2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,135
edited September 2014 in Dodge

image2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

The 2014 Dodge Dart receives expanded availability of the 2.4-liter engine.

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  • stuntman_mikestuntman_mike Member Posts: 57
    Any word on the Dart SRT4, or is that still in limbo?
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    i would really need a side by side comparison of the 2.4 and the 1.4 engine but from the initial launch of the dart the 1.4 engine was the whole reason to buy the car. i know it's still in the aero trim but it's a shame that engine is all but phased out.
  • evodadevodad Member Posts: 135
    the car actually looks good in that pic. I've seen way too many bland darts running around but that I would be happy to look at.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    That's a lot of powertrain shuffling going on here, Dodge really did some odd things with the engine offerings in this car. The Dart is a fatty, so the 160 hp 2.0 that would have been decent in a lighter package is Corolla-slow, the 1.4 sprints well but the driveability is apparently awful, the 2.4 is thirsty and I'd be surprised if it did much better than the 1.4 in all-out acceleration. Certainly isn't going to worry a Civic Si or GLI. And now the 1.4 that was such big news at launch is relegated to a single trim level, as if they are hiding it in shame.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Member Posts: 471
    I think the problem with the 1.6, as even Marchionne pointed out, was that the DDCT was the only automatic that they could pair with that engine -- and by all accounts, it's finicky at best, and just plain bad at worst.

    Shame on Chrysler for not having a decent automatic ready in time for the Dart's launch; that ZF 9-speed can't come soon enough. First VW, then Ford, now Dodge -- chalk this up as another failed dual-clutch application. They're cool tech on paper, but apparently not very user-friendly. When will automakers learn?
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    VW's DCT works just fine. Not sure why everyone else has such a hard time making acceptable ones.
  • nukedetroitnukedetroit Member Posts: 108
    Great solution for a purported economy car: make the bigger, thirstier engine standard! Only goes to show how woefully "engineered" this Fiasler POS is.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    +1 stovt001. The DSG works pretty damn good, not perfect. The problem with any DCT is from 0-10 mph, where smooth, correct clutch operation depends more than in any other speed range upon knowing a split-second AHEAD of time what has to be done...no aut
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    About time. They need to simplify the lineup because the powertrain situation is a mess. Bigger engine as standard is a bonus... but I'm not sure if that will help this car's sales at this point/

    @stovt001: Don't know where you got that idea; I drove a Polo Cross this thanksgiving in Germany and it was a piece of [non-permissible content removed] in low speed driving. When you had to do stop and go on the uphills, it felt like it was grinding itself to pieces and lurched forward. Maybe if it were paired with a hybrid electric motor so it can just declutch... Once in motion it worked wonderfully though.
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    Having driven the 1.4M and 2.0A, the 2.4 has to be much better. But it's only rated at 23/33 mpg, certainly because the Dart is so heavy. It's the right move for the US market, but a real indictment of Fiatsler's poor product planning. All they need now is the 9-spd automatic, but Dodge has been awfully slow lately to get product out the door.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @gslippy: I think they're the first OEM using the 9 speed. It's obvious that it has a lot of bugs to sort out, considering it delayed the launch of the Cherokee too. I don't know if I would call Dodge slow for product though... I think it only took a few
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    Those that are claiming the 2.4 is "thirstier" would be wise to consult fueleconomy.gov. Indeed, with the manual transmission, the 2.4 is less efficient. But with the volume-selling automatic transmission, combined fuel economy is identical at 27 mpg (24/27/34 for the 2.0, and 23/27/35 for the 2.4). I suppose Dodge saw no CAFE penalty so decided to put the more appropriate engine under the hood.
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    @greenpony: I'm getting my info from the Dodge web site for the 2013 models. The 2.0 is rated 25/36; the 1.4 Aero is rated 28/41; and the 2.4 is rated at a 'thirstier' 23/33. Are you saying they plan to de-rate the 2.0 for 2014, while up-rating the 2.4?
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    I think the Dart is living proof of the futility of CAFE numbers when it comes to cars of marginal power/weight. I would bet that in the hands of the average driver in mixed conditions the three engines would give mileage within experimental error. It would only be on the highway with extensive use of the cruise control that the smaller engines would start to show any advantage.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaMember Posts: 451
    I relish the chance to try out the 2.4 in a non-GT model. And the 6-spd auto can only be tons better than the awful DCT our LT car has.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    greenpony, thanks for the fueleconomy.gov reference. 35 mpg highway would be just fine. However, just two weeks ago, even Dodge didn't have any 2014 fuel economy ratings posted for the 2.4 on their website. The 2013 GT was the only 2.4 listed, and it rated at only 30 mpg highway
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    gslippy & emajor, it would appear that the ratings have been revised for 2014. I guess if you want the "fuel efficient" model, you'd have to go with the Aero.
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