"I found myself double- and triple-checking before changing lanes or merging on the highway."
The 2013 Dodge Dart spent its tenth month in our care within the state of Michigan. At this point, we've come to terms with most of the Dart’s virtues and downfalls, and now we’re putting it to work as a pleasant day-to-day commuter.
Graphic designer John Kalmar spent a week behind the wheel of the 2013 Dodge Dart in October, crisscrossing the state in search of Michigan State football victories (they won), beverages and donuts from Uncle John's Cider Mill (judged delicious), and live music in Grand Rapids. Kalmar enjoyed his time in the Four Seasons Dodge but complained about the meager rearward visibility afforded by the Dart's fat C-pillars and rising beltline. Without any blind-spot warning systems on board, you need to be extra careful when dicing through traffic.
"I found myself double- and triple-checking before changing lanes or merging on the highway," he said.
Associate editor Greg Migliore, who has a 45-plus-minute daily highway commute, agrees that the Dart's blind spots are large but says it's far from one of the worst compact cars in terms of visibility. He reports that the 2013 Dodge Dart is an excellent highway commuter, a sentiment that echoes the views of nearly everyone who has taken the Dodge on a long trip.
Later, associate web editor Joey Capparella took the helm and used the 2013 Dodge Dart to drive to a concert in metro Detroit. With four friends on board, he was glad the Dart is one of the roomier "compact" sedans currently on the market.
"They had plenty of legroom but the back seat is only just wide enough for three adults," Capparella reported.
Next up was road test editor Chris Nelson's girlfriend, Kimmy Hay, who wanted to compare the white 2013 Dodge Dart to her white 2012 Dodge Avenger SXT. She took issue with the Dart's rounded, bulbous shape and also said she preferred the steering feel in her Avenger. Yet Hay conceded that she liked the Dart's intuitive touchscreen navigation system and gutsy turbocharged four-cylinder engine. She has no plans, however, to swap her Avenger for a Dart any time soon.
As our yearlong test winds to a close, we hope to take the Dart on a few last trips to get the most out of our time with the smallest Dodge.