2015 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Review
A Dart, by any similar name, should really look better than this.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: July 22nd, 2015
The Dodge Dart is Dodge's answer to the Honda Civic. A sensible, relatively small four-door sedan that milks all the sprightliness it can out of a small engine. The Rallye edition sportifies things further with a tightened suspension and a rear stabilizer bar. Unfortunately there's no additional sportiness under the hood; the Rallye packs the same 2.4-liter I-4 as the standard Dart.
The Dart looks great from the front - the current Dodge front end is the best the brand has designed in decades, and the Rallye edition--which is less a sport edition and more a sport appearance package -- has the oversized grille and unnecessarily prominent fog lights that all cars seem required to have these days. The twin hood creases seem to emanate from the chrome trim on the upper grille, helping to define the sense of swift forward motion. The headlights have a unique shape that is at once wide-eyed and menacing, giving the Dart an overall patina of sportiness.
Things get considerably less interesting from other angles, however. From the side, the Dart's high hoodline gives an odd sense of out-of-proportion-ness to the car's front end. The Rallye trim adds a bit of visual flair the car's profile with 17-inch crystal aluminum wheels.
From the rear too, the Dart, on first blush, looks like a small car that was welded on to the front end of a full-size car. But its looks grow on you once you spend some time inside.
Despite the fact that the company's current logo consists of two outlined intersecting straight lines, the Dart's interior is characterized by severely rounded corners that connect various curved lines. The various dashboard elements appear pod-like, thanks to both their shapes and the manner in which they're grouped together: A thick rule surrounds the instrument cluster, the infotainment screen, and the center air vents. Other vents have their own curved surrounds, and there are curves outlined on the door grab-bars, the inner door panel, the outer door panel, the HVAC controls, the cup holder, and the shifter.
It gets a bit disorienting if you look at it for too long; fortunately, you'll be keeping your eyes on the road most of the time. And besides, controls are simple and well-placed. All in all it's a comfortable, well-appointed interior, and taste is a matter of personal preference anyway.
On the Road
The Dodge Dart Rallye gets a stiffened suspension and a rear stabilizer bar, which does make for some tighter handling round corners, but probably isn't rally-cross worthy, which is maybe why they spelled it r-a-l-l-y-e, to avoid confusion.
As an alternative to the sporty Honda Civic or the VW Golf, the Dart doesn't exactly measure up. Its 2.4-liter inline-four is peppy enough to get you going, but the six-speed automatic transmission seems tune more for comfort than for thrill-generating.
As a practical, affordable sedan that can handle a bit of spanking, however, the Dart Rallye makes a respectable case for itself. Even with the tightened-up rear, the Dart's ride is comfortable enough to make long commutes tolerable, while still maintaining a respectable amount of road feel (that's the sporty part).
The small engine pays dividends in fuel efficiency, though; 23 mpg city and 35 highway are good numbers, and the Dart earns five-star safety ratings as well. We know that comfort and fuel efficiency aren't the hallmarks of a rally-worthy car, but this is rally with an "e."
As a sporty alternative to the Mazda 3, VW Golf, or Ford Focus, the Dodge Dart Rallye pulls up last, but as an affordable, efficient, capable daily driver that can deliver a soupÃ§on of excitement, the Dart remains a fierce competitor.
Specs and Prices
Engine: 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, front-wheel drive
Power Output: 184 hp / 174 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 23 city / 35 highway
Base Price: $19,000
As Tested: $23,620 (incl. $995 destination)
8.4-Inch Uconnect Touch Screen Group: 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, glove box lamp, illuminated instrument panel surround, remote USB port, satellite radio
Cold Weather Group: All-season tires, body-color power heated side mirrors, heated front seats, remote start
Sun and Sound Group: 506-Watt amplifier, nine-speaker sound system with subwoofer, power sunroof
Rallye Appearance Package: 17-inch aluminum wheels, touring suspension, rear stabilizer bar, leather-wrapped shift knob, blacked-out exterior trim, fog lamps, dual rear exhaust, leather-wrapped steering wheel, "Rallye" badge
Individual Options: Wireless charging pad, two-tone leather seats, navigation, compact spare tire
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 Dodge Dart, click here: 2015 Dodge Dart.