Thursday, April 14, 2016

NMS Test Drive: Dodge Dart

2015 Dodge Dart

The other day I got to enjoy a business trip from the NMS North HQ in Virginia Beach all the way to an undisclosed secret facility somewhere 6 hours away, and my means of transportation was the incredible 2015 Dodge Dart SVT rental car from our friends at Enterprise! The route was mostly Interstate, so let's take a look at this fine steed from the rental stables at our favorite local airport that goes by the name of ORF. Seriously, did the Department of Aviation Facility Funny Naming Department or whoever controls naming airports lose a bet and come up with these cute little airport acronyms? ORF sounds like a dog with an accent, or maybe a character in the next Pixar film for kids.

Moving on to the automobile in question, check out this baby!

Snow Tip of the Day: Always Carry an Ice Scraper!

It was fully equipped with stuff like "wheels", "seats", a "steering wheel". It was powered by a "motor" that ran on "gas". For a smallish but not too smallish but certainly not-big form of transportation, the Dodge Dart was a success. It got me from point A to point B, and then back to point A, racking up about 1,000 trouble free miles.

Along the way I got to see the message telling me that it had 3% of oil life left, then 1% and then the message that it was time to change the oil. I passed this info on to the guy that gave me my receipt at the end of the trip, so I'm sure that by now they've changed the oil on that baby! You wouldn't want to rent a car and read that it already is overdue for an oil change would you? Do the rental car folks know about these secrets that their cars might be revealing to customers? Can I write another question in this paragraph?

Without Snow
Overall, the car was fine, a nice mid-grade appliance, but not an earth shaking Lamborghini, nor a 7 passenger people-mover. With the passenger seat all the way back up front, only a small person would have wanted to sit in the back seats, so I'll rate the size of the Dart as in between our Camry and Abarth.

One issue that popped up was while using cruise control. First let me that I LOVE cruise control! So on the Dart, when you have cruise on and you're descending (or going downhill) a big hill, it goes fine for a while but then will over-rev the engine. Now maybe I'm not supposed to use cruise control on big hills, but other cars I've driven have always managed to just coast on steep grades, so there must be some computer-lifeforms in this particular automatic transmission that doesn't play well with others when the "others" are "big hills".

Conclusion: On the Nixon Motor Sports "Appliances and Toasters" scale, I'd rate this a firm 5 out of 10, which translates to: I won't buy one, but if it was in the bright orange color I'd think it looked cool.

PLUS: For the latest press release on the 2016 Dodge Dart, check out  this story: Dodge Dart LINK

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