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amrunner800
Dodge Dart 12/30/2012 6:29PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I am looking to buy a new car and this one is priced fairly low under 20,000 (looking at the Rally version). It seems to get great mileage to the gallon and has a lot of bells and whistles for a decently priced car.

Has anyone tested or bought this car?
Personal experience?

I am currently driving a 2003 Dodge Stratus with 110,000 miles. I have had it since 2004-5 (got it used around 30,000). I know everyone i saying do not buy new, however I plan on keeping the new car for the next 6-7 years or longer depending on how reliable it is and where I am in life.
Lee Iacocca
RE: Dodge Dart 12/30/2012 7:13PM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yea, this goes against what you say but, don't buy new, its simply not worth it when you're talking in this price range.

You could take the same 15-20K you're planning on spending/financing and get a certified preowned model of a lot of cars that are the next step up from a Dart. So you could have a new Dart, or a 1-2 year old Fusion, Impala, Camry, likely with a V6 and some nicer features and what have you. Also if you're young your insurance will likely be less.

Nothing wrong with buying used anymore, just make sure you go to a reliable dealer and do a Carfax, if there's history on it walk away, no big deal. Just to give you an idea I bought a used Pontiac G6 3 years ago. It had 40K on it and was a rental before. I've done nothing but change the oil in it and had the tires replaced in that time, no complaints. I got it for 12K but had I bought the comparable Malibu at the time (Pontiac was dead by then) I could have easily spent 21-22K.

Good Luck.
amrunner800
RE: Dodge Dart 12/30/2012 9:44PM - in reply to Lee Iacocca Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was looking at the Fusion and have considered what you have said-much like you and your car, my Stratus has been a great first car. No major problems, never been in the shop, nothing ever broke (knock on wood). I would prefer to keep my car but it has been wearing down and probably will only make it another 10k at most.

I like the Dart itself, the size and look. I dont really want a car that much bigger.
Kevin52
RE: Dodge Dart 12/30/2012 10:19PM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

amrunner800 wrote:

I am looking to buy a new car and this one is priced fairly low under 20,000 (looking at the Rally version). It seems to get great mileage to the gallon and has a lot of bells and whistles for a decently priced car.

Has anyone tested or bought this car?
Personal experience?
I am currently driving a 2003 Dodge Stratus with 110,000 miles. I have had it since 2004-5 (got it used around 30,000). I know everyone i saying do not buy new, however I plan on keeping the new car for the next 6-7 years or longer depending on how reliable it is and where I am in life.


First, thank you for your interest in the Dodge Dart. As a Chrysler employee I appreciate your consideration of our products.

Which powertrain package are you looking at?

Being a tiny cog in a large wheel, my job is in powertrain development, specifically the engines. I have worked on every powertrain offered in the Dart (some more than others). If you have any questions in that area I will do my best to answer them (or find the answer).

The base 2.0L engine is an all new no-nonsense, basic tried and true, naturally aspirated (no turbo or supercharger) DOHC (Double Overhead Cam) VVT (Variable Valve Timing) engine. This is pretty much standard technology on most engines these days. While not the most powerful option, this engine turned out good and runs very well. A lot of work went into increasing the efficiency of the combustion process.

The 1.4L Turbo engine is a Fiat engine being built here and recalibrated for the US market. It has "Multi Air" technology which operates the valves in such a way as no conventional camshaft can. Essentially it is much more "variable" as it were. This helps increase efficiency (read fuel mileage) tremendously. While more complex it has proved to be one tough little engine, I have witnessed it absorb an enormous amount of abuse during the various testing processes.


You may be interested to know that Chrysler has a large running contingent. We fielded 9 corporate teams recently in a local half marathon with ~140 total entrants. We also won the Corporate Cup Relay Races the last 2 years against other automakers and suppliers.
good stuff!
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 8:31AM - in reply to Kevin52 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Wow, thanks Kevin52, for that! I'm interested in this car, too. There is a third engine, too, I think? One with more HP? I was a bit of a Fiat fan, so I was interested to hear about the merger with Chrysler, and of this car.

Side notes: One of my fave commercials is Chrysler's "Whatever happened to style?" commercial. Maybe that should be linked here. Also, how about that Chrysler 300? Is has gotten pretty popular, yes? Seems like a nice car. Finally, I heard that there will might be a Chrysler 100 in the future? Maybe Fiat-influenced, like the Dodge Dart (new version)?
Old Man by the Sea
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 8:36AM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I looked at the Dodge Dart in the parking lot but didnt drive it. Its very hard for me to buy a brand that I've never bought before and I have never owned or even driven a Dodge. Read as many consumer reviews as possible.

