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I often wonder why the Dart didn’t do better. Maybe not the right configuration available for most people? We loved our loaded Limited. And I had a couple rental cars during that time. Same size of cars and I can’t say what Ford and Huyndai offered for example impressed me more.... Maybe it didn’t offer enough to those who stuck with familiar brands...
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Customers knew then and know now that Ford and Hyundai nameplates are rather solid commitments. The majority of their models have remained with the same name, segment, and purpose. And their customers are pretty darned loyal. Can't beat that with a stick.

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Park a Dart next to a current Corolla... they're not that far apart... it just wasn't a very good car. 200 on the other hand was too small. It would have been a decent mid-sized competitor ten years earlier.
Au contraire. Everyone I know who had one loved it, and that despite its engine failures. One friend, a Physician Assistant in the INARNG had his engine go kaput and he still loves the car. Honestly, had the engine been good and had they brought out the SRT up front like they did with Challenger, the car would've been stealing sales from Honyota.
 

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Au contraire. Everyone I know who had one loved it, and that despite its engine failures. One friend, a Physician Assistant in the INARNG had his engine go kaput and he still loves the car. Honestly, had the engine been good and had they brought out the SRT up front like they did with Challenger, the car would've been stealing sales from Honyota.
Everyone loves a new car til they start having issues with it, and it's also possible to love a car but have no intention of buying another one. And then there are just a few people that like pain, I guess, or don't learn from bad experiences. o_O I saw the Darts with 20-50k miles being traded at the Toyota store in droves, and many of them already had major issues that made them wholesale pieces because it would cost more to repair them than they were worth (or very close). Now all Darts go to the auction, regardless of mileage or condition, because we don't want to be bothered with them. Truth be told we see the exact same thing with early KL Cherokees. People can't wait to get out of those, too. FCA has had it's hits - new Compass, Ram, Wrangler/Gladiator, among them - but a few misses too, and the Dart was one of the bigger misses.
 
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I still like the 1.4 turbo stick-shift but yes, the quality is the issue. The marketing should never have mentioned Alfa Romeo when it was trying to tie itself to the 1970s Darts. It's a fun car when it works properly but I can't count on the turbo spooling up when getting onto the freeway. The Aero was done very badly, too... steel wheels and cutoff springs.
 

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Everyone loves a new car til they start having issues with it, and it's also possible to love a car but have no intention of buying another one. And then there are just a few people that like pain, I guess, or don't learn from bad experiences. o_O I saw the Darts with 20-50k miles being traded at the Toyota store in droves, and many of them already had major issues that made them wholesale pieces because it would cost more to repair them than they were worth (or very close). Now all Darts go to the auction, regardless of mileage or condition, because we don't want to be bothered with them. Truth be told we see the exact same thing with early KL Cherokees. People can't wait to get out of those, too. FCA has had it's hits - new Compass, Ram, Wrangler/Gladiator, among them - but a few misses too, and the Dart was one of the bigger misses.
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I'm just one observer, and I was nearing the need to replace my rides when the Dart was released. I had pretty keen interest then. I needed one ride to serve as a Commuter-type product ( fuel mileage, something that wasn't a 1970's Boat, stout ).

Looking back, though, it just didn't appear there was all that much behind the car from the company.

I simply sensed there was an inward need to move on. Then the 200 arrived. I wanted to test both ( and my way to do that is not specifically to test-drive at a dealership. It is to rent one to avoid the third-party interruptions). Never was able to have an opportunity to rent a Dart - only able to rent a 200.

The initial release of the Dart was puzzling. Engine/Transmission choices appeared catawampus to me . It didn't show up ready to be competitive. The old saying : 'You don't get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression' - and the introduction foolishly wasted that bit of wisdom.

Civic, Corolla, Elantra, Focus - you name the mainstays - Each were already dialed-in. In essence, the Dart was on the sand of the beach nosed-up against a sheer cliff, and those cars were looking down from the top. The Dart couldn't climb that one.

For what it's worth, they did get a player into that segment. It was simply behind, and had little hope to make the necessary splash. One telltale sign was the competition they entered with it ... the driver and the series name escape me right now. But it was mismatched.

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Ok, I have to speak up for the Dart. I own a 16 GT and love it. Oh, by the way it is my 2nd Dart. Yes the 2.4 is not the best on mpg but it’s decent. Saying it’s too big for a compact, well duh, that makes it more resourceful. I bought automatics and I NEVER do but the 6 speed felt so good. The Manuel was very sloppy. Maybe the 9 might have been better but after hearing all the bad reviews of them no thank you. I have never had a car that has handled as well as my Darts.
TBH the dart is good at many things and bad at many things but it's neither great nor horrible in anything. Was i happy with my dart when i had it, yes. Would i go back to one? Nope for a number of reasons mainly being my own personal opinion
 

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The Japanese manufacturers have always liked to play in their own pond as it were. The not reason the Renault deal happened is because Nissan was going bankrupt, and no Japanese company was willing to pull their fat out of the fire.

I expect the relationship to deteriorate, and possibly, another Japanese make to come along and make a new company. Honda would be an ideal partner. Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi would be a pretty powerful player with the right management.
 

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Did you guys see that Carlos Ghosn fled Japan and is now hiding in Lebanon. He pretty much kissed goodbye to any pretense of innocence.

Ousted Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn confirms he's left Japan, says he 'escaped injustice and political persecution'

I won’t be surprised if he ends up kidnapped by the French, or whomever, to face a proper trial.
God forgive me for admitting this...but just from a sheer standpoint of entertainment...I'm loving this.

Fiction writers would have a hard time coming up with material this good. If "As The World Turns" had writing and plot-lines this good, CBS-TV and Procter & Gamble would never have pulled the plug.:D:p

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVRphbZoS6s
 

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Ghosn has right on this:


"I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied, in flagrant disregard of Japan's legal obligations under international law and treaties it is bound to uphold," he said in a statement, which was released on his behalf by a public relations firm.
 

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If Ghosn thought Japan was bad, wait till he’s experienced Lebanon for a while. ;)
 

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If Ghosn thought Japan was bad, wait till he’s experienced Lebanon for a while. ;)
I presume if you have enough cash in Lebanon, you can pay to be protected or even hidden. If it's anything like Iraq, $250k goes a long way. For him, perhaps a couple mil in greenbacks to the right people.
 

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I doubt he wanted his legacy to be that of a fugitive, though.
 

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I presume if you have enough cash in Lebanon, you can pay to be protected or even hidden. If it's anything like Iraq, $250k goes a long way. For him, perhaps a couple mil in greenbacks to the right people.
$250,000? My guess is that he has a great deal more than that...stashed away in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of places. Ghosn may be many things, but stupid is not one of them.
 

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I presume if you have enough cash in Lebanon, you can pay to be protected or even hidden. If it's anything like Iraq, $250k goes a long way. For him, perhaps a couple mil in greenbacks to the right people.
Like most places in the Middle East, you can pay to play. Just don’t get into trouble by crossing the wrong people. You will find out very quickly that their government and security forces are more than willing to turn a blind eye to your complaints...or to your torture and/or execution. (Assuming they’re not already active participants in all of that).
 
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