By Patrick Rall
The EPA has announced the fuel economy for the upcoming Dodge Dart GT and the most powerful option in the compact lineup offers fairly impressive figures with 23mpg around town, 33 on the highway and 27 miles per gallon combined. Those figures apply to the Dart GT powered by the 2.4L TigerShark 4-cylinder engine and the 6-speed manual transmission with 184 horsepower and 171lb-ft of torque being sent to the front wheels.
While these numbers are a big drop from the 27 city, 39 highway and 32 combined of the non-Aero Dodge Dart powered by the 1.4L Turbo motor and the 6-speed manual transmission, they present a very minimal decrease from the 25, 36 and 29 from the base 2.0L TigerShark and 6-speed manual. Even though the base engine offers an advantage of 2 miles per gallon across the board compared to the larger TigerShark mill of the Dart GT, the 2.0L packs just 160hp and 148lb-ft of torque.
Having driven the Dart with the 2.0L base engine with both the manual and automatic transmission along and the Dart powered by the 1.4L turbo motor (again, with each transmission), the 1.4L mill is the far better option for those who want a some spunk out of their compact Dodge sedan. I’ve not yet driven the Dart GT, but the increase in power over both current engine options combined with very comparable fuel economy to the base engine should allow Dart GT owners to have the most engaging drive possible without emptying wallets for gas. More importantly, those numbers of 23, 33 and 27 (city, highway, combined) are only a bit below the most efficient Toyota Corolla available that offers 27 around town, 34 on the highway and 30 combined.
The Dodge Dart GT will enter the market later this year as one of the most powerful compact sedans available in the US – trailing only the Ford Focus ST that offers worse fuel economy, costs more (the ST starts at $23,700) and is only available as a hatchback. With the dealership debut of the Dart GT, there is no compact sedan in the US that offers the Dart GT’s level of performance and fuel economy. While Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Chevrolet offer compact sedans with better fuel economy, they all fall well short in performance and while the Buick Verano Turbo offers more power than the Dart GT, the turbocharged Buick offers significantly lower fuel economy – and a price around $30,000. You could almost buy two new Darts for the price of a loaded up Buick Verano Turbo.
No fuel economy figures have been announced for the Dodge Dart GT with the automatic transmission but rumors floating around the internet suggest that the self-shifting GT will offer slightly better numbers in the area of 24 miles per gallons around town and 34 on the open road.