2013 Dodge
Dart SXT

$18 ,790
27 City / 39 Hwy
1.4L / V4 160HP

It spent more than 600 hours in the wind tunnel to ensure the 2013 Dodge Dart’s aerodynamic design lives up to its name. It also offers the trifecta of first car ownership: value, safety and fuel efficiency.

By Marjory Hawkins

The Big Picture

One of my college friends drove a maroon Dodge Dart hand-me-down that was well into six digit mileage on its odometer. The paint was faded, a couple of dings on it, but it did the job. My friend kept wishing for it to die so he could get something sportier, but “the damn Dart” just kept running. His was one of the 3.4 million Darts sold during its first life. No wonder Dodge is bringing it back.

The Dart’s re-entry into the sedan-osphere 35 years later comes with new DNA from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Guilietta, and the company’s new lifeline, Fiat, which now owns the Dodge brand and its parent company, Chrysler. Sporty and loaded with safety features, the 2013 Dodge Dart is highly customizable, including three different engines, 12 exterior colors, 14 interior color and trim combinations, six wheel options and three transmission options. Buying the 2013 Dodge Dart will be like ordering a sandwich at the deli with all the possible combinations. Those looking for the reliability and safety of the old Dodge Dart, and a new sportiness and color choices to rival O.P.I., should take a look at the 2013 Dodge Dart. I’ll have to notify my college pal.

An Inside Job

The interior is surprisingly spacious for what looks like a compact car. There is plenty of legroom in the back for teenagers, whether they are your friends or your kids. Back seats fold down, but the trunk opening limits what you can actually get into that space. Storage space in the Dart is very good, even clever. There is the expected storage between the two front seats, but unexpected is the hidden (and lighted) USB port with iPod control inside. The Dart also offers unexpected storage space, too. The glove box is cavernous – I mean, I reached in and kept reaching until I thought I might touch the radiator! Longest glove box I’ve ever stuck my arm in. Another unexpected storage space is in the front passenger seat. Throw in your MP3, battery chargers, CDs or other valuables and it’s hidden from thieves. Plus, your passenger will never know she is incubating your valuables.

Another feature that will fascinate the first car owner is the 2013 Dodge Dart’s ruby red LED light pipe that glows while surrounding the instrument panel. It’s similar to the one that wraps around the tail lamps.

All controls are within easy reach and readable without ducking and weaving your head. The instruments are available in analog or digital. The multi-directional adjustable driver seat and telescoping steering wheel make it easy to personalize your ride and the 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch Media Center may at first be daunting, but is easy to navigate.

The materials – the plastics, mainly, are easily scratched and somewhat ordinary. However, it can be overlooked by the time you design your car from the 100,000 fabric/color/materials possibilities.

Driving Impressions

I drove the 6-speed SXT. The shifting was smooth, but the gearshift knob felt a little large for my hand. All that time in the wind tunnel produced a very quiet ride – at least for the wind. But I was distracted by the sound of the loud engine, which seemed to work hard without getting much. The 1.4 liter, 160 horsepower engine is not as spunky as I would like, but once it gets going, it’s fine. It held well in the tight curves and braking was strong. My mpg came in at 27.7, which is right on target for city driving. A special aerodynamic package can be purchased that brings gas mileage up to 41 mpg highway.


With 10 airbags surrounding you and your precious cargo, and more than 60 available safety and security features, including a back-up camera, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, third window instead of blind spot, lock-on-sync tire pressure monitor, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) in all three rear seat positions, the 2013 Dodge Dart could quite possibly be considered the panic room of vehicles.

Gizmos And Tech

The 2013 Dodge Dart has plenty of technology to keep techies entertained. It offers the largest touch screen radio in its class, which also makes it the largest back-up screen; the full-color instrument panel is easy to read and use and can be reconfigured to the driver’s fancy; and . Heated steering wheels, Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth, integrated Gracenote database which identifies music on portable devices, Sirius XM Satellite radio, dual-zone climate controls, Garmin GPS and blind spot monitoring are all available.

Pricing and Trim Levels

2013 Dodge Dart

The 2013 Dodge Dart is available in five trim levels: SE SXT, Rallye, Limited and R/T. The 2013 Dodge Dart SE comes standard with a 2.0 liter engine with 160 horsepower; 10 air bags; four-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes, Brake Assist, head restraints all around; projector headlamps and LED tail lamps, power windows, AM/FM radio with four speakers; 12-volt auxillary power outlet; outside temperature display in the odometer; cloth seats, rear folding seat, six-way manual driver seat adjuster, LATCH anchors in all three rear seat positions; solar control glass, rear window defroster, manual control mirrors, door locks, heather and air filtering, Sentry Key theft deterrent system; lock-on-sync tire pressure monitor. The MSRP is $16,790.
The 2013 Dodge Dart SXT starts at $18,070 and includes all of the above, plus 17-inch aluminum wheels, power mirrors and door locks, remote keyless entry, six speakers and a/c with micron filter. The car can be customized with the 8.4-inch touch screen, Park View Rear Back-up Camera and navigation.

