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Dart 2.4: 300C-like mileage

by David Zatz on

The Dodge Dart is, correctly, advertised as getting up to 41 mpg, highway. That mileage comes on the Aero model, with the 1.4 liter turbocharged engine and a manual transmission; with an automatic, it’s 40 mpg.

Move up to the Dodge Dart GT, though, and gas mileage drops precipitously. That is not entirely unexpected, since the focus of the GT is performance, but the magnitude of the drop might surprise some potential buyers.

The automatic-transmission Dodge Dart GT is officially rated at 21 city, 30 highway, using 4.2 gallons per hundred miles (combined). With a manual transmission, the Dart GT comes in at 23 city, 33 highway.

That mileage does beat the V6-powered Dodge Avenger, which is presumably similar in straight-line performance though not agility, and is rated at 19/29. The full-size Chrysler 300C V6 checks in at 19/31.

Mopar '13 Dart rear

 

Dart is officially a compact — barely. The car is at the large end of the range, on the border with mid-sized.  It is also still above average for new vehicles, with the EPA estimating that one will save $100 – $350 per year (that’s automatic – manual) on Dart GT over the average new car.

So far, no official performance numbers have been released on the Dart GT. Ralph Gilles has compared its feel favorably to the SRT cars, and every Dart is confident around corners, with a sporty but cushioned ride. It’s possible that, if Dodge does release the 2.4 on “lesser” models, as Reid Bigland indicated might happen in 2014, they will use an alternate axle ratio to bump up the gas mileage.  (Thanks, Jared.)

In other news, a Dart forum posted photos of Mopar ’13 Darts waiting for delivery, indicating that the run of Mopar cars has started. (Thanks, Craig.)

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