A great fit and finish matched with a lively gas frugal engine

How Much Alfa Romeo Is In The 2013 Dodge Dart?

It is a balancing trick introducing an emotional car as the Alfa Romeo in the US. Somehow the Dodge Dart achieves a striking balance.

It’s clear that both Chrysler and Fiat are trying to introduce fuel efficient cars in the US. Chrysler and its Dodge derivative were not well known for fuel efficiency in the past but things have changed for the better. In fact, according to Reid Bigland, President and CEO of Dodge brand and head of sales for Chrysler Group LLC the company has done very, very well since its near-death brush by completely repaying all of its government loans with full interest and ahead of schedule. It gets even better, Dodge now has a neat little car that borrows some of the Alfa Romeo DNA from its Fiat partner. As to the burning question why the Dart name, the answer is clear. Most 30 to 40 year olds won’t remember the original Dart and the name conjures fun and dynamism. Indeed, it delivered well on its name.

Alfa Romeo, Dodge or Fiat? The answer to this question is a little of all. While the car rests on Alfa Romeo’s fantastic Giulietta platform, Fiat components marry themselves well with a higher quality Chrysler product the company now delivers. In plain words, the Dart looks good, feels great and shows an unsurpassed quality fit and finish.

Where is the Alfa Romeo in it all? You will definitely find it in the handling and braking. The car is truly what you would expect from the old Italian race company. It’s hard to fault it. It will stop on a dime. Its turn radius is surprising and the car is comfortable enough to be driven from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, thanks to its 6 speed gear box.

Where is the Fiat in it all? Fiat shows up in the award winning 1.4 liter MultiAir turbo charged engine. The sprite and lively little 1.4 makes you forget you are moving a compact car, that feels more like a mid-size inside. It comes wildly alive over 4,000 rpm, easily flirting with the 7,000 with an enthusiastic roar. The gear box is also a Fiat product, perfect for city driving.

Where is the Dodge in it all? That was the harder question to answer. I’ve always wanted to drive the Neon SRT but feared its quality. I had no such fear with the Dart. It is well made, sports many luxuries only found in higher priced cars and felt great all around.

In essence, this is the closest thing you will get to owning a new Alfa Romeo in the US. The car feels and handles like one and true to its origin, without sacrificing comfort, efficiency nor fuel economy. With 41 mpg, and I assume with low rolling resistance tire 42+, this sub $17,000 Dodge Dart will give a vastly improve fit and finished, have fun in city driving and still take you far on our endless highways.

News Categories: 
Carmakers: