By on April 11, 2016

2015 Dodge Dart grey

After announcing earlier this year that it wanted someone else to take care of its problem patients, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is performing surgery on the slow-selling Dodge Dart lineup.

The Fiat-based compact will be pared down from five offerings to three, outfitted to offer the features customers want at a strategic price, with no engine overlap between models. It also means the end of the “Obama Dart” — the high-mileage Aero edition produced to satisfy the U.S. government’s bailout conditions many years back. More on that later.

In January, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the Dart and its midsize brother, the Chrysler 200, would be gradually discontinued, with future small car heavy lifting outsourced to an as-yet-unnamed automaker. Chronically low sales made this choice an easy one.

To try to reverse the trend, FCA is trying consolidation. Dodge will now drop the entry-level Dart SE, and start the ladder with the Dart SXT Sport. That model, which retails for $17,995 (about a grand more than the SE), comes equipped with a 2.0-liter Tigershark four-cylinder making 160 horsepower.

The SXT model will disappear, as will the Aero, with a Dart Turbo slotted into the middle spot. Powered by a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo four that makes 160 hp, but significantly more torque than the 2.0-liter, the Dart Turbo will retail for $19,495, less than the similarly equipped Aero.

Topping out the range will be the Dart GT Sport. Packing the hottest Dart powerplant — a 184 hp 2.4-liter Tigershark four — the GT Sport will sell for $20,995, undercutting the price of the GT and Limited models it will be replacing.

Three appearance packages — Chrome, Rallye and Blacktop — will remain available.

“We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with consumer demand and preference,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of FCA’s North American passenger car brands, in a statement.

Six-speed manual transmissions will come standard on all models, with a six-speed automatic available as an option … except on the Dart Turbo.

If you recall, the Aero/Obama Dart came with an optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic (now on its way to becoming a museum piece) that never took off with the buying public, but was needed to satisfy fuel economy demands.

That model, and the requirement of achieving 40 miles per gallon combined (via the “old” EPA methodology), could be to blame for the Dart’s botched launch back in late 2012.

With a six-speed stick as its sole transmission choice, the Dart Turbo will continue to keep the bailout days alive — for the time being, anyway — thanks to an EPA highway rating of 41 mpg.

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197 Comments on “What Will Last Longer: the Dodge Dart or Obama’s Presidency?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/government-obama-dodge-dart/

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’d entertain the Dart GT 6 speed stick but the reviewers haven’t exactly been thrilled about that one either.

  • avatar

    The Dart and Chrysler 200 both need to be larger.

    The only thing that saves them is having the best-in-class Uconnect 8.4n/ tech package and competitive features such as the 200 having AWD with a V6 for less than $35,000.

    I’ve never seen a Dart owner who complained. They love their cars.

    As for Obama’s presidency, it’s coming to an end and he’s doing whatever he can to pizzz off as many conservatives as he can.

    I just want to see that COMMUNIST Sanders wiped out. I can deal with Hillary or Trump – or even Cruz, but I want to see Sanders WIPED OUT WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE for even suggesting that hard working workers like myself should be forced to subsidize the behavior of a bunch of hippies who went to party schools and drove up insurmountable levels of debt to get Film Degrees (meanwhile I’m making $2000 a month shooting videos on a damn iPhone) – after PAYING OFF MY STUDENT LOANS RESPONSIBLY just like the promissory note said I would.

    I personally need to see the hope for more welfare wiped off their faces when either Hillary or Trump claim the White House.

    A bunch of indentured servants paying 6% on their government subsidized loans for eternity.

    CONSEQUENCES for their actions.

    The scales must be balanced.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I wish he’d just stay on the golf course, nothing good seems to happen when he steps off the back nine.

      • 0 avatar

        If “he” even mentions guns, GUN SALES SKYROCKET.

        Personally I’m all for it.

        More guns is a perfect “check and balance” against crazed shooters.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “More guns is a perfect “check and balance” against crazed shooters.”

          Perfect “check and balance”.

          You must have vertigo.

          Irony.

          On one hand one does not want tax dollars spent on welfare but mentions crazed shooters.

          Yes, more guns to deal with poverty and untreated mental illness as opposed to more money spent on rectifying poverty and mental illness.

          • 0 avatar

            “Yes, more guns to deal with poverty and untreated mental illness as opposed to more money spent on rectifying poverty and mental illness.”

            Regardless a “crazed shooters” decision for shooting up a bunch of people, more guns in the hands of more civilians is INSTANTANEOUS RETRIBUTION which is swift and final.

            NO I do not share your love of the criminal. I do not favor rehabilitation. I demand that the scales be balanced immediately.

            Anyone who attempts to attack innocents should be eliminated. Rehabilitation does not equal justice.

            A bullet turns rape into attempted rape.

            Before approaching any decision in criminal justice, I ask myself:

            What Would Judge Dredd do?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            BTSR is to logic what Massengill is to the
            Whopper.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatist

            Decades of spending have done NOTHING for poverty, primarily because poverty is a cultural problem, not an economic one.

            Exactly what ‘can be done’ about mental illness is first realizing that the phrase is very misleading. Many kinds of illness can be treated through drugs, surgery etc. Mental illness doesn’t work that way. We don’t understand what causes it, we have NO real treatments for most of it (remember that the Sandy Hook shooter was from a wealthy family and had extensive psychiatric treatment). Unlike most illness, where patients willingly undergo treatment, mentally ill actively avoid treatment. Unless you’re ready to lock them all up, there’s not much to be done about that.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Socialism will not cure poverty. What cures poverty is jobs / work / dignity / less government. Capitalism in other words.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @pragmatist – um….. ah……….oh………my…….

            I’m speechless!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @”scarey” – I take it you don’t have a background in sociology, history, or economics.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BTSR – I must say, you do have a unique view of reality.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          BTSR, your claims make it seem like you’d rather be wronged and exact retribution than not be wronged. What’s wrong with using policies that reduce what we don’t like instead of punishing those who do what we don’t like? Why not do the one that has the effect you claim to want???

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Because no other politician plays golf!

        • 0 avatar
          MrGreenMan

          Decorum suggests It is best kept a peace time hobby, and America does not know peace time.

          Mr. Eisenhower played golf – of course, he destroyed fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, and he ended the Korean conflict.

          Mr. Clinton played golf – as leader of the peace time that was the 1990s, apart from bombing the Serbs and ignoring most foreign policy.

          Mr. Bush stopped golfing when he was commanding troops to go to war.

          It would have been nice to have seen Mr. Obama live up to that campaign promise of fewer foreign wars and entanglements; he has played golf throughout having our troops in harm’s way in our now 15 years of unending warfare. If he had brought all the boys home, I would be happy to see him golfing every day.

