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2013 Dodge Dart

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  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    edited May 2012
    ...today in Belvidere. Looks pretty good! Short article from the Detroit Free Press at the link.

    image

    Detroit Free Press
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    First one was red--a good sign!

    One thing about the Dart that doesn't appeal to me is how wide the car is. It's 2-3 inches wider than a typical compact. I know that will appeal to many buyers. But I like small cars because they're... small. As in, easy to park. And the width of parking spaces seems to be shrinking over time. Sometimes it's a squeeze even for my Sentra, and that car isn't that wide.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    Next time I drive by the Belvidere plant I'll be looking for that red one out front! Yep, it is wide and that should a huge selling point for those downsizing from larger vehicles. It is a full 2" wider than the new VW Jetta which is one of the larger vehicles in the class. No more rubbing shoulders in the front seats just because you buy a compact. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    That's just the thing... I'm nowhere close to rubbing shoulders with the front passenger. If the extra width is put to good use in back, that would be a plus. I can't think of a compact where 3 adults can be comfortable in back. Not many mid-sized cars, either.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,630
    a couple of different reviews showed up in my local papers over the weekend. Very positive overall. Can't wait to get one out for a test drive.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    Chrysler is doing very well these days.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    edited May 2012
    I like the extra width because I wear a 44" jacket and XXL shirt size. With a large person next to me, elbow room is minimal in most compacts. This new Dodge will offer something other compacts don't - extra width.

    I found a couple rear seat images on the web and the width is evident in the photos. Middle rear seat passenger space is always tight unless you're in a full-size vehicle and even some of them are cozy.

    The compact class is the U.S. market is now loaded with nice cars. A big plus for the American consumer.

    image
    image
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    I have been looking at the Buick Verano and waiting for the Acura ILX. The Dart has my attention due to the room factor and the supension lifted from Italy. Anyone seen these at the dealer yet? I hate that the Verano has a cheap beam rear axle instead of an independant suspension. The pricing on the ILX looks way to high but we'll see how it would lease out.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    robtroxel: The new Dart is not expected to hit dealerships until late June/early July.

    The Acura ILX is a nice looking car but does seem pricey. Fuel economy numbers are good though. The Verano is a bit of a disappointment in the mileage rating department. If I buy a small car, I'll be looking for better than 25mpg combined. Now a Verano Turbo with a 6-speed stick as a sports sedan would be a different story!
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    The Dart configurator is up and running at KBB now.

    Dart on KBB

    :)
  • mitchfloridamitchflorida Posts: 419
    edited May 2012
    Air Conditioning is not available on the base model, according to KBB.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    A/C is available on the base (SE) model under "Accessory Equipment Packages": Value Group [AAN] for $995. It includes Air Conditioning, Alarm System, Automatic Power Door Locks, Keyless Remote Control Entry System & Dual Power Mirrors.

    It's 90 degrees in northern Iowa today and you'll need it! :D
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I don't understand why any car maker in this day and age would even attempt to sell a compact (or borderline mid-size in this case) car w/o AC. Even in cooler locales in the USA (and, where are those now, with weather trending hotter?) it's an important safety feature for defogging. For example, for 2013 Hyundai finally saw the light and made AC plus several other features standard on the base Elantra--since no one was buying the stripped cars anyway.

    Most likely there will be around 0 of these SEs w/o the Accessory Equipment Package made, and it's just a gimmick to be able to advertise a low price.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    There's little doubt that marketing plays a role here. Being able to advertise a $15,995 starting price will bring some people in for a look. The $995 Value Group Package actually offers a lot for the money and you can bet 99% of the SE models will have it.

    I'm old enough (born in '64) to remember the days when many cars didn't have A/C. The second car I ever owned was a '79 Honda Civic 2-door with a 4-speed stick and no A/C. It even had a manual choke! I drove it from '82 to '87 when a tie-rod and a few body panels had rusted through. I even drove it to Key West, FL in the summer of '85. Funny how times change.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Yeah, my first 4 cars didn't have AC. Didn't get a car with AC until I moved from Minnesnowta to Houston in '82, and bought a new Celica with AC. I would not live in TX w/o AC. I could live w/o it in MN (came back) if I absolutely had to, but there's those few times a year when it's hot and I'm dressed up for work etc. and the AC is important. Also for defogging as I mentioned.

