12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Dodge Dart SXT - Summer In Other Cities

By - June 25, 2013
2013 Dodge Dart SXT Front Left View
Long-Term 2013 Dodge Dart Update - SUMMER 2013 (1 OF 3)
Miles to Date: 11,993 miles
"The Dart was perfectly suited to a long highway cruise: not particularly thrilling, but capable and comfortable."
Our general consensus is that the 2013 Dodge Dart is far better on the highway than around town, so it's no surprise the white sedan spent most of last month on long road trips. That allowed the car to rack up 1873 more miles and bumped its cumulative fuel-economy average up to 28.6 mpg.
The first journey came when your author took a weekend trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. The Dart was easy to drive on the dull, straight shot south on I-75; I was grateful for satellite radio and an iPod connection for entertainment. The Uconnect navigation system's voice recognition proved its worth when my friends' plans changed and I discovered you can't type a point of interest name while on the move. Saying, "Points of Interest. By name. Dave & Buster's," allowed me to pick a new destination without pulling off the highway, a useful feature and one that could reduce driver distraction.
My friends in Ohio were reasonably impressed with the Dodge Dart; one said he may soon buy either a Dart or a Ford Focus, but is leaning toward the Dodge because he loves the available lime green and bright orange paint colors. (To each his own.) However, they universally disliked the transmission's balkiness when we drove through the Cincinnati suburbs. "It's really bad," observed one friend. "The engine revs a lot but it stays in first gear."
The Dart’s next assignment was a trip to northern Indiana for Memorial Day. Jean Knows Cars associate editor Annie White reported no problems covering more than 400 miles over the long weekend. "The Dart was perfectly suited to a long highway cruise: not particularly thrilling, but capable and comfortable," she said.
2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rear Right Side View
"UConnect makes this car for me," White added. "The big touchscreen looks good and works exactly how I want it to." At the same time, it took some time for her to get comfortable in the "strangely puffy" seats.
The next long journey came when associate web editor Evan McCausland dashed to Toronto, Canada, to buy some Japanese-market Honda CR-V parts. He was satisfied with its highway demeanor: "The plush seats are nicely bolstered and quite supportive over long stints behind the wheel. The ride is nicely damped, and wind noise isn't too intrusive."
McCausland was less impressed when the navigation system led him on a wild goose chase for an ATM that no longer exists, although he appreciated the ease with which he was able to switch the digital speedometer and nav system to display kilometers.
Although the 2013 Dodge Dart has plenty of highway miles in its logbook, more are on the way over the rest of the summer. Between Fourth of July, Labor Day, and other summer trips, look for us to accumulate even more miles as we vacation outside of southeast Michigan.
Body style 4-door sedan
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$18,790
As tested $23,195
Engine 16-valve SOHC turbocharged I-4
Displacement 1.4 liters (83 cu in)
Power 160 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque 184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 27/37/31 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.7 turns
Turning circle 37.5 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 17-inch aluminum
Tires Continental ContiProContact
Tire size 225/45R-17 94H
Headroom F/R 38.6/37.0 in
Legroom F/R 42.2/35.2 in
Shoulder room F/R 58.2/56.1 in
Wheelbase 106.4 in
Track F/R 61.7/61.6 in
L x W x H 183.9 x 72.0 x 57.7 in
Passenger capacity 97.2 cu ft
Cargo capacity 13.1 cu ft
Weight 3242 lb
Weight dist. F/R xx/xx %
Fuel capacity 15.8 gal
Est. fuel range 490 miles
Fuel grade 93 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT 2.0-liter DOHC I-4 engine 6-speed manual transmission Stability and traction control Variable intermittent windshield wipers Remote keyless entry 4-wheel disc brakes Roll mitigation Hill-start assist Power windows Manual 6-way driver's seats 17-inch aluminum wheels Projector fog lights Black chrome headlight bezels Body-color grille crosshairs Dual rear exhaust exits Cruise control Leather-wrapped steering wheel Premium cloth interior Trip computer
1.4-liter SOHC turbocharged I-4 engine $1,300 Underbody aerodynamic treatment Active grille shutters Bright exhaust tips 140-amp alternator
6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission $1,100
Popular Equipment group $495 Vehicle information center and trip computer Cruise control Leather-wrapped steering wheel Tire pressure monitoring system Front seatback pockets 12V power outlet Sun visors w/vanity mirrors Illuminated cup holders
8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen group $595 Illuminated instrument panel surround iPod control Remote USB port and SD card slot Single-disc CD player
Uconnect 8.4 w/navigation $494 Automatic headlights
SiriusXM travel and real-time traffic w/one-year trial subscription $--- Rearview camera
LED "racetrack" taillights $225
SiriusXM satellite radio w/one-year trial subscription $195

Long-Term 2013 Dodge Dart Reviews to Date:

WRAP-UP
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Comments

Photo Gallery

  • Our Dart spent most of the month on the road.
  • The car looks sharp against the Cincinnati skyline.
  • Turbocharged engine averaging almost 29 mpg so far.
  • Skinny rear windows cut down on visibility.
  • The Dart spent Memorial Day in Indiana.
  • The Dart also posed in downtown Toronto.
  • Navigation system struggled to find nearby ATMs.

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