          I personally appreciate the Mr. Obama that likes to play golf, have the best of Motown playing at the White House, who drove a 300C with the biggest hemi available at the time, and who, in his moments away from the handlers and quite worn out while fighting Mrs. Clinton in 2008, said – everybody who works deserves a tax cut!

          Central planning always fails to pick winners and losers in the economy – like this moribund 40-Emm-Pee-Gee Dart.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          ” Because no other politician plays golf!”

          That wasnt his point, your offence is misplaced. Its the damage he does when NOT playing golf that is the issue.

          But, like a typical Obamination admin/supporter, you run to solve a problem that isnt a problem while ignoring the real issues.
          War dragging on and economic turmoil in progress? Time to ram-rod a heathcare bill that destroys the greatest system in the world, lying about it the whole way (“you like your plan, you can keep your plan!”) and saying things like “we need to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” (-Nancy Stalin…oops, I mean Pelosi).
          Nation drowning in debt? More debt will fix it.
          People starting a business to prop up the lagging economy? Tell them they didnt build that, and then regulate them to death. Punish them for trying to actually make a positive difference.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            JohnTaurus somehow lives in a world where we don’t have low inflation, aren’t at full employment and don’t have $2 gas, in addition to having an additional 20M people with health insurance.

            He desperately yearns to go back to the Republican years of the Great Depression, Endless War and soulless cronyism.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Its called the real world.

            This may surprise you, but a lot of those things are not a result of this administration’s policies. Low gas prices are because we are producing more oil within, something Obama opposes, for example. The nation is slowly recovering DESPITE Obama, not BECAUSE of him.

            And, sure, working at McDonalds is a job that inflates employment numbers, but its not the same as working at Boeing or Apple. Its also true that those no longer collecting unemploymemt are not counted as unemployed in the statistics you are referring to, yet they are not working and are being left behind to fight 17 year olds for grocery store jobs. But, underemployment is not an issue because it doesnt happen to be your issue, right?

            Even if what you claim is true at face value, that doesnt change anything in my statement from being true.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            JohnTaurus,
            Since you brought up your points, let’s take a look.
            “War dragging on and economic turmoil in progress? Time to ram-rod a heathcare bill…”

            Um, We’re essentially out of both Afghanistan and Iraq, two wars that seemed endless until Obama got us out. And our economy is in fact in the middle of the longest string of private sector job creation in history. So, I think we can check that off the list.

            And if you look at debt as a % of GDP, it’s actually been flat since Obama pulled us out of the Great Recession.

            And this meme about “regulating business to death”, well, if it were true, how come we’re at full employment?

            So, pretty much you are Oh for Four on your assertions. Thanks for playing.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            @Vogo…funny you say “practically out”. Personally I have been to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice since Obama was elected. The last deployment to Afghanistan ended in late 2014 and that unit is slated to return soon. We lost people every time we went. Because they quit reporting it on the evening news does not make the war ” practically over”. Just a couple weeks ago we lost a Marine at a firebase in Iraq. He was hit with an RPG. Maybe they gave him flip flops though so he wasn’t “boots on the ground” so everybody can sit around and feel smug about ending the war. Didn’t see his remains on the 6:00 news coming through Dover either. Guess it is only important that America see the cost of war when a Republican is in the White House.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Big Al,
            Thank you for your service – I mean that. None of us in our comfy homes knows the sacrifices you and your co-workers make.

            I wish “practically” were “completely” out of these wars. At least Obama has drastically reduced troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but until it is zero, we’ll need brave soldiers like yourself to continue to protect us.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Sorry to unload on you. It is a sensitive subject. 2 weeks before I went to Iraq Joe Lieberman proclaimed it to be “yesterday’s war”. They almost got me that trip. I was an Engineer doing Route Clearance then and it was very much today’s war. In 2012ish I was in a Bunker in Kandahar reading in Stars and Stripes that the ” War on Terror” was over as the incoming alarm went off. I have a good friend in Iraq now who has seen some action, yet it “ended” in 2010. Anyway, I didn’t mean to unload on you, it is just frustrating and I do Cyber Security now, not Route Clearance so I’m pretty well out of harm’s way nowadays.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            I would just like to take this opportunity to tell Big AL from Oz to Shove It!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I love it when people credit the president with fuel prices. Just love it. It proves their understanding of international business and politics so well.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Corey,
            Gas prices are primarily driven by the supply of and demand for oil. So what have been Obama’s actions in the last 7 years that impacted oil supply and demand?

            SUPPLY
            – radical increases in the supply of oil from Iran (due to the treaty stopping them from making nuclear arms) and Libya (due to the Arab spring)
            – sharp increases in US production due to allowing the use of fracking technology

            DEMAND
            – Steep increases in CAFE requirements have caused automakers to improve fuel efficiency significantly over the past 5 years
            – Tax incentives for the solar, wind and EV markets have finally provided real competition for the ICE in cars.

            So, yeah, on the basis of those factors, I do see Presidential action as having direct impact on gas prices.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            SUPPLY

            Saudi Arabia intentionally overproducing, at a loss. This is in order to drive the price per barrel down in an attempt to destroy US fracking business since fracking is much more expensive (and harmful to the environment, but we’ll leave that for later) than normal drilling. Libya is hardly on the map.

            Do share more about how solar and wind tax credits compete with ICE use in cars, though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “He desperately yearns to go back to the Republican years of the Great Depression, Endless War and soulless cronyism.”

            Yeah, those didn’t end. In fact Dear Leader’s State Department started or contributed to new ongoing conflicts in four nations (Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine) in addition to continuing military operations in Afghanistan.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Corey,
            Saudi production increases are a reaction to the losses in market share caused by the supply factors I cited above.

            Renewable energy is replacing fossil fuels for electricity generation, making truly green EVs possible. Given the trajectory of solar panel pricing (i.e. Moore’s law) and improvements in battery technology, EVs are about to become very competitive with ICE cars.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yes, I think I heard someone make the same claim about EV competitiveness around 1994.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @CoreyDL – it isn’t really a case of Saudi Arabia increasing oil production to kill fracking but a case of Saudi Arabia refusing to drop oil production. They did that once and lost market share. They are also more interested in hurting other Arab states “read Iran” then hurting the USA.

            Saudi needs oil revenue to keep its military and social spending at high levels. It is a 2 pronged approach since they are more afraid of Islamic Extremism than the USA is. The military is needed for overt protection. Strong social programs keeps the populace fat and happy. How many Daesh members are “fat and happy”?

