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2015 Dodge Dart

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/24/2015 Stefan Ogbac
© Dodge

New for 2015

For the 2015 Dodge Dart, SE models add air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, and power equipment as standard equipment. The Convenience Group Package now comes with a $620 discount for SE variants. Android smartphone compatibility has been added to the UConnect infotainment system's Bluetooth, voice command, streaming music, and USB connectivity. The CD player is now a stand-alone option while SXT models gain new 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, and a black and ruby red interior color with the Blacktop package. Three new exterior colors are also available: Passion Red, Laser Blue and Vitamin C (orange).

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Dodge Dart is a compact sedan sold in five grades, slotting below the full-size Charger now that the midsize Avenger has been discontinued.

Overview

Three four cylinders engines are offered on the 2015 Dodge Dart, paired to six-speed transmissions.

Engine: 2.0-liter I-4 – six-speed manual and automatic transmission
Power: 160 hp/148 lb-ft of torque
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 25/36 mpg city/highway (manual), 24/34 mpg (automatic)

Engine: Turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic
Power: 160 hp/184 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 28/41 mpg (manual), 28/40 mpg (dual-clutch automatic)

Engine: 2.4-liter I-4 – six-speed manual or automatic
Power: 184 hp/174 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 22/35 mpg (manual, SXT/ Limited trim ), 23/35 mpg (automatic SXT/Limited trim), 23/33 mpg (manual, GT trim), 22/31 mpg (GT trim)

Most 2015 Dodge Darts will have the 2.4-liter engine, which offers decent power for passing, merging, and on-ramps. The 2.0-liter, however, is sluggish due to its lack of torque while the 1.4-liter suffers from a lot of turbo lag, which hurt its off-the-line acceleration. Driving dynamics are decent with flat handling, but comes at the cost of ride quality, which is "brain-rattling" due to the suspension's short travel.

Despite the car's stylish exterior, the 2015 Dart has a roomy interior for four passengers and a well-laid out center stack; however, rear seating is on the small side due to the car's sloping roofline. Storage cubbies are also scattered throughout the cabin with one underneath the front passenger seat cushion. The infotainment system is a strong point with easy to use and logical controls.

The 2015 Dodge Dart has a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) while the IIHS considers it a Top Safety Pick, earning a Good score in four categories and Acceptable in the small overlap front test (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

We said in a 2014 First Test review that the Dodge Dart is a good value because it offers a long list of features including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, navigation, automatic headlights, and blind-spot detection for around $25,000. Additionally, the car's interior is roomy despite its swoopy exterior and has easy-to-use infotainment controls; however, rear seat headroom is tight for taller adults due to its sloping roofline. Where the car falters is in its ride and handling balance particularly the GT model, which has improved driving dynamics but sacrifices ride quality. In a 2014 Big Test of compact sedans, we said that the Dart GT "has the worst ride quality" in its class and "bottomed and topped out" on canyon roads. Its heavy weight also detracted from its performance and driving dynamics with sluggish acceleration from the 2.0-liter and turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 and the automatic transmissions that were slow and "seemed confused in automatic mode."

You'll Like

  • Handsome styling
  • Good value
  • User-friendly infotainment system

You Won't Like

  • Extremely harsh ride on GT models
  • Sluggish 2.0-liter and 1.4-liter engines
  • Tight rear seat headroom

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Corolla
  • Honda Civic
  • Mazda3
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Kia Forte

Rating

2 star

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