Car Review: 2013 Dodge Dart GT

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After test driving a 2013 Dodge Dart GT, we were reintroduced to an all-new Dart that is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s beautifully designed and crafted and is loaded with state-of-the-art technology. The 2013 Dodge Dart compact car is redefined performance with an agile, fun-to-drive experience, compliments of its Alfa Romeo roots and confidence not normally found in a car in this price range.

EXTERIOR

The Dodge brand dug deep into its rich nearly 100-year history to name its all-new compact car, the 2013 Dodge Dart, and is again drawing on the storied history for the newest Dodge Dart model. The aggressive design is eye-catching and smooth as silk, from the projector fog lamps to the 18-inch aluminum wheels. The header orange cleat coat paint screamed attitude on the road and garnered compliments from folks of all walks of life. Looks matter, and the Dart GT delivers with cues like unique performance front fascia with black accents and hyper black grille, black projector headlamp bezels, body-color door handles, class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust with bright exhaust tips and class-exclusive racetrack LED tail lamps.

INTERIOR

Our 2013 Dodge Dart GT was loaded with premium standard features including perforated heated Nappa Leather seats, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and 7-inch TFT. The GT model adds standard features like unique premium Nappa perforated leather seats in black with ruby red stitching or two-tone black/ruby red, class-exclusive heated steering wheel (which was welcomed in colder Midwest weather), heated front seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, remote start (with automatic transmission), universal garage door opener, ParkView rear backup camera, and a class-exclusive 7-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) reconfigurable instrument cluster display.

Other features include premium door trim panel with soft-touch upper surfaces, leather steering wheel with audio controls and speed control, accent stitching on the instrument panel, power 10-way driver seat including power lumbar support, driver and front passenger seatback pockets, overhead console with sunglass holder, front passenger in-seat storage, illuminated front cup holders, illuminated vanity mirrors, temperature and compass gauge, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet in console, speed-sensitive power locks, power windows with express one-touch up/down front windows, ambient LED interior lighting and automatic headlamps. Clearly one of the sportiest cabins in the compact segment with style you’d expect in expensive sports cars.

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20 Cars to Look for in 2012

For the first time in a long while, driver involvement is making a comeback in 2012. Of course, the New Year is bringing its fair share of power hitters – what with a 650hp Mustang debuting and a bevy of 1,000hp cars – but if you look on the more affordable side of the spectrum, driving fun is back in a big way. Car companies are looking past adding “more” of everything into a car to make their offerings lust-worthy. Instead, they’re putting in features that can’t be summed up on a spec sheet, but do show up in the driving experience. Even Toyota is producing a sports car again. With cars like this on the horizon for 2012, it’s shaping up to be the Year of the Driver.

Ford Focus ST

The story of Ford’s small, performance-oriented cars in the United States has been one of a constant disappointment. As Capris, Sierras and Escorts chewed up European roads with turbocharged fury, us Americans only got the lumbering Mustang. This year, however, we get the truly good stuff with the Focus ST. The specs are promising: 250hp from a turbocharged 2.0L engine, independent rear suspension, and all the natural racy bits on the inside and out. Price has yet to be released, but don’t be too surprised to see this car around the 24k mark. Most importantly, for the first time in seven years, Ford has a proper competitor in the hot hatchback class.

Toyota FR-S/Subaru BR-Z

The FR-S/BR-Z was a joint project between Toyota and Subaru to deliver a car that puts driving enjoyment ahead of sheer numbers. This means low price, low weight and a truly amazing driving experience. The result of this Toyota and Subaru marriage is a low-slung coupe with a 200hp flat four. For those that think that is too little power, bear in mind the car weighs a featherweight 2600 pounds. Not to mention, the development team pegged the Porsche Cayman as a dynamic benchmark. The FR-S will be sold as a Scion here in the states, but the Subaru version will also be available as well.

Porsche 911

The world’s best sports car gets even better this year. Redesigned from the ground up, the 911 gets a new exterior, interior and more power. The boxer six engine has been given a few tweaks to now produce 400hp. The chassis has been lengthened and widened slightly to provide more stable handing as well. Even though the changes are incremental, the 911 goes to show that evolution, not revolution, is the way to continually improve the world’s best all around sports car.

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