2016 Dodge Dart Expert Review

3.8 Overall Score
Performance 3.9 Comfort 4.0 Styling 4.1 Value 3.9

Editor's Overview

Using one of Fiat’s most popular platforms, the Dodge Dart compact sedan for 2016 offers more than just great gas mileage at an affordable price; it’s actually a blast to drive. With three engine options and five models from which to choose, the stylish Dart offers more customization options than the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3 or Toyota Corolla.

You'll Like The 2016 Dodge Dart If...

If you’re not interested in a cookie-cutter compact, the 2016 Dodge Dart should be first on your list. With a wide range of models, colors, transmission and engine choices, as well as optional equipment, it’s easy to create a personalized car unique to your personality.

You May Not Like The 2016 Dodge Dart If...

If you’re looking for a fast compact, we suggest something more powerful like a VW GTI or Ford Focus ST. You’ll get better fuel economy from a Honda Civic Hybrid or diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze.

What's New

Changes for the 2016 Dodge Dart compact sedan are mostly cosmetic. The SXT trim offers a new Sport Appearance Package, while the entry SE trim gets a sporty Rallye Appearance Group option. Hyper Black 18-inch wheels are now standard on the GT, which can now be equipped with the Blacktop Package.

Interior Features

The 2016 Dodge Dart boasts an interior that's larger than you might expect. Spacious and well designed, there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces, and the controls are nicely laid out. The standard interior on SE and SXT models is nice enough, but we particularly like the visual pizazz of the floating-island dash, standard on Aero, Limited and GT models. We're particularly glad that the 8.4-inch Uconnect touch-screen system we've enjoyed in other Dodge vehicles lives here intact. The large center console bin and glove box can swallow all your knickknacks, and the rear seat is big enough for adults.

Exterior Features

This may be the best-looking compact sedan in its class. The sleek and sexy lines uniquely blend European sensibilities with American brashness in a way that you wouldn't think possible. There's a lot of space between the front and rear wheels – known as wheelbase – and combined with the wide stance makes the Dart look ready to tackle the most aggressive mountain roads. The Dodge-signature cross-hair grille treatment and LED racetrack taillights emphasize the 2016 Dart sedan’s sporty look. It's functional too, with all models boasting fuel efficiency-enhancing active grille shutters, which are optional on SE models.

Driving Impressions

The 2016 Dodge Dart compact sedan is equipped with a solid chassis and a nimble European-inspired suspension. The combination delivers a car that is both confident on straightaways and controlled in the turns, regardless of trim level. However, due to its rather hefty weight, acceleration for passing and merging is only adequate, especially with the smaller 2.0-liter engine. The Aero’s turbocharged 1.4-liter unit feels livelier and gets better mileage than the base engine, but even it struggles at higher speeds. The best choice for the Dart is the optional 2.4-liter found on the SXT, Limited and GT trim. Even when so equipped, the Dart is no match for cars like the Honda Civic Si and Mazda3. On a twisty back road, however, we’d take the Dart over a Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus or Hyundai Elantra any day of the week.

Pricing Notes

A base 2016 Dodge Dart SE starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $17,700 including destination charges, but honestly, you should just skip right over that model and head for the $20,000 Dart SXT, which not only offers more standard equipment, but avails you to options like navigation and satellite radio. Fuel-conscious Aero buyers and sporty-driving GT buyers will pay about $21,500 and $23,000, respectively for their Dart models, while those looking for a compact-luxury sedan can choose the Limited for just under $25,000. A fully loaded Dart will cost around $27,000, putting it on competitive footing with cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Cruze. Be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid, and note that residual values will be about the same as its domestic rivals, but well below the Civic and Corolla.

Notable Equipment

The base 2016 Dodge Dart SE is surprisingly lightly equipped. You get power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering column and safety features like multiple airbags, including a driver's-side knee-bolster airbag. However, air conditioning, power outside mirrors and even power door locks are optional. The SE is also the only Dart model with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Note that the mid-level SXT and higher models all come standard with these niceties, and the SXT, GT and Limited all get the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder as standard equipment; the Aero model gets a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine.

Notable Options

Instead of getting the Convenience Group on the Dart SE, we suggest just skipping the SE and going for the SXT, since you can order navigation, satellite radio and other conveniences that aren't available on SE models. If you're looking to save fuel, the Aero comes with an exclusive 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. The GT emphasizes sport with a sport-tuned suspension and 10-way-power driver's seat, while the Dart Limited adds Nappa leather trim and chrome exterior treatments. The GT and Limited offer a Technology Group that features adaptive high-intensity-discharge headlights, rear park assist and blind-spot monitoring.