    Anyway, the most one of those non-AC cars cost me was $5000, for a new '80 Corolla. I expect a $16,000 car to have AC.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 573
    A Left Lane News report says shipments from the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant started last Friday!

    Left Lane News

    Other reports indicate they will be on dealer lots and available for purchase the week of June 17th. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I read a first drive review of the Dart in Automobile Magazine today. A short review but they seemed very impressed with the car. From what they said about the smoothness and quietness of the 2.0L vs. the 1.4, I think the 2.0 is definitely the way I'd go even if the 1.4 has a higher EPA FE rating. They loved the 6MT, which is good as that would be my choice of transmission.

    The article mentioned a couple of things about the car's heritage. We know that there's a big Alfa influence. But what I didn't know is that there's a lot of Hyundai in the powertrains. The 2.0L engine is based on the GEMA "World Engine" jointly developed with Hyundai and Mitsubishi. And the 6-speed automatic, highly praised in the review and used with the 2.0L engine (maybe the 2.4L also, I don't know), is sourced from Hyundai.

    Another example of why people looking for an "American" car will have a hard time finding one!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    A reporter is interested in talking to any car shoppers who are thinking about buying any one of the following small cars: Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic or Dodge Dart. Please send a brief description of your shopping experience and your preferred contact information to PR@edmunds.com by Monday, June 18th

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I signed up on the Dodge web site to receive "special updates" from Dodge on the Dart. Today I received an impressive looking, plastic-wrapped package. It was a cardboard enclosure that held a little booklet with pictures and a few bits of general info on the Dart. Not very special. And very wasteful packaging.

    By now my local dealer should have some Darts in, maybe I'll go check it out tomorrow.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    We are going to take look at the Dart too. If any of you get a lease price let me know. We want one loaded with leather and Nav. Looking at 36 months,15 K yearly . I'll update when we get numbers. Thius should tell us what Dodge is forcasting residuals at.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Might go looking myself. Have to admit they got the looks right, but I'd really REALLY rather have a hatch...why couldn't they just bring the Alfa over?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Got my first look (outside of an auto show) of the 2013 Dart today. My local dealership had two red Darts, one outside (Rallye) and one inside (SXT with options). Since it was over 90, I checked out the one inside. Red SXT, grey cloth interior, Rallye package plus a few other packages including the 1.4L turbo. MSRP was just under $23k. Both cars had sticks. My observations:

    * Great looking car, inside and out. Red is a great color for this car.
    * Interior trim is nicely done, with trim that makes it look upscale, e.g. metal-like trim around the outboard air vents that looks like expensive metal (probably isn't), gloss black trim on the center stack, and good-looking HVAC controls. Had traditional gauges vs. the digital ones. Light grey fabric was grippy, felt durable. Not a lot of padding, but it was in all the important places including dash top and arm rests.
    * Shifter knob is a big grey/silver plastic ball... didn't fit the quality of the rest of the interior. Would have been better off with leather. The wheel was leather-covered (option). Shifter and clutch action seemed smooth enough... clutch pedal has rather long travel.
    * Driving position was comfortable for me, even with the manual seat. However, the height adjuster is the type that tips the seat forward as it raises, thus I needed to move the front seat back to be comfortable. When I adjusted it and the wheel for comfort, then sat in the back, usable leg room was not very good--less than in cars like the Elantra and Impreza, for example. There was enough knee room, but my feet hit the front seat back before my legs were fully supported, so I had the "knees in the air" feeling. I tried adjusting the passenger seat more forward, and that gave me a little more room in back, but my toes were stopped by something hard under the seat--probably the storage box that is built into the seat cushion. There might be more usable room in back, driver's side, with the optional power seat.
    * Headroom in back wasn't good either. I'm only 5' 9-1/2" and my (rather short) hair brushed the headliner unless I slouched. Because the rear windows slant up towards the rear, there is a bit of a claustrophobic feeling in back--I wouldn't tend to get the black interior in this car!

    Based on this initial impression, I probably won't keep the Dart on my shopping list. Because I prefer hatches, it would have to be pretty great and a great value to get my interest. It's sharp-looking, and maybe it drives well, but at about $20k for a basic car (2.0L, 6MT, base audio, cruise), and given it doesn't seem to "sit" as big in back as the car is, I'll likely stick with options like the Mazda3i hatch, Golf VII, Elantra GT, and maybe the Focus SE hatch and Impreza Premium hatch. All are less than $20k (Impreza a little more because I'd have to go with the CVT). None is as good looking as the Dart though. :)
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,630
    I hate those ratchet and dump seat height adjusters. I like to tilt the seat up in the front, but don't want to have to sit on the floor to get it like that. I eliminated a couple of cars in the past (include the mazda 3, which was otherwise perfect for me in many ways) for this reason.

