For roughly the last five years, Dodge was a car company without an entry-level compact sedan in its lineup. The decision to go with a small crossover vehicle - the butch-looking Dodge Caliber - as the replacement for the departed Dodge Neon was a risk that didn't pay off quite as well as the domestic brand had hoped. This is especially true in the face of the wave of ultra-fuel efficient and technologically-advanced small cars that have flooded the industry and raised the bar for bargain-conscious buyers.
Fortunately for Dodge, corporate parent Fiat was ready with a plan to replace the out-of-step Caliber with a fresh-from-Europe platform that could stand tall against the competition. The 2013 Dodge Dart is a legitimate contender for the dollars of those overwhelmed by the amount of choice in the affordable car market, and it wears its Italian heritage well underneath its American clothes.