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2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,130
edited September 2014 in Dodge

Comments

  • smudge12smudge12 Member Posts: 19
    @reminder: I've hypermiled on the highway in my '02 Protege and gotten ~46 MPG before (Norfolk to DC with ~4.2 gallons). That said, it's just way too much thinking and work to justify the end result. Otherwise, I agree that it's nearly impossible if you'r
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    good luck getting anyone to be the first company to switch to advertising their combined mpg. Can you imagine trying to get people into the dealer to look at the: 32 MPG Dodge Dart. -- At least the stickers don't have the "you can expect somewhere between this range and this range" on the different mpg anymore. Had a GMC salesman tell me I could even get 34 highway out of their Terrain even though it was rated at 29 Highway. Even though I had just told him I'd spent a week in a rental one.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    Not going to get all upset about the ad. You see the same thing with advertised horsepower. You see the same thing with the advertised number of speakers. The ads are always going to pick the most impressive numbers available. As consumers we can be fooled or we can see right through it and get to the facts. That's up to us. What isn't up to us is understanding how the EPA numbers differ from real world experience. To be honest, it doesn't seem like the Dart numbers are terribly far off. Compared to cars like your Ecoboost Explorer or some recent Hyundais, the Dart is getting mileage within spitting distance of the EPA.
  • cynic783cynic783 Member Posts: 30
    i love it when you catch these automakers and marketing people basically flat-out lying. keep calling them out
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    Hold on a second. You're blaming auto manufacturers' marketing departments for outdated EPA test methods and consumer stupidity? The "41 mpg" brings people into the showroom. It's the same with promoting a truck's maximum tow rating, or a sports car's highest-hp engine, or an econobox's base trim MSRP. And what's wrong with that? It's a "halo" number that brings people in. Besides, an automobile is not a cheap purchase. You're not buying a t-shirt, or trying a new cleaning product. You're committing thousands / tens of thousands / hundreds of thousands of dollars to this machine. And there are plenty of sources out there for automotive information: CR, M/T, fueleconomy.gov, and (my personal favorite) Edmunds.com, among others. There is enough information for anyone to make an educated decision in buying a vehicle without even setting foot on a dealer lot. For the consumer that doesn't do their research before such a large purchase, I say shame on you.
  • motorstreetmotorstreet Member Posts: 23
    The Highway rating is the only one I pay attention to, because in my experience it's the only rating that actually corresponds to a real world driving condition. The city rating matters, but fuel economy in driving that can be described as city driving varies far too much for the rating to be meaningful. The combined rating is also only relevant if your driving is 55% city. The highway rating is the only one I expect to be able match or exceed, the others are simply too variable. I agree it is misleading if somebody buys the Dart without noticing the advertised rating is highway only, but that's why your research should extend beyond reading a billboard.

    The real problem is that the EPA ratings are unrealistic. Fuelly (or a similar website) is the best way to see how fuel efficient a car really is.
  • eclogiteeclogite Member Posts: 48
    So it's trailing the combined rating by 11% for mpg. But, having just read your article on how we should all be looking at gallons/100 miles, how is it doing there? Edmunds' should be running 3.2 gallons/100 miles according to the sticker. What is reality and what percentage off the sticker is that?
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    This is a sham of automotive marketers, but you can blame consumers for their general cluelessness to what these numbers actually MEAN. Much like horsepower ratings and megapixels, none of these actually represent how the product performs in "the real world", but in the quest to do quick comparisons, most consumers simply stare at the numbers, think "oh, that's bigger, so it must be better!". Until this culture changes, always do your homework. The EPA combined rating is more realistic for the majority of drivers, but as has been pointed out, with an increased focus on fuel economy over the last decade it's clear that the EPA's current procedures are out of date. There's only been one instance where an automaker has actually had an unfair advantage advertising their vehicle's mileage, and that was Hyundai- they've been able to advertise quite a few 40 mpg HWY rated vehicles when it turned out that NONE of them can even match the EPA's test standards- that's a real sham.
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    This is a constant refrain at Edmunds, but your team doesn't drive conservatively, doesn't stick to the speed limits, nor match the EPA test protocol.

    So I'm unmoved by the complaint.

