By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group announced recently that the 2014 Dodge Dart will feature the 2.4L engine in multiple trimlines after only offering the most powerful engine option in the Dart GT for 2013. In addition to making the 2.4L engine available across more trimlines, Chrysler has also announced there are no optional engines for the 2014 model year. The Dart SXT, Limited and GT are available with only the 2.4L engine while the base model Dart SE is powered by the 2.0L engine and the Dart Aero packs the 1.4L turbo engine. The company has undoubtedly made this move with the hopes of improving sales but will improving the performance and decreasing the efficiency of this sporty compact sedan make the difference that the company is expecting?
Our DodgeForum.com question of the week is this – do you think that making the 2.4L Dart GT engine standard in the higher volume SXT and Limited trimlines is a good move? Will this help the Dart move up the sales chart?
The upsides to making the 2.4L engine standard across more 2014 Dodge Dart trimlines is obvious – with 184 horsepower and 171lb-ft of torque, the 2014 Dart offers the best performance in the class when not considering high performance, low volume models like the Ford Focus ST. Some members of the media have complained that the base 2.0L engine (which was previously standard in the SXT and Limited models) was underpowered and that the 1.4L turbo engine (optional for the SXT and Limited models) was too “raspy”. Chrysler has solved both of those problems by making the most powerful engine in the lineup standard on the high volume SXT and Limited trimlines.
The downsides are also somewhat obvious as the 2014 Dodge Dart in the most popular trimlines now offers more power – but lesser fuel economy figures than the volume models from 2013. This means that fuel economy minded buyers will be forced to buy the 41mpg Dart Aero since the 1.4L turbo that offered 39-40mpg in the non-Aero Darts is no longer available. The lower fuel economy expectations could drive consumers away from the models that were previously those with the highest take rate while the availability of the most powerful engine in lower cost models could cause people not to buy the pricey Dart GT.