2013 Dodge Dart red

Final Thoughts

The 2013 Dodge Dart will appeal to a young driver or first-time car buyer. However, it offers enough grown up features for drivers who are looking to downsize yet still maintain a bit of sportiness.

The hidden storage in the passenger seat is brilliant.

I always like colors and options and the 2013 Dodge Dart appeals to the artist inside me.

The trunk opening is too small to fit what the interior of the car could easily handle.


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6 Responses to “Dodge Dart SXT”

  1. John Monahan says:

    Awesome writeup! I’m on the fence as to whether to get a Dodge Dart or a Challenger. I certainly like the MPGs and the look of the Dart but I’m not sure if I can stomach the smaller size or engine. Going to have to go out and test drive one to see.

  2. Gayle Rice says:

    Just bought the car. We like the car just fine, but are disappointed that the SXT model we have does not have many of the cool options discussed in most of the reviews. Ours does not have the racetrack lighting in the rear, no cruse controle or blue tooth. It also does not have the seat storage or radio adjustment on the steering wheel. No touch screen, no u connect. They have so many cool options, I just didnt have to budget to get many of the bells and whistles. I just thought some of these things were ‘STANDARD’. (Just for the record our first choice was the Dodge Dart Aero, but it would have put us over our budgeted limits. 🙁 At the end of the day, I figure I will love it just fine. After all, I can’t miss what I never had. Right? 🙂

  3. Crag aka Dad's Dart says:

    Gayle Rice, it appears that there are many many versions of the so called SXT. Like many other brands of cars, the “model trim designator” is just a “catagory”. When you look on a window sticker, or bring one up online from a dealers website, it’s the options added on the right side of the sticker that tells the whole story of whatchagot on it. I found that out all to well in December when I received a “mailer” about how I could get a real sporty looking Dart SXT for so much a month with little down. The picture show looked like supreme hotness. Then you go shopping and find out that an SXT can be anywhere from basic to decent to ooh-la-la !
    I would up getting ooh-la-la for a heck of a deal right on the last day of the year. I couldn’t resist and the dealer couldn’t resist. I was drawn to it for the color – redline – the 1.4Turbo- the 6speed manual (fun factor)-the bluetooth, the wheel mounted audio and cruise, the 17″ mag wheels, the fatter tires and the dual chrome exhaust which has an entertaining “throaty growl” as car enthusiasts would call it. I absolutely love the car more than any I ever bought or leased new. And for a final deal well under 20K ! I still can’t believe it when I look at it.
    Comfortable seats. Has the passenger seat storage. Has the dual power mirrors. The seating is done in what they call “black denim”. I like it way better than the gray that is seen many times with the redline – as for the touchscreen – I actually find those things distracting. I like to chill when I drive and the big displays just distract and irritate if you ask me.
    Drives great. Looks great. Is great. What a deal. GM would charge about 5 K more for the goodies I got on this baby!!!!!

    • Jack says:

      Yeah, me too! I got a decent deal on my SXT. It came with the Popular Equipment Package which lists everything except moonroof, navigation & Alpine stereo. It’s redline red with black Katzkin leather interior.

      Six speed autostick is great! Decent mileage too. This is my first new car; first without a v8 also. Yet it’s fun
      enough for everyday driving………plus I won’t beat on it (making big monthly payments curbs your appetite
      for abuse!) I also just had the rear LED tail light installed; nice car!

  4. Laurie says:

    I bought a 2013 blue streak pearl dodge dart rallye sxt 3 weeks ago and love the car!! First brand new car I’ve ever had!! We got a great deal on it It has the moon roof, blue tooth uconnect, 18 in wheels, steering wheel controls for the sound system, and the seats are black denim!! My pt cruiser is jealous of it!!!

  5. Gwenyth says:

    Bought my 2013 Dodge Dart SXT with a lot of bells and whistles. Added a couple too. Put Studded winter tires on her and she rocked in winter!!! Our 2 big labs fit in it too with back seats down. Lots of pick up and far surpasses my PT Cruiser I used to have. This one lights up so nice front and back at night that I even noticed some states have these cars for chase vehicles to get people speeding. An awesome dependable sporty car. Happy to have one. This one is true blue pearl with striped interior seats. Definitely a keeper.

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