Sales of Dodge’s compact Dart have historically been low, however year-over-year growth in 2014 was good and sales have grown even more in 2015. The Dart’s sales still rank low in its class, though, and it has received extremely poor reviews from most publications (Car & Driver ranks it 21st in the segment, only the Mitsubishi Lancer is worse.)
With this in mind, we’ve tried to think up a few ways in which Dodge could improve the Dart. The model hasn’t received any major updates since it was first introduced for the 2013 model year, so there’s no doubt it’s in need of some thorough revisions if it wishes to stay fresh in the ever-competitive compact car segment.
1. Launch A Performance Model
Now we should start this off by clarifying that a performance version of the Dart is said to be in the works. Rumors surfaced in August following the automaker’s biannual dealer meeting that a 300 horsepower version of the Dart with all-wheel drive dubbed the ‘GLH’ (Goes Like Hell) isn’t far out, though we’re not sure if they have any merit. This would be sure to boost the popularity of the model, just as the Scat Pack and Hellcat variants did for the Challenger, so in our opinon, it can’t come soon enough.
2. Update The Styling
The Dart isn’t bad looking, and if you’re a fan of the Charger and Challenger’s styling you probably love it, but compared to segment rivals like the Volkswagen Golf and Mazda 3, the Dart looks a bit outdated. It could benefit from some more modern, edgier lines and slim LED lighting elements along with different wheel choices.
3. Attract Buyers With Desirable New Tech
If you’re in a public setting right now, you could probably glance up and immediately spot someone on a computer, cell phone or tablet. People sure love their technology, so why not pack the Dart full of it? Fiat Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system is good, but if you throw Apple CarCplay or Android Auto in the center stack you’ll really catch consumers’ attention.
We get the feeling Dodge already has much of this in the works, but we really do think doing all three of these things will make the Dart a much more desirable proposition. They could debut the 2016 Dart as early as the North American International Auto Show in January, so we won’t have to wait long to know what’s truly in store for the model.