Allpar Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've had my Dart for a year now (and I felt like doing some writing) so I figured I'd provide some updates, thoughts and stories after the first 365 days.

Here's a refresher on my Dart:

2013 Dart Limited - Blue Streak, black premium cloth interior
1.4 Multiair Turbo, 6-speed manual transmission
Technology package, Alpine stereo, Power Sunroof

Powertrain
I opted for the 1.4 because I wanted the higher torque (2.4 was not available yet) and the higher gas mileage. My previous car had a manual which I found more fun than an automatic; when it became evident that the 9-speed or the DDCT were not going to be available at launch I decided to stick with the three pedal configuration.

The 1.4 allows for the choice of a spirited driving experience or a fuel sipping cruise. If I want to feel pushed back in my seat, I can leave it in the lower gears long and let it approach redline. Leave it in third and I can merge on the highway at 70mph around 5,500 rpm and feel satisfied.

Alternatively, I can move into higher gears sooner with a light right foot and coast in neutral more to not suffer the decrease in mileage.

With strategic driving I can get closer to 30 in the city. If I keep it in 6th on the highway I can produce somewhere in the 37-39 range at up to around 72-73 mph. Once you start creeping north of that, MPGs take a hit.

Let it be known, no matter how heavy your right foot is, this car isn't going to beat very many off the line. This may change with the release of the 2.4, but I have not had the chance to drive one.

One thing that still makes me smile is this car's exhaust note at low RPMs. It's got a real low, mean growl to it when you tap the gas at idle. It definitely sounds like there is something much larger than a 1.4 under the hood.

Power has been a hotly debated topic with the 2013's especially with the lack of the 2.4 (which for MY14 is standard on all models except SE and Aero). Had I known I could get the 2.4 in MY14 outside of the GT trim I may have waited. The 1.4 needs premium fuel to achieve the best power and mileage; here in Michigan I can usually get it for 20 cents more than regular resulting in $2-3 more per fillup which I think is well worth it.

I would have liked to see an SRT model, but it appears that won't happen now. I was a big fan of the SRT Neons but was never in the correct situation to buy one.

Interior
I went with the premium cloth over the leather because I have never been a huge fan of leather seats. In the winter, I primarily drive my ZJ so the heated seats and heated steering wheel seemed like a waste.

The big thing that still impresses me today is how quiet the interior is, especially when cruising on the freeway. Most other cars now seem obnoxiously loud in comparison.

There are soft touch materials where you'd expect them. Hard plastics are used where there is likely to be more rough contact i.e. near the doors and underneath the dash.

The seats are comfortable to say the least. I used to get a sore back after 3 hours in my last car, but not with the Dart. Some people had complaints about the headrests being too far forward, but I don't seem to have that problem. I would have liked to see a standard passenger power seat on the Limited.

Headroom is adequate (I'm 6'1"). If I wear a hat or have sunglasses on my head they will touch the lowered area in the headliner where room was required for the sunroof.

Back seat space is ample. I recently had four adult males in the car and only had to move the front seats up a little bit to accomodate. Back seat headroom is slightly limited for taller individuals. Also recently, I drove a friend with his infant son in a carseat. With the carseat directly behind the front passenger seat, it had to be moved up a considerable distance to fit properly. I think this could be avoided if the carseat was in the middle of the backseat.

Trunk space is also pretty good. I can fit two full sets of golf clubs back there plus a whole lot more. Trunklid hinge design is dated and cargo can interfere with the hinges when they recess into the trunk.

A few complaints:
The standard floors mats, at least the driver's, seemed to wear out pretty quickly. I've only had them in the car for about 8 months (Mopar rubber mats for the few times I drove it in the winter) and there is already a heavy wear mark where my right foot rests. I'm not sure if there is a Mopar option for premium carpet mats or not.

The black hard plastic trim near the door seems to scuff really easily and is tough to clean.

The newer style power window buttons are a bit finnicky. One down click returns a full roll down and you have to up click to stop it. I think if you push and hold it, the window will stop rolling down when you release but by then it's halfway down. Cracking the windows just a tad is an adventure.

Exterior
Not much to update on here. It looks great, especially with the racetrack tail lights. I think there are lots of small things that really add to the overall look of the car like side mirror turn signal indicators, roof mounted antenna, body integrated dual exhaust, LED turn signals, HID headlights and the "flying buttress" tribute on the rear glass.

Some owners complained early on of trunklid and hood misalignments. I do not have these issues.

Earlier this year, someone backed into the car. There was significant contact with the driver's side rear quarter section. It ended up being a $1300 bang, paint and buff job that was covered by comprehensive insurance. Looks good as new now.

Tech
I was intrigued by the options in the technology package, some of which are normally reserved for higher end vehicles, including auto high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear ross path detection, push button start, rain sensing wipers and rear park assist. These all make for a more enjoyable driving experience and are overall neat things to have.