    The EPA test rules have been changed several times over the decades, yet they still don't match real-world conditions.
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    It isn't lying, it is simply picking a headline number. Will you get highway MPG all the time? No, especially not in West LA. Will you use 100% of the advertised horsepower all the time? No, especially not in West LA. Same thing with Range, cargo capacity, seating capacity, any performance or capacity number. Marketers from any brand will choose the numbers that look best. Why would they handicap themselves with less-than-ideal conditions when the competition isn't? The only deception here is picturing the Ralley trim when referring to another trim's specs.
  • reminderreminder Member Posts: 383
    Excluding hybrids & small diesels, it's nearly impossible to consistently achieve 40 MPG with any vehicle given the overall weight & amount of gear that's required to be put on vehicles. The advances in technology in regard to fuel economy over the past 5 years have been surprising. That being said, I owned a 2003 accord that would easily achieve 31 MPG on the highway. I now have a 2010 civic that gets 34 highway if you keep it near the speed limit. So, maybe gains in MPG haven't been greatly improved?
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    Well, CR which has been critical (misleadingly so, IMO) of the EPA system hit the 2013 Accord I4 CVT's 30 mpg combined exactly, and got 4mpg better than the 36 mpg highway number in their "real world" tests. They got 32mpg combined on with the 2014 Mazda6 compared to the EPA's 30 (this was without i-ELOOP), and 44mpg on the highway vs. 38 for the EPA. They matched the 2013 Altima I4 CVT's 31 mpg combined and bettered the EPA's 38 mpg highway by 6 mpg. These results are more in keeping with my experience than numbers lower than the EPA that they have got in tests of some other cars. But the fact that if you live in a climate with variable weather, your fuel economy can vary by 15% or more just between winter and summer means that "real world" results are meaningless without knowing the circumstances under which they were obtained. Different paving materials and different tires have different coefficients of friction. Gasoline has different energy content at different times of year and different places. That's without even considering the driver, or worse, multiple drivers using the same vehicle.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    reminder said: "Excluding hybrids & small diesels, it's nearly impossible to consistently achieve 40 MPG with any vehicle given the overall weight & amount of gear that's required to be put on vehicles." . . . I drive a car that is rated at 33 mpg on the highway. My lifetime average in this car is 36.1 mpg. In the temperate months in spring and fall, I can easily and repeatably exceed 40 mpg (best tank, 44.1 mpg). I can only imagine the kind of mpg's I'd get with a modern car actually rated at 40 mpg on the highway, but if I can easily exceed my current car's 33 mpg, it would follow that I could easily exceed another car's 40 mpg.
  • reminderreminder Member Posts: 383
    The days of the 1,800 lb. CR-X are long gone. I have no problem trading a few MPGs for airbags,traction control ABS & a more engaging driving experience. MAZDA calls it ZOOM ZOOM.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    I'm not going to get too upset about a manufacturer leading with their best number in advertisements. That's always going to happen, and in all markets-- not just cars.

    I am a little more concerned about car manufacturers getting away with putting inflated MPG estimates on a sticker that are difficult to obtain in real world driving. The EPA does not perform enough testing to keep certain car makers honest.
  • cjsg35cjsg35 Member Posts: 2
    So I have a Dart Limited 1.4 auto and my highway mpg is 39mpg ... which i think is great considering im normally driving 75-80mph... while i understand that yest its all subjective on the way u drive and yes i know they take the best numbers in order to bring people into the dealership.... i compared the focus / mazda 3 hatchbacks and the cruze and im very happy i chose the dart gets good mpg and i love the way it drives / handles... (btw wouldn't mind like 25 more hp and 25 more torque but oh well) but it all comes down to how u drive.. if your driving it like u stole it then of course your not gonna get the mpg
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    Its also the manual that gets the best mpgs no doubt due to stupid tall gears. Something tells me that if it was not for this fact dodge would not sell a manual dart at all
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    The bigger the engine you buy the worse mpgs with few exceptions. If you can afford houndreds of dollars a month for a car paymebt and thousands of dallers a month on insurence you can afford a few grand on fuel and if you cant then you over extended yourself financially
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @ bassrockerx: You need to define "bigger", because there has been repeated instances where, for example, the Japanese V6 sedans have been able to stomp their turbo-4 competitors in both power AND real world FE.
  • fozzwadfozzwad Member Posts: 2
    I have a Rallye 1.4T, 6-speed manual. I now have 5,616 miles on it and have averaged an overall 35.14mpg. This is going up. My worst tank was 31.13mpg and my last tank was the best at 37.53mpg.
    Maybe you have a heavy foot?
  • sjw91_sjw91_ Member Posts: 19
    Since we're talking misleading numbers, why can't they get rid of the 9 at the end of the price for a gallon of gas ($x.xx9)?
  • hawkeddhawkedd Member Posts: 1
    If you look at the Dart owners website there is a thread with real world mileage for owners: http://www.dodge-dart.org/forum/dodge-dart-general-discussion/35-real-world-dodge-dart-fuel-mileage-56.html

    Below is my experience, and I am very detailed in the mpg I get along with other items.
    I don't drive like a hypergasmiler, I use the turbo when needed, or just for the fun of it.

    Update on my Dart's mileage. 1.4 Turbo with six-speed manual. 85-90% of driving on highways but these are usually two-lane with little towns and other distractions.
    City driving is not usually stop and go every block but enough to never get into sixth gear.
    So.... I have owned it for 14,701 miles putting 410.094 gallons of gas into it = 35.85 mpg. The last 5042 miles have averaged 36.50mpg. The first 3-4000 miles were in winter time or at least using winter blended gas. Have tried 87, 91 and 93 octane. Three times have topped 40 mpg. I do not fill the tank every time I get gas so I may have 800 to 1500 miles between filling the tank.
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