We can all readily admit that neither the Dodge Neon nor the Dodge Caliber were remotely design hits. There really was no mourning period, frankly. But all that has changed with the release of the 2013 Dodge Dart ($15,995) in Detroit, largely because of the hard work of Chrysler designers and the benefit of the Fiat parts bin.
Based on the capable and attractive Alfa Romeo Giulietta (yes, some Italian blood has been transfused), the Dart is a looker. No bug eyed fascia, no blocky rear end, the Dart is sleek and still very much Dodge, especially the Charger-like taillight treatment. The very handsome yet still aggressive fascia does the Dodge grille justice without looking like the front of a semi tractor-trailer. It will be powered by three engine choices: a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder with 160 horsepower, a 2.4 liter with 184 hp and a 1.4 liter turbo with 160. Possibly our favorite aspect of the Dart is the interior. With a lit instrument panel surround, a large touchscreen interface and a stealthy but attractive color palette inside, the Dart simply makes Dodge look positively tantalizing in this segment. Well done, indeed.
Buy Now: $15,995 (Available Mid 2012)