Dodge Dart: high-mileage Aero coming in a few months
Dodge Dart Aero will start at $16,000 and get at least 41 miles per gallon on the highway. But fuel ratings for Dodge Darts with automatic transmissions have not been revealed.
The eagerly-awaited new 2013 Dodge Dart compact sedan will start arriving at dealerships in June. But the first volley of Darts won't include every model.Skip to next paragraph
Jaguar hires Beckham to help sell cars in China
Nissan Altima? So last year. In Geneva, Nissan shows off 2015 Juke
Automaker Koenigsegg signs on American dealer
Tesla (TSLA) announces European expansion plans at Geneva auto show
ZR1 Blue Devil Corvette, rescued from sinkhole, exits on its own power (+video)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The model with the highest gas mileage will be known as the Dart Aero, and it should go on sale sometime between July and September.
It will feature the smallest of the car's three engine options, a 1.4-liter turbo four, along with additional modifications that Dodge says will boost its mileage to at least 41 mpg on the EPA highway cycle.
The Dart Aero package will be offered on the base Dart SE trim level (which starts at $15,995 plus a mandatory $795 delivery fee).
It will include:
- 160-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
- Six-speed manual transmission
- Lighter-weight forged aluminum suspension components (replacing steel parts)
- Electric grille shutters that close to smooth frontal air flow when engine cooling isn't needed
- Aerodynamic aids including fender lips
- Low-rolling-resistance tires
Dodge development engineers said that, off the record, they hoped the Dart Aero would achieve a 34-mpg combined EPA rating.
Fuel efficiency for the standard (non-Aero) 1.4-liter turbo model with the six-speed manual is 32 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 39 mpg highway).
We didn't get close to that figure in our test drive, though, logging just 26.2 mpg in that same model over a relatively energetic 50-mile route.
The Dart Aero will compete directly with the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, the optional high-mileage version of the Cruze compact sedan.
The Cruze Eco too weighs less than the standard model (via lightweight wheels), includes electric grille shutters, and uses a 1.4-liter turbo with six-speed manual gearbox. The EPA rates it at 33 mpg combined (28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway).
Ford too offers a special package, known as SFE, on its Focus compacts that get that model to the magic 40-mpg highway figure.
It's worth noting that most Dart models are expected to be ordered with automatic transmissions. Dodge so far has been notably silent on fuel-economy ratings for any of its automatic models.
We'll bring you the full details on EPA ratings for the 2013 Dodge Dart compact as soon as we have them.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.