Dodge Returns To Compacts With 2013 Dart

Dart? We know that name from the 1960’s, when Dodge debuted on its “compact” car. Of course, in the 1960’s they had a different idea of what compact was. Today’s compact market is much different, and fiercely competitive. A number of studies have been conducted that show there is a shift in the buying tastes of American consumers toward smaller vehicles. Well, at least in sedans anyway.

Crossovers are still as hot as ever, and that likely has to do with many opting for a crossover instead of a mid or full-size sedan. As for sedans though, the compact category is growing. A lot of that has to do with improved quality, design and features. Chevrolet, Ford and Hyundai have really gotten in the game. So much so in fact, that these cars have overtaken segment stalwarts like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic by nearly every objective measure. What a turnaround, huh?

Now Dodge is looking to get in the game with the 2013 Dodge Dart. No more Neon (thank goodness), which was pretty much a failure.

Dodge has released some new teasers of the Dart as well as key information. The images are pretty revealing for teasers, showing off the Dart’s front end and rear taillight design. The Dart shown is the up level R/T model, which has smoked headlights and Dodge’s reworked crosshair grille that has been debuting on new models. Finished in black, with a new logo, it looks more upscale than before. Out back, the rear end takes design cues to the redesigned Charger with full-width taillights.

The Fiat-Chrysler partnership is bringing us some good things, and one of them is the modern chassis underpinning the Dart. It is borrowed from Alfa Romeo (Giulietta is based on this platform), but for the Dart it has been made wider and longer. Dodge is advertising the car’s “Alfa Romeo DNA”, which means the new car should offer an engaging driving experience. The Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle to be based on a Fiat platform. Three engine options will be available, including a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder. The 2013 Dart will make its debut the North American International Auto Show next month.

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