The 2013 Dodge Dart is a small model with a big task: reclaim Chrysler’s place in the increasingly ultra-competitive compact car class. Reviving the spirit of the compact Dodge Neon (which was produced from 1995 to 2005), the Dart offers a compelling mix of high-end features, a wide variety of trim levels, enthusiast-focused driving dynamics, and slick styling with neat touches like LED “track lighting” taillights.
Despite support from a slick advertising campaign, the Dart has gotten off to a bumpy start, with sales failing to meet expectations. Many industry experts say that the initial launch challenges (such as not having enough automatic transmission-equipped models on lots) have been overcome, and that the Dart will soon hit its stride. Others say competition from well-established models including the Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra makes it too tough to establish a toehold in the compact market.
As one way to judge the health of the Dart, we used exclusive CarsDirect cross-shopping data from the past three months to take a look at the top five vehicles currently cross-shopped against the 2013 Dodge Dart.
(The percentages refer to the percentage of total Dart shoppers who also cross-shopped the alternate models listed. For example, 19.1% of buyers who shopped a Dart also shopped a Ford Focus.)
Ford Focus: 19.1%
Chevy Cruze: 13.0%
Honda Civic: 12.2%
Nissan Sentra: 11.2%
Hyundai Elantra: 10.6%
CarsDirect’s take: Looking at the data, the Dart is unique. While we most often see models cross shopped heavily within the brand, the Dart is mostly shopped across brands. The Avenger is the closest Dodge model, and it doesn’t even make the list of top five models cross-shopped (it’s at 7.1% and 11th on the list). The fact that this model appeals to shoppers of other brands is a good sign for Dodge.
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