Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Drive: Dodge Dart

In 2012, Dodge came out with a compact four-door sedan called the Dart. This was the first compact sedan to be sold by Dodge since the Dodge Neon ceased production in 2005. Since I was at a car event next door to a Dodge dealership, I decided to test drive the Dodge Dar SE. The version I drove had a 2.0L VVT I4 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. The car also had a front-wheel, front-engine layout. With available options, the car I drove cost $18,685.

The Dodge Dart has a sporty, aggressive profile. While there is plenty of head and leg room for the driver and front-seat passenger. However, there is very little head room and leg room for rear passengers. I am 5' 9" and my head was hitting the roof of the car. 

The Dart had a great ride quality. The car was not noisy. It was very quiet in the cabin. The car drove very smoothly. Throttle and break pedals responded nicely. There was no issues breaking. Although it takes over 9 seconds for the car to go from 0 to 60 mph, the car was very smooth will accelerating. Steering was very responsive. For city driving, the car was great. No highway/freeway driving was done on the test drive. The Dart gets an estimated 41 mph for highway driving.

Overall, this is a good compact sedan. It has a great exterior design and impressive drive quality. The car suffers from insufficient room for rear passengers and slow acceleration. I would recommend the Dart for beginner drivers who want to start off with a new car and for drivers who want a stylish car with good gas mileage. For drivers who want good acceleration, look at getting the turbocharged 1.4L I4 engine or wait till the Dart R/T and Dart SRT-4 become available.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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