By on September 1, 2014

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Since the launch of the Dodge Dart, the 9-speed automatic has been touted as a crucial component of that vehicle’s competitive advantage, offering unparalleled refinement, fuel economy advantages and a performance boost to the 2.4L 4-cylinder, and the less inspiring 2.0L mill. There’s just one problem: it’s vaporware.

The Dart was supposed to be first in line to get the 9-speed automatic, but a string of constant delays has meant that the automotive press has largely forgotten about it. When asked about its timing., Chrysler PR reps offer only vague but honest answers, professing not to know about its arrival.

Automotive News is reporting that the 9-speed will arrive in 2016, in time for a refresh of Dodge’s slow-selling compact sedan. While this makes sense from a marketing perspective, the 9-speed has unquestionably been delayed far longer than it should have been, given the frequent bragging about the 9-speeds advantages.

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113 Comments on “Dodge Dart 9-Speed Automatic Delayed Until 2016...”


  • avatar
    scrappy17

    “Dode Dart” really guys?

    It is the first word in the title.

  • avatar

    Maybe they have decided this iteration of the car is not savable and decided to wait for the next one as the impact would be bigger.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I think your right. No point in putting resources into this version, when the next version’s engineering is already underway.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      More or less, I suspect they’re going to use the sizable MPG bump as a selling point in the refresh. A good marketing campaign built around it will help. It’s not a bad car but it’s the antithesis of the way the industry is going with small cars, it’s too short and too wide, the design is just not what people are shooting for in the compact realm anymore and I hope the newer model atleast attempts to address the interior size issue.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        But will it have a sizable mpg bump? It’s quite possible that those gains just aren’t there with the new transmission.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          The internal reports are saying a 16% increase over 6-speed models. Even if that was only 8% that still is around a net gain of 3-4 MPG on a 40 MPG highway car that is getting into seriously impressive territory for compacts.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    The mishandling of this poor little car since launch has been sadly fascinating; so egregiously bad that it seems deliberate.

    I mean, damn, it’s meant to compete with Civic and Corolla plus whatever Korean things are in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Maybe Sergio and the boys and girls in Italy just had high hopes that, if this US-market Dart was a segment success, Fiatsler would use it for a world-car platform, specifically tailored to different markets.

      Only time will tell how Dodge Dart sales will stack up against the sales of Civic and Corolla.

      For my money, and I did contribute halfsies for a 2011 Elantra for my grand daughter, Hyundai and Kia offer the best bang for the buck in this size, weight and segment of the class.

      • 0 avatar
        bobman

        Speaking of the bigger bang for the buck, this may be the reason why they chose the 9speed for later release. It’s probably best to enhance the power train offerings to include the new 4 cylinder engines currently in development.

        Although they probably would have loved the Dart to be a sales success, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it was a compliance delivery which allowed Fiat to claim an additional 5% ownership of Chrysler.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          ” it shouldn’t be forgotten that it was a compliance delivery which allowed Fiat to claim an additional 5% ownership of Chrysler.”

          Oops… I knew that and forgot. Thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            As I recall, Fiat needed to introduce a vehicle getting 40MPG highway to get the extra 5%. Nobody said anything about introducing an overwieght, low quality Dart.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I feel foolish. I knew that as well, and completely forgot about that it was a condition of the handouts, Chrysler bailout and bribe Fiat got for taking Chrysler’s dead carcass off the hands of the US taxpayers.

            At least I have an excuse. I’m old. I must have been a senior moment……

          • 0 avatar
            bobman

            Always happy to help out fellow TTACers. ;)

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Exactly! It was more important for Fiat to release the Dart early to get an additional 5% ownership of Chrysler than to have a smooth launch of the Dart. However, the big mystery to me is why did Fiat spend money making the Alfa Romeo Giulietta into the considerably heavier Dodge Dart? Would have been a better car if they took a Giulietta and put a Dodge cross-hair front fascia on it.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      No mishandled launch here. Dodge was just saving money. Dodge knows the castrated male Obama voter with a union membership will always bypass Civic and Corolla. That leaves Cruze, Fusion, and Dart … hard to tell which is the best of those 3 … all of them have serious issues that only a mother could overlook.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Jimmyy,
        Please elaborate on your experience as a castrated male and how it has impacted your car buying decisions.