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Nancy “Wicked Witch” Pelosi.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Destroyed the greatest health care system in the world? You mean the one that spent the most money yet had the worst outcomes and insured the lowest percentage of the population of any in the developed world? Obamacare has significantly reduced the ranks of the uninsured – in my state it cut the number of uninsured IN HALF in the first year alone. It also has sharply reduced the nation’s annual health care inflation rate.

            Debt? George W handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit, which Obama has reduced to just $492 billion. That is, Obama shrank the deficit by about $1 trillion.

            But why let the facts get in the way of a good rage-induced gasket-blowing.

    • 0 avatar
      fiasco

      I feel the way you do about Sanders about the other three….and that’s why I Like cars.

    • 0 avatar
      cjarcher

      troglodyte

    • 0 avatar
      mister_p

      “Communist”? If that’s not hyperbole then you have truly shown you are a moron. Have fun voting for the guy who believes in angels and fairies.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I detest both American political parties (unlike parliamentary systems, we’re stuck with two, very similar choices in terms of ideology and to whom the parties are really beholden to; in parliamentary systems, there can be dozens or more ideological choices, which increases the odds that particular candidates from particular parties will more closely align with individuals’ specific beliefs).

      With that said, Obama did some good, important, things, and failed to some other important things (that he either implicitly or expressly promised he was going to do, even if some of these failures can be attributed to a majority party that blocked some of his efforts).

      Pragmatically speaking, the good:

      1) He fought very had to avoid another major military conflict with a major middle eastern power, that being Iran. In fact, despite what warmongering (beholden to the MIC) chickenhawks in both parties claim, Iran is a paper tiger, and poses no existential threat to the U.S. nor its allies (actually, Iran can be used as an effective regional ally, as it’s now being used, to stop threats such as ISIL/ISIS).

      2) He smartly (as painful and unsavory as it was, the alternative would have been far worse) pushed for continuation of support to bail out the automakers and their suppliers, and offer support to help them shed massive legacy debts, putting them on a sustainable path of recovery (contrary to what Britain did with its auto industry in the 70s and 80s).

      3) He tried to strike up a real, genuine (IMO) dialogue on improving race relations, despite what FAUX News (Roger Ailes/Karl Rove-Vision) & Rush A$$baugh or similar blowhards may claim. This task was too great a hurdle for one person, even a mostly rational POTUS, to surmount in such toxic times.

      4) He ended the idiotic embargo on/of Cuba and restored diplomatic, and now, commercial relations with Cuba. This was something that should have been done decades ago, as U.S. Foreign Policy towards Cuba, as it is towards many other countries, punishes innocent civilian populations rather than their unelected leaders and military regimes.

      The bad:

      1) He allowed Larry Summers, Timmy Geithner and Eric Holder to effectively institute a too-big-to-jail-OR-EVEN-SERIOUSLY-PENALIZE policy of absolutely, filthy rotten, criminal sickest banks and financial institutions, to the point that his administration ended up rewarding and even strengthening the bad actors that helped to cause the Great Financial Crisis.

      2) His tenure saw an incredible increase in the national debt from 11 trillion to trillion to 20 trillion USD (not including monies that will have to be set aside for increased unfunded future liabilities in the form of future entitlement spending). Some will counter that this was a price to pay to offset the financial and economic crisis given the lack of fiscal stimulus, but a huge chunk of that debt was inefficiently targeted and essentially wasted if its intended purpose was to assist the middle class (well over 80% of it went to defense spending, financial institutions, continuation of MENA conflicts begun under the Bush Administration).

      3) He did the worst thing possible with healthcare. He essentially allowed insurance companies & Big Pharma to co-author the ACA, which is a gravy train for the private, for profit healthcare industry, and will further escalate the U.S. healthcare crisis for the foreseeable future (instead of using single payer leverage as in an expanded Medicare way, as brought about by government purchasing power, the ACA further balkanized and fractured the health care system, and entire state exchanges will completely fail in many states over the next decade).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        DeadWeight – your “the bad” comments show how entrenched into government the so called military Industrial complex has become. Policy from both sides of the political isle is dictated by them. “Government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations” has been modus operandi for decades. That basically explains why your very first paragraph is true. Both parties are the same because the puppet masters are the same. In some respects I hate saying it because it sounds almost as absurd as BTSR’s rhetoric. That is why the core Republican populace loves trump and the Republican establishment hates him.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Hillary will be a DISASTER for the American worker. She has consistently voted for or supported bad “free” trade agreements, the only thing “free” about them is the free tax dollars going to a permanent underclass of people that automakers and other manufacturers should be employing. The kind of ‘Murican who buys a Hellcat!

      Trump is the only answer. He will help make America Great Again!!! Pray for a doosey tonight boys.

      • 0 avatar
        tanooki2003

        LOL you’re joking right??? I might as well vote for the janitor at my company. Everybody likes him and he is a bit of a blowhard windbag too so maybe he should be president

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Trump is just pushing all of the “right” buttons. Pun intended. He can’t get elected by towing the standard Republican establishment party line. But then again, neither can other Republicans. He does stand a chance by stirring up the home grown wretched huddled masses. His platform is more Fascist than Republican. I say this since his platform is extremely Nationalistic. He wants to build walls around the USA not just to immigration of those he feels undesirable but to trade.

          Ironic considering his grandfather “made his first fortune operating boom-town hotels, restaurants and brothels in the northwestern United States and western Canada.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            An interesting piece to read and reflect upon both front runners in the US “election”.

            http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2013/02/07/fake-quote-files-mussolini-on-fascism-and-corporatism/

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            28-Cars-Later – good link. The internet tends to be a vast sea of disinformation. It is always wise to search several other sources to validate any information found.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Nope. Put down the Washington Post and the other libby rags and look at Trump’s platform. Our trade agreements have been negotiated by morons and need to be rewitten to favor AMERICA. We have had 30 years of unchecked illegal immigration that is dragging down wages. Who speaks to thise issues? TRUMP! All the others are too cowardly to touch them. He’s the only choice now, whether you like his “personality” or not. Pull your head out of your booty and Make America Great Again!! Vote Trump in ’16!!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Superdessucke – free trade favours America or more specifically American corporations and those wealthy enough to engage in international trade.
            Why don’t you look up the economic policies put forward by Milton Friedman. Any country that has embraced them have generated a lot of new billionaires at the top end with a corresponding loss of jobs and increase in poverty at the low end.
            The USA has gone great lengths to squash “the third way”. Socialist ideology tends to want to take the “better” parts of communism and capitalism and come up with something that is “better” for everyone in a country.
            Why don’t you take a good look at Trump populism and run it against standard Republican ideology.
            Illegal Immigration only drags down wages for the impoverished part of society. Since you are worried about dropping wages that must mean you are pro-union.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            @Lou BC – Free trade does not favor the AMERICAN worker. It favors workers in other countries and the wealthy elite in the US. I am neither rich nor am I poor and I do not favor any system where my tax dollars go to pay for people who should be employed by the wealthy. It costs a higher percentage of my income to support the shiftless that it does some billionaire to give him a f’ing job so he can buy something and support the economy instead of sucking our teets. Companies are not put here to make billionaires. They are put here to provide jobs. TRUMP gets that. That’s why his name is TRiUMPh!!

