Dodge Dart just misses the bullseye

Dodge's new compact is a huge improvement but it's got a few weak spots.

A must-make shot
gallery 2013 dodge dart front
Base price: $15,995
Base engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Fuel economy: 25 City / 36 Hwy

Before the new Dodge Dart hit the streets, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne had said the carmaker couldn't afford to miss the target with this one. He was absolutely right.

As the first model born entirely from Chrysler and Fiat's marriage, the Dart has much more riding on it than just compact car sales. The Dart is based on a combination of Fiat engineering and American design. Americans are looking to it as an indication of what these two carmakers can really do together.

And the answer is... They can do pretty well. But if they really want to score, they'll need to do even better.

The Dart is a huge improvement over the Dodge Caliber which it's replacing, but that's not saying much. It was easy to be better than the Caliber, a car so bad that even Chrysler executives no longer tried to defend it.

But compared to its true competition -- other high-quality compact cars -- the Dart is actually a strong entry in its segment. It beats most competitors in many areas that car buyers really care about, such as interior roominess.

But there's still plenty of room left for improvement.


Source: CNNMoney
  @peterdrives - Last updated October 08 2012 07:28 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.