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        I proudly drive an American-made vehicle, a Chrysler 200, and I’m **far** from a castrated Obama-voting, pro-union individual. In fact, I’m the complete opposite of that, for better or worse: a Libertarian-Republican.

        As for unions, yes, I believe workers have the right to unionize, but I firmly believe that employers should have the right to say no and not cave in to every whim of the increasingly greedy unions. The Big Three would have been better off if they grew a backbone and told the unions to pound sand.

        There’s a point where there was too much asked for, too much was given, and it all was taken for granted. I’d venture that most union members (and not just auto workers) won’t have a slightest clue about the effects their burdensome demands have on their employers, and how it can potentially put them out of work because it costs too much to employ them.

        Um, that defeats the whole purpose. Look at what happened to Hostess, for example. The judge overseeing the bankruptcy case tried to point out to the union and its members that sacrifices should be made if they wanted any hope of future employment. Guess what the union and its members do? They ignored the advice, and still insisted on all of these concessions which ultimately pushed Hostess into its eventual demise. And there’s a lot more similar stories out there just like that.

        While I want to keep Americans working and earning their fair keep, assembly line workers are not in line with the $100k+ salaries with matching pensions and benefit package they ask for. That’s more like the compensation package an engineer or a researcher would receive. It’s not sustainable, a business cannot be run like the government, because it can’t obtain revenue by force. A business can’t force you to buy something, and a business certainly doesn’t have the luxury of taking your money for nothing tangible in return.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          You had me at “Libertarian-Republican”. Thanks for saving me from reading the rest of your wall o’ text.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          “not cave in to every whim of the increasingly greedy unions”

          As opposed to senior management, who only ask for modest salariee and basic benefits?

          Also, your figures for what an assembly line worker asks for is ridiculous. The unusually high wage and benefit packages quoted by those who oppose them contain items that the worker in question does not receive..

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Those ‘Korean things’, like the Elantra, outsell the Dart 3 to 1. The Forte may beat the Dart this year, but the Forte is a vastly superior car.

    • 0 avatar
      BigDodgeFan24

      The main reason for the launch problems can be traced directly to the Governments requirement for a 40+ mpg car by Dodge. The 40+ mpg car was the requirement that the Gov had to allow Fiat to purchase a greater share of Chrysler. Much of the vehicles sold supported the regulatory portion of the buy out strategy.

  • avatar
    omer333

    This not a bad car, why has there been so many screw-ups involved with it!?!?!?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Sergio has been too busy working out the bugs in all the transmissions he’s built to properly oversee the Dart development process – literally!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      There hasn’t really been many screw ups with it. They launched the car when they didn’t have enough automatic transmission cars available, and journalists didn’t like the base 2.0L. Internet car guys need a new whipping horse now that the Avenger is gone, so the Dart is convenient. As far as compact cars go, they’re nice rides, if not a little pricey in some trims.

      As for the 9 speed not coming to the Dart until refresh, other models likely need the production capacity more right now. The 6 speed 6F24 Powertech auto in the Dart is a pretty nice gearbox, it’s not what’s holding the car back.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        good points.

        there is discussion on some of the dart message-boards that the Powertech transmission can’t handle much more torque if someone were to try fabricating their own turbo for the 2.4.

  • avatar

    The Dart and the Mazda2 can go hang out with each other and reminisce about the literal 15 minutes of fame they both had “back when…”

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Did you mean Mazda3? The Mazda3 was really hot for a while but sales have dropped off for no readily apparent reason.

      The Mazda2 never really caught on in the segment it was supposed to compete in.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        The reason the M3 has dropped in sales has to do with perceived reliability of the Mazda brand in general, their offerings are just as good as their competitors, so why the drop? why do Mazda 6 sales pale compared to Accord/Camry?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          My guess would be Mazda’s track record.

          I found the Mazda3 a lot more interactive (and fun!) to drive than the Elantra we ended up buying for my grand daughter.

          What kept us from buying the Mazda3 was that my grand daughter’s choice was the Elantra, which clearly gave us, the people shelling out the bucks, a lot more for the money than the similarly priced Mazda3.

