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2015 Dodge Dart Overview
One thing that can be said about the 2015 Dodge Dart: It’s not your father’s Dart. After a tolerably successful career through the 1970s, this 5-seat compact sedan was reprised for the 2013 model year in what Dodge/Chrysler calls its second generation. The newer version is sleeker, more user friendly, up-featured (comparatively) and of course comes without the potent but fuel-guzzling V8 powerplant of yore.
For 2015 iterations, few obvious changes are expected, although much is made in the media regarding the possible insertion of what was once the available Blacktop Package as a regular trim. The way things stand at present, however, look for this family-oriented 4-door to come in traditional base SE, up-featured SXT, turbocharged Aero, sporty GT and top-shelf Limited trims. It’s a bit unclear whether the Blacktop, essentially an SXT with the optional Rallye Equipment Group added, will replace one of the above trims or be fitted in just above the SXT and below the Aero. Additionally, both a Dart R/T trim and an SRT4 edition have been mentioned as possibilities for next year, but that’s then, and this is now.
In any case, barring significant upgrades, this sporty 4-door in its base SE variation should remain fairly Spartan, boasting 16-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, power windows, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and a single-CD player with 4 speakers and basic Uconnect infotainment. One can’t help but wonder if 2015 will at last see the addition of air conditioning to this entry-level trim.
The SXT, meantime, should add standard 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, another pair of speakers and Bluetooth hands-free calling, while the Aero throws a standard sport-tuned suspension, low-rolling-resistance tires, an upgraded dashboard, an 8.4-inch infotainment display (optional in the SE), a rear-view camera, upgraded Uconnect (8.4) and satellite radio into the mix.
The sporty 2015 Dart GT is expected to again boast 18-inch aluminum wheels, an even sportier suspension, leather upholstery, heated front seats with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, remote garage door opener and dual-zone climate control.
Finally, look for the comparatively posh Limited trim to return with 17-inch alloy wheels, a touring suspension, a power sunroof, GPS navigation and upgraded leather accents inside, with a bunch of extra chrome adorning the outside.
Should the rumored 2015 Dart Blacktop ascend to full trim status, it’ll carry the popular Rallye Appearance Package with tinted windows, a black interior, gloss black exterior appointments and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Said Rallye Group, by the way, is an optional package for all other Dart trims except the SE. Oh, and all trims, present and potential, are slated to return boasting 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space.
Further available bling, depending on the Dart iteration chosen, ought to again include the safety-minded Technology Group sporting a blind-spot alert, high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, rear parking sensors and an intrusion alarm, while 9 Alpine premium speakers can be blended with 506 watts of audio power in a pair of standalone options.
Power-wise, look for a standard 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine to again mate with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an available 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out 160 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque in the base SE. Again for 2015, expect 25 mpg city/36 highway from stick-shift SE versions and 24/34 from SEs with the 6-speed automatic.
Dodge’s 2015 Dart Aero should return sporting the peppy 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 and should again boast either the 6-speed stick or the 6-speed shiftable automatic. Look for 160 hp from this blown 4-banger, with 184 lb-ft of torque once again on tap. Meanwhile mileage figures are expected to remain 28/41 with the manual transmission and 28/40 in automatic-packing iterations.
For the Dart SXT, the GT and the top-end Limited, that ubiquitous 184-hp 2.4-liter I4 is returning loaded for bear with either the standard manual shifter or the available 6-speed shiftable automatic. Look for 171 lb-ft of torque from this blown I4, not to mention 22/35 estimates in the SXT and Limited with manual transmission and 22/31 in automatic-equipped trims. Mileage numbers for the GT, meanwhile, drop to 23/33 with the stick shift and 22/31 with the automatic.
Standard safety features for all 2015 Darts, it’s assumed, will remain 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Daytime running lights are expected back trim-wide, as is a post-collision safety system, while the SXT and higher trims should return with a standard remote antitheft alarm and dusk-sensing headlights. Lastly, the GT and Limited variants should again sport standard front fog/driving lights, with the Limited once again toting standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.