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Got My Dart This Week

8026 Views 31 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  saltydog
And I am absolutely thrilled with it! I love it!




Full album here (didn't want to embed all the images separately):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pjfsu331/sets/72157631304734794/

Quick rundown:
Limited in Blue Streak
Black premium cloth interior
1.4L Turbo with 6 speed manual
Power express sunroof
Technology group
Alpine 9-speaker stereo

I plan to write a more robust review after I log some miles and after my vacation this weekend, but here are some quick first impressions:

After having a little time to deep dive into the EVIC and Uconnect systems, I am insanely impressed. I was a little worried about the performance of both, especially with the digital speedo, but those concerns were wiped away immediately.

Even with just 50 miles on the engine, I was already getting 38-40 mpg on the highway at 73mph.

The fit and finish is really top notch. I had 3 people with me look everything nook and cranny over with a fine tooth comb and we couldn't find any manufacturing defects or blemishes or anything. The car preps did miss some of the protective plastic on the inside and left a razor blade (blade up) on the driver's seat. Luckily I noticed it before it did any damage to my seat or my leg.

I'm still getting used to the clutch and transmission in general. I think I would have liked to see 1st and 2nd gears a little closer in ratio. It's resulted in a couple of herky jerky shifts, but I'll adjust.

More to come!

I'll be happy to answer any questions or get you specific pictures of things you want to see.
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I had a K&N cold air kit on my old Jetta and it didn't seem to necessarily provide a massive increase in PSI, rather it seemed to spool up faster and more freely, especially at cruising speeds. (I'm no expert though, maybe someone with more experience can chime in.)

Plus I got a deal on it. Mopar's kits for some other vehicles are close to $400.
Cold air intakes are kind of misleading on a turbo car, be better to call it a free flowing intake. Your not going to get hardly any if at all reduction in air charge temps on a turbo car vs a stock intake, thats what the intercooler is for. Free flowing intake will improve spool and efficiency, not sure you will get much in the way of power gains vs a well designed factory air intake.
 

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Maybe on newer cars but on my dad's Spirit R/T it makes a noticable difference, even though we didn't add it until after putting on a bigger intercooler. It was the $40 Spectre with the hole in the top. More surface area on the filter and smoother,thicker diameter piping bring more air,and that's where you get more pop from
more air.....Not colder air, plus like you said you added after the bigger intercooler. Combo of both makes a difference.
 

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I'm seriously considering a 1.4T equipped Dart myself. I'd need to do an extended test drive to see if I really like the transmission feel or not though, I did a brief test drive a couple months ago and it was ok, but I think I'm used to the grabby, stiff, tight feelings I've built all my previous manual cars to. The shifter movement and clutch uptake feel smooth, but kinda vague and rubbery.

If/when a short shifter is made I'll want to see how that feels. I would like to put a couple modest upgrades, intake/exhaust/tune and hope to get a bit over 200hp with the 1.4T Dart, while keeping the 40mpg freeway cruising capability. Probably a 2-year lease, long enough to tide me over for the 8-speed Hemi cars to start rolling out... =]

So now that you've had it a bit longer, what's your impression of the transmission feel, and power delivery, if any different from your first impressions?
200hp is easy with the 1.4T.....
 
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