          Hell, just the killer stereo in the Elantra blew us all out of the car. Imagine the driving orgasms experienced by four young women on their way to/from college each day!

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            “Imagine the driving orgasms experienced by four young women on their way to/from college each day!”

            If one of them was MY daughter, she’d be driving a panther.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          Where is this Mazda3 drop in sales talk coming from? Sales of the car have been steady for the past couple of years. 2012 was an anomaly when it sold about 20,000 more than usual (for its best sales year ever). That aside it has been hovering around +/- 105,000 sales a year. This year it is only off by about 400 cars from last year despite huge drops in January/February (likely do to limited volume as the new model was rolling out). Since then it has been outselling last year every month.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Whynot,
            Your use of actual fact is intriguing. Too bad it conflicts with the High Desert Fox’ story.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            whynot, “2012 was an anomaly when it sold about 20,000 more than usual (for its best sales year ever)”

            Yup, exactly.

            The initial hopes for 2013 sales were for a repeat of 2012 sales. That never materialized.

            I haven’t driven the new model Mazda3, and probably won’t since we don’t have any grand kids that need wheels of their own for at least the next 8 years.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          “Why do Mazda6 sales pale compared to Accord/Camry?”

          Volt 230, the Mazda6 is made in Japan in relatively small numbers, giving Mazda less flexibility to drop price to increase sales. Honda, Toyota, and just about everyone else in the mid-size sedan category is offering some kind of incentive to dealers to boost sales right now. The Mazda6 also feels smaller than its main competition in a category where bigger is better.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          Sometimes, (underserved) loyalty trumps the better vehicle, as is the case with Toyota/Honda vs Mazda.

          I went with a friend CUV shopping. She liked the Mazda CX-5 well enough, but came from a family of Toyotas and bought the RAV4. She also figured that since there are so many Toyotas on the road, spare parts and repairs would be cheaper and easier down the line. She tends to keep cars forever.

          And guys, Mazda2 is MZ2. Mazda3 is MZ3. Calling them M2 or M3 risks the ire of BMW fanbois. ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Sky_Render

          …Because Mazda’s pricing is awful. The Mazda 3 (a compact car) costs as much as a midsize car from most other mainstream manufacturers.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          The Mazda 6 is indeed a very nice car, and very easy on the eyes. However, the segment it competes in has just never been more packed with solid competitors. The Accord is stellar, the Optima/Sonata are sharp-looking and offer great value, and the Camry is still the Camry.

          After getting a 6 for a rental recently, I was sincerely impressed all around. However, this being a price-sensitive and longevity/reliability-oriented segment of the market, I could still see myself passing it over for a new Accord, all things being the same.

          Mazda make great cars, but old preferences die hard.

    • 0 avatar

      This thread proves my point exactly. People raved about the M2 as well. Where is it now? Just like the Dart. The wha…?

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        “Just like the Dart. The wha…?”

        Haha. You are right. It’s amusing that this post was about the Dodge Dart but there are more comments discussing the other vehicles (Mazda, Elantra, etc) than the wha…?

  • avatar
    ant

    Does anybody count the number of times their auto trans shifts? At any given speed, do you know what gear you’re in? Why would you care?

    Perhaps they should put 90 gears in the thing. It’d be 10 times even better….

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The Continuously Variable Transmissions do that now, tailoring engine power to the load where the rubber meets the road.

      The drawback to the CVT is that its track record is not as good as that of the hydraulic automatic step-transmissions with its planetary gears and clutch bands.

      Maybe in another five years the CVT will be on par with the current hydraulic step-automatics, after improvements are made in metallurgy for the sacrificial belt and cones in the CVT.

      One of our friends had the CVT in her new-bought Murano die TWICE within five years. First time was under factory warranty. The second time was a financial nightmare, even going through the Nissan dealership.

      But all that is history. She now drives a Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7 4X4, and loves it.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        Those 2013 Pathfinders are the worst. Basically, if you see a 2013 Pathfinder on cars.com that doesn’t have a free CarFax, it’s probably a manufacturer buyback. That’s what I’ve figured out through the VIN Check. Those that do have reports, there are multiple TCM, even transmission, replacements before 10K miles.

