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Chrysler left a few fans scratching their heads when the company chose to call its new compact car the Dart. Previous rumors had hinted to the possibility of the resurrection of the Hornet name, but the sporty moniker was nowhere to be found when Dodge showed off a few teaser photos of the Alfa Romeo-based sedan. According to Automotive News, the company built 3.3 million Dart models between 1960 and 1976, and there was a time when nearly every block in the country had at least one Dart sitting on the corner – that kind of hard-earned brand awareness is hard to pass up.

To its fans, Darts were known as affordable, tough-as-nails economical transportation. In many ways, they were some of the longest-lasting vehicles to roll out of Chrysler factories before the company's quality implosion of the late '70s and '80s. Of course, the automaker's naming decision has its detractors, too – those who think Chrysler is taking a risk by exhuming an old moniker that many associate with dowdy, frills-free motoring.

Click on our poll below to let us know what you think.

Is Dodge smart for dusting off the Dart name?
Yes, absolutely. 2726 (51.2%)
No, absolutely not. 813 (15.3%)
It doesn't really matter. 1338 (25.1%)
I'm not sure. 450 (8.4%)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 103 Comments
      Paul P.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm just glad they used a name I can remember, rather than some easily forgotten alpha-numeric soup.
      Adam Waltering
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dodge's target demographic for this car doesn't even know what a Dodge Dart is. To them it's just a new car.
        Jake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Adam Waltering
        I second that. Most of the people who buy this weren't even a glimmer in their daddy's eye back then.
      JF
      • 3 Years Ago
      Regardless if it's good or bad, the most important part of this decision was ditching the Caliber name.
      AMG THIS
      • 3 Years Ago
      It would have cost them probably a minimum of 25 Million to secure the same Dodge Brand recognition for a new name that Dart already has. So yes, it was a great idea.
        Pete K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AMG THIS
        That's a really low-ball figure. It'd be much more to create the brand awareness of something all-new.
        AMG THIS
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AMG THIS
        You guys are probably right, but the Dart will need coin put in for it to be jump started. Either or, its not going to cost anywhere near the same as it would have to launch an all new name. This will likely take a similar path as the Charger did (it had 70% recognition in focus groups)..but with way better marketing with Marchionne in-charge.
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      How can 9% not have an opinion? It's a poll people, pick a position. It's hardly the abortion debate.
      T
      • 3 Years Ago
      My 23 year-old son is very familiar with the name since he grew up in a muscle-car enthusiast household. He doesn't care what the name is as long as it delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price, in an attractive package. I personally think the Dart name is a great choice that draws on Chrysler heritage, and fits in their current portfolio along with the Charger and Challenger. It's short and catchy, and implies sportiness. The original Dart of 1960 had non of those qualities, but most boomers like me associate it with the late 60's early 70's models. I think the Hornet name may appear on a smaller car that will be more fitting with the Dodge Hornet concept. However, the Fiat 500 may already fill that niche and they'd be competing against themselves.
      Leather Bear
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dart's certainly better than Coronet or Belvedere, but I'd like to see the Fury name revived so that the top engine in the lineup can be called the Golden Commando.
      Lars
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is Dodge smart for dusting off the Dart name? I see what you did there.
        JusticeGustine
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lars
        Nice twist on the news
          Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JusticeGustine
          Valiant attempt.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JusticeGustine
          It's a Polara-izing topic. They need to be Diplomat-ic.
          Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JusticeGustine
          that's the Spirit. Just don't Charge into it, you're not Omniscient.
          T
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JusticeGustine
          There were other names that were "Challengers", but "Dart" won out! I wonder what new products are on the "Horizon" for Dodge. (I know, Horizon was a Plymouth...couldn't resist)
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a great name whether or not you remember the cars that originally used it or not. It's short, it's evocative, it's alliterative, it's memorable. Thank the car gods it's not another jumble of letters and numbers.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm torn on this. When I think "Dart", I think V8 powered, rwd coupe. I realize most Darts were not that, but it's those such as the GTS and Swinger that come to mind when I hear the name "Dart". Now, with all of that out of the way, I would rather they dust off the Dart name than give their new compact some stupid number, or abbreviation.
      T
      • 3 Years Ago
      They could have resurrected the Dodge "Colt" or even used the "Arrow" moniker from the Plymouth line. Does anyone remember those Mitsubishi based products? There was also the Plymouth Sapporo (which also was called Dodge Challenger). Don't forget the Plymouth "Cricket" imported from England. Thank goodness they didn't call it that!
      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Years Ago
      99% of people they are marketing this to have no idea what a Dart was, myself included. It's a cool name that goes well with Dodge, I think that means more than any old economy car that were last seen on the roads in the 80's, before most of us were born.
        ICantDrive88
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ICantDrive88
        Alfa based sedan that has what looks to be an amazing interior... Really a homerun, possibly grand slam on the horizon! It's like the dream Jetta we never got!
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