            I am not pro Union. I am for the American worker but I’m also a realist. We need to abolish the National Labor Relations Act or severely limit it. A non-union factory job is a lot better than working at Walmart selling Chinese garbage for minimum wage. We need to get rid of public sector unions which are choking the taxpayer to death. We need to Make America Great Again! Jump on the bandwagon of the home team and come on in for the big win buddy! Trump ’16! No Hillary! No more bad trade agreements!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Superdessucke – I agree that free trade does not favour the American worker. It favours the cheapest place to make a product. That in turn makes owners and CEO’s rich. Look at the Fortune 500 list. They all make billions. Companies exist to make as much money as possible and the big ones do make billions. The point you don’t understand is that to maximize profits that means minimizing labour costs. Automation and off-shoring exist to do just that. Minimizing or killing unions shifts the balance in favour of the big companies.
            There needs to be a balance between capitalistic desires and social responsibility.

            I don’t care for Trump but I do like the fact that he has shook up the political landscape and is forcing the Republican right to pay attention to the “little guy” instead of the corporate elites.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not touching the politics, but with regards to the Dart:

      No, it doesn’t (just) need to be bigger, it needs to be better built. Even if its fuel economy was better and its reliability was better, the buying public is faced (as with the 200) with a wealth of far better-built competitors that are also far better designed and far more reliable options. No touch-screen infotainment system can compete with that. THIS is the problem with the Dart. Please stop being a Chrysler apologist and start recognizing that they really still struggle to build cars well.

      And yes, I’ve seen plenty of complaints (including ones on this very site) from Dart buyers, mostly relating to the above issues.

    • 0 avatar
      lemko

      I wanted to read discussions about the Dodge Dart, but it seems to have degenerated into a political discussion. Sad to see the Dart struggle as it is a storied nameplate in Dodge lore. The Chrysler 200 is also struggling. Do these cars have a “rental car” stigma? It’s been a long time since I rented a car, but are the Dart and 200 found in too many rental fleets?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Shame to see them fail, but I think EChid makes a damningly accurate point in that FCA needed not only to bring their A game, but their A plus game to compete with the market leaders. They didn’t and the model languishes. We as a society should probably take the onus off of the mfgs to compete in all segments, let these auto mfgs build what they want and let the market decide.

    • 0 avatar
      April S

      ‘I want to see Sanders WIPED OUT WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE’

      There just might be CONSEQUENCES for your threat.

      Like a knock on your door from the Secret Service.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Someone who often brags about his weapons and eagerness to use them probably is unwise to threaten a presidential candidate. But no one takes SHORTBUSREVIEWSERIES seriously anyhow.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is the car I wanted to love, but left broken-hearted after test-driving two different versions.

    Among my many criticisms of this car, I didn’t like the enormous center portion of its steering wheel. Its airbag must expand to be blimp-sized.

    To answer the question, the Dart will last longer than Obama’s presidency.

    Note to Sergio: Nobody else wants to produce the Dart design, and no customer would buy one if they did.

    • 0 avatar

      All they really gotta do is slow Dart production and build more Cherokees.

      They didn’t listen when I screamed “SRT4 with 400 HP Twin Turbos” so now they’ll pay the price for their insolence.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      I don’t think Sergio is expecting to outsource the production of the current models or even modified versions thereof. He’s looking for a partner to let him rebadge their small and midsize sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Agreed on all counts. I have had Dart rentals twice and been left less than impressed both times. Slow, noisy 2.0 4 cylinder paired with “interesting” ergonomics left me longing for something else, anything else, heck even a Versa…

      Not to mention the one Dart rental where the rental car company decided to add water to the windshield washer fluid reservoir (presumably to save money). This, of course, preceded me getting stuck in an ice storm with windshield fluid nozzles frozen shut. I had to pull over several times to allow engine heat to melt the ice from the washer fluid system. I still have not forgiven them for that gaffe.

  • avatar
    readallover

    The biggest problems with the Dart and 200 are FCA`s lousy 4 cylinder engines. Instead of replacing the whole car with captive imports, FCA should have outsourced the engines. Putting all that cash into the limited- numbers Hellcat motor instead of 4 bangers makes them look pretty stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      +1 I’ve been saying this for years. FCA doesn’t have a decent 4-cyl for the US market and is unwilling to invest in one, might as well just buy some GM/Honda/Ford/Toyota engines and call it a day.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Supposedly they have a new aluminium 2.0L turbo I4 that’s coming first in the non-performance trims of the Giulia. Presumably it will proliferate into other products like the Cherokee and such from there.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      There’s nothing wrong with the Turbo mills, it’s the Tigershark that I find questionable, particularly the 2L. Hurricane might end up better, but I’d rather see Alfa’s 1.75T.

  • avatar

    The 2.0 is a dog. They should have dumped it for the Dart. The GT sounds like the best package. At least they are trying to do something I guess.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    Dart Turbo sounds like the sweetest of the bunch to me. The 2.4 is coarse, the 2.0 is awful. Decent chunk of low speed torque, 6 speed manual gearbox – and if Dodge start slapping the incentives on you could have a really cheap car that’s half decent (though only half decent).

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Now that the Dart and 200 have been officially “orphaned” by The Serge, it’s off to subprime city and rental fleets. I’m surprised they retained the manual-only 1.4 turbo model on the Dart, don’t think that fits either category very well.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The 2.0L’s engine cover should have a frowny face embossed onto it.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    I’m so sick of stupidity today. So sick of it. Can we please just ban fcuking idiots like bigtruckseriesreview @ Youtube and make the world a better place? Please. Such unadulterated stupidity.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I re-read it, I’m not sure what’s so upsetting?
      Little bit braggy but he’s offering personal opinion on the topic at hand, opinions are kinda a common theme with most stories that have an open comments section.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Are you kidding me? The post below is one of the best ever on this site:

      “All they really gotta do is slow Dart production and build more Cherokees.

