2015 Dodge Dart SXT
When the 2015 Dodge Dart SXT first arrived in my driveway I couldn’t but help think back to high school. My brother’s first car was our grandma’s green 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger two door sedan powered by a 198 cubic inch slant six mounted to an automatic transmission complete with a green, brown and yellow cloth bench seat (so grandma’s purse could ride shotgun). Not an impressive car in its day — styling-wise or performance-wise — so I wasn’t sure what to expect from Dodge’s most recent reincarnation of the Dart nameplate.
Notwithstanding my less than fond memories of the Dart, I was pleasantly surprised by the 2015 SXT. The modern 2.4 liter 4 cylinder fuel efficient Partial Zero Emission power plant matched with a 6-speed Powertech Automatic Transmission ($1,250 option) provided plenty of power to propel this four-door mid-sized sedan around town and provided plenty of passing power on the highway. With its 27 mpg combined city/highway it leaves that old 198 cu. in. slant six in the junk yard where it belongs. The AutoStick® manual shift option is a useless option for this vehicle but is fairly easily ignored. The ride is reasonably comfortable and quiet with sufficient room in the interior for a car in this class. Visibility from inside the cabin is good as well.
The instrument cluster is basic and no nonsense. The 8.4 inch touchscreen display (a $595 option) is a bit nicer then I’ve come to expect in a car at this price point with lots of features and optionality – the feature that allows dual display of the map and radio controls is particularly useful; in my opinion, definitely worth the upcharge. Curiously the climate control does not allow you to set a specific cabin temperature and there is no dual control for the driver and the passenger. Instead you must rely on a single control with a somewhat clumsy bar that goes red to blue to set the temperature. There is only one power point in the dash and one power point and usb in the console with none in the rear. Dodge really needs to get with the times and add multiple front and rear usb charging hubs. The driver seat adjusts manually, which isn’t unusual at this price point — much nicer then the green, brown and yellow cloth bench seat of the Swinger.
The laser blue pearl exterior paint is a vibrant and pretty color which helps make this particular car stand out a bit in a fairly nondescript class. While not the most stylish exterior in its class, the slanted nose and the aggressive looking grill gives this car a bit of an edge that belies its more practical nature.
All in all I would say that the 2015 Dodge Dart SXT is a solid practical commuter car with above average interior optionality (climate control notwithstanding) that will get you around town in an affordable, comfortable and efficient manner. The Dart has come along way from the 1972 Swinger of my brother’s high school days.