12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Dodge Dart SXT - Say Goodbye to the Dart

December 27, 2013
2013 Dodge Dart Sxt Front Snow
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Long-Term 2013 Dodge Dart Update - WINTER 2013 (3 OF 3)
Miles to Date: 24,766
"Once the Dart gets to highway speeds, I actually feel content behind the wheel"
As winter arrived in Michigan, we said goodbye to our 2013 Dodge Dart SXT after 12 months. During its last month in our fleet, our feelings toward the humble compact sedan barely changed.
We started the month off by taking the 2013 Dodge Dart SXT in for another scheduled service appointment. The oil change, tire rotation, and inspection were completed for free as part of the car's warranty. Next we paid $100 to remount our Pirelli Sottozero Serie II winter tires, from The Tire Rack, our official wheel and tire supplier, onto the Dart's factory 16-inch wheels. We found them far grippier in snow and ice than the all-season rubber the car rode on for the rest of the year.
Next, graphic designer John Kalmar put serious miles on the 2013 Dodge Dart SXT as he traveled around Michigan over Thanksgiving weekend. The journeys between towns were fine, but Kalmar once again struggled to acclimate to the Dart's dual-clutch automatic when he arrived at his destination.
"Once the Dart gets to highway speeds, I actually feel content behind the wheel," he said. "But at lower speeds, the wonky dual-clutch transmission makes city driving a headache."
2013 Dodge Dart Sxt Front Snow
Other complaints came not from Kalmar, but from his friends. Three adults squeezed into the back seat and found themselves contorted like pretzels, prompting moaning until the after-effects of a turkey dinner put the passengers to sleep.
A short time later, Kalmar was on the road again in the 2013 Dodge Dart SXT, this time for a last-minute trip to see his beloved Michigan State Spartans play football in Indianapolis, Indiana. He reported no problems on his 13-hour round trip, even when unexpected snowfall put the winter tires to the test. In fact, Kalmar found the car's only demerits to be aesthetic: "This infotainment system is straightforward and easy to use. While the graphics may look like something from a PowerPoint presentation, its functionality trumps any personal graphic design complaints I have."
With that, our 2013 Dodge Dart SXT spent its remaining few days shuttling staffers to and from the office, to grocery stores, and to holiday parties. Nobody expressed much remorse when the car departed our office, even though most drivers found the car quiet, comfortable, and reasonably satisfying to drive. It was only the funky transmission that left us frustrated in our year with the smallest Dodge.
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:

2013 Dodge Dart SXT - Say Goodbye to the Dart
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Photo Gallery

  • We reinstalled our Dart's winter tires just in time.
  • Pirelli Sottozero tires proved impressive in cold weather.
  • The Dart spent much of December helping with holiday shopping.
  • The Dart's spacious trunk drew repeated praise during our test.
  • Our Dodge was "a headache" in city driving.
  • The Dart was more at home on highways than side streets.

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