2014 Dodge Dart

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23 CITY / 35 HWY
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What's New for 2014:
  • Aero trim level (Rallye discontinued)
  • New and revised equipment packages
  • SXT and Limited trim levels receive several standard upgrades
  • 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine standard on higher trim levels

The 2014 Dodge Dart is a front-wheel-drive (FWD) midsize sedan available in five trim levels and powered by one of three available 4-cylinder engines. Competitors include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta.

Models and Features
A quick look at the 2014 Dodge Dart's lineup suggests that there is indeed a version for most every taste, from basic to sporty or more luxurious. Buyers hunting for the former will want to direct their attention to the Dart SE, an entry-level variant equipped with a 4-speaker sound system with a single-disc CD player and auxiliary input jack, power windows, height-adjustable driver's seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and 16-inch steel wheels.

A move up to the Dart Aero, which replaces 2013's Rallye variant, ups the ante with creature comforts including power door locks and mirrors, air conditioning, auto-dimming rearview mirror, upgraded 7-inch gauge cluster, 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system with iPod compatibility and a complimentary 1-year satellite radio subscription, Bluetooth connectivity, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The Aero also sports active grille shutters to improve fuel efficiency, wraparound LED taillights, rearview camera, and alloy wheels.

Covering the middle of the Dart landscape is the SXT, distinguished from the SE and Aero by way of its darkened headlight housings, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, standard floor mats, added interior storage, and an alarm system. Note, however, that the Aero's infotainment system and rearview camera are not carried over to the SXT.

Next is the Dart Limited, accented by fog lights, heated turn signal mirrors, dual-zone climate control, navigation system, leather upholstery, heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment for the driver, heated steering wheel, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The cream of the Dart crop is the top-of-the-line GT, home to perforated leather upholstery, unique grille, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Options and Packages
Many of the common amenities absent from the Dart SE's list of standard features can be added if the optional Convenience Group package is selected. Content includes power windows and door locks, air conditioning, infotainment system, and more. Other Dart trim levels can be upgraded with the Limited's navigation system, while the SXT is offered with a Cold Weather Group (remote start, heated mirrors and front seats), 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system with an integrated rearview camera, and a Rallye Appearance Group (premium cloth upholstery, dual exhaust tips, black grille and 17-inch alloy wheels, and leather interior accents).

Additional factory upgrades include a Sun and Sound Group comprised of a power tilt/slide moonroof and 506-watt audio package, and a Technology Group boasting rear park-assist sensors, blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, and HID headlights.

Under the Hood
Standard and only available on the base 2014 Dart SE is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 160 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. Interestingly, the Aero also offers 160 horsepower, though that output comes from a turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a torque rating of 184 lb.-ft. Unlike the SE, which runs well on 87-octane gasoline, Dodge suggests filling the Aero's tank with premium unleaded to maximize performance.

With the introduction of the 2014 Dart, the range-topping 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is no longer reserved exclusively for the GT--it is now also standard on SXT and Limited trim levels. Thanks to its extra displacement, this power plant produces 184 horses and 171 lb.-ft. of torque.

All Darts come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission that directs output to the front wheels. A 6-speed automatic is available on all trim levels except for the Aero, which can be fitted with a special 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Fuel Economy
According to the EPA, the most fuel-efficient 2014 Dodge Dart is the Aero, which is rated 28 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway when equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox. Swapping in the dual-clutch automatic drops the highway rating by 1 mpg. Conversely, the Dart GT offers the least impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy, as it is expected to average up to 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the stick-shift transmission.

Between those two extremes are the Dart SE, earning EPA estimates of 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway/29 mpg combined with the 6-speed manual, and the SXT/Limited's 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 35 mpg on the highway.

Safety and Ratings
In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2014 Dodge Dart received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2014 Dodge Dart received a rating of \"Acceptable\" for small overlap front-impact protection; the Dart also received a \"Top Safety Pick\" designation from the Institute.

The 2014 Dodge Dart includes a generous assortment of related features, including 10 air bags and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, as well as bright LED taillights, locking differential, hill-start assist, and an available rearview camera.


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