Driving the 2014 Dodge Dart is like getting behind the wheel of a compact American sedan and finding yourself tooling around town in a little Italian sports car. And that’s because the Dart rides on the basic Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform.
The Dart chassis was designed to deliver sporty European handling and precise steering, with ride and comfort characteristics tuned for North American roads. Dodge says that all stems from the renowned Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s architecture.
The Dart delivers a good balance of fun-todrive dynamics, emergency handling, ride comfort and a quiet cabin, thanks to the suspension bushing tuning and a body structure that includes a front aluminum cradle, rear upper and underbody structure reinforcement and superior suspension attachment stiffness.
The nifty little Dart is available in five models: SE, SXT, Aero, Limited and GT. Dodge has expanded the use of the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 I-4 Tigershark engine in the Dart lineup, dropping the gutsy little 2.4-liter 184 hp powerplant into the SXT, Limited and GT models. It’s mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission (SXT and GT models) or an available six-speed automatic transmission (standard on the Limited model).
The Dart Aero model, which gets up to 41 mpg on the highway, is powered by the 1.4- liter MultiAir Turbo engine mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission or available dual-dry clutch transmission (DDCT). The Dart SE is powered by the 2.0-liter Tigershark engine mated to a standard six speed manual transmission or available six speed automatic gearbox.
The Dart has a stylish and athletic exterior design and an interior that’s well crafted with high-quality materials and attention to detail. It is loaded with innovative technology that is easy to use and delivers the information and entertainment drivers want, while allowing them to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Dart comes well equipped with the latest safety and security features, including 10 standard air bags. In total, there are more than 60 safety and security features on the vehicle. Constructed of 68 percent high strength steel, Dart’s key available safety and security features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, all-speed traction control, ParkView rear backup camera, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, ParkSense rear park assist and LATCH anchors that allow a child seat to be placed in any of the three rear seat positions.
Dart offers the Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen radio; the Uconnect Voice Command system, which allows drivers to operate a Bluetooth compatible phone with their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, enables drivers to switch radio modes, tune to AM/FM and Sirius XM Radio stations and request real-time information (such as fuel prices) from Sirius Travel Link using natural voice commands; and features a seveninch full-color customizable LED instrument cluster to let the customer decide what format they want the information displayed.
The MSRP on the 2014 Dodge Dart ranges from $16,495 to $22,995.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.