2013 Dodge Dart’s success would depend on how reliable it is

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 20, 2012

While the 2013 Dodge Dart compact is competitively priced, automotive analysts think that a lot of its success would depend on how reliable it is. The Dart is the first compact sedan from the Chrysler Group since it discontinued production of the Neon in 2005. It has a price range of $16,790 to $23,290 (which includes a delivery charge of $795.

It is offered in five trim levels: SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited and R/T. This model has been priced and styled to appeal to Generation Y consumers, or those who are between 19 and 31 years old. The Dart arrives this June at showrooms. Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst with research firm IHS Automotive in suburban Detroit, considers the Dart to be a crucial model for Chrysler in the compact car market.

He said that its pricing is comparable to that of its key rivals like the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic and the Hyundai Elantra. She said that to succeed, the Dart has to impress the market with its price, utility, fuel economy, and reliability.

The problem is that Dart is new and so its reliability isn’t known yet. The Dart starts production this quarter at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill. What’s offered as its base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 160 hp and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or an available six-speed automatic.

According to Alexander Edwards, an analyst with California research firm Strategic Vision, the styling of this Dart is bolder than others in the compact market but it comes from a brand that has had challenges with being reliable and with gaining consumers’ trust. Edwards believes that the Dart will perform well in a market where the average new compact car is sold for around $19,000.

He said that around 30% of new small-car sales are vehicles that have prices lower than $18,000. Honda Civic has been the top-selling compact in the U.S. through March, with 77,169 units sold. The Civic is priced from $16,545 (which includes a delivery cost of $790). Coming in at second place is the Toyota Corolla with 68,428 units sold in the U.S. It has a starting price of $16,890, (which include a $760 delivery charge).

Interior Design

2013 Dodge Dart is a modern blend of cutting edge technology, precise craftsmanship, and high-quality materials. Not to mention an exciting mix of colors and hand-sculpted shapes for its interior.

The car offers cool amenities as well as a delightful experience for drivers and passengers alike. The car boasts innovative ambient lighting for its interior, high-tech features, high-quality and soft-to-the-touch materials, thanks to the modern Dodge DNA.

Dodge Dart has a driver-centric layout, with all its controls easily within the driver’s reach. Its spacious and easy-on-the-eyes interior boasts customizable displays as well as ergonomic, comfort-tuned seats. The car’s interior boasts the roominess of a mid-sized sedan and a hip and shoulder space that’s considered the best in its class.

Chrysler Group LLC Head of Interior Design Klaus Busse says that the new Dart is the carmaker’s showpiece for its next generation of Dodge interior design. According to him, the car’s beautiful and crafted-to-precision interior has taken the design they rolled out last year, yet it features an added hint of fun and colors, a bunch of cool technology, and striking ambient lighting.

With the newly developed Dodge Dart, customization is a key factor. For one, the car has a dozen exterior colors to choose from and 14 possible combinations for interior colors and trims. You also have seven options for its wheels, three options for its engine, and three transmission choices. These combination options are also multiplied exponentially because Mopar is also offering over 150 themed packages and customization options that are especially developed for Dart as far as parts and accessories is concerned. In short, you can personalize your Dodge Dart to suit your individual preference and lifestyle.

2013 Dodge Dart’s high-tech centerpiece is its floating island bezel that’s class-exclusive and which houses the seven-inch Thin Film Transistor customizable gauge cluster display that is also segment-exclusive. The TFT has a light pipe that houses the Uconnect Touch 8.4-inch touchscreen – the largest in its class – media center.

The new car also features well-thought-of and inventive storage options such as the glove compartment, the center console with auxiliary jacks for you to plug in your electronic gadgets and devices, and the center console’s side pockets where you can put your cellphones, your receipts, your pens, and other items that you use very often.

The car has lighting in the important places, giving the driver and the passengers warmth and comfort in the cockpit. Available “racetrack” lights are also positioned around the floating island bezel while ambient lights illuminate the door handles, the foot wells, the glove compartment, the map pockets, the cup holders, and the storage bin.

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