It is hard to imagine these days that you can buy a nice, fuel-efficient car with automatic, rearview camera, steering wheel controls, keyless entry, and more for around $19,000, but you can if you look at my review vehicle this week. I have the 2014 Dodge Dart Rallye, a larger than compact front-wheel drive sedan.
The Dart is one of the most configurable cars on the market. You can choose from five trim levels, three engines, two transmissions, eight wheel choices, and nine colors. While choices are always good, I feel sorry for the Dodge dealers trying to figure out what to order for their inventory.
My test vehicle is the SXT model, the next to the bottom of the lineup of models. The Rallye appearance package is optional on this model. Engine choices for Dart are all 4-cylinders, there is a 1.4-liter Turbo, a 2.0-liter, and a 2.4-liter. My review car has the 2.4-liter, hooked to a 6-speed automatic transmission producing a respectable 184-horses.
Notable standard features on the SXT include keyless entry, Bluetooth, air conditioning, cruise control, hill start assist, fold down rear seat, tilt wheel, automatic headlights, LED rear lights, and power windows and door locks.
On my review Dart, it has the terrific Chrysler Uconnect touch screen which features an 8.4” color touch screen that is intuitive and extremely easy to navigate through the radio, air conditioning, voice commands, and settings. This is a real bargain at $595.
For $395, you can get the Rallye package. Also a bargain, you get a different suspension system, rear stabilizer bar, fog lights, dual exhaust, 17” aluminum wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The automatic transmission is not standard equipment and will set you back $1295, but you do get better fuel economy than with the manual tranny.
One of the most impressive things about this car is the interior. The cloth seats are comfortable and attractive. Accent stitching on the seats and dash give the feel of a car that costs much more than this one does. Interior room is very good for all occupants, and although it is officially a 5-passenger, plan on having room for four adults. Trunk space is good at a little over 13 cubic feet of storage without the back seats folded down. Dash layout is good and easy to read, and you have configurable choices of what you want to see.
The Dart Rallye drives well, handles very well for a compact car, and you have no problems getting on the freeway with this 2.4-liter engine, the acceleration is great. I am getting better than stated fuel economy. Perhaps best of all, the Dart comes with a lot of safety features and it comes with an overall safety rating of 5-stars.
The Dodge Dart was built previously from 1960 to 1977, but this new Dart on an Alfa Romeo chassis is a pleasant surprise. As previously stated, it is larger than most compact sedans in length and width, creating a roomier cabin that is surprisingly quiet. Dart is heavier than most compacts, which is one of the reasons I think it rides as well as it does.
As you know, part of my rating is on value and the Dart Rallye stacks up extremely well. MSRP is just over $22,000 on my Granite Crystal tester and currently in most markets, there is a $2000 factory rebate. With a dealer discount, this car can be bought for right at $19,000, which is why I gave it a full 5 out of 5-star rating.
What I liked most: The interior and the value.
What I would change: Give me a spare tire of some kind!
MSRP: Base price $18,595. As equipped $22,025.
Fuel Economy: 23 City/35 highway/27 combined, actually doing better.
Odometer reading when tested: 6980 miles.
Weight: 3186 Pounds.
Length-Width-Height: 183.9” long/72” wide/57.7” High.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.2 gallons.
Towing Capacity: N/A
2014 Dart in a few words: An outstanding car for the money.
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain coverage with roadside assistance.
Manufacturer’s website: http://www.dodge.com/en/dart/
Dealers: We have great Dodge dealers in Austin, Beaumont, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Phoenix, and Sacramento. Click here to find a dealer: http://www.carprousa.com/car-pro-approved-dealers/