    I really try to stay with power seats (with front/rear adjustments) fnow.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I don't mind a manual height adjuster if it's designed right. Many are not. And some small cars either don't offer a power seat or it's part of an expensive options package. The Mazda3's adjuster isn't one of the best, but acceptable to me.

    I love the dual manual height adjusters that used to be common, esp. on Korean cars. The Cruze is the only small car I know of today that has this feature, and on BOTH front seats! At least, it used to have that feature... I read where maybe the newer Cruzes use a single adjuster now.

    Oh well, the Dart was a stretch for me anyway, as I really want a hatch next time. A gorgeous car, though. Dodge will probably sell a lot of them.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I went by the local Dodge dealer (one of the two anyway, the less slimy one) and they had a single Rallye trim there, stick of course. I'd have to wait for the dual-clutch, unless I hold out for an R/T (have to see how the FE ends up with that). I found the front seat to be excellent and the wheel/pedal/shifter relationship to be right on. After adjusting the seat for myself, I could easily sit in the back...not COMFORTABLY, mind you, but easily. Not quite as good as an Impreza, but better than a Focus or Mazda3.

    I swear sitting in that thing, it was begging me to drive it, had that "drive me" feeling that the Mazda3 has. I just really wish they'd left the hatch on it, but the car's appealing enough where I might ignore that deficiency.

    Afterwards I went down the street and test drove the first Hyundai Elantra GT that showed up in the county (that we know of anyway). It was white so no way I'd ever buy it. I wonder if that colored the test drive for me, it drove good and felt good...and that was it. No grin, no happy tug of the heart strings. Steering an suspension are improved over the Elantra Touring, but nowhere near a Mazda3, and you can feel how short the engine is on torque when going uphill.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    The Neon's actually had a strong sales history. Having had three and still have a 1996 with 197,300 miles on it and got as high as 36 mpg and most always in the 30 mpg range. The reason it gets so mush mpg is the weight, 2,400 lbs ment hp to weight ratio.

    I think that before Fiat the 2 owners before drained every drop of money without improving the product. The interior of the cars and trucks were made as cheap as possible. However Fiat has made some real changes for the good. The Dart is the first real new made under Fiat, not including the Fiat 500.

    Especially good is the dart in made in the USA. The introduction of the Dart is not real good as all the first run Darts given to the dealers are pretty much the same, 6 speed manual, turbo engine, red in color and some high end things. Most sticker prices $ 22,500 to 24,695. which is not close to the Ford Fiesta. When they start with auto trans, and more moderate under
    $ 20,000. prices then it should take off. We are anxious to test drive one.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Just to add one small detail that is sorta over looked, all but the 2.4 engines run on 92 octain fuel. So the actual mpg needs to be reduced by the extra cost compared to a Ford Fiesta which used 87 octain fuel.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    The turbo used on the Jeep Liberty CRD I owned that Chrysler bought mine and others back, because they failed at regular intervals. The cost if you were out of warranty...over $ 7,000 usd. I know diesel and gas turbos are using different fuels but the principal is the same. For me no thanks on a turbo anything.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Uh... why would you compare the Dart to a car like the Ford Fiesta? Two totally different classes of cars.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    One thing that hit me, there someone in this forum born in the sixties and he had cars with no aircon in his car. I was born in 1945. I remember watching my dad install turn signals in a 1950 or 1952 Cheyy. No air, turn signals, power brakes, steering took real effort.

    My new first car was a 1964 Chevy 2 with the 283 V8 and air, auto, P s, & brakes. Got about 16 mpg and paid $ 2,872. out the door. But now when we talk the price to get a nice family car with real room for parents and 3 kids, it takes near $24,000. Trucks are high too. The vehicles 10 years from now may well be starting about $ 30,000. How on earth can a couple starting out afford a new vehicle, unless both are working and the budget will be tite.

    I an not keen on buying a used car but I think that is where most lower middle class people are headed likeit or not.

    The Dodge Dart looks nice, and if it's as good as the Neon it will sell good.
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