We all know that the Neon was a boring and bland bubble, but with a few minor tweaks anyone could make it a show stopper. For 2013, Dodge has decided to bring back one of its retired nameplates and slap it on another sedan. For this Dodge has decided to bring back the Dart nameplate and add it to their compact car offering. But be sure, the new Dart will be nothing like the one your father had.
With a design bred in both Europe and America, the new Dart is sure to be hit among the sport compact scene. Having both, good looks and a nimble chassis, this new compact from Detroit is set to become one of this years, best new compacts. With competition like the Focus, Civic, Cruze and Corolla, you bet that both Fiat and Chrysler have made sure that their new compact is better than the previous one. Since it was time to let the Caliber either change, or die, it was a no brainer that maybe they should try should start from scratch.
Now that both Fiat and Chrysler are able to share with each other, it was a perfect fit for Chrysler to get something back. Since it had already lent most of its line-up to Lancia. Not to say that the new Dart is just a Fiat model with a Dodge logo, oh no, the new Dart is its own car. Its platform may be shared, but its skin is not. Unlike some of its competitors, Chrysler and Fiat have decided to differentiate each division from each other. This is great because it ensures that there is no confusion between divisions for customers.
Taking a good look that Dodge Dart you may start to see where it may need some improvements. Not to say that this car has a lot of faults, but really no car is perfect, not even the Lamborghini Revention. Up front we notice that this car has a large windshield, this is both good and bad for this design. Good as we can see more out of the front of the car, bad because it makes the roof appear tall. The grill is well done, but does show that the double grill fad is here to stay. A double grill on this car is a good thing, because if it was not there, we would have one massive hair-line style grill. This may bring you back to the front end design of the last Dodge Stratus. Another great feature up front is the well integrated headlights. The shadow effect is a great feature which brings out dark appeal to the Dart. One thing which could have been done better was the edging of the headlights. Either lose the sharp edge or move it up a bit higher. This would add a bit more of an evil feeling
Along the side we start to notice that the fuel port is very noticeable. This is good for some people, but for the rest of us who know what a fuel port looks like, it’s just in bad taste. Of course they could have made it from chrome to add more of a muscle car appeal to it. Then we would really be able to find it. When it comes to wheels, Dodge sure has nailed it. The one chosen for the Dart are well done, except for the fact that everyone else uses the same style. Their size is a perfect fit, but their style is not. Take the hint Dodge try something new, not something average. Mirrors are something which does get noticed, but on the Dart it’s hard to notice them. The design for the mirrors is almost a perfect fit, since they tend to blend in with the side of the car. One thing which could have been changed along the side of this car is that there are no noticeable markings. You would expect some hard edges or air ducts, not a smooth surface. It kind of makes you wonder if Chrysler really did design this car.
Out back you tend to find the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Good is the integration of the exhaust ports and flowing design. Bad is the horrible use of the Dodge Chargers tail lights, the use of too many curves and the oversized rear tail fin. And the Ugly, well it’s not hard to see this car has a bubble butt. A couple of things which could be used to improve the rear of the Dart could be the use of hard edges, loss of the Charger tail lights and the shrinkage of the tail fin. Adding a corner to the bottom of the bumper could make the rear appear less bubble butt. Bringing down the tail fin would reduce the look of the cave in where the taillights are. Either adding the shadow effect to the taillights or just losing the whole bar light altogether would make it appear better to the human eye.
All around the new Dodge Dart is a sporty looking car, with just about enough curves and hard edges. But the overall appeal of the car could have been done a lot better. The biggest problem this car faces is that it looks too much like the previous Mazda 3. And on top of that the biggest problem which that car faced, was that it had too much of a “cookie cutter” shape. This is not the best thing for a car, but of course in some cases it can be the best thing. Take a look back to the original Ford Taurus of the 1980’s. That car had cookie cutter written all over it, and yet it still out sold its American rivals for years. One thing which would make this car even better, would be the addition of a skirt kit. This would enhance its sport appeal and bring it closer to the ground. This in turn would bring out more of an aftermarket appeal which could entice younger consumers.
Besides its overall appeal, the Dodge Dart is still one great looking sport compact which we hope to see all over S.E.M.A this year. All the best to the Dart and we can’t wait to see what the aftermarket world has in store for you.
Front End = B
Good – Headlight Design, Front End Appearance
Bad – Poor Placement For a Licence Plate, Front Symbol Placement
Rear End = C+
Good – Exhaust Integration, Symbol Placement
Bad – Taillight Design, Deck Lid Spoiler
Side = B
Good – Wheel Size, Mirror Design/Size
Bad – Size of Wheel Flares, Side Appearance
Overall Appeal = B+
Good – Stance, Fast, Somewhat Sexy
Bad – Still Comes off as a Toy, Curves Do Not Match Edges