        Our first model year Rogue didn’t need a new TCM until 66K.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          In my area, when buying used, what to watch out for are the cars salvaged from floods.

          After Katrina, we saw a sh!tload of those flooded cars on sale in the desert states, dirt cheap!

          Oh, they were cleaned up alright and looked nice, until the first time it rained.

          Then the smell of mold and mildew would force you to drive the car with all the windows rolled down.

          Now what we see are Nissan products on sale here, dirt cheap. Who knows why brand new Altimas sell for <$17K.

          And for many people who really NEED cheap transportation, those bargains can be had for a song. Even that is OK as long as they come with a factory warranty in case they break down.

          But today's CVTs are a lot better than those of even a few years ago. So even JATCO is working hard to make their CVTs last longer.

          They've come a long way with the CVT since the days of the DAF CVT.

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            But yet the only car Company to fully buy into the cvt is Nissan, they’ve spent billions on it, and will need to spend billions more to get it up to the reliability level of today’s transmission. It seems like a fools bet, this mouse trap didn’t need fixing.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mikeg216, CVTs in passenger cars are the wave of the future. Bet on it. Expect it. Plan for it when you go shopping for that new car.

            The hydraulic step automatics will be limited to luxury cars and pickup trucks that need to do robust work, like hauling and towing.

            The cost of making a CVT is next to nothing when compared to conventional automatics. Accord 4-cyl, Corolla, Altima, Legacy all have already committed to the CVT for the future.

            It’s just a matter of time before Camry does the same since its version of the CVT with faux-steps programmed in is currently being tested for durability in the Corolla.

            In the future, if you want a conventional hydraulic step-automatic transmission you’ll have to step up to the bigger bucks vehicles.

            The extra costs associated with those vehicles help pay for the warranty repairs the OEMs need to make to their CVTs.

            So, from my point of view, it would be foolish to keep any vehicle longer than the factory warranty period.

            There’s quite a number of people who have already integrated that philosophy into their buying habits now, going from lease to lease, instead of buying outright and keeping a vehicle ’til the wheels fall off, like they used to do.

            I know old people who habitually lease, pay the mileage and W&T penalties and get a new ride every three years. Works for them.

      • 0 avatar
        Brett Woods

        I see lots of Darts around. Attractive European looking mid size. I am cautiously optimistic about 9sp At. It’s the way I want to see things go. My bicycle experience tells me 12sp is about optimum. I never used more. Any little engine should be good enough then, right?

        But will it be durable like a 3 speed Hydramatic? I got caught out buying a good theory before (Suburu 4wd CVT). I will never, ever, ever buy another CVT. CVT? Next car please.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It’s not about knowing what gear you’re in; it’s about matching the engine’s power band, where it will be the most efficient, with the speed you want to be going, which is, on average, a lot faster than it was 30-40 years ago.

      There’s a reason we don’t use two-speed Powerglides anymore, or even 3- or 4-speed transmissions of either flavor (unless there are still some platforms with 3-speed-plus-overdrive type auto trans–and I can’t think of any).

      • 0 avatar

        Scion xD uses a 4sp auto (final MY 2014). Ditto Yaris. Their architecture, however, is not 3+1, but full 4 speeds by applying clutch packs as appropriate. I think.

        My 2010 Wrangler also uses a 4sp, but fortunately it’s the thing of the past. Pedowikia suggests that 200 uses the last of Ultradrives, but Chrysler website claims it’s already on 9sp. Apparently switched over with a midcycle refresh, unlike the Dart.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The 62TE six speed auto is the last of the transmissions related to the Ultradrives. It was used in the last body style 200 and Avenger and is still used in the minivans. By all rights, it’s a reliable transmission, there really aren’t many problems with them.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            It’s just absolutely awful.

            It carries the same basic fuzzy logic that frustrated owners from years past. Every Ultradrive I’ve driven, including the 62TE has a tendency to jerk into gears and can get confused. Glad Chrysler finally is shedding that trans lineup.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The logic in Eco mode was kinda stupid for a while, but for the most part I find them pretty decent. Harsh shifting and whatnot can often be resolved with a clearing of the adaptive tables.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          I think that the base Toyota Corolla has a 4 speed.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I have driven this new ZF 9 speed in a Chrysler 200S V6 AWD, and in the new Acura V6 TLX.

