|

2014 Dodge Dart ups its game with a new engine

Back for another try, the updated Dart tries harder to hit the target

Published: January 21, 2014 01:30 PM

It was more than an eye-catching color that led us to buy this new model. The big news is that the 2014 Dodge Dart gets a much needed powertrain transplant, with a 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine hooked up to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Other changes include interior revisions to improve seat comfort and simplified model and options offerings.

We bought a mainstream SXT version with the Rallye Appearance Package, which includes (among other things) a "touring suspension," dual exhaust, and 17-inch wheels. We also added the 8.4-Inch Uconnect Touch Screen Group, and the automatic transmission. With a few others odds and ends, the final price came to $22,025.

Our initial impressions are that the powertrain revisions make for a notably nicer car. It’s considerably smoother than the 1.4-liter turbo with the twin-clutch transmission we previously tested, and it is much more responsive than the also-available 2.0-liter engine.

We’re hoping that the overall package improves the Dart, since our tests of the 1.4-liter turbo and 2.0-liter models were somewhat disappointing.

Meanwhile, we know which variation we’d drive to next year’s Orange Bowl or what would fit in best in Orange County, Calif. But we’ll need a few weeks of testing to see how it ranks against its freshened competition, including the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla.

—Mike Quincy

   

Find Ratings blob logo

Small cars Ratings

View and compare all Small cars ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Cars News

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more