Advertisement
Go
2013 Dodge Dart Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$15,974
BASE MSRP
$15,995
On Performance
The heavy 2013 Dodge Dart's 2.0-liter base engine is anemic, but rev the 1.4-liter turbo and the handling comes into its own.
7.0 out of 10
Browse Dodge Dart inventory in your area.

SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS

PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

taut reflexes and a willingness to attack corners
Cars.com

This is the first Chrysler product with electric power steering and we found it quick and very well weighted, with a tight feel.
MotorWeek

The engine suffers a bit of turbo lag (delay in power delivery) when you stab the throttle at virtually any speed, but feels stronger than the 2.0 once power builds
Consumer Guide

The great news is that the solid underpinnings and communicative electrically assisted ZF rack-and-pinion power steering engineered by Alfa chassis pros are happily at work here.
Car and Driver

clutch take-up is smooth and predictable
Edmunds

While the design of the 2013 Dodge Dart may say performance car, the base engine falls short on that flashy promise. The standard 2.0-liter 'TigerShark' four-cylinder engine puts out 160 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, and it's simply underpowered in a car that weighs "about 3,300 pounds"--heavier than many of its competitors. In more demanding driving, whether it's quick acceleration from a stoplight or merging into fast-flowing freeway traffic from uphill ramps, the 2.0-liter Dart feels significantly slower than most competitors.

The optional turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine puts out the same 160 hp, but 184 lb-ft of torque, and is considerably more entertaining to drive. But you'd better enjoy driving like an Italian, which is to say keeping your foot in the engine and routinely revving it from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm, because that's where the power is. And we suspect the gas mileage will suffer as a result (we got 26.2 mpg in a couple hours of driving, against the EPA combined rating of 32 mpg for that model).

Both engines are available with a Fiat-sourced six-speed manual gearbox. The base 2.0-liter engine can also be ordered with a six-speed automatic transmission (provided, surprisingly, by Hyundai), and within a few months, the 1.4 turbo will add a six-speed direct-shift automatic manual as well.

To eke out every last point of fuel economy, the transmissions are tuned to keep the engines below 2,000 rpm in most circumstances. That means that when power's needed, not one but two downshifts are required--and the driver has to learn to anticipate and plan for that.

The news is better on the handling and suspension front. The weight that hurts performance gives the car a nicely planted feel, and Dodge has managed to imbue the electric power steering with enough feedback and road feel that you don't notice it--unlike the numb, lifeless steering offered by Toyota and too many other competitors.

Our first Dart road test didn't include the 2.4-liter R/T performance model, which will arrive later than the rest of the range, so we can't comment on how that more powerful engine feels in real-world use.

Conclusion

The heavy 2013 Dodge Dart's 2.0-liter base engine is anemic, but rev the 1.4-liter turbo and the handling comes into its own.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
Advertisement
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.