By Patrick Rall
The news has hit the internet that the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero
offers better than 40 miles per gallon whether the sporty sedan is equipped
with a manual or automatic transmission.
Few details are available right now but thanks to the US government
website FuelEconomy.gov, we know what kind of mpg estimates will appear on the
window sticker for the Dart Aero when it hits showrooms later this year.
The 2013 Dodge Dart Aero with the 6-speed manual
transmission is the more efficient of the two configurations with 28 miles per
gallon in the city, 41mpg on the highway and a combined figure of 32mpg. The automatic shifting Dodge Dart Aero is
fitted with a new high tech dual clutch transmission that helps the Aero yield
the same 28mpg on the highway and 32mpg combined but the auto Dart drops by
1mpg to 40 on the highway. This makes
the Dart Aero more fuel efficient than the other Dart sedans powered by the
1.4L Fiat turbo engine without compromising power so in addition to being among
the most efficient compact sedans in the segment – the Dart Aero should also be
the most engaging vehicle to drive in the class among the high efficiency models.
You might be asking yourself…how well do the fuel economy
figures of the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero compare to the other super-efficient
(non-hybrid) models in the US market?
First of all, when we look at the top competitors including the Ford
Focus SFE, the Chevrolet Cruze Eco, the Hyundai Elantra Blue and the Honda
Civic HF; only the Chevy Cruze offers a manual transmission. The Cruze offers the same 28mpg around town
but offers 1mpg better on the highway and for the combined figure when equipped
with a manual transmission. Like the
Dart Aero, the Cruze Eco is powered by a turbocharged 1.4L 4-cylinder engine
but where the Cruze is slightly more efficient it offers just 138 horsepower
and 148lb-ft of torque. Compare that to
the 160hp and 184lb-ft of torque offered by the Dart’s 1.4L turbo engine and
that 1mpg difference is a bit easier to swallow for prospective buyers. However, when you equip the Cruze Eco with
the manual transmission, fuel economy measures drop to 26 in the city, 39 on
the highway and 31 combined – making the Dart Aero with the dual clutch more
efficient in every category.
While the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero with the automatic
transmission is more efficient than the automatic Chevy Cruze Eco, the Dart
Aero will also compete with the Focus SFE, the Elantra Blue and the Civic
HF. The best of these models is the
Hyundai Elantra Blue with 30mpg in the city, 40 on the highway and 34 combined
but the Dart’s figures do allow it to stand right alongside the Ford Focus SFE –
which is atop the class in terms of sales with the Chevy Cruze.
The new super efficient 2013 Dodge Dart Aero will arrive
late this year alongside the performance-minded Dart R/T, followed by the high
performance Dart SRT4.