American Style and European Driving: The 2015 Dodge Dart

When the need, or simply the desire arises to drive a car that is exciting but not expensive, attractive but not showy, or simply a car that is a great choice for engineering and offers a fantastic driving experience the Dodge Dart for 2015 meets and exceeds all these requirements. Regardless of what any owner might be looking for in a vehicle, the Dart has it covered. With three different engines, five different models, and a host of great technology that can be added to the Dart, this car offers a great deal of attraction for just about any crowd.

Competing in the compact sedan class can be difficult with the inclusion of such models as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda Mazda3, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla, the Dart finds itself among some very worthy competition. For the 2015 version, the Dart adds the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine to the SXT, Limited and GT models as an available option as well as cutting $620 from the cost of the Convenience Group on the SE models and updating the Uconnect to be compatible with android phones.

Driving the Dart offers a sophisticated and enjoyable ride. This is the result of a solid chassis and a European-inspired suspension system that allows this Dodge to stay under control in all conditions and be able to confidently handle corners and curves while delivering a smooth and comfortable ride. The steering is top in this category of vehicles which only increases the ride enjoyment as the car seems to know right where to go before steering inputs are even delivered. As one of the heaviest cars in this class the Dart does offer some hesitation while accelerating, but once up to speed this car can handle just about anything sent its way.

As mentioned, the Dart has three different engines to choose from to provide the power and fuel efficiency desired. All three engines are attached to a six speed transmission of either manual or automatic version to help provide the fuel efficiency and driving enjoyment desired.

The base engine shows up as a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 160 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine does struggle with the weight of the car when it comes to acceleration, and offers a fuel efficiency of 25 city/36 hwy mpg for the manual transmission and 24 city/34 hwy mpg for the automatic.

Second in the lineup, found in the Aero models of the Dart is the 1.4-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that shows up at 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The added torque assists greatly with the weight of the car and gives a much better acceleration rate and feel than the base engine. This engine offers fuel efficiency numbers of 27 city/39 hwy mpg for the manual transmission and 28 city/41 hwy mpg for the automatic.

The top end of the engines for the Dart and found in the SXT, GT and Limited models is the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is very enjoyable to have under the hood and offers plenty of get up and go for anyone who wants better power performance from their Dart. The fuel efficiency offered for this engine comes in at 23 city/33 hwy mpg for the manual transmission and 21 city/30 hwy mpg for the automatic.

Even though it resides in the compact class, the interior of the Dart is actually very large and accommodating. The controls are positioned well and the materials used offer soft touches and plenty of comfort for anyone to feel they are being pampered in this car. On some of the higher models the dashboard is one that is designed to appear to be floating, giving a very nice feel to the car. The rear seat does offer plenty of room for adults to be able to stretch out a bit giving all passengers a very comfortable ride.

On the outside the Dart is anything but plain. Offering a gorgeous look and feel this car means business and is ready to roll. Showing off with a wide stance and nice wheelbase the Dart is smooth and athletic in its appearance and gives owners a look and feel they can be proud of for a long time.

The standard features offered for the base model SE of the Dart help keep the cost down, but don’t offer a lot of enjoyment. These features include power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and some great safety features. Moving up to other models the Dart adds air conditioning, power outside mirrors, power door locks to the mix to make them much more livable even with just the standard features aboard.

The optional features offered for the Dart do give this car a lot of choices for owners to pick and choose what they want on the car. These features include a navigation system, satellite radio, a ten-way power driver’s seat, Nappa leather, chrome exterior treatments, adaptive HID headlights, rear parking assistance, blind spot monitoring, a sport tuned suspension and many more features that can be added. Along with the more fuel efficient and more powerful engine options the Dart can basically be built from the ground up to reflect the personality and have the features any owner wants in their car.

At the very base model, which doesn’t even include air conditioning, the SE model of the Dart starts out at a price of $17,500. The SXT, which is much more reasonable as far as equipment, comes in at $19,500 and offers plenty of additional equipment options to enjoy. For the Aero and GT models the price shows up around $21,000 to start while the Limited which is as close to a luxury car as the Dart can get will ask for a price that begins at $24,000. With a full complement of optional features aboard, the Dart will reach near the $26,000 mark which is still very reasonable for a car in this class.

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