      They didn’t listen when I screamed “SRT4 with 400 HP Twin Turbos” so now they’ll pay the price for their insolence.”

      If gas were $5/gal, BTSR would be an idiot. But it’s not. It’s his world now and you gotta figure out how to live in it.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agreed! The world would be SO MUCH BETTER if nobody offered an opinion other than yours. Lets just ban everyone except those you agree with. Sounds great! Then TTAC can fire the contributors who praise cars you dont like. Soon, we will get this site fixed up so nobody has an opinion that opposes yours and as a result, the daily “clicks” will be reduced to a slight trickle.

      I rarely find myself aligned with his statements, but Im not pig-headed enough to throw a temper-tandrum and demand he be banned just because we dont see eye-to-eye. He isnt a troll, he’s just “out there” a bit and very opinionated. I can relate (lol), even if I dont share his exact views.

      If you think he is wrong, call him out and tell us why (as many, including myself, have done in the past). Thats how it works, it doesnt work by kicking everyone with opposing views off the site until there are nothing but a bunch of beige Camry drivers with articles and opinions that offend no one, but are also read by no one.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        We call him out daily, and he doesn’t learn. The truck may be big, but the bus was short.

      • 0 avatar
        theonlydt

        My issue is that every single time I try and read comments on this site from people who own, drive, or have real comments on these cars that I have to scroll past his endless drivel. Tonight I’m in a bad mood and I’ve had enough, so stated it. He adds no value to the site, unlike the majority of other commentors. He is a troll and he enjoys it. I’d love one car review where he would just walk away from the keyboard and leave the rest of us with a little less RSI from the constant scrolling

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          There is always one on this site and they help make it what it is. Aussie AL, P71Silvy (old school troll) DeadWeight…God bless em. Heck we had a Ford Tempo Brigade for a while. Probably why I have been here since the Farago days…it is just plain entertaining.

          • 0 avatar
            multicam

            BAfM, I’ve been coming to this site since ’11 at least. Definitely agree with you, the characters who post here regularly are part of what makes TTAC TTAC.

            And it was Z71_silvy! How quickly we forget…

            (I forgot why he got banned. I just remember his frothing-at-the-mouth hatred of anything Ford)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It was funny to see that cancelling the Crown Vic could trigger near-psychotic responses in some people.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “It was funny to see that cancelling the Crown Vic could trigger near-psychotic responses in some people.”

            Pch101 – yes and on both sides of the endless Ford versus GM rivalry.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Then the site name can be changed to “Occupy TTAC”

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Free speech only for those who share your opinions? How liberaln’t.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think the guy’s amusing.

      Now, CJ? He had the ban coming. He was just a jerk.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Should have put the V6 in the dart and just updated the 200s predecessor, that way they could still have a $16k V6 sedan.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So FCA will be dropping two dart models but keep three motors in three existing models? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to standardize on one engine (and transmission) and offer consumer options packages? They’ve gone on record in saying the model isn’t successful and will be discontinued, keeping three different motors and two transmission choices just seems odd to me given the reality of the model.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Does it actually make a difference?(serious question) Since all combinations are already federalized they shouldn’t be too expensive to keep as options, so long as the engines are also used in other models.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You got me, 28, but after having driven these with the 2.0 and 2.4, the latter is the ONLY way to go. It’s actually a very nice drive with that bigger engine. That’s probably why they kept it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s what I would have standardized on. Some customers may have wanted that 1mpg more out of the 2.0 or that extra torque and 20 or so hp out of the turbo, but the model is an admitted failure and those buyers don’t number enough to cater too (yet FCA will cater to them for whatever reason).

  • avatar
    bricoler1946

    As to the original question, Mr Obama will outlast the Dodge, in fact ANY Dodge.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      That is most unfortunate.

      Youre saying that Obama will remain in office longer than any Dodge, huh? Sounds like someone’s version of hell to me.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Egad, make the longest period of private sector job growth in history end so we can make America great again!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The waitress and bartender economy is certainly something for any president to be proud of… wait.

          In fairness no president has a magic wand to fix things, but they should probably try to mitigate/improve things through policy.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Better jobs go to those with better skills. This is America – stop looking to the government to make you wealthy, and get to work.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I love how fascists put on their social darwinism masks as soon as they’re in power and their policies fail miserably to improve anyone’s lives.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            ToddAtlas,
            When you reach puberty, you may learn that calling people random names doesn’t make you popular. It just means they ignore and loath you, like they do Ted Cruz.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So let me back up here. By your argument all of the newly minted, college educated, bartenders and waitresses are in the jobs they are in because they lack better skills, not because there are no better jobs and certainly not because the Amerikan education system failed to give them better skills even if there were jobs… is that right?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            Maybe 40 years ago, a recent graduate of an average school with average grades in a low demand major with indifferent career drive could find a white collar job. But that won’t cut it today.

            The excuse that “there are no good jobs” runs contrary to discussions I have every day with business people who complain they can’t find solid applicants for skilled positions. The demand is there.

            College grads who tend bar or wait tables tend to be people who either haven’t figured out a credible career path, or haven’t figured out how to play the game to get it.

            In neither case would I look to the Federal government for support.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ironically it is the Federal government who is now propping up those post secondary schools through its student loan takeover.

            I work for an HR company and we sell products which screen potential job applicants. While our numbers are not completely indicative, we have seen flat growth until this fiscal year in North America and some growth in Asia prior to this fiscal year which starts in July (about 11% new revenue in the PRC YoY, some in Taiwan and Malaysia incFY15). Now the growth in Asia has slowed and reversed in the some cases while North American sales have come back a little since Q4 2015. Therefore there has been a slight uptick in hiring activities since around Q4 2015, While there may be some jobs lacking qualified applications, how many jobs are there vs the ever growing US population?

            Jobs have been exported for the past twenty give years and many more have been lost to efficiency gains and automation. While technology has played and will continue to play a role a healthy economy needs to provide half decent jobs to its citizens and this has been lacking for at least the last fifteen years. One of the big differences between today and say the early 1980s is today’s young people are burdened with debts they cannot possibly afford while simultaneously being screwed by a poor economy, a sick currency, and asset price inflation recently coupled by commodities deflation. Now is not a good time to be joining adulthood and all one could hope from an administration is to not fix the problem, but to take steps to eventually correct it. The President and Congress have simply not done this for decades now.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            You make some good points, truly. But keep in mind – the good old days weren’t so great. I graduated school and started working F/T in 1985. My tax rate was 70% on an annual income of $23K. That’s not a typo – for every dollar I made, I kept only 30 cents, which didn’t go very far in NYC.

