By Patrick Rall
We have known for some time now that the new 2013 Dodge Dart
Aero package would offer 41 miles per gallon on the highway, making it one of
the most efficient models in the class behind just the Chevrolet Cruze
Eco. The Chrysler Group has just
announced the details for the new super efficient package for the sporty Dart
sedan with the most important piece of information being the low starting price
of $19,295 (not including the $795 destination fee).
The 2013 Dodge Dart Aero is powered by the same turbocharged
1.4L MultiAir 4-cylinder engine that is found in the Dart SXT, Rallye and
Limited models along with the same standard 6-speed manual transmission. The Dart Aero packs the same 160 horsepower
and 184lb-ft of torque as the other new Dart sedans so how does the Chrysler Group
get the 41mpg in the Aero package?
First, the Chrysler Group began with the already lightweight
chassis of the 2013 Dodge Dart sedan by adding aluminum lower control arms,
rear upper links and rear longitudinal arms.
Next, active grille shutters, an underbody aero pan and low rolling
resistance tires work with the revised suspension system that has the Dart Aero
sitting 10mm lower than the other Dart models for improved aerodynamics at all
speeds. The result is 28mpg around town,
32mpg combined and 41mpg on the highway – allowing only the Chevrolet Cruze Eco
to best it as the Cruze reaches 42mpg.
The 2013 Dodge Dart Aero package is also available with the
6-speed dual dry clutch transmission (DDCT) and this new automatic transmission
technology allows the self-shifting Dart Aero to achieve 40 miles per gallon on
the highway while hitting the same 28mpg around town and 32 combined – which allows
the DDCT Dart Aero to easily beat the Chevy Cruze Eco models with the automatic
Also, while the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero is slightly less
efficient than the Chevy Cruze Eco with the manual transmission, the new Dart
carries a starting price $385 less than the Chevy. Oh, the 160hp and 184lb-ft of torque also
makes the Dart Aero substantially more powerful than the Cruze that offers just
138 horsepower and 148lb-ft of torque from its 1.4L turbo motor. This means that while the Cruze may offer
1mpg better, it costs more and is far less powerful so the Dart Aero offers
this great fuel economy while also being one of the most powerful cars in the
Sure, when you are most concerned about getting great fuel
economy, it doesn’t really matter who has the most power but for those drivers
who want a compact sedan that is fun to drive and super efficient – the 2013
Dodge Dart Aero is the easy choice.