2016 Dodge Dart Rallye (1142)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Dodge Dart Rallye 4-door sedan. Son Michael just bought a Dodge Charger and was observing the Dart would appear to be a scaled down version of the Charger. Same seats as his charger and other similarities. Just a little smaller.

Over the past years Chrysler cars and trucks (Ram) have emerged from near bankruptcy to a very impressive American car company. Surely the history of great leaders like Lee Iacocca and the subsequent purchase by German Giant Daimler Benz, speaks to the many changes that have given vitality to a company that was a cornerstone of the auto industry.

Today the Big 3, GM, Ford and Chrysler plod on in a world where they have spawned other competitors in Japan and most recently Korea. They further have embraced the need to join the global market and manufacture reciprocally in Mexico, Canada, Europe and Asia. Wisely done.

General Information: It is assembled in Wentzville, MO, USA. Parts – US/Canadian 59%, Mexico 20%; Engine – USA – Transmission – Republic of Korea; Classification is Midsize; Cars from Dodge: Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey and Viper.

Handling & Performance:

By all measure this Dodge Dart is a good representation of Chrysler in a very active segment of the market. It gets impressive highway fuel economy and is a nice midsize family sedan and comfortable commuter. In this price range however it lacks some of the features I have been touting for some time now. I can’t imagine ever buying another car without such features as “Blind Spot Warning”, “Smart Cruise Control” and would consider strongly justifying other new high tech safety features, like lane departure and crash avoidance.

Styling:

Very “today” in design that is attractive if consumer demand is how we measure such things.

Fit and Finish:

Very good assembly and it is comparable with all other brands in its market segment.

Cost:

Very well priced. All companies are joined at the hip in pricing which leads one to consider there is collusion or price fixing. However technology is so commonplace in manufacturing that all companies come up with the same design constraints and cost accounting is precise.

As important is the fact that marketing information and social media buzz give instant feedback on what is hot and what is NOT where the consumer is concerned. And finally changes can be instant so there are no Edsel boners of years past.

Conveniences and comfort:

Basic for the most part characterizes this level of transportation. But in terms of safety and comfort basic is far and away superior to what I grew up with in the mid-20th Century where Basic really meant something. 4 wheels an engine and transmission hanging on a frame covered with little more than a hunk of sheet metal and a rag top. Comfort meant you had a windshield, a basic heater and a push button radio to drown out the road noise. In the 1960s you may even have had the money to afford air conditioning. Wind wings were would soon be no longer needed. Only old guys and gals will relate to much of what I just said. Awe, nostalgia. Don’t you just love it.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you are on a tight budget, as so many of us are these days, you will want to include this very nice and capable transportation car in your search for a very affordable family sedan.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Dart $25,000,  Mazda 3 $24,000, Chevrolet Cruze $25,000, Hyundai Elantra $22,000, Kia Forte $21,000, Acura ILX $29,000.

Good News:

Very good fuel economy, basic needs but very comfortable and well appointed.

Bad News:

n/a

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed auto transmission, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist, electric power steering, stability and traction control, Roll mitigation, hill start assist, keyless entry, tire pressure monitor, speed sensitive power locks, front, front seat side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, rear seat side aibags, driver knee bolster airbag, radio with single disc CD player, Uconnect voice command with Bluetooth, 6 speakers, steering wheel mounted audio controls, cruise control, air conditioning, audio jack input for mobile devices, 60/40 rear seat with trunk pass through, manual 6-way driver and passenger seat adjustment, power windows, tilt and telescopic steering column, auto headlights and daytime running lights.

Gas Stats:

$2.75/ Gal avg. May 29, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

23 City 35 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $19,395.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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