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Dodge Dart just misses the bullseye

Dodge's new compact is a huge improvement but it's got a few weak spots.

Efficient but weak

gallery 2013 dodge dart engine

For now, the Dart is available with just two engine options. The base engine is a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and gets good fuel economy. Or you can pay more for a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, like the one I tested, that also puts out 160 horsepower but gets even better fuel economy.

The turbo engine provided adequate -- but only adequate -- performance. Getting really strong acceleration required mashing the gas pedal hard and, usually, downshifting the six-speed manual transmission. The engine's sound is pretty unpleasant, too, even at idle.

A stronger -- but, presumably, thirstier -- engine will be available later, in the Dodge Dart R/T. Here's hoping it sounds better, too.

Source: CNNMoney
  @peterdrives - Last updated October 08 2012 07:28 AM ET