2013 Dodge Dart in Dubai
We spot the first cars just arrived in the UAE for hot weather testing
By Shahzad Sheikh
Passing by the Trading Enterprises workshop earlier today (TE is the UAE distributor for Chrysler) we stumbled upon what are probably the first Dodge Darts in the country, perhaps the region (because the regional head office is here in Dubai).
The all-new Dart is set to go on sale towards the end of the year, and there hasn’t even been a regional launch here yet, so these cars are likely to be here for hot weather testing ahead of the car officially going on sale.
For those who have been following the introduction of this pretty little Dodge, you will already know that this car is the fruition of the marriage between Fiat and Chrysler, and is based on the sexy Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback.
But whilst it seems to have adopted some of the swoopy desirability of that car, the looks are genuinely all Dodge, from the aggressive front with the signature grille treatment, sleek side profile and distinctive baby-Charger rear end.
A massively important car for Dodge in its home market in the compact segment, this could be the car to challenge the likes of the Honda Civic there and in our region too – depending on if it’s priced keenly enough.
On launch three petrol engines were announced including a 160bhp 2.0 and 1.4 Multiair Turbo, as well a 184bhp 2.4-litre Multiair Turbo. The two cars we stumbled on today appeared to be a 1.4 (in grey) and a top-spec 2.0 (black) with leather upholstery and all the electronics. Both were autos.
With cars unlocked, we had a quick shufti inside and I found I could easily get comfortable both in the front and the back despite my six-foot frame.
There appeared to be a lot of cool electronics built-in, which is becoming something of the norm with Chrysler products. On opening the door the instrument panel’s massive central display comes to life rotating through several screens before settling on a comprehensive and brightly presented speedometer and information display.
The huge 8.4inch touchscreen appeared to give the same brilliant display and usability we’ve seen in the latest generation Chrysler products.
On first impressions it’s a handsome car, that’s spacious, packed with kit and boasts a lot of showroom appeal. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring you a local drive report later in the year.