The TFT is another reason I wanted to get the Limited trim. It's easily the best in dash display I've seen; no wonder Chrysler has moved it to more of their high end vehicles. It's easily customizable, showing what information you choose to see.The digital speedo is ultra smooth. It actually increments by every number, unlike some VWs and Chevys I've seen whose displays will skip over numbers under hard acceleration.

The Uconnect 8.4N system is one of the better infotainment systems out there. I experienced MyFord Touch in a rental car and it was slow and unintuitive, my brother has Chevy's MyLink and it's better than Ford's but still a little clunky. The response of Uconnect is snappy and everything just seems to be where it should. With voice controls, you can say anything that's on the screen instead of touching it.

The 1 year included Sirius subscription with Sirius traffic and Travel Link is not something you see with Chevy or Ford (they have subscriptions included but they are 3- and 6-month). The subscription just expired, I don't see myself renewing the radio portion (I'm an avid Pandora user) but I will be renewing traffic and Travel Link.

Bluetooth and iPod options function as you think they should for the most part. When using Bluetooth (at least with an iPhone), no song data is displayed on the screen, just "Paul_s iPhone"; though you can still skip songs with the steering wheel and on screen controls. Having the USB port in the center glove box is a great way to keep your device plugged in and out of sight. I haven't really experimented with the SD card slot, but have heard it works great.

Built-in navigation seems to get you to your destination well enough. When I first started using the nav system, some of the routes seemed fishy to me. Well it turns out the nav was factoring in heavy traffic via Sirius traffic and routing me around it. It took a while to trust the traffic reports, but after not listening to them and getting stuck in huge backups, I started to take its advice to heart. Upcoming directions are displayed on TFT in addition to voice directions. The way the text is laid out on the TFT can be a little screwy if the upcoming street names are long.

A few complaints:
Sometimes there is an audible electronic clicking in the background that is noticeable in between songs or whenever there is silence coming through the stereo. I took this to my dealer to have them look at it, they came back and said there wasn't an issue and the noise was happening because my treble was turned all the way up. I didn't buy that at all, but just haven't had the time to follow up on it.

Pandora integration would have made this a complete package. I know they have it in newer versions of Uconnect, I'll just have to hope for an update to my system.

The Alpine speaker system, which includes rear dash mounted subwoofer, can produces some rattles if you have the bass and the volume up.

Misc
Oil
I'll probably catch some flak for this from you enthusiasts out there, but I decided to let the oil in the car from the factory go until the oil life monitoring system told me to change it. I believe the manual states that it will prompt to be changed somewhere between 7000 and 10000 miles. Starting at 7500, I started checking the oil level and quality at every fill up. It never got too low or very dirty so I let it go. I had passed 9,000 and was starting to get nervous, so I decided to take it in and get it changed. That day when I went out and started it, the system notified me to change it.

I initially tried to go to a Valvoline station to get it changed, but that failed quickly. They didn't carry the oil or the filter. So I took it to a dealer after finding some coupons online. I was able to get the oil and filter changed, tires rotated and a wash for about $70. It's not too bad if you consider the oil change will last up to 10k miles.

Ordering
I ordered the car in mid May '12 and didn't get it until after Labor Day '12. The large delay was attributed to issues with the Alpine system, which was a must have for me. If I knew I was going to be waiting that long, I may have sprung for the Premium package, despite not being head over heals with the features.

Summary
All in all, I think the Dart was a great purchase for me. I paid a little more to have it at launch, there were literally zero incentives. I can see myself happily owning it for a very long time.

I know this was super long and I could have gone on for more, so thanks for reading. I hope this will convince some people on the fence to choose Dart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
I have had mine for almost a year now as well (almost the same set-up as yours except with the DDCT and Leather). I would agree with everything that you have said. 93 octane at $0.20 more is definitely worth it, lately it has crept up to $0.30 more, which puts it right around the break even point for $/mile. I haven't had any problems with my mats, but I know of a few other people who have had them wear out quickly. I notice the clicking during hands-free calls. Mostly because I have to turn the volume way up to hear the person.


A little trick that I have found with cracking the windows is do a quick double tap down.The second tap will stop the window (you don't have to use up to stop it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,747 Posts
Well written. Thanks for sharing!
 

·
I'm so far behind I thought I was in first place.
Joined
·
4,810 Posts
I sat in a Dart for the first time today while at the Allpar show in NJ. Thought it was really quite nice, I was curious because I never see any on the road out here, and I mean never. Are they slow sellers?
 

·
I'm so far behind I thought I was in first place.
Joined
·
4,810 Posts
Hopefully they catch on. Always saw tons of Neons and P Bodies back in the day.
 

·
Enjoying the ride.
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
I'm starting to see quite a few now. At work I happened to see two red ones a blue one and a white one all in a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
I'm with you on the exhaust. I can't get enough of it!

The standard floor mats are quite a disappointment. I just noticed a clutch pedal wear mark, probably due to my size 14s.

Everything else about the car rocks. I can't find one complaint. Trunk hinges don't matter to me, I have a Jeep for that.
 

·
Enjoying the ride.
Joined
·
2,164 Posts
I can tell the moment I hear one if it has the 1.4 in it. Great sounding engine.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top