12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Dodge Dart SXT - Examining the Interior

August 26, 2013
2013 Dodge Dart SXT Front Left View
Long-Term 2013 Dodge Dart Update - SUMMER 2013 (3 OF 3)
Miles to Date: 17,346 miles
"What if you need something from the cubby and someone is sitting on it?"
After eight months with our 2013 Dodge Dart, there's one part of the car staffers have seen plenty of: the interior. All those hours spent commuting and road-tripping have given us ample time to discover just how many clever details are packed into the Dart's cabin.
First, we wanted to check how much stuff would fit inside the car. Jean Knows Cars associate editor Annie White took the Dodge Dart to Indiana and loaded up four friends for a trip to the lake. She reported that while the back seat has adequate space for three adults, they won't be particularly comfortable. Later on, a grocery haul and an assortment of colorful pool noodles fit in the trunk with ease, ideal for drivers who regularly swim and eat. When she got home from her travels, White also reported that the Dart's trunk had enough capacity to move large boxes of kitchen paraphernalia from one apartment to another.
2013 Dodge Dart SXT Front Right Side View
Speaking of storage, several editors have applauded the hidden cubby in the passenger seat. Simply pull a tab, and part of the seat cushion lifts to reveal a small compartment that is the perfect size for stashing electronics such as an Amazon Kindle. Still, not everyone thinks that the compartment is that clever: one passenger complained that it made the seat cushion uncomfortable, and White questioned its usefulness altogether: "It's inventive but not totally practical -- what if you need something from the cubby and someone is sitting on it?"
More compliments go to the Uconnect touchscreen. We continue to find it straightforward to use when entering navigation directions, playing music, and pairing Bluetooth phones. Staffers also heap praise on the large, straightforward physical controls on the car's center stack. Videographer Sandon Voelker gave the thumbs-up to the hidden radio controls on the back of the steering wheel, which are operated with your fingers wrapped around the steering wheel rim and whose location keeps the front of the wheel less cluttered. Finally, associate web editor Donny Nordlicht reminded us just how much he enjoys the optional red ambient light that glows from the dashboard: "I'm still giddy when night falls and I can see that awesome interior accent lighting."
Associate web editor Joey Capparella was nonplussed when he took a more critical look at the interior of our Dodge: "The materials look pretty cheap, especially in combination with the industrial look and feel of the seat fabric. I think the interior functions well, but its drab looks don't live up to my expectations of a brand-new 2013 car." He also reiterated our earlier concerns about the funky but nearly illegible speedometer and the fact that the climate controls are divided between the center stack and touchscreen.
Despite having mixed feelings on its innards, we're enjoying driving the 2013 Dodge Dart enough that we put another 2169 miles on it in August. With just a few months left before the car leaves our Four Seasons fleet, we'll see what else we can learn about Dodge's newest compact sedan.
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

  • This month, we're looking beneath the Dart's white sheetmetal.
  • Dodge Dart is two-thirds through its stay with us.
  • If it won't fit in the trunk, put it on a bike rack.
  • Amazon Kindle fits in underseat storage.
  • Some think the upholstery looks "industrial."
  • Awkward climate controls continue to receive criticism.

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