By Cars.com EditorsJune 26, 2012
About the video
Dodge is back in the compact-sedan segment with the all-new Dart, the first Chrysler Group product based on a Fiat-developed platform. With three fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines to choose from, the Dart is a member of the 40-mpg club.
(upbeat music) <v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com, and this is the all new Dodge Dart, and it's a significant car for a number of different reasons.
First of all, it gets Chrysler back into the small sedan segment where it hasn't been for a couple of years, and it's also the first Dodge to use a Fiat architecture and an Alfa Romeo platform. Let's take a closer look. The Dart shares this platform with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, but for US Duty, the platform has been widened and lengthened. It still has familiar Dodge styling cues though, like a Dodge crosshair grille and available racetrack LED tail lights. This car introduces some new styling themes though, and it has a more live athletic look to it than the Dodge Charger. The Dart's available with a choice of three 4-cylinder engines, including a turbocharged 4-cylinder that gets 27 miles per gallon in the city, and 39 on the highway with a manual transmission. Now, Dodge is also gonna offer a special version of the car that's fuel economy focus, they're gonna call it the Arrow, and it's gonna get at least 41 miles per gallon on the highway. That follows a similar strategy we've seen at Chevrolet and Ford, but differs from Hyundai's approach with the Elantra, which offers 40 miles per gallon on the highway across the board. One of the big ways that the Dart differs from other compact cars in its class is the amount of customization you can do to this car. You can have up to 12 exterior colors and 14 interior colors, and that includes a variety of seat materials from cloth, leather, two-tone leather, and plus, those options, there's also more than 150 Mopar accessories available, so Dodge really gives you a lot of ways to make this car your own, and if you choose to go that route, it can take about 60 days for a custom order Dart to arrive at the dealer. On the technology front, the Dart's available with some high-end features, including Chrysler's Uconnect touch system, which includes an 8.4 inch screen right in the dashboard, and I like this system quite a bit, because it's really quick to respond to your commands when you're pressing the touchscreen buttons especially. Now, in addition to that, you can also get a seven inch screen that replaces a traditional analog instrument cluster, it's reconfigurable, it show you different types of information, and it's something you just don't see typically in a compact segment. There's been a reshaping of the compact car segment in recent years, as familiar models have been redesigned and new models have debuted, so the dart is up against some strong competition, but overall, it comes across as a really competitive model, thanks to its overall refinement, athletic driving experience, and also its available technology features. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com, or our blog, KickingTires.net.