Compact sedans are being ignored by more buyers as they migrate toward small crossovers and hatchbacks. That didn’t stop Dodge from releasing the Dart sedan and bringing style back to the segment, along with a low starting price and array of available features.

Pricing and Equipment

With a base MSRP of just $16,995, the Dodge Dart delivers plenty of value for the money. Its list of standard features include:

  • Halogen projector headlights
  • LED taillights
  • A soft-touch instrument panel
  • Keyless entry
  • A four-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capability

Buyers who need more premium features can rest assured that Dodge has them covered with the Aero, SXT, GT and Limited trims. The range-topping Limited model actually borders on luxurious, thanks to its Nappa leather seats, six-speaker audio system, and other high-end features. On top of these premium features, the Limited trim is pretty affordable at $23,795.

Performance Pros

Dodge Dart Dash

The Dart looks sporty, and performs like it looks with either of its two optional engines.

  • Peppy 1.4-liter turbocharged four-pot delivers good acceleration.
  • Range-topping 2.4-liter engine is the perfect balance of predictable power and fuel economy.
  • Handling is good for its class.

Performance Cons

The standard 2-liter engine is not an impressive unit -- we notice this particularly when merging on the highway.

  • Low torque rating of the base engine kills acceleration.
  • Heavy throttle requirement can lower real-world fuel economy.

Interior Pros

Dodge Dart

We find the cabin surprisingly spacious for such a small car, and its fit and finish is more premium than one may expect in this class.

  • Soft-touch materials make the Dart feel more upscale.
  • Comfy front and rear seats are great for road trips.

Interior Cons

  • Less-than-sporty seating position.
  • Air conditioning is not a standard feature.
  • We notice a lot of road noise making its way into the cabin.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

While fuel economy isn’t outstanding across the rest of the Dart lineup, the Aero trim level’s 41 mpg highway is great for the class.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Jumping in an SE on a hot summer day, we looked immediately for the air conditioning controls. And kept looking. To our surprise, there wasn’t one. That's when we discovered the SE didn't come with air conditioning as standard equipment -- this is something we wouldn't expect in a 2016 model.

The Bottom Line

Dodge Dart Side

The Dart is a great car for buyers on a strict budget. You can load it up with every available feature and still end up well under $30,000. Sure, you’ll have to deal with some road noise, but every other inch of the Dart will feel almost like a luxury car with all of the option boxes you've ticked.