I hear a lot of smack talk about the new 2013 Dodge Dart, and not from automotive critics. Automotive critics are actually pretty into the Dart. The beef comes from average folks. And the average folks are the ones who we should all listen to, not the auto critics, right?
Actually, we should be listening to them all. The critics have the knowledge and experience of years of looking at cars and test driving them and reading other critics’ reviews and so on. The average folks, on the other hand, are not only the ones who matter in terms of auto sales, they are the ones who determine how a car fits into our culture. Everybody’s opinion has value.
And because of that fact, there is what many might call an overabundance of opinion. Well, here’s an opinion that comes as a result of this overabundance. So pay attention.
The Dodge Dart is awesome.
See, I’m worried that the killjoy nay-saying out there might destroy the buzz you have if you just bought a Dart. I feel like if you’re shelling out the money for a new car, you deserve that buzz. So ignore the detractors, Dart owners of America, and rejoice in your decision. The Dodge Dart is awesome.
I don’t mean to try and shut up everyone out there who genuinely doesn’t appreciate the Dart. I heard good people whose opinions I generally trust, or at least don’t dismiss, say a lot of bad things. And the opinions of average folk, as I said, are important to our national car-driving culture.
But someone said it’s terrible because it has four doors. Are you kidding me? Four-door sedans are rad. You ever try to put a kid or a dog or ANYTHING AT ALL in the back seat of a coupe? It’s a pain in the ass. Four doors are for smooth-riding smart folks. They make the car seem longer, bigger, more mature, more in charge, more in control. There’s confidence in four doors. If you buy a car with a backseat and only two doors, I wish you luck, ‘cause you’ll need it. Coupes are sporty-looking and cool, yeah, but I wouldn’t take a two-door that went around pretending it could still have a back seat. If there’s a back seat, give me four doors.
My friend John the Librarian said the rear end is too cute for the front end. The grille & headlights are sexy-awesome but the tail end, he says, is “so puffed up and the front so low and sleek… It looks to me like it’s perpetually in danger of tripping over its own nose and taking a header into the tarmac! Like a puppy stepping on its own ears.” I think what we have here is a straight-up aesthetic disagreement. I don’t think the rear end is cute or puffed up at all. I think it’s pretty sharp, and I freakin’ LOVE the tail lights. Anyway, to John and anyone else who thinks that “cute and puffed up” are negative aspects of a rear end, may I kindly refer you to the poetry of Sir Mix-A-Lot.
Finally, there’s been some harping on the poor acceleration performance of the Dart. Well, hey, let me stop you all right there. Firstly, you’re talking about the base engine. The base engine always has poor acceleration. That’s not why you buy the base engine. You buy the base engine because it has better mileage than the larger engine, and you buy it because you don’t value the bigger engine at the price they ask. If you did, you’d have bought the bigger engine. If you found a car on the lot with the base engine and bought it, kudos to you for your frugality. If you’re in a hurry, don’t worry, you’ll get there, and you’ll get there with a little more cash in your pocket than you would otherwise.
Now, in the case of the Dodge Dart, moving up a level to the next engine means a smaller engine, but it’s turbocharged, so it actually accelerates noticeably more quickly. And because it’s smaller, it gets even better mileage, which is among tops for a non-hybrid in its segment (or in any segment, for that matter). And you know what else? The higher-level engines on the Dodge Dart are named “Tiger Shark.” I know it’s just a name, but that’s still pretty bad ass.
The Dodge Dart is almost too big to be considered a compact car, and I think that’s awesome. I love big cars. I like to think that the next car I get will not be a compact, but the Dodge Dart is certainly up for consideration, especially since I can get it in super-fun six-speed manual transmission with a sweet turbocharged engine for like twenty grand (or less, if I play my cards right!).
Anyone can say what they want about the Dodge Dart, but for all you Dart owners and admirers out there, I will say this: the Dodge Dart is awesome.
I hope you’ll say it, too.