The new Dodge Dart has piqued my interest ever since I saw it at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. For the longest time they were unavailable, but they finally started appearing last fall. On a visit to the local dealer this past Sunday, I saw that buyers are spoiled for choice; there had to be twenty on the lot. There are some pretty cool colors, too. So, for those of you a little woozy from our land yacht brunch earlier this morning, how about something nice and light–like this Key Lime Dart?
I know this Rallye version looks yellow in the photos, but trust me, it was lime green in person. Think 1970 AAR ‘cuda and you’ll know the color.
Ah yes, another drab interior, but at least the seats have racing stripes! And really, what other color but black would go with lime green paint?
If bright lime green isn’t quite your style, there was also a bright orange one. Remember when you could get orange cars? Back in the ’70s, you could get anything from a Volvo 240 to a Corolla in this hue. This one certainly stood out in a row of silver, black and white Darts.
And is that a white interior? I think the sun is partly to blame, but this looks quite a few shades lighter than the garbage-can gray you see in many other new cars. I kind of like it, but I imagine this cloth upholstery would be a pain to keep clean.
Really, if you’re doing a Dart revival you should have white vinyl upholstery. And a pillarless hardtop with a concave backlight. And a vinyl roof! And a Special Edition model with color-keyed wheel covers! For that matter, how about a two-door GTS?
I mean, it’s great that Dodge brought the Dart back, and it looks nice, but it really doesn’t have a lot in common with past Darts–or with current Dodges for that matter, save the mini-Charger taillights. I look at this side view and think “new Neon,” not “Dart”.
Although most Darts seem to be found on dealer lots and not on the roads around here, I have to give Chrysler a thumbs-up for returning a storied name to the lineup–not to mention a bright palette of interesting colors. Who knows how many folks will pick the cool colors, though.
The Dart seems to be a nice compact in a sea of reliable compacts. But will they be collected in thirty years, like the 340 Swinger and 1967-69 GTS? And will they enhance or tarnish the Dart/Valiant’s stone-reliable rep?