Nothing wrong with buying new. Make sure you get a good deal.
X-Runner
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 8:43AM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Buying new is not a bad idea at all.
The price difference between a new car and a three year old car with low miles is not that great.
If you can find a 2012 car leftover as they are bringing in 2013 stock, you can get a very good deal.
And you get better financing on a new car, maybe 0 percent.

You get full waranty for years after purchase.
And compared to a three year old car, you will have a car that will last three years longer, all other things considered equal.
And you don't know exactly how a previous owner drove that used car.
And you will be in a new car, which feels nice.
Well here is the deal son
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 9:13AM - in reply to X-Runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Just checked some consumer reviews online for the Dodge Dart and I would stay away.
redskins
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 9:32AM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I grew up on the Maryland side of Suburban Washington, DC. Back in 1982, my friend acquired a 1972 Dodge Dart. He sanded down the paint, laid down a primer, and then painted the Washington Redskins symbol on the hood, and "Go Skins!" on both side doors. The Redskins then proceeded to win the 1982 Super Bowl over the Miami Dolphins. People loved his car, and beeped and waved everywhere we drove.

That's all I know about the Dodge Dart.
X-Runner
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 9:40AM - in reply to redskins Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
My dad had a Dodge Dart in the late '70s and passed it along to my older brother.
Within a month he ran it into a telophone pole and totaled it and broke his nose on the steering wheel.
That's most of my knowldedge of the dart except that it has airbags now.
joho
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 9:45AM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had always heard that it is never a good idea to buy a new model the first year it is produced. Give the car a couple of years to get the bugs and any recalls worked out. The most reliable car is a model that hasn't been changed much in the previous 2 or 3 years.

I'm not a Dodge fan but the Dart does look intriguing.
Well here is the deal son
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 10:52AM - in reply to Kevin52 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Kevin52, Consumer Reports says the power train is an issue and will not recomend the Dart . Any thoughts ?
Mr Helpful
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 1:06PM - in reply to joho Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
[quote]joho wrote:

I had always heard that it is never a good idea to buy a new model the first year it is produced. Give the car a couple of years to get the bugs and any recalls worked out. quote]

I don't think this has as much value now as recalls are just crazy. Anything that is remotely not right has a recall and is fixed or replaced at no charge. Years ago you rarely heard of a recall.

I bought a Hyundai Veloster last year and am extremely happy with it. I was even happier when it was decided Hyundai fudged on the gas mileage estimates and I just got my first reimbursement check for $245.

As far as online reviews go, most that are happy don't take the time. Only those who are unhappy do and are much more vocal. A lot of that isn't that something is bad, just that it didn't meet their expectations.

Before I bought the veloster I read how the engine is lacking in power. Since I am not out racing it, this was actually a benefit to me because I knew it would mean better gas mileage.

I drove a Fiat 500 before I bought the Veloster and it felt like a piece of junk. If you test drive a handfull of cars, you can get an idea pretty wuickly about the quality and power.

In regard to new versus used, the used car market was really tight after the clunker giveaway. That has been a year and a half since I was looking so the prices may have eased up some with a bigger spread to buying new. I never thought I would buy a new car when I did, but at that time, the used prices were much hire than they had been.

If you did want to buy used, here is a nice Dart convertible you can pick up for only 59k.

http://www.autotraderclassics.com/scaler/632/473/images/a/2012/08/16/66288097/2864_1345097161543.jpg
72 Rust Bucket
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 6:08PM - in reply to amrunner800 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was dirt poor right out of college. A loaned 72 Dodge Dart got me 1500 miles to my first job. Carried a case of oil in the back seat the whole way except when I had to sleep at night, then it went on the floor. Back door hinge rusted through and door wouldn't shut. Garage man got it pried shut, locked it and told me to never open it again. Trunk was falling out, cloth roof was shredding apart but held in place by duct tape, tires were balding and cords coming through on the inside. Finally got around to trading it in after the tread on both front tires came off while driving it twenty mph and the dealer told me they would take it to Mexico and someone would be living in it next the week. The neighbor kids told me to take it to Jerry's Junkyard and put it on a pole so everyone would be able to find the junkyard. Considered doing a fundraiser and charging a buck to take a whack at it with a sledgehammer first.

