The Dodge Dart is not long for this world, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ parting gift for its beleaguered compact sedan is a simplified model lineup that should help dealers move units a bit more easily. For the remainder of the 2016 model year, only the 2016 Dodge Dart SXT Sport, Dart Turbo, and Dart GT Sport will be offered. There will be some small changes to available equipment for each version of the Dart, as well as some revised pricing.
“We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with customer demand and preference,” said FCA head of passenger car brands Tim Kuniskis in a statement. “The simplification of Dart models…makes it easier for dealers to order and stock vehicles that customers are looking for.
To start, the bargain-basement Dodge Dart SE is now off the table. Instead, the entry model will be the Dart SXT Sport, starting at $18,990 including destination. The SXT Sport effectively bundles in the old Convenience package as standard fare, adding keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, satellite radio, and steering wheel audio controls. Sixteen-inch aluminum wheels and the available Blacktop package soldier on, except that the old SE’s 2.0-liter inline-four is used instead of the SXT’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The 2.0-liter makes 160 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Next up is the 2016 Dodge Dart Turbo, starting at $20,490. The turbo is supposed to appeal to enthusiasts with its six-speed manual transmission, 1.4-liter turbo-four good for 160 hp and 184 lb-ft, sport appearance hood, dual exhaust tips, and Rallye Appearance package.
At the top of the range is now the 2016 Dodge Dart GT Sport, now that the loaded Limited model has been slashed. The GT Sport starts at $21,990, which is $1,100 less than before. It keeps the 2.4-liter, 184-hp four-cylinder turbo engine with a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. It gets a ton of standard goodies like keyless entry and push-button start, 17-inch wheels, a sportier front fascia, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, power heated mirrors, a 10-way power driver seat, larger 8.4-inch Unconnect interface, backup camera, dual-zone climate control, and more.
The Dodge Dart was never a strong player in the extremely competitive compact-sedan class, despite its spacious cabin and great infotainment interface, though lackluster powertrains in just about every combination were considerable demerits compared to rival sedans. But right now might be the best time to snatch one up on the cheap, as dealers are going to be eager to unload inventory, as FCA has admitted it plans to end production of the Dart and the Chrysler 200 soon.