TTAC’s Alex Dykes didn’t fall in love with the Dodge Dart in his initial meeting, although he did refer to it as “class competitive”. In its first half-year on these shores, the Alfa-Dodge has struggled to keep inventory levels down despite great advertising.
Ten or twenty years ago, Chrysler might have let this state of affairs continue for a year or two before adjusting the product mix and/or changing the marketing approach, but in the lean-and-mean era they don’t play that game. The Dart GT is meant to restart the model’s momentum, and it does it the old-fashioned way: with high content and reasonably aggressive pricing.
The GT is powered by the big motor in the Dart lineup — the 2.4L, 184-horsepower “Tigershark” — and it’s pretty well-loaded with everything from leather to the 8.4-inch touchscreen in the center console. It appears that the suspension tuning and components are brought over from the R/T, although the press release doesn’t explicitly state that fact. HIDs and a Garmin nav appear on the option list. Price for the manual-transmission variant is $20,995.
If you didn’t fancy the Dart before, this won’t change your mind, but if you were waiting for a little more visual aggression at a reasonable price, this might do the trick. We’ll see it in Detroit.