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#18

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $16,495 - $22,995
Invoice: $16,449 - $22,364
MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy
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Dodge Dart Review

The 2014 Dodge Dart ranks 18 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Dodge Dart, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Dodge Dart is ranked:

Most auto reviewers like the 2014 Dodge Dart’s sporty handling, user-friendly tech features and comfortable cabin, but they say rival compacts are faster and get better gas mileage.

Reviewers say that equipped with a four-cylinder engine, the base Dart is slow to accelerate. Test drivers note that an available turbocharged engine makes the Dart peppier, and a larger four-cylinder engine that’s newly standard on the SXT, Limited and GT trims is even stronger. Still, auto writers say that the Dart can’t compete with more powerful compact cars in the class. Most reviewers prefer the standard six-speed manual transmission for its precise shifter. Others say that while the available six-speed automatic is generally smooth, it can be slow to downshift when added power is needed. Equipped with an automatic transmission, the base Dart gets an EPA-estimated 24/34 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end of the class. Equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, the Dart gets an impressive 28/40 mpg, which is terrific for the class. Most test drivers praise the Dart’s steering for being accurate and responsive. The Dart has an above-average safety score and comes standard with 10 air bags, including a driver’s knee airbag, which is notable for the class.

The Dart has an attractive interior made with a blend of soft-touch and hard plastic surfaces that are well-constructed, reviewers say. Several test drivers remark that the cabin offers plenty of space and feels more like a midsize sedan than a compact car. Front seats are supportive and comfy, they say, and there is ample head- and legroom in the back seat. Standard features include a four-speaker audio system and an auxiliary audio jack. Buyers must upgrade to get air conditioning, power door locks and cruise control, which are standard on many rival compacts. Optional features include a USB port, Bluetooth phone streaming, navigation, a backup camera, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system and Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment system, which has an 8.4-inch touch screen. Test drivers praise the infotainment system for its simple menus and large touch screen, saying it rivals the best systems in the class.

  • "But one thing that's been preserved in translation is that palpable Italian zest for the open road. Unlike most compact cars, the Dodge Dart feels like it was built by people who love to drive, demonstrating ride and handling characteristics that are more befitting of a sport sedan. There's also a real sense of occasion in its tidy sheet metal and sculpted, high-quality interior." -- AutoTrader
  • “Considerably heavier than most of its competitors, the Dodge Dart is neither the best-performing nor the most fuel-efficient player in its segment. And buyers who demand either a hybrid or turbodiesel will still have to look to rivals like the Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic, Ford Focus or Volkswagen Jetta." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2013 Dodge Dart offers a lot of space, features and style for the money, while being surprisingly fun to drive. The more efficient and torque-rich turbo engine is the one to get, but no Dart is especially quick." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • “The interior and exterior styling might be enough to pull buyers away from other brands. It's quiet. It's comfortable, and fairly well-equipped. It isn't a game-changer, but it is a strong choice for a compact runabout." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Other Cars to Consider

Fully redesigned for 2014, the Mazda Mazda3 gets superb fuel economy for the class, and reviewers say the Mazda3’s athletic handling makes it a joy to drive. They’re also impressed with the amount of available tech features, which include blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

Test drivers say the Ford Focus has an attractive, upscale cabin. It handles nimbly, they add, especially the high-performance ST trim, which comes with a powerful turbocharged engine.

Compare the Dart, Mazda3 and Focus »

Details: 2014 Dodge Dart

The 2014 Dodge Dart is a five-seat sedan that comes in five trims: SE, SXT, Aero, GT and Limited. The base model comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while optional engines include a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available on all trims and standard on the top-of-the-line Limited. An automated manual is available on the Aero trim. The Dodge Dart was an all-new model in 2013 and has seen few changes since then, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Dodge Dart specs »

Review Last Updated: 2/19/14

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