exception of the Aero, which is fitted with a 13.2 gallon tank. The 1.4-liter turbo is designed to run on 93 octane premium unleaded, although 87 octane regular is acceptable. The 2.0 and 2.4-liter engines are designed to run on regular. Highway driving range is very good. The Dart’s Drag Coefficient is a respectable 0.285. The curb weight is 3242 pounds for the 1.4-liter with the automatic Dry Dual Clutch Transmission (DDCT) and 3191 pounds with the manual.
The Dart is equipped with four-wheel-disc brakes with Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). 305 X 28 vented rotors are used at the front , with 264 X 10 solid rotors at the rear. The brakes in our tester were a bit grabby.
A monochrome trip computer sits between the speedometer and tachometer, with Average and Instant MPG displays. The Limited and GT models are equipped with an advanced instrument cluster that uses a thin-film transistor (TFT) reconfigurable display.
The Dart’s interior features a flowing dash that defies description and is best experienced at night. The bucket seats in our tester were wrapped in black and light diesel gray premium cloth. Leather seating surfaces are available in the Limited model, with the Premium Group option package, which also includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Four-way power lumber is standard in the Limited and GT models.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel provides audio and voice control on the left and cruise control on the right, with Mopar’s stealthy volume controls on the back side of the wheel.
You’ll find a 12-volt outlet at the base of the dash and another inside the center console along side the USB iPod port, auxiliary audio jack, and SD card slot.
The base of the passenger side bucket seat includes a handy hidden storage space.
Our tester was equipped with uConnect option package with an 8.4-inch touch screen providing rearview camera, Garmin navigation, Sirius Travel Link, music, and climate controls. A nine-speaker Infinity sound system is available. Hands-free Bluetooth capabilities include audio streaming.
Suffice to say, uConnect is one of our favorite systems. It’s crisply designed, packed with features, and delivers on its promise.
The Dart’s second row seat provides 37.6 inches of headroom and 35.3 inches of legroom. There’s 13.1 cubic feet of storage in the trunk, along with a split fold down rear seat. The center pass-through may work for skis, it does not accommodate snowboards.
All in all, the Dodge Dart is a worthy contender in a highly competitive segment. The Dart hits the mark with a solid ride, handling and MPGs, as well as its roomy interior and excellent electronics package. Although the 1.4-liter turbo might not be suited for a vehicle as heavy as the Dart in a true high-performance application, it’s a willing, thrifty, and entertaining little power plant. While those looking for higher MPGs will opt for the Dart Aero, the turbo’s biggest downside is its preference for pricey 93 octane premium fuel (87 octane regular is acceptable). We look forward to testing both the Dart Aero and GT, down the road …
Parts Content Information
U.S./Canadian Parts Content: 57%
Major Source of Foreign Parts Content:
Mexico – 19%
Final Assembly Point: Belvidere, Illinois
Country of Origin:
Engine: United States
Basic Limited Warranty – 3-year/36,000 miles
Powertrain Limited Warranty – 5-year/100,000 miles
2013 Dodge Dart Rallye Review
– by Daniel Gray