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Cars.Com Names 2013 Dodge Dart Most Improved Vehicle in Past 15 Years


The last time a Dodge Dart rolled off the assembly line was 1976. Fast-forward to 2013 as the Dart nameplate is introduced back into the Dodge lineup to replace the slumping Caliber and you’ve got what calls the most-improved vehicle from the past 15 years.

Now that the Dart has been available at Chapman Dodge Scottsdale for a full model year and is experiencing robust sales (83,388 units sold in2013), it’s time to look at the economics of a redesign, and why named the Dart “most improved vehicle.”

First, it’s a big commitment for an automaker to embark on the redesign of a vehicle. According to a study by MIT, on average it costs an automaker $1 billion to redesign a vehicle. Typical reasons for a redesign include wanting to boost sales, increased competition, and advances in technology. In the case of the Dart, Dodge needed to replace the Caliber, which lacked power, a quality interior and produced poor mpg. And, it was a poor seller. During the last year of production in 2012, the Caliber sold only 10,176 units in the US, compared to 101,079 units in 2007, the year it replaced the Dodge Neon.

The redesigned Dart is based on the Fiat Compact platform, on which the Alfa Romeo Giulietta also is built. A choice of three engines gives it plenty of power and an average 33mpg on the highway, and it’s rated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The interior is sporty and comes in 14 color and trim combos featuring cloth or leather seating; exterior color choices (there are 12) include Header Orange and Maximum Steel Metallic; and technology features include an 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch Media Center, situated in an exclusive, floating-island bezel in the dashboard. In short, the new Dart is everything the Caliber was not – sporty, reliable and engineered to compete with the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze. This 180-degree turnaround is why named it the most-improved vehicle in the last 15 years.

“The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart has been engineered with a passion that demonstrates Dodge is back in the compact car segment in a big way,” said Matt Liddane, Vehicle Line Executive — Chrysler Group LLC. “The Dart is well-crafted, agile, powered by world-class, fuel-efficient powertrains, loaded with high-tech features that are both clever and useful, and it’s fun to drive.”

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A new Dart trimline has been added for 2014 and is available at your Phoenix Dodge dealer. The Dodge Dart SXT Blacktop offers unique, 18-inch Gloss Black wheels, Gloss Black side mirrors, Gloss Black painted split-crosshair grille with matching surround, darkened headlamp bezels and a unique sport interior. This package option brings it in line with other Blacktop options offered on the Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan.

To test drive one of the new Dodge Dart vehicles, visit Chapman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Scottsdale, or view our complete inventory online at

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