    It is truly awful.

    The Chrysler, in particular, doesn’t know what gear to be in, constantly hunting on uphill city grades with the ebb and flow of traffic. If it gets beyond 5th, all is lost when you summon acceleration, because you’re looking at 2 seconds for it to downshift. Remember the article here on TTAC that described the transmission in detail, and the complications, the sheer number of internal operations this thing has to go through to downshift?

    Drive one for yourself and experience the horror. Makes turbo lag bearable by comparison.

    The TLX is a bit better programmed, but takes just as long to downshift when you goose it on the highwa
    I predict this “thing” will earn the scorn of even regular drivers. Don’t believe me? Want to quote specs? Forget it and drive one yourself. Try using the paddles to downshift to brake on downgrades and the car freewheels while the transmission takes your orders under advisement.

    A CVT, though not great, works much better in practice than this particular automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      Zekele Ibo

      I agree with this 100%. By all accounts this gearbox is all about fuel economy and nothing about driveability. It’s the Gilette solution (just add more!), constantly wandering between gears and not putting the power down.

      I prefer a manual myself, otherwise I find 4- or 5-speed automatics are best for the real world – and they are being beaten now by the newer, much better-quality CVTs. I would certainly choose a CVT over a 9-speed which can never decide what gear to choose.

    • 0 avatar
      Speedygreg7

      Agreed 100%. Similar things can be said of the 8spd as implemented in the V6 RAM. Always up shifting too soon to 7th and 8th gears to keep RPM below 1500. Then, if acceleration is needed, the downshift to 5th or 4th is slow. The solution is to use tow/haul mode all the time, which locks out 8th and 7th too most of the time. RPM stays closer to 2000 and the drive is much, much better subjectively. Minor fuel efficiency penalty too. I will turn off tow/haul once I set cruise control on the highway at 65mph and allow the truck 7th and 8th.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I didn’t realize the TLX V6 was even available yet. The launch was pushed back, we can guess why. Where did you find one to test?

    • 0 avatar
      Counterpoint

      Exactly. A CVT may take a little while to “downshift” into the power band but in the meantime you have at least some power on tap. It never leaves you dead in the water. With the better CVTs like what Subaru offers you can use the paddle shifters to preselect a lower ratio when you know you’re about to need more torque.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Its all the same, only the names will change…

      I had a rental last week, 2.4L/6AT. Damn thing refused to hold gears.

      It has been mentioned here and its totally true. Old 4 speed slushboxes are just better behaved and are far more tractable than these new 6+ cog units. (I know, I know, sweeping generalization, but true from where I am sitting.)

      I would even say the 4 speed Corolla rental I had a few months ago far exceeded the 6 speed Malibu in transmission behavior, and thus overall drive-ability.

      I’ll keep buying manuals as long as they keep building them.

      Edited to add, the only 6 speed auto I’ve driven that actually shifted well was an 07 A4 3.2. 3800/4T60/65E combo is my choice if I need to drive an automatic car, or a 4.3V6/SBC/4L60/65E.

  • avatar
    hiptech

    After working more decades than I care to admit within engineering environments I think this still needs to be said, it’s the mantra every engineer knows all too well… “there’s never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over.”

  • avatar
    Brumus

    I don’t post much here, so want to ensure I understand the ground rules.

    Is it ok to say something positive about the Dart without being sentenced to a public flogging?

    I drove a friend’s Dart with the 2.4 and 6-speed manual and found it a surprisingly good ride. Long-term reliability with a Fiat would be my main concern were I in the market for a car of this ilk.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Sorry, Brumus, but here’s how it works. You have dared to say something positive about a TTAC whipping horse. As penalty, you will have your manhood questioned, your politics derided and your car enthusiast card revoked. Sorry, but those ARE the rules.