            It IS a tough time for young people to join the economy, but we live in a country where the future belongs to those with savvy and drive.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not up on the New York City tax rates but I thought I read they approach 50% today when coupled with state and federal tax rates. Couple that with asset inflation from 1985, and the living conditions may be similar or even perhaps worse than what you describe. I don’t know if you’ve been following what has been happening in the SF Bay area but economically its madness from what I have read.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            How much of that is Obama’s fault, 28?

            It’s been coming to this for a LONG time now.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Stop assessing individual blame and hang all of them as criminals. The so called people are starting to wake up to this concept, hence the popularity of previously fringe candidates. If anything the fringe candidates have exposed the uniparty nature of the “two party” political system.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Step One through 12,342:

            STOP POLITICAL BRIBERY. It’s just disgusting how easily our leaders are bought. Make federal elections publicly funded, assign each candidate a budget, and if PACs want to campaign, then fine…let them buy a bunch of sandwich boards and hire people to walk around in them. There’s no First Amendment right to subvert our democracy.

            Even filthy rich candidates have a problem getting elected – Mitt Romney has more money than God, thus making him (theoretically) immune to being bought, but he couldn’t get any love from the GOP.

            And this year’s billionaire is a blathering fool.

            I always thought it’d be a good idea to just pay members of Congress like NBA stars. Pay ’em $5 million per. Why not? They’re there to get rich, and I’d rather they got that way doing their actual job, versus having to depend on lobbyists.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            FreedMike – Canada has limits on the length of campaigns. Businesses or unions are also not allowed to contribute to campaigns. PAC’s are also severely restricted here. Our recent Federal Election lasted 78 days and cost roughly 375 million in total. It lasted longer and cost more than usual because the government of the time passed laws allowing for longer more costly elections which in theory would give them an edge over opposition parties.
            The USA would benefit from caps on PAC’s, donations, and length of campaigns.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Lou:

            That’d be a good place to start…but unfortunately here in the U.S., the media makes a KILLING on these campaigns.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    A self styled performance car and truck Company that offers no optional engines? Instead provides not one, not two but three “standard” engines, none of which are worth mentioning in comparison to competitors’ engines as being anything to write home about (especially because the cars are obese). To further rub salt in the self inflicted wound, the Company is known for “SRT” and then provides nothing here, neither the Dart or the 200.

    Sad they can’t see.

  • avatar

    FCA should turbo that 2.4 and offer a Dart Hellkitten. Better yet, a lightened ESC-delete Hellkitten ACR.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    What prevented the Dart from selling better? The Neon and Caliber’s reputation? Fiat-Chrysler reliability? Surely there was something other than “Obama.”

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s heavy and drives like it, needing the 2.4 to feel reasonably responsive, which is a thirstier engine than most others in the class. Result: midsize fuel economy, compact interior room, and unsatisfying driving dynamics (for those who care about such things).

      Plus, it’s competing against things like the Civic, Corolla, Elantra, and Focus that have good reputations and devoted followings. It had to be better than those cars in at least some respect to win over converts. It isn’t. Even its strongest suit, highway ride, is done better by the Chevy Cruze.

  • avatar
    chris724

    Certainly Obama’s association didn’t help sales. He totally sucks!

    • 0 avatar
      theonlydt

      Funny, he won 51.1% of the popular vote in 2012 (versus 47% Romney) – and yet people say he’s not popular! About 66m people liked him enough to vote for him. I’m guessing the endorsement of the Dart Aero probably did more good than harm, but still couldn’t help a flawed car from a flawed company.

      • 0 avatar
        chris724

        Obama really has that Midas touch! But it’s not gold it turns into…

        • 0 avatar
          theonlydt

          Well, you’re right, it wasn’t gold. It was healthcare for the most vulnerable, a little more useful than gold I reckon. Again, 66 million votes.

          Also an extra 8.4 million jobs in the economy since the start of his presidency.

          Unemployment rate is now down to 5.1%.

          Let’s go back to the 15 million more people with health insurance.

          But apparently he ruined the Dodge Dart. Oh no!!!!!!! Shame on him!

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Impressive work, Chris,
      FCA develops a POS, misjudges the uptake for manuals, builds it with the usual crappy FCA quality, picks a name 90% of people associate with either nothing or a crappy car form 40 years ago, but somehow it’s the President’s fault that sales are low.

      Thanks a lot Obamacare!

      • 0 avatar
        chris724

        LOL! No, I don’t actually blame Obama for FCA’s problems. But his name is right there in the thread title, so this seemed like a good place to put my 2 cents. And it’s funny to watch you lefties squirm and try to defend this loser.

        • 0 avatar
          theonlydt

          No lefty – just an observer as a northern neighbour.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @theonlydt – we have right and left in Canada eh!

            @chris724 – if Obama is a loser then what is Trump?

            I’m curious since he isn’t too popular with the Republican old guard and the uneducated Christian angry white male vote will only carry you so far.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I am leftist, but Obama is a centrist. I still like him, mostly because the economy is in such amazing shape, and there are an additional 19 million Americans who now can go to bed knowing they have health insurance.

          By “loser”, you mean the guy who crushed both McCain, and Romney, right? Just so I understand.

          • 0 avatar
            chris724

            Hah! You crack me up. How about that national debt that Obama was complaining about back in ’07? I suspect you’ll notice it again once Trump is elected. :)

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            If you look at US debt as a % of GDP -this is the meaningful metric, it’s been essentially flat since Obama pulled us out of the Great Depression.

            Talk of the debt is a smokescreen the wealthy use to limit work on addressing income inequality.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @VoGo – I liked John McCain. He impressed me as a fellow who stood by his principles and did what he thought was best for his country. I would of picked him over Obama.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “He totally sucks!”

      About as specific and well-informed a criticism of his presidency as we’ve seen at most of the Republican debates.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Ted Cruz has broken down Obama’s lawlessness and the costs of ignoring it quite accurately. If you don’t get it, that’s your failing and that of the people that allowed your indoctrination to the left’s suicide cult.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Oh, ToddAtlas, I feel you shrugging, all the way from your mom’s basement.

          If Ted Cruz is your Canadian savior, oh my. Do me a favor, name a single person who knows Ted Crua and actually LIKES Ted Cruz. I mean, his own wife had a nervous breakdown just from proximity to the man. No one in the Senate will talk to him – even Republicans, let alone work with him to actually pass legislation.

