Last year Chrysler launched the Dodge Dart compact to cheers and jeers. Cheers, because many people were excited to have a sharp-looking American compact car with European roots on the market; jeers because the only available engine on launch was a 1.4 liter turbo with a six-speed manual. While many of us enjoy rowing our own gears, for a commuter car this can be a bit of a pain in the wrist.
But over a year after the first Darts hit dealerships, the remade Alfa finally has a full suite of engine choices with the launch of the range-topping Dart GT model. This heralds the introduction of the Dart’s most-powerful engine option, a 184 horsepower 2.4 liter turbo.
While the 1.4 liter turbo does a good-enough job of motivating the Dodge Dart, the 2.4 liter Tigershark MultiAir engine is designed to deliver an engaging driving experience. With 184 horsepower and 171 ft-lbs of torque, it’s a good deal more powerful than competitors like the Chevy Cruze or Mazda3.
More importantly though, the 2.4 liter turbo can be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which should widen the appeal of the Dart by a wide margin. The GT model also includes LED taillights, 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust outlets, and a full leather interior designed to set it above the competition. The Dart certainly makes a compelling case, but will buyers be drawn in by this new engine?