    For future reference, the vehicles which you may never complement are as follows:
    – Dodge Dart
    – Any Porsche with the engine in front of the driver, unless it is a LeMons 924/944/968. 928s are still for wierdos.
    – Any appliancemobile, which is defined as a safe, reliable, affordable car which any rational person would want to commute in on a daily basis.
    – an OldsmoBuick, unless the engine is a 3800, OR you can pull off an ironic, hipster look with it — in your case, Brumus, that mustache is an asset. The Roadmaster and its brethren get a pass, but only if you promise to tow with them.
    – Any CUV or minivan – these are for soccer moms and other people who transport children. Yuk!
    – Any pickup, because they are all bought by poseurs who use them to feel manly in an urban cowboy kind of way. Excepting a small pickup, because no one would be caught dead in one anyhow.
    – Any SUV, because these are just pickups with lousy resale value
    – Any sedan (see appliancemobile reference above).
    – Any couple or convertible, because how can we know you aren’t compensating for anything? They are basically toupees with wheels.

    Otherwise, you are safe to share any positive thoughts you may have.

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      They need to do a story on that list. (lol)

    • 0 avatar
      Brumus

      VoGo,

      Thanks for explaining how things work here.

      Glad to learn about the Roadmaster as my dad had a wagon version (’93 or ’94). Christ, what a car. Pretty sure it was the 5.7L, conservatively said to put down 250 HP I believe. Gobs of torque and us kids love to drive that thing. My father still becomes misty-eyed thinking about that car; it met a premature demise after being t-boned by a Subaru Baja, of all things. Such an inglorious death….

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Keep beating on the 928 for another year or so. I want an early one with a stick and I’d like for the prices not to rise. I got the chance to drive one and it was magnificent. And all for less than a basketcase 911 would run.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Is it sad that I’m actually looking at a Roadmaster wagon that would be used for light towing?

      Oh, yeah: The 3800 was the best V6 ever made. Ever.

      —————————

      I actually love the Roadmaster and the LeSabre, but see nothing wrong with *base-level* pickup trucks- with a stick. No urban cowboy would ever drive a 1994 F150 XL with a 5 speed and the 300.

      They’d need more bling. Because, farmers always drive Lariats and King Ranch trucks with chrome on the sides.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        “The 3800 was the best V6 ever made. Ever.”

        This statement needs more emphasis for how true and correct it is.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I drove a 2014 Mustang with the V6/manual combo all last week. I can’t see the 3800 making it better.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Aww come on bball and dal, you know 3800 love is just one of those things.

            I like the Ford 3.5 and 3.7, and the Honda 3.5, and the VQ35 too. The 3800 was just my first automotive love.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I still love the 3800. In high school, my friends with buick V6s could always be counted on for a ride if my Audi 5000 was having Audi issues. I saved myself by selling it and buying a Dodge Ram with the 5.9L V8.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I can’t see the 3800 making it better.”

            Blasphemer!

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Haha bball, now you gone done it.

            I’ve already been excommunicated from the Church for daring to note that the LNF/LHU makes torque and doesn’t suck to drive, but you put the the 3800 down directly!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Repent thy sins and seek the everlasting grunt of 3800.

            L32 3800 S/C puts out 260hp around 5400 rpm stock, you need more my son?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Yes Sir Pope 28 the 3rd.

            I do need more.

            A g0ddamn manual transmission with my 3800, please and thank you.

            And don’t you go saying the 4th gen F-body.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah but if you believe, more power can be yours. I’ve seen modded L67s dyno’d to 300hp, although I imagine this is around the realistic limit of the motor’s power capacity.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Pope Riviera the 28th cannot fix the hubris and avarice of pre-bankruptcy General Motors. That book has already been written.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            ?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            28, I am not saying I need more power than the 260 hp you quote, the “more” I need is more pedals to go with my 3800.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dave

            Oh ok, I misunderstood.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            The 3800 is awesome. I can always count on it when my Audi decides to have Audi issues, too!

            Quick, somebody make bball a Supercharged Riviera with a 5 speed. We have the technology to build it.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I don’t think you all have driven a J35-powered Honda. The 3800 was a durable and quiet engine, but so is the J35, and it has real top-end as a bonus.

        The engine sometimes gets a bum rap because some of its predecessors were mated to fragile transmissions, but it’s really a sweetheart.

        (Edited because I was too rude)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Also, you must never mention anything about Chrysler V6s with less than 2.8Ls and more than 2.6Ls of displacement. In general, any V6 with less than 3.0Ls of displacement is the work of the devil.

