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Posted in Auto

Chevy Cruze vs. Dodge Dart

Chevy Cruze vs. Dodge Dart

At a Glance

The Dodge Dart is designed to compete directly with the Chevy Cruze and has a slightly lower price tag as a result. It also edges the Cruze slightly in terms of power, leg room and safety.

Chevrolet Cruze owners are notorious for their unwillingness to switch, and that says a lot about the value of the car. However, the new Dodge Dart is designed to please the buyer in more ways than one. For starters, the price tag is $800 less at an MSRP of $15,995 compared to the $16,800 of the Chevy Cruze. Given that the Destination Charge is the same for both the cars, new buyers might want to consider the Dart if price is the primary consideration.

Power

The 6-speed manual transmission is common to both cars, but the Dodge boasts of 160 horsepower and a 184 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0L DOHC I-4 engine over the 125 lb-ft and 138 hp of the 1.8L 4-cylinder motor of the Cruze. That does sound like a lot of difference for the action oriented driver, but if you are talking daily driving in the traffic, there is nothing that the Cruze can’t handle. For the buyer that loves speed and also has patience, there’s another bit of good news: a nine speed automatic Dart model (ZF) is expected to be coming up next.

Space and Utility

Both the Cruze and the Dart will carry up to 5 passengers comfortably, but the new Dodge does have some extra leg-space in the rear seats with all of its 97.2 cubic feet of passenger volume. The Cruze comes at 2.6 cubic feet less but the front seats do not show the deficit. This is one aspect that will make a lot of difference on a road trip, and something the buyer would be well advised to consider when making a choice.

An aside for smokers who might be irked at the news: the new Dart does not carry the ashtray of the original model as part of standard equipment – try to think of this as a safety feature.

Safety

The Dart clearly scores here, with the reactive headrests being included as standard features. If there is an impact from the rear, the headrests move forward to protect the passengers from whiplash. Keeping oneself safe from spinal injuries or a neck trauma merits serious consideration, even for a speed demon. The Cruze does not seem to have had an equally thoughtful and discerning team of engineers. The Dodge even has heated wheels and heated seats, and these are rare features even when you take all mid size cars into account.

Conclusion

The Dart and the Cruze both look fabulous on road and are about the same size in terms of overall length although the Cruze is a little narrower. They have the same 36 months / 36,000 miles manufacturer warranty, the same mileage of 25 City / 36 Highway. There are differences in what comes as standard equipment and what has to be added for a price, but most buyers will have their own personal opinion and likes and dislikes about the dashboard or the headlamps. Great Compact Cars, both, but with the more powerful engine, better safety feature, and the less hefty price tag, the Dodge Dart does seem just a little ahead in the race.

Image via Wikipedia.