          I would say that Ted Cruz is exactly what Republicans deserve, except that Trump already stole that title from him, like he stole everything else from “Lyin’ Ted”.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Ted Cruz being hated by the Republicans in congress is why I support him. The rest of DC is a club that talks about us and them meaning us politicians and them ignorant tax paying suckers. Republican and Democrat is about getting imbeciles like you to hate imbeciles that vote for Paul Ryan and vice versa instead of both of you putting your halfwits together to form a full intellect which might allow you to figure out you should hate both the Clintons and the Bushes, as well as their collaborators like Trump and Steyer. Good luck not being food in the future.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            ToddAtlass,
            Remember, it isn’t just Republicans in Congress who hate Ted Cruz. Republican voters hate him. They hate him so much, they are electing a dimwit with no public sector experience whatsoever other than greasing the palms of politicians as their nominee.

            And Americans don’t like Ted Cruz either, as he loses by meaningful margins to both Clinton and Sanders in every poll that’s been taken.

            But you like Cruz, of course you do, because you are so much alike. Did it hurt when your classmates tattooed that “L” on your forehead? It’s not for Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            chris724

            Your tears will be delicious, come November.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            What kind of creep wants to lick my tears? I honestly think that you and your twisted fetishes belong on another website.

          • 0 avatar
            chris724

            You sure are an outspoken lefty. Typically dishonest.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Vogo,

            I don’t know if you’re really as ill-informed as you present yourself to be, but Ted Cruz has cleaned Trump’s clock in all closed primaries. Trump only wins in open primaries, when Democrats and independents can vote for him. Trump is a Clinton plant, and that suits many Republican party officials just fine. They want everyone as stupid and ineffectual as you present yourself to be.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The phrase “Trump is a Clinton plant” tells us all how well rooted in reality you are, ToddAtlass.

            By the way, when they get to Cleveland, is it only the delegates from closed primaries who get to vote, or is it all the delegates? I think it’s all the delegates. Someone should Ted Cruz, or he might not win

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Alright Vogo, look into the results of the open and closed primaries. You’ll learn who has an intimate relationship with reality, and who is an insipid hand puppet that the world would be better off without. You said that Republican voters hate Ted when they’ve chosen him over Hillary’s buddy Trump in every closed primary. Own it, unlike your pathetic back-peddling when called out by a survivor of Obama’s duplicitous foreign policy. It’s a good thing you have no character. You couldn’t live with yourself if you did.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            So many insults, ToddAtlass,
            But since you contend that Ted Cruz is popular, and you know so much about politics, humor me, and answer this question: in how many states has Ted Cruz won a majority of the votes?

            I’ll help you: 1, Utah. In only 1 state out of 32 has he won more than 50% of the vote. And it was Utah.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            People who have probably never been to Washington and certainly never talked face-to-face with anyone who is familiar with how the place works love to bash it and all the people in it.

            Imagine if I, person who has never owned a gun, bashed all gun owners as either gangsters or drunken ignorant rednecks. That would be about as well informed.

            Here’s a hint, from someone who is somewhat connected there: whatever you think of their policy positions, the two candidates in this race that describe how Washington works the most accurately are Hillary Clinton and John Kasich. Ted and Bernie know the ropes perfectly well but choose to demagogue to their supporters instead of telling the truth.

            I’m closer to Bernie than Hillary on a lot of policy positions but I support Hillary because she doesn’t lie about how she would get things done. Bernie with his empty promises of “political revolution” and Ted with his no-compromise-ever rhetoric are two sides of the same coin.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @dal20402 – well said.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “the left’s suicide cult”

          Please explain?

          Citations required.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Todd – one correction for you. Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada and Arizona were all closed contests and Cruz won none of those. New York is also a closed primary, I don`t see Cruz winning that either.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Left’s suicide cult.”

          And just yesterday I was saying how this site has so little stupid political talk. Ah, well…

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    I’m surprised that 6 speed DDCT isn’t seen as more desirable, given that the alternative is the cursed 9 speed automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      there are two kinds of people who “curse” the 9HP transaxle:

      1) automotive journalists who need to say something negative so they can appear “unbiased,” and

      2) people who have never driven a vehicle with said transaxle but think they know what they’re talking about because they read some stuff on the internet.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I’ve driven it, and I curse it.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        It’s still cursed. They will never be able to program out that rough dog clutch engagement between 4th and 5th. it’s just the way it’s designed.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I haven’t driven it, but I have extensive experience with the critically acclaimed yet disposable 8HP. If the 9HP is actually worse than the 8HP, then it is utterly deplorable. OTOH, I’ve yet to read a reviewer telling the truth about the 8HP, so maybe the 9HP is actually the realization of the multi-speed slushbox dream, and they’re all saying it’s the Bruce Springsteen of trannies because they feel they need to balance out their false praise of the 8HP.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          What’s your issue with the 8HP? All the examples I’ve driven have been pretty good.

          I haven’t driven anything with the 9-speed so I don’t know if the criticism is groupthink or legitimate.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The 8HP is great on a test drive. Two months into ownership, it’s a slurring mess that causes the mechanically sympathetic to wince when calling for a downshift, which happens all the time, such is its enthusiasm for tall gears when driven moderately. Alternatively, ‘sport’ mode causes heads to snap forward whenever you lift and it holds onto a low gear like it’s the edge of the Eiger. What the 8HP needs to do is upshift one gear at a time while keeping the throttle open with minimal fuel delivery instead of slipping into a gear where idle is equal to road speed whenever possible and then it needs to downshift on initial throttle opening instead of trying to hang onto a high gear as long as possible. Maybe it would be a good transmission without CAFE, but maybe it would be a good time to have kids without an electorate stupid enough to vote for someone who says they’re going to make consumer decisions for them too.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            It takes real talent to figure out that a poorly programmed transmission is CAFE’s fault. Because every other carmaker plays by the same rules, but FCA alone is under the thumb of a mean dictator making consumer decisions for everyone.

            Maybe you could lend FCA your tinfoil hat technology so they can get out from under this tyranny?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Do I only employ monosyllabic words in my writing? I don’t drive FCA anything. The ZF 8HP is used in a plethora of manufacturers’ products. If you don’t know that current drivetrain calibrations are all about CAFE, there is probably no limit to what you don’t comprehend.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Sigh. Plenty of manufacturers use that transmission. The quality ones program it effectively. The losers blame Obamacare.

            My bad for assuming you bought FCA based on the logic of your posts. What DID you buy?

        • 0 avatar
          chaparral

          (Ex-FCA engineer)

          The 8HP and 9HP transmissions can’t be described as “disposable”. “Walk-home” failure rates on transmissions dropped by at least 3/4 when they replaced the older ZF, MB, and MoPar transmissions. Some applications get us into small sample size problems for number of failures. We’ve replaced “customer claims unsatisfactory” transmissions just to try to determine if the wear rates in service are as low as the ones in testing – and they are.

