The fact that the Dart's launch has been a pretty dismal affair isn't what we'd call secret. Judging by its mounting inventories and poor critical reception, Dodge's successor to its unloved Caliber has struggled since it hit the market. And while both of those are difficult problems to address, at least their cause is well known - the powertrain.

Even Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has acknowledged that the powertrain options in the Dart are substandard, admitting at January's Detroit Auto Show that the powertrains are "less than ideal." Leading with the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Fiat 500 Abarth left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers thanks to the laggy engine and dead throttle response (to say nothing of the manual and dual-clutch gearboxes that needed more refinement). The addition of the 184-horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark in the Dart GT has helped matters some, but apparently Auburn Hills doesn't think it's quite enough.

If rumors are to be believed – get that salt ready – a possible solution may be in the works. A report from Allpar is claiming that Dodge is considering fitting a Pentastar V6 into the Dart's engine bay. As the Mopar-obsessed website points out, the critically acclaimed Pentastar is available in three different sizes - 3.0 liters, 3.2 liters and the original 3.6 liters. We don't get the 3.0 here in the US, but the 3.2 can be found in the new Jeep Cherokee and the 3.6 has been seemingly fitted to every model Chrysler can shoehorn it into.

The thinking is that a six-cylinder Dart will deliver the power that customers are clamoring for, as it should, in either 3.2-liter or 3.6-liter vintages, deliver significantly more grunt than the occasionally thrashy Tigershark. Ignoring the precipitous drop in fuel economy that would likely come with a V6, we can't help but wonder if Dodge would simply be better off refining what it already has rather than putting in the wrench time to get a Pentastar and a Dart to play nice. Allpar also points out the new nine-speed automatic being sold with the Jeep Cherokee could help the Dart out, but that plan has its issues, too.

Perhaps the rumored V6 could be for a racier SRT model? If so, the fuel economy tradeoff would seem to be more acceptable if it were accompanied by better handling and more aggressive looks.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 94 Comments
      CEC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where are some of you people getting the Dart handles poorly? Most of the reviews I read says the Dart handles very well. Seriously will some of you post some links to a review where they say it handles poorly? I know the Dart is heavier then the rest of the class, which leads to poor acceleration with its low torque 2.0; and the 1.4T seems to be laggy which doesn't help the poor acceleration perception much. But with the 2014s, the 2.0 is only offered with the base low volume SE Dart and the 1.4 is only offered with the extra low volume Aero package, I believe that perception would change if reviews would be released with the 2.4 (which gets better mpg then the 2.0) engine being standard on the SXT and Limited. Plus with the 2015s getting the 9 speed I don't see acceleration problems (or FE concerns) at all if it is paired with the 2.4.
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CEC
        I haven't read any reviews on the car in a while. I just know that when I compared it to a golf and a focus the "feel" of it on the road didn't hold up very well (in my opinion). Add to that the fact that the styling doesn't seem very contemporary (again, to me it feels too old school, American design from the nineties) and I never even considered it as a viable option.
      FX Gts
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't think the Dodge Dart Is a bad car. If they put a v6 in it I will like it more. I've always had a thing for smaller vehicles with v6 motors....mx3,z24,etc..
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are we talking about the same 1.4 liter engine here. I've never heard an Abarth owner (or read any magazine review) using the terms 'laggy engine and dead throttle response' when discussing that power plant.
        erikgrad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lasertekk
        The Abarth weighs 2500 lbs, the Dart weighs 3200 lbs, so that's the problem. Same problem with the larger 500L that uses the 1.4L
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      A V6 in this small car would sure make it fast in a straight line but how will Chrysler keep the weight off the front end with a heavy V6?
      Cool Disco Dan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know a few people who love their Darts. I thought it was doing ok. But if they can fit a V6 in there thats cool. Not Cool Disco Dan cool but cool.
      CEC
      • 1 Year Ago
      People need to cool down. Chrysler isn't thinking about putting a pentastar in the dart. This whole ridiculous idea started as an opinion piece on a fanboy site (allpar.com). And somehow an opinion piece turned into speculation. For some of you it seems your brain has turned this warrantless speculation into "Chrysler is putting a 6 into the dart" and then calling Chrysler dumb for doing it. I consider someone jumping to conclusions about speculation more dumb then Chrysler's lackluster launch of the dart.
      Christopher Carey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Better use of money? Loose weight! The neon which this car replaced (in a way) only had 150hp but was a ton of fun to drive in R/T or acr guise. All we want is a non cute neon. Give us what we want Dodge.
      2o6
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Dart would be OK, if it weren't so heavy. Curb weight on base 2.0L automatic models is around 3300LBS, and likely only goes up with the 2.4L and options.
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2o6
        Yup, that's the issue. People can say the 160hp 2.0L is "thrashy" all they want, but the problem is the 0-60 times are well over 10 seconds - even with 160hp! They should have a volume 2.4L/2.5L engine in here. That size/displacement is found in pretty much EVERY car or CUV on the market that's in this weight class. They only put it in the GT model. Why?
          CEC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BB79826
          You should know what you are talking about before you post. You just made yourself look like an idiot, again.
      James Scott
      • 1 Year Ago
      Everybody really likes the Dart, just nobody wants to DRIVE it. If there was an SRT version of it I'd be buying it right now instead of something else.
      Dane Grant
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should have offered it in a 5dr format as well... At least the next Cruze will have a 5dr alternative.... Ford sells the 5dr Focus is large numbers....
        flammablewater
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dane Grant
        I still don't understand America's obsession with sedans. It really ruins the car market over here.
          Kevin Potts
          • 1 Year Ago
          @flammablewater
          It's the insurance companies who believe sedans are safer vehicles than coupes. So if the car insurance cost for a Dart sedan would be $100, the cost to insure a Dart coupe would be $300. Coupes are more likely to be bought by aggressive drivers.
      Nickoo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Saw this rumor on allpar. This is a terrible idea, it costs too much time/money to try to fit the pentastar in this car when they have a faster/cheaper and easier alternative. Ditch the 2.0L and make the current 1.4L "eco" model the base model. Fix the intercooler on the 1.4L Turbo motor for faster cooling response and size down the turbo for lower rpm boost/faster spool up, eliminating the lag to create a 1.4L "performance" model. It's bad enough they had to add the 2.4L and have 3 different engine choices for this car already, adding a 4th isn't going to help.
      fred schumacher
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lack of enough automatics early on was a problem, but the real issue was it came out priced too high on the lots. The lowest price I saw at my local dealer was $22,000, putting the car into a very competitive price slot. Too much optioning for a car that was intended to be a low price leader. If it had sold at $15,000 with automatic and A/C, they would have been moving 100,000 a year at least.
    • Load More Comments