If you're in the market for a new compact sedan later this year—to compare with the likes of the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, or Hyundai Elantra, you'll want to include one new model on your list: Dart. After years of compact models—including Caliber and Neon—that didn't quite make the top tier for various reasons, the 2013 Dodge Dart is shaping up to be one of the better entries in this class.
Dodge promises at least one model in the lineup that will get 40 mpg highway. That will likely be the step-up, Fiat-sourced 1.4-liter turbocharged four. Reworked 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter World Engines, now dubbed TigerShark, will round out the rest of the engine lineup, while a six-speed manual is base on all models, with a six-speed automatic optional on all but the 1.4T, which gets a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The 2013 Dart will start at just $15,995, yet even the base model will come with a reconfigurable TFT gauge display, ten standard airbags, and an interior that, from first look, is one of the best in its class—as Chrysler's clearly seeking to overcompensate for past woes.
And this is of course before we get a chance behind the wheel. Look for a first drive later this spring, but in the meantime read our full preview of the 2013 Dodge Dart, and check out these additional live photos, from our coverage of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.