Exterior styling is distinctive and very upscale for a small car. I got a lot of compliments on the deep metallic blue color of the car and because I bought the car so early in the run and there were virtually no Limited Special Editions on the road the car was unique. A car like a Civic or Corolla blends in, there are so many of them that there just isn't personality in the car.
The 2.0L engine lugs and provides lazy performance at best. the 2.4L in the Dart GT wasn't available on the Limited when I bought mine and the GT didn't have the feature content I wanted. The 2.4L enigne is now standard and for a good reason, its the only one that provides a decent every day driving experience. In comparision the 2.0L in a 2013 Focus feels athletic and more than adequate.
Fuel economy was sub par, at a 24 mpg return on a 4 hour trip in the flat lands of southern Michigan to central Ohio, I'd rather drive my current ride, a 2014 Charger that gets 22 mpg on the same trip. City mileage was a joke at something like 15 mpg on my car. My Buddy has a 2013 Focus that returns 36 mpg highway on that same trip and his city mileage is in the mid 20's. This was with me driving, so I feel it is a reasonable comparision.
Kuhmo Solus tires are so so on dry pavement, tricky on rain and useless on snow. The higher end Darts need better tires than these for the price of the car. A Focus SE has Continental ContiContact tires which are good in all weather situations and last longer. My current car, the Charger has Michelins, Michelin makes superior tires, they belong on top trim level cars.
The workmanship on the car was poor in general. My fuel door didn't fit to the body properly, even after 2 replacements. The hinge on the fuel door was warped, 3 of every 4 Darts exhibit this condition, some owners just don't catch it. Other clues of poor workmanship, the rear deck material was way green compared