Favorite Features

The Dodge Dart for 2016 employs MultiAir technology that individually controls the timing and lift for the intake valves. This design maximizes both fuel economy and performance.

On Aero, Limited and GT trims, glowing red-light piping surrounds the instrument cluster and Uconnect touch screen, adding another little bit of distinctiveness to the Dart’s already fashionable interior.

Under the Hood

The base Dart SE comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque that struggles against the Dart's weight. Luckily, the rest of the models in the Dart lineup get better engines. Aero models offer the same amount of horsepower but 184 lb-ft of torque from their 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. The SXT, GT and Limited come with the 184-horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark engine. The engines all come connected to a transmission with six gears, either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Note that Aero models get a unique automatic using a dual dry-clutch transmission (DDCT) system.

2.0-liter inline-4 (SE)
160 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (manual), 24/34 mpg (automatic)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Aero)
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/41 mpg (manual), 28/40 mpg (automatic)

2.4-liter inline-4 (SXT, Limited, GT)
184 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 mpg (GT, manual), 22/35 mpg (Limited/SXT, manual), 22/31 mpg (GT, automatic), 23/35 mpg (Limited/SXT, automatic)

Editors' Notes

Dodge’s 2016 Dart compact sedan brings European driving character to a highly stylized American 4-door loaded with features. With its Alfa Romeo roots, the Dart is easily the equal of such fun-to-drive rivals as the Mazda3 and Ford Focus. Although its rear seat is not as roomy as in some larger compacts (think Honda Civic), the Dart is still a competent compact. With three engine options, the Dart offers more choice than the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla or Nissan Sentra, and thanks to numerous personalization options, it’s easy to build a Dart that stands apart from these competitors. Be it the luxurious Limited, Sporty GT or miserly Aero, the Dart offers something for everyone in a package that is fuel-efficient, safe and fun.

Road Test Video Reviews

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Owner Reviews


126 Reviews

58% 27% 13% 2% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

Great car to have all around.

This model has a multi air system that requires more oil changes to keep it in good condition. Good gas mileage though and has a nice feel to it when driving it. Can get up to a good speed fairly quick as well. The stock sound system it came with is really good. It is a comfortable drive and it is fairly reliable outside of the oil changes. Some of the best features is the power locks and windows. The radio comes with Bluetooth accessibility as well as an auxiliary cord port. It is a smaller car so not a whole lot of legroom for those that have a full car of bigger adults. However it is a great family car and can seat five total. This vehicle has a good amount of trunk space as well. Has sensors for the tire air pressure and for the oil life. Also has a temperature gauge for display. This vehicle also comes with cruise control as well which helps with those long trips. The comfort of the vehicle makes driving it for those longer trips a lot easier to handle too and not to mention the gas mileage. Before purchasing this vehicle, I took one of the same as a rental for a six hour trip and it was easy. That was one of the driving forces in my buying this car. It handles turns real well and smooth. What has been recommended to me is that this car may require it to sit and warm up before driving it more often than other vehicles might.

- Michael T

2016 dodge dart has gotten me across the whole west coast with ease!

My 2016 dodge dart has been great! It has been very reliable and I get great gas mileage in town and on long road trips. I have traveled up and down the west coast with no issues whatsoever. The back up camera is very convenient and works great. My dog and I love the sunroof feature and the stock sound system it comes with is surprisingly really nice, clear sound and good bass. It also comes with Sirius radio which is a nice feature but the Bluetooth is what I use most often. You get in and start up the engine and your phone automatically connects for easy wireless phone calls and music access. You can also set your Bluetooth preferences and turn on and off certain features. The model I own lacks the GPS feature but the touch screen is easy and convenient. I've never had a problem with the heat or ac, it warms up and cools down fairly quickly and you can adjust it to whatever temperature and speed preference. The seats are comfortable for short trips and decent on long trips but are hard to clean and the model I have does not come with the seat warmer option. There's a decent amount of back seat and trunk space. The stock tires have never failed me and it drives very smoothly.

- Kris W

Nice trims of red the you can see at night. It is on the dash.

Battery and shocks went out way too early. Decent gas mileage. Not a bad day to day car. Wouldn't recommend for longevity. Dodge brand does not have the best reputation. I was able to drive from one state to the next a few times and it gave me no issues at all. I love the 8. 4 touch screen it has. It is very convenient. It comes with Bluetooth. The Bluetooth sometimes does not connect with newer iPhone. But it is workable. It has comfortable seating except for the head rest. It is annoying. It leans forward and it is not adjustable. A little spacious for such a small car, but it is a small car. The sports features are decent. One cool feature is the red trim that glows at night that runs around the dashboard, my fav feature.

- Sarah W