Life is one big adventure. That car took me from rock bottom to a stable lifestyle.

25 years later, I've purchased 9 vehicles from sportscars to minivans to pickups to SUV's, some new and some great used that were like new with low mileage. Take your time, do your research. Go with safety first, reliability second and efficiency/economy third. Every day there is a new and better deal if you look long enough and are fair with the dealers. Once you've established a relationship with someone who is willing to work with you, they will take care of you in the future as well. July through September are great months if you are looking for new. Dealers want to make room for next year's models so they need to move their inventory.
amrunner800
RE: Dodge Dart 12/31/2012 6:31PM - in reply to Well here is the deal son Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
This is interesting. I would hope Kevin52 comes back and gives his thoughts.

However, I am looking at the Rally version of the Dart
Kevin52
RE: Dodge Dart 1/1/2013 9:47PM - in reply to Well here is the deal son Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Well here is the deal son wrote:

Kevin52, Consumer Reports says the power train is an issue and will not recomend the Dart . Any thoughts ?


First let me preface my remarks by stating that I am not an official company spokesman, I am a technician that works in the trenches, one of the many that carry out the testing which generates the data for the performance and calibration teams. Thus often we only get to see a small slice of the big picture. From time to time the company hosts a "ride and drive" event for us to evaluate the final product which is nice and very popular. There hasn't been one with the Dart yet, at least that I was aware of, so I haven't driven one.

Personally, I am not a big fan of Consumer Reports anymore. I had a subscription at one time but no longer so I cannot see their whole review. What is the "issue" you say Consumer Reports refers to? Is it from this brief overview available to non-subscribers?

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/dodge/dart.htm
Dodge Dart Overview

Dodge's first decent small car in decades is let down by its engines and interior accommodations. We tested both the 1.6-liter turbo and 2.0-liter four cylinder engines. The uplevel turbo has decent power, but sounds thrashy and the optional automated manual transmission is unrefined and stumbles. The base 2.0-liter is underpowered and the six-speed automatic upshifts too quickly, to maximize fuel economy. Handling is good on both highways and side roads and the ride is composed. Inside, the cabin is roomy up front but the rear seat is tight, and the front seats suffer from uneven, uncomfortable cushioning. The Uconnect touchscreen is one of the best on the market. Reliability is unknown.

1) They got the size of the turbo engine wrong, it is a 1.4-liter.

2) "Sounds thrashy" Certainly subjective and not well defined. I can't speak from personal experience here because I have not driven the final product yet. But I have seen many early Fiat Abarth cars bought by employees and now some Darts have shown up in the employee lot with 1.4 L turbo engines. I have yet to hear a complaint about NVH issues. I ran into a gal (whom I did not know) driving a Fiat Abarth (1.4L turbo) at an event outside of work and asked her how she liked her car. She was quite happy with it, no complaints of excessive noise. I am not saying no one has ever complained, just that I have not heard any yet.

3)"The base 2.0-liter is underpowered" It has 20 HP and 20 lb-ft of torque on the Honda Civic base engine so that is not likely the issue. However if the stats I saw are correct the Dart is a bit heavier than the Civic, which combined with an auto trans calibration that maximizes fuel economy, may be where this complaint comes from. But what are they comparing it to? The 6-speed manual likely negates this issue. Of course again this is subjective; It will be too slow for some and quite adequate for others.

4) "the six-speed automatic upshifts too quickly, to maximize fuel economy." Who doesn't want to maximize fuel economy these days? This is not the hot rod version of the Dart.
Just another guy
RE: Dodge Dart 1/1/2013 10:22PM - in reply to Kevin52 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I read many pages of consumer reviews and there were many issues with the new Dodge Dart. I'm staying away.
Kevin52
RE: Dodge Dart 1/1/2013 11:52PM - in reply to good stuff! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

good stuff! wrote:

Wow, thanks Kevin52, for that! I'm interested in this car, too. There is a third engine, too, I think? One with more HP? I was a bit of a Fiat fan, so I was interested to hear about the merger with Chrysler, and of this car.



Yes, there is a third engine. A 2.4-liter which is essentially a larger version of the 2.0-liter but has the next generation of MultiAir technology from the Fiat engine.

http://www.dodge.com/en/2013/dart/performance/#

I believe this will only be available initially in the R/T version of the Dart when it is released later this year.

http://www.dodge.com/en/performance/2013/
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