Is the Dodge Dart a sports car or not? In this blog, we researched the 2012 – 2016 generation of the Dodge Dart and compared its characteristics to a sports car. What we found is that the answer is not that simple. Take a look:
The Dodge Dart is not a sports car because its engines don’t deliver a lot of power (162 hp – 188 hp). Furthermore, the Dart isn’t designed like a sports car because it’s a 4-door sedan, whereas a sports car is a 2-door coupe. Finally, the Dart has a low power-to-weight ratio and has front-wheel drive, whereas sports cars have rear- or all-wheel drive.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll discuss the engine, design, weight, and drivetrain of the Dart in detail to determine whether these elements fit that of a sports car or not. Furthermore, we’ll also discuss whether or not the car is seen as a sports car for insurance purposes. Read on!
To determine if the Dodge Dart is a sports car or not, we first have to look at the engine types it was available in. There’s only one model of the Dart that was ever produced (2012 – 2016), and it came with three different 4-cylinder engines. A 1.4L produced 162 hp, a 2.0L produced 162 hp, and a 2.4L topped the scale at 188 hp.
Looking at the power output of these cars, we immediately have some doubts about the term sports car. There’s indeed no specific requirement about the power output of an engine to be classified as a sports car. For example, a 2021 Mazda MX-5 is a sports car and has 181 hp.
However, a Mazda MX-5 is a very lightweight car. On the other hand, the Dodge Dart is a car that can carry four adults. Therefore the power-to-weight ratio is not the same, and we would argue that the engines are a bit weak for a car this size to be considered a sports car.
On the other hand, 162 hp and 188 hp are not incredibly weak, and the car most likely still packs a bit of punch. We would say this is probably a debatable point, but for now, we would say it’s neither positive nor negative for the Dart.
The car’s design is most likely one of the biggest differentiators between ‘normal’ cars and sports cars. The whole goal of a sports car is to make the handling very good. This way, the car can go around a track quickly and efficiently. Therefore, the design of a sports car should be aerodynamic, relatively small, and low to the ground. Also, only 2-door coupes can be considered to be true sports cars.
And then there’s the Dodge Dart. Let’s start with the fact that the Dart was only available as a 4-door sedan. In our books, that immediately means it doesn’t qualify for the sports car segment. Sports cars are made for sporty driving and going around a track quickly. Not bringing the kids to school.
Now, it has to be said that there are differences within the Dart family. The most basic version of the Dart (the SE) doesn’t really look like a sports car. Every step up from that (whether that be the Limited Edition, SXT (Sport), Aero, GT (Sport) ) does look more like a sports car.
In terms of design, this is mainly because the front bumper keeps changing, making it look more aggressive and lower to the ground. However, it’s still quite a big 4-door sedan. All the aesthetic changes make it a sporty 4-door sedan, but it doesn’t qualify as a sports car.
Also read: Is The Dodge Avenger A Sports Car?
The car’s weight is another factor that helps you decide whether or not a car is a sports car. We would say that anything close to 3,000 pounds is generally more within the sports car range. Some sports cars weigh 2,500 pounds, and sports cars that weigh 3,500 pounds.
Depending on the specific model type you pick, the Dodge Dart has a curb weight of 3.186 – 3.348 pounds. That means that, when it comes to weight, the car is actually quite light for a 4-door sedan. So, let’s look at how much horsepower the cars have per pound to see if the Dart stacks up to the competition.
- Mazda MX-5: 181 hp / 2.403 lbs = 0.0753
- BMW Z4: 255 hp / 3.287 lbs = 0.0776
- Toyota GT86: 200 hp / 2.776 lbs = 0.0720
- Dodge Dart: 188 / 3.348 = 0.0562
Looking at these numbers, it becomes clear that the Dart doesn’t really deliver the power-to-weight that you would expect from a sports car. The Mazda is lightweight with relatively low power, the BMW Z4 is a heavyweight with higher power, and the Toyota falls somewhere between. Still, all of them score above the 0.07 mark, and the Dart falls short here.
Also read: Is The Dodge Charger A Sports Or Muscle Car?
As a general category, it can be said that true sports cars normally have the engine as close to the middle of the car as possible (although it will still usually be in the front). Furthermore, the drive system is almost always rear-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive has become more common.
Looking at the Dodge Dart, we see that this car does indeed have the engine in the front as we would expect for most cars. However, the car also has front-wheel drive. Most car enthusiasts would say that having front-wheel drive makes the car less fun (drifting becomes very difficult), making its driving less sporty.
This makes this is another point that shows why the Dodge Dart is not a true sports car and shouldn’t be considered one.
Also read: Is The Honda Civic A Sports Car?
Is The Dodge Dart A Sports Car For Insurance Purposes?
Whether or not a Dodge Dart is considered a sports car for insurance purposes isn’t that relevant. Reason being that insurance companies factor in all different kinds of requirements, and they don’t really tell you what kind of category they put a certain car in.
Using thezebra.com, we found that it costs an average of $1.195 per year to insure a 2016 Dodge Dart. A 2013 model will set you back around $1.021 per year. Looking at these prices, insurance companies do not classify the Dart as a sports car but rather as a 4-door sedan.
If you’re interested in insuring a second-hand Dodge Dart, we highly advise you to check out Allstate. In general, they provide the cheapest insurance for cars like the Avenger. Check the rate of a Dart here on the website of Allstate.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
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