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2014 Dodge Dart: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions January 2015

Dodge's Euro-inspired compact was all new for 2013. Most versions of the 2014 Dodge Dart come with the torquey and flexible 2.4-liter MultiAir 2 Tigershark 4-cylinder, which is a good match for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based chassis. A multilink rear suspension, precise steering and stiff structure transmit good driving dynamics. The Charger-like styling gives the Dart a sporty attitude. Up-to-date technology includes an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen and 10 standard airbags.

What We Like

Wider availability of the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder; refined driving dynamics; quiet cabin; sporty styling; comfortable front seats; clutch pedal linearity; Uconnect infotainment

What We Don't

Sluggish low-speed response of 1.4 turbo; clunky dual-clutch transmission; limited steering wheel adjustment; B-pillar blind spot

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

All Dodge Dart models are configured with front-wheel drive. There are three available engines. The entry-level SE comes standard with a Tigershark 2.0-liter dual-overhead-camshaft 16-valve 4-cylinder producing 160 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded gas. So equipped, the Dart received an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, and 24 mpg city/34 mpg hwy with the optional 6-speed automatic.

The Dart Aero is equipped with a MultiAir 1.4-liter single-overhead-camshaft (SOHC) 16-valve 4-cylinder turbo. At 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, the 1.4 turbo makes healthy power for its size, but its throttle response is sluggish below 2500-3000 revolutions per minute. If driven conservatively, the 1.4 turbo is fuel efficient. Aero models are EPA-rated at 27 mpg city/39 mpg hwy with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and 28 mpg city/41 mpg hwy with the optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Premium fuel is recommended for best efficiency and power, but not required.

Dart SXT, Limited and GT models come standard with a MultiAir 2 Tigershark 2.4-liter SOHC 4-cylinder engine. It produces a satisfying 184 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque and runs on regular unleaded gasoline. The 2.4-liter is EPA-rated at 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy with the 6-speed manual gearbox on the GT model and 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with the optional 6-speed automatic on everything else.

Standard Features & Options

The 2014 Dodge Dart comes in SE, SXT, Aero, Limited and GT trims.

SE equipment is pretty basic with the 160-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, black side mirrors and door handles, 16-in steel wheels, cloth seat trim, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo. It also includes power windows, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, an auxiliary audio input jack, a folding rear seat, a remote trunk lid and fuel-filler door releases, 10 airbags, anti-lock brakes as well as traction and stability control.

Moving up to the SXT adds the 2.4-liter engine, air conditioning, auto headlamps, a split fold-down rear seat, LED racetrack tail lamps, remote keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, a 6-speaker stereo with steering-wheel controls, Bluetooth with voice command, body-color mirrors and door handles, 16-in alloy wheels, and power locks and mirrors.

The economy-oriented Aero starts with SXT-level trim but substitutes the 1.4-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine and gains an aero kit, active grille shutters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-in TFT instrument cluster, and an 8.4-in Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system with SiriusXM radio and USB and iPod ports.

The well-equipped Limited gets the 2.4-liter engine and 6-speed automatic and adds chrome mirrors and door handles, heated mirrors, fog lamps, dual-zone auto air conditioning, LED interior lighting, an overhead console, keyless enter and go, a power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, a sliding center armrest, leather seats, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and 17-in alloy wheels.

Upgrading to the sporty GT adds 18-in alloy wheels, a blackout grille, heated perforated-leather front seats and all of the Limited trim upgrades.

Garmin navigation, a sunroof, a 9-speaker surround-sound Alpine stereo, a backup camera, HID headlamps, rain-sensor wipers and blind spot and rear cross-path detection are also available as options.

Pricing

Traditionally, the resale value of a Chrysler has lagged behind cars by GM, Ford and some Asian brands. The Dart had a slow sales start in 2013, but the greatly improved 2014s with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder are a better match to the car's European-inspired chassis. The market hasn't quite caught up with the Dart's improved status, so used examples can still be purchased quite reasonably.

To get a good idea of the 2014 Dart's price range, check out the used car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see which models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced no recalls for the 2014 Dart.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and, if not, they will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2014 Dart a 5-star overall rating, with five stars for both front- and side-impact performance, and a 4-star rollover rating.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2014 Dart an Acceptable rating for the small-overlap front-impact test, and Good scores for moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact, roof-strength, head-restraint and seat tests. It's an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

The Chrysler Group covered the 2014 Dart with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, along with 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain and corrosion perforation warranties, and roadside-assistance coverage.

Dodge certified pre-owned (CPO) cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or younger. Every CPO Dart undergoes a 125-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 3-month/3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the car's original date of sale. Also included are a Carfax report, 24-hour roadside assistance, rental car allowance and a 3-month trial of SiriusXM radio.

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Volkswagen Jetta -- Another car in this price range that has European DNA and driving characteristics is the Volkswagen Jetta. While the Jetta's interior has a lot of cheap-looking hard plastic, it offers more rear-seat and trunk space than the Dart does. It also includes a wide variety of peppy, fuel-efficient engines, including 170-hp and 210-hp 4-cylinder turbos and a 4-cylinder diesel that's EPA-rated at 42 mpg hwy.

2014 Chevrolet Cruze -- The Cruze's Opel roots give it a solid feel and fun-to-drive handling characteristics. The 1.4-liter turbo engine is calibrated for good low-end torque, and it blends ample performance with good fuel economy. The Cruze isn't involved with GM's ignition-switch recall because it uses a newer, improved design.

AutoTrader's Advice

We like the 2014 Dart's sporty looks, comfortable interior and Alfa Romeo-inspired driving dynamics, especially when teamed with the peppy and flexible 2.4-liter MultiAir 2 Tigershark 4-cylinder and either the excellent 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed automatic in SXT, Limited or GT models. The base SE's 2.0-liter 4-cylinder doesn't have the performance to exercise the Dart's excellent chassis, and the Aero model's peaky 1.4-liter turbo lacks low-end response in stop-and-go driving. Look for a low-mileage or certified pre-owned Dart, if possible. NHTSA lists no recalls for the 2014 Dart, but always check with the dealer to make sure the car you are considering has had any applicable safety recall items resolved.

Find a Dodge Dart for sale

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Used 2014 Dodge Dart SXT
Used 2014 Dodge Dart
$8,000
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2014 Dodge Dart: Used Car Review - Autotrader