How green is it? The all-gasoline Dart Aero model uses special aero treatments, similar to the Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Honda Civic HF, to reduce drag and up the fuel efficiency. Grill shutters, lighter-weight materials and low-rolling resistance tires contribute to an estimated 41 mpg on the highway.
Pros & cons: All-new for 2013, the Dart is one of those vehicles that Chrysler Group finally got right. It’s attractive, has great tech features and provides a comfortable ride. Plus, the actual fuel economy is pretty true to estimates – a huge bonus over some other American automakers.
What’s new: This is an all-new vehicle for 2013, replacing the Dodge Caliber. It is the first Chrysler Group vehicle that shares architecture with its Fiat Italian brethren, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. But don’t get us wrong, this is an all-American vehicle built right here in Illinois at the Belvidere Assembly Plant.
Ride & performance: The Aero model has the spiffy 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. Quiet. Smooth. Fun. We don’t know that there’s much more to say here.
Family value: There is seating for 5, and you can fit a car seat back here. Best for young families. Our favorite feature: the under-seat storage on the front passenger side, which is large enough for an iPad, wallet, cell phone keys or other small storables.
Fun factor: The more fun you have while merging with Kennedy traffic, the less fuel efficient the Dart is As long as you keep that in mind, we’re good.
Safety: Dart has a lot of nice standard safety features like 10 airbags, active front head restraints, stability control, hill-start assist and traction control. But the really cool thing is the up-level optional safety features you can get on an entry-level car: blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection.