Are Dodge Darts Good Cars?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched the Dodge Dart in 1960, discontinued it in 1976, returned it in 2013, and discontinued it again in 2016. With their on-and-off production, are Dodge Darts good cars?

As a compact car that can last from 200,000 to 250,000 miles, you can say that the Dodge Dart is a reliable vehicle. That is if it is maintained adequately and driven responsibly. If you drive it around 15,000 miles a year, you can expect your Dodge Dart to last 13 to 17 years before it starts breaking down or needing major repairs.

According to a rating company, the reliability rating of the Dodge Dart is 4.0 out of 5.0. Considering that 36 cars were included in the ranking, the Dodge Dart was number 28. As far as ownership cost is concerned, the Dodge Dart has an annual repair cost of $597, which can be considered average.

Read on to learn more about Dodge Darts, if they are good cars or not, and if they are worth your consideration.

Are Dodge Darts Good Cars?

are dodge darts good cars
2015 Dodge Dart

Since this compact car can last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles, it is reliable as long as it is adequately maintained and driven responsibly.

If you use it and take care of it properly, the Dodge Dart will last between 13 and 17 years before it starts breaking down or requiring major repairs.

According to a rating agency, the reliability rating of the Dodge Dart is 4.0 out of 5.0. This ranking was based on the ratings given on a total of 36 compact cars. Dodge Cart came out as number 28 in the ranking.

The annual repair cost of a Dodge Dart is about $597. This means it has an average ownership cost compared to the yearly repair costs of other car brands.

Of course, just like any other car from other car brands, the Dodge Dart has its share of common problems. This nameplate also has certain model years that were more problematic than the rest.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles intermittently manufactured this compact car for the commuter market from 2012 to 2016. The model year that experienced the most problems is the 2013 Dodge Dart.

Owners logged more than 1,200 complaints with the NHTSA for this Dodge Dart model year. So, if you are in the market for a used Dodge Dart, it would be wise to avoid this model year unless it is still in good condition, engine, body, and all.

Dodge Rumble Bee Specs and Review

How Long Do Dodge Darts Last?

Can Last from 200,000 to 250,000 Miles

Fiat Chrysler claims that the Dodge Dart can last from 200,000 to 250,000 miles, given proper maintenance and appropriate vehicle use. If that’s true, you can expect it to last from 13 to 17 years before it starts breaking down or needing severe repairs.

Regardless of negative reviews about it and poor sales throughout its intermittent production years, it can be easily seen that the Dodge Dart is still an excellent car to own and drive.

Used Dodge Cars Available in the Market Due to Its Reliability

You will not fail to see how long this car lasts if you will look at the used car websites selling assorted models and years of Dodge Darts.

These websites list some of the most driven Dodge Darts in the country. Dodge Darts that have already clocked in more than 200,000 miles on their odometers are being sold.

Most of these used Dodge Darts have been running for more than 150,000 miles and are still sold in good condition.

Regular Maintenance Is the Key to a Reliable Dodge Dart

I have mentioned that the Dodge Dart model year that you should avoid is the 2013 year model because it is the model that has experienced the most problems.

And yet, one Dodge Dart owner is claiming that their 2013 Dodge Dart has already been running for more than 122,000 miles and is still going strong.

Their secret to stretching the life of their 2013 Dodge Dart is regular maintenance and repairing small issues before they ever get big. In addition, they also changed the transmission fluid and coolant at their recommended intervals.

Good Driving Habit Affects Dodge Dart’s Service Life

As it is, the Dodge Dart is robust enough to withstand the rigors of daily driving. However, it’s not just the quality and building of a vehicle that determines its longevity. Much can also be attributed to how it is driven and maintained.

In other words, the Dodge Dart owner greatly influences how long this compact car can last. Good driving habits and regular upkeep will go a long way in extending the service life of a Dodge Dart or any vehicle.

Is the Dodge Dart Reliable?

Average Reliability Scores

For more than four years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sold various models of the Dodge Dart in the United States. During those times, this compact car received average reliability scores.

It is positioned in the middle category of the compact car segment. The 2014 to 2016 Dodge Darts were given better reliability ratings than the 2013 models.

Factors That Affect Dodge Dart’s Reliability

In reality, the reliability of a Dodge Dart, like any other car brand, largely depends on how well it is maintained and how well it is driven. These are critical considerations, especially when considering buying a used Dodge Dart.

Consumer Rating Agencies’ Assessment of Dodge Dart’s Reliability

If you want to know how some consumer rating agencies have assessed the reliability of Dodge Dart, take a look at this data:

  • Kelley Blue Book gave the Dodge Dart 4.1 out of 5 stars in its Consumer Rating Index. This is an above-average reliability rating.
  • RepairPal ranked the Dodge Dart number 28 out of 36 compact cars regarding reliability.
  • RepairPal gave the Dodge Dart 4 out of 5 stars. This is an above-average reliability rating.

J.D. Power has also given its two cents worth regarding the Dodge Dart’s reliability. Based on the Dodge Dart year model, here are the reliability ratings of the Dodge Dart from J.D. Power:

  • Year model 2013 – 60 out of 100, which is fair reliability
  • Year model 2014 – 67 out of 100, which is fair reliability
  • Year model 2015 – 73 out of 100, which is average reliability
  • Year model 2016 – 67 out of 100, which is fair reliability

Dodge Dart’s vs. Other Car Brands’ Reliability Score

You can also appreciate the reliability scores of the Dodge Dart if you compare it with the reliability scores of other car brands of its class and size. Here is a table that provides these details:

ParametersDodge DartFord FocusChevy CruzeHonda Civic
Reliability Rating4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.5/5.0
J.D. Power Rating67/10076/10085/10082/100
KBB Consumer Rating4.1/5.03.8/5.04.0/5.05.0/5.0
Repair Cost per Year$597$569$545$368
Lifespan (miles)200k to 250k200k to 250k200k to 250k250k to 300k

Again, are Dodge Darts good cars? Dodge Darts have a reliability rating of 4 out of 5, placing them in the 28th out of 36 compact cars. Its annual repair cost is $597, which is considered average. Plus, its need for a major repair is less than average. Lastly, the severity of repair is average too.

Are Dodge Darts Expensive to Maintain?

are dodge darts good on gas
2016 Dodge Dart Interior

Regarding the upkeep of a Dodge Dart, the annual cost of maintaining this vehicle is slightly above average. There are still Dodge Dart car parts that are available in the market.

If you own a used Dodge Dart, you can still take it to an independent mechanic who knows how to handle Dodge car problems.

Based on the records of RepairPal, the average annual repair and maintenance expenses for a Dodge Dart are around $597. The average for other cars is about $526.

But Dodge Dart’s cost is lower than the average for most vehicles which runs at $562. In other words, it is generally cheaper to maintain a Dodge Dart compact car.

Are Dodge Darts good on gas? A Dodge Dart with manual transmission is a fairly low gas consumer. In the city, it can achieve 25 miles per gallon, while on the highway, it can reach up to 36 mpg.

The automatic version is slightly higher at 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Combined, it gets 27 miles to the gallon.

How Often Does a Dodge Dart Require a Maintenance

To determine how frequently a Dodge Cart needs to be maintained, you must check its frequency score. This score will show how often a vehicle will require major maintenance in three years.

The score is given over three years. For instance, if the frequency score of a vehicle is 3, it means it needs major services each year. The nearer the frequency score is to 0, the longer the vehicle can go without requiring major maintenance service.

Now we come to the frequency score of Dodge Darts. The frequency score of this compact car is 0.8400000000000001. This is a good score if you consider the industry average of 1.3.

With a frequency score of less than 1, we can safely say that the frequency of maintaining a Dodge Dart is considerably lower than the average.

When discussing major maintenance, you speak of repair and maintenance works costing $1,000 or more. It means the vehicle has suffered a significant system breakage that is expensive to repair.

Still, the driving habits of the vehicle’s owner also impact the frequency of significant maintenance. The age of the vehicle also can heavily affect the frequency of these kinds of repairs. New cars can go on longer without significant problems. It’s the opposite for old vehicles.

How to Extend the Life of a Dodge Dart

The only Dodge Darts available in the market are those manufactured in 2016 and earlier. So, the youngest Dodge Darts you see running on the U.S. streets are already six years old, past their normal warrantied years. Those that were manufactured earlier should be older.

So, if you are buying a used Dodge Dart, you need to consider how to extend its serviceable life. Here are some basic steps on how you can do this:

  1. Be diligent in performing the required periodic maintenance
  2. Practice good driving habits
  3. Always read the owner’s manual of your Dodge Dart. You must know where its major parts are located and how they are regularly maintained.
  4. Only use the recommended engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and other fluids used by your Dodge Dart.
  5. Know the meaning of the different lights on your dashboard. Don’t be surprised when a warning light suddenly appears on the screen. Be prepared. And the way you can do that is to read the operator’s manual. It will show you what all these lights mean.
  6. Always park your Dodge Dart in your garage. This will protect your car from the U.V. rays of the sun and the elements.
  7. Always check the engine oil, the transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant level, and top them off if necessary.
  8. Maintain regular oil changes and transmission fluid changes.
  9. Always fix minor problems before they get bigger.
  10. Keep your Dodge Dart clean always. Wash it regularly so dirt and grime will not accumulate on the body and ruin the coat and paint.
  11. Check the under-chassis of your Dodge Dart regularly. Remove the accumulation of mud because if you don’t, this will start the development of rust on the metal components.
  12. Rotate your tires according to the instructions in the owner’s manual.
  13. When doing repairs and replacements, always use quality parts and materials.

What Dodge Dart Year Is the Best?

If you are in the market for a used Dodge Dart, you should not walk into a deal with your eyes blindfolded. You need to know the best models of Dodge Darts that are the safest to buy. According to some researchers, the best Dodge Darts to buy is the model year 2016.

Why do they recommend buying a 2016 Dodge Dart? In general, this model year has received the least number of complaints. This Dodge Dart model year also has the most updated tech and features.

When Fiat Chrysler launched this 2016 model, it had already fixed most of the problems that plagued the previous Dodge Dart generations. The low number of reported issues of this model compared to the previous model years has proven this to be so.

Standard Features

The standard features of the base 2016 Dodge Dart SE model are plentiful. They include the following:

  • Power windows
  • A four-speaker stereo system
  • Cruise control
  • Power locks
  • Air conditioning

Other Features

There are added features in the upper trim levels of the 2016 Dodge Dart, including:

  • Satellite radio
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Touch-screen infotainment system
  • Navigation system

Is Dodge Coming out with a Small Truck?

What Dodge Dart Year Should You Avoid?

are 2016 dodge darts good cars
2013 Dodge Dart

I’ve already mentioned it: the worst model year of Dodge Dart is 2013. This year’s model has experienced many engine and transmission problems. More complaints were lodged against it than in the other model years.

Transmission Failure

Here’s one example of a 2013 Dodge Dart epic fail. Based on a report from Car Complaints, the transmission of this particular Dodge Dart model failed when it was in the vicinity of 38,000 miles. Some of the other complaints include engine stalling while driving.

Engine Stall

If you want a personal account of such problems, here’s one from a 2013 Dodge Dart owner. They said the car stalls constantly while driving and even goes neutral while running.

When the car came to a red light, and they stepped on the brakes, it couldn’t stop. Thankfully, it did stop in time before it reached the red line. When the lights went green, the car wouldn’t move and couldn’t shift into gear. Finally, the police came, and they had to tow the Dodge Dart to safety.

Powertrain Issue

Additionally, a report from CarProblemZoo stated that there were 1,768 complaints against this Dodge Dart model year than the other model years combined. The majority of the issues were related to the car’s powertrain.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have some questions about whether Dodge Dart is good or not, perhaps you can get your answer from the ones listed below:

Is Dodge Dart a Good Car?

Generally, Dodge Darts are good cars. If you think about how long it can last, this compact car can run up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles. But for this car to reach that great mileage, it has to be well maintained and driven responsibly.

How Long Can a Dodge Dart Last?

If you are driving about 15,000 miles a year, you can expect your brand new Dodge car to last from 13 to 17 years before its starts to have serious problems that require significant repairs.

Is Dodge Dart Still Being Produced Today?

No, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Dodge Darts manufacturer, stopped manufacturing this compact car model in 2016. So, the Dodge Darts you see running in the streets of the U.S. are already about six years old. If you want to buy a Dodge Dart, you are limited to the used ones.

What Is the Best and Safest Dodge Dart Model to Buy?

The best model of Dodge Dart that you can buy is the 2016 model year. It has the most advanced tech and features in the Dodge Dart model years. It is also the Dodge Dart model that has received the least number of complaints from its owners.

In Closing: Dodge Darts – Are they Good Cars?

The Dodge Dart can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles. So, as a compact car, you can consider this vehicle a reliable car. However, it can only last that long if it is provided with adequate maintenance and is driven responsibly.

So, if you drive this car for around 15,000 miles per year, it will last from 13 to 17 years before it requires any major repairs or starts breaking down.

Read next:

Dodge Barracuda Review

Full List of Pickup Trucks by Dodge