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zx3batman 08-12-2012 05:57 PM

Dodge Dart review and possible new focus owner
Warning: long post

My girlfriend is in the market for a new car. She has a pontiac g6, it is nothing but problems. She saw a Dart at a local dealership, and wanted to test drive it. It's the rallye version 6 speed manual and a turbo. She is just learning to drive a clutch so i test drove it for her. The shifting is smooth, other than that it was not a good experience. One of the blinkers were already out, the engine sounded like it was fighting to breathe and the acceleration was just horrible. There is no room on the inside of the car we both felt clausterphobic in the front. I also felt like I knew more about the car than the salesman.

I then brought her to the Ford dealership, and she test drove a focus, she loved everything about it! So we are hoping that she will be able to get it this next week, she really likes the candy blue and the red candy sedans, I can't seem to talk her into a hatchback though.

Red Jay 918 08-12-2012 06:07 PM

was it a 5 speed manual Focus?

zx3batman 08-12-2012 06:12 PM

No it was an auto they didn't have any manuals on the lot, she hadn't decided if she wants a manual or not

Nik00117 08-12-2012 06:53 PM

I really hope the Dart doesn't go the same way as the caliber.

focusmaniaczx3 08-13-2012 01:08 AM

oh but it will. i had alot of hope for the dart and im afraid it is a flop. i went "car shopping" otherwise known as joy riding a few weeks ago with my girlfriend and we test drove the new volvo c30 t5 (this IS exactly the same car as the euro focus ST/RS), new focus ST, boss mustang, hyundai genesis, hyundai veloster turbo (the veloster is a hell of a car for the money), dodge challenger SRT-8, dodge dart, VW jetta GTI, honda civic Si, and probably a couple that im forgetting. by far my favorite car was the volvo. the car makes sense in every way. its safe, its roomy enough for 4 adults at 6 feet tall and 200lbs to comfortably ride in and its a hatchback so you can fold down the back seats and make alot of room in the rear. the car screams and you can get an optional factory tuning package for another grand that bumps the power from about 225 to 280. and the car drove like it was on rails. it stuck to the road like someone superglued the tires to the ground. but it also costs $30,000 and you cant find them used because the people who can afford them want to keep them because they are that good.

my least favorite by a mile was the dart for the same reasons you said. it drove like a boat, my poor old beat up, frankenstein's monster of a focus could outrun it without having to push past 4500rpm i bet. i was cramped and uncomfortable. there just isnt room for anything and the car makes no sense. its like a sports car that isnt sporty. no functionality and no performance. the one i drove wasnt a turbo tho.

but if i had to pick a single car that i would personally buy if i were to buy one new... it would have to be the hyundai veloster turbo. $21k is what i talked them down to just to see if they would come down. the car is a hatchback. it makes over 200whp but its very light so it moves very well. it handled very well also. the car is very comparable in interior space and comfort to a first gen zx3 focus except that it has a door on the passenger side only that opens to the back seat. the car has every conceivable safety feature, it has a 100k mile 10 year warranty on the drivetrain that follows the car, not the first owner so you can buy one used and still have the warranty. the warranty isnt voided if you upgrade the intake or exhaust but they dont like tuning or upgrading the turbo. but the salesman said it is very simple to reflash the computer and change the turbo lol. he popped the hood for me and sure enough it looks like it might take 15 minutes to pull the turbo off. my only gripe about the car was that it has an open differential and wheel hops like a son of a gun if you take off spinning.

i damn near bought that car even though i was just out joy riding that weekend.

zx3batman 08-13-2012 01:16 PM

we haven't looked at the veloster yet, but i don't know if she will like it since she isn't a hatchback type of person, there was a nice Mazda3 there but it wasn't a mazdaspeed unfortunately. I think i'll have her test drive a veloster to see what she thinks. I was really disappointed in the Dart though, I thought it was going to have more power for having a turbo and being a 6spd. Plus the interior was just boring and felt really cheap. Maybe the R/T will be nicer but i'm not going to expect anything.

lyonsroar 08-13-2012 02:18 PM

The Veloster Turbo makes 201 HP at the engine...

That said, the Veloster turbo is at the top of my list when I go car shopping next. Way too much car for the money to not consider it...

bball40dtw 08-13-2012 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by lyonsroar (Post 4304443)
The Veloster Turbo makes 201 HP at the engine...

That said, the Veloster turbo is at the top of my list when I go car shopping next. Way too much car for the money to not consider it...

I tried to like the Veloster and I don't. Hyundai has been great at copying Ford and VW over the last couple years. However, their engines, transmissions, and suspensions leave me cold. The Hyundai/Kia 2.0T may make a car fast, but its not fun. Look out if they can get their suspension and powertrains to be 90% of VW/Ford.

RonMaiden 08-13-2012 03:31 PM

The new Dodge Dart Rallye was just put head to head with a Focus sedan in the latest C&D mag and the Focus won pretty easily when it came to fit and finish,handling and was quicker than the Dart 0-60 and in the 1/4 mile.

blank102 08-13-2012 07:13 PM

The Dart is just the start of the new generation of over weight under powered cars courtesy of the new CAFE rules.

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