          There are many complaints you can level at the programming. It’s less “FCA doesn’t know how” as “FCA’s goals are different from yours.” The priorities are, in order, 1) Avoid total “dead spots” that get customers injured trying to cross traffic 2) Minimize fuel use on CAFE and ECE tests 3) Minimize fuel use in service based on customer profiles of the type of customers who calculate gas mileage in a little notebook in the center console 4) Minimize wear on transmission and driveline components 5) Minimize engine wear during warm-up 6) Provide good WOT performance during magazine tests 7) Provide good corner-exit transitions for lap times 8) Everything else.

          The automatic mode is for fuel saving and learns how to burn the least fuel given your driving style. Use the paddles if you don’t like it. The 4-5 and 5-4 shifts in the 9-speed are handled by a dog clutch, and to make it last the life of the car they’re slower and rougher than ordinary changes. Drive around it.

          These boxes are likely to last like a Torqueflite 727. They’re abuse-avoiding and severe-service-tolerant.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Wow, fancy this, a guy who actually knows what he’s talking about, versus spouting Big Bad Gummint quotes.

            Interesting, chaparral. Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If I’m not mistaken, the Dart’s six-speed is a standard automatic, not a DCT or CVT.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        The Dart has had both a 6-speed DCT, and a 6-speed conventional automatic. There are too many configurations for a cheap car like this. No wonder people can’t figure it out, and choose to stay away instead.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Seriously. Pick a your best engine and automatic transmission combo and offer only that. Have 3 trim levels, and a few option packages. Maybe 7 exterior colors and the choice of black or tan inside.

          Assemble engineering teams to root out defects and manufacturing bottlenecks, and match production to supply. This isn’t rocket surgery, it’s basic management.

  • avatar
    bccarsv6t

    It’s really a shame about the Dart’s future. I bought a Dodge Dart Aero with the manual transmission a couple of years ago and it has been a really great car. I shopped around a lot and it was the best option for me. After test driving the Civic, Corolla, Fit, Sonic, Soul, and Xd, the Dart met the most of my needs and was FAR more comfortable than the Civic, Fit, Corolla and Xd. I realize the long term reliability has yet to be established, but I haven’t had any problems yet and I get great gas mileage and love that it actually has low end power. It is also very quiet and is much more refined than the Fit, Civic, Corolla, and Xd.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The Aero edition is the one that ruined the Dart; all the others are surprisingly good from what I’ve been hearing from owners. (Yes, I do know more than one owner.)

  • avatar
    Von

    Someone make a website called The Truth About POTUS and move this post there.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    Ironically, the Dart is the real Obamamobile and not the Volt. It was created specifically because the administration declared Chrysler had to have a 40 mpg car to sell so FIAT could acquire the rest of Chrysler. On the other hand, Obama has nothing to do with the fact that the Dart is a real turkey. I mean, I expected Europe’s small car expert coupled with the folks who made the Neon (the ACR was a good car for its time) to make something that was better than the Focus or the Cruze, and yes, that’s a tall order.

    I test drove a Dart and it’s easily the worst car in its class. The 6MT feels terrible even though it’s purportedly the same unit from the Giulietta, made in Italy, the 2.0 I drove was coarse and overwhelmed, and I drive a Focus which has similar specs enginewise. Not to mention that the damn thing weighs as much as an Accord and it’s supposed to be a compact car.

    Since this article is political clickbait, I don’t hate Trump. He knows damn well what he’s doing to get free publicity and would probably govern as a sensible moderate reformer considering his record as a businessman and his 2000 run for the Reform Party nomination. I actually hope he wins the GOP nod since on the other hand, Ted Cruz is an abomination. His stupid government shutdown cost the government millions of dollars, the tweets compared to the adultery allegations hold up, he’s another toady for Goldman Sachs and a protege of George W. Bush. I’m not exactly satisfied with Obama and I did vote for Romney in 2012, but things could have been a lot worse. I’d rather continue a sluggish recovery with Clinton than have Cruz take us back to the Bush years while claiming he has a mandate from God.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    They should have called it a Neon. Personally, I never cared much for the Neon but it had more than a few fans and it wasn’t wise to ignore the brand equity.

    There are a lot of reasonable choices in this segment, and the Caliber wasn’t one of them. FCA needed all the help that it could get, and choosing the wrong name hasn’t helped.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    There is no reason these things should weigh ~3200-3400lbs, when equally huge Corollas and Sentras weigh like 400-600lbs less. The Compact Wide platform is too heavy and all of the Dart’s problems spiral from that issue.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Young co-worker has a 2015 Dart with the 2.4L/Auto. The few times I rode in it, I wasn’t very impressed. The car has a very rubbery suspension, and the engine sounds rough when pushed. Of course this kid thinks it’s a really fast car so he drives it like it was stolen.

    There are many other vehicles I would pick before I had to buy a Dart.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The Dart Rallye looks absolutely ridiculous, and has no place in production.

    http://www.allpar.com/photos/reviews/Dodge/dart-2013/ddct/2013-dart.jpg

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Dodge deserves some praise for offering a manual across all 3 trimlines and with all engines, unlike many other carmakers. Having driven all 3 engines, the 1.4t is my pick. Yes it’s a bit laggy. However, the 2.0 sounds and feels pedestrian and appliance like and is adequate only for rental duty. the 2.4, while torquey, is thirsty and not as spirited as the competition. The 1.4t has turbo lag, but once it spools up, it keeps the car going nicely, sounds good, and is pretty efficient. I wish this car was available as a hatchback. I would’ve bought one instead of my Abarth.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    A chilling thought – President Rodham – nominates and gets King Pimple of a man put on the Supreme Court. Conservatives flee the court and then King Pimple become chief justice. 30 years of his judicial activism and contempt for the Constitution would make Canada erect a wall to keep us all out.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    Since President Obama is on the sidelines at this point(12/2019), I’d say his legacy will be longer than that of the modern Dodge Dart. I hope Sergio Marchionnes’legacy will last a lot longer. He was one of my favorite auto execs, and his forecast on the 60 Minutes interview that FCA could survive one failure(meaning the Dart being manufactured during the time of the interview) makes me doubly sad that he’s no longer alive. This being said, the Dart was a sales failure while I lived in Boston. Now out in Reno, I probably see one on the highway every other day, which dwarfs the number bought in Boston. This is also Dodge/Ram country, more seen on the road than either F150 or the Chev/GMC cousins as far as late model rigs. Maybe that and a generous rebate for Darts after assembly stopped are factors in the higher sales numbers out west.

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