  • avatar
    matador

    9 Speeds?

    Most of my cars only have 4, and still do OK.

    For a cheap, economy car, I’d assume that simpler would be better?

    We all know it- in four years, Darts will be wearing four different tires with squealing brakes. Nobody wants to maintain a compact car.

    They’ll neglect the transmission until something fails. Then, I’d hate to see the rebuild costs on a 9-Speed auto.

    • 0 avatar

      Four years? Try now. I wish I could easily upload Condition Reports on the Santander-financed Darts I see limping through the lanes – one was maybe two physical years old with 55,000 miles (was the recovery truck literally chasing you??), four mismatched tires (2 Douglas, 1 ‘Generic’, 1 Triangle), structural damage (replaced core support), weed burns ev-er-y-where, and just sad.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        Wow. One generic tire, and three that are bottom-tier. On a two year old car.

        Sheesh, my 1995 LeSabre might be in better shape. A car that’s two years old shouldn’t be in that condition.

        This is the reason why I don’t drive economy cars- The last owner.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The first rule of wholesale is condition, condition, condition, or so I learned.

        55K in 12 or 24 months? Suspicious mileage. I speculate some may have been drug mule cars given the condition and source you describe.

        @matador

        “Then, I’d hate to see the rebuild costs on a 9-Speed auto.”

        I don’t see any shop rebuilding those, you’d simply install a junkyard trans. I couldn’t even get my old Saturn’s 4sp auto tranny rebuilt, no shop would do it.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Maybe Jasper will have it eventually? They have the Ford/GM FWD/AWD six speeds.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          It’s about economies of scale. Once there are millions of 9 speeds on the road, independent shops and reman operations will invest in the tools and training to rebuild them.

          Your Saturn didn’t have the benefit of the economies of scale associated with using a common as dirt transmission. Earlier Saturns used a fairly unique design of automatic trans that was much closer to the Honda constant mesh gearboxes than anything at GM.

  • avatar
    TopJimmy5150

    Ultradrive.

    That word alone should be enough to scare anyone away from a Mopar 9 Speed automatic.

  • avatar
    300zx_guy

    Reviving the Dart name for this car was questionable, at best. This would be a good time to retire it. The Dart refresh should be the new Chrysler 100, the profiles look closely related, just need to slap on a new Chrysler face and tail. Then they could use the hatch they were planning for the Chrysler 100 as the new Dodge compact, a hatch for Dodge and a sedan for Chrysler makes more sense anyway. Then come up with a new name. I wouldn’t recommend it, but they could call it Neon, and in the commercial, it can say “Hi, again. Sorry about my unfortunate fill-ins while I was gone”.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but my takeaway has always been that the Neon was one of the poorest cars Chrysler ever produced. Every one that I knew of had big issues with reliability and they seemed to just wear away sitting still, with paint fade, rust, and yellowing headlights far before their time.

      If ever there were a name that would taint a new car and doom it to failure, I think that name is Neon. (That said, the SRT-4 name needs to make a comeback).

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I think Sergio named this car Dart because knew damn well how many would be thrown at it.

    “Hey, we got Hellcats, we got Jeeps… so what the little car sucks?”

  • avatar
    daviel

    I want to like the Dart, but it just looks too cheap on the street.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’m pretty sure the last good Dodge automatic was a TorqueFlite 727.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Isn’t this the same 9 speed transmission that has been getting horrible reviews in the Chrysler 200? Hunt and peck for gears, 2-3 seconds to figure the proper gear and get going? Some even call the car dangerous as a result and that the transmission neuters the excellent V6? Could all this be the reason for the delay?

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Too many speeds. They probably can’t figure out how to stop the tranny from shifting all the time. At some point they gotta say screw the EPA, put a 6-speed or CVT in there, and change the gear ratio.

  • avatar
    oscarp

    the same 9 speed as in the Jeep Cherokee? wow! they really want this to be dead in some months. I had a Cherokee for 7 months and I don’t want to hear anything that sounds like 9 speed…..after three failed software updates, a clunk, and some other things, I decided to get rid of the Cherokee.

    I guess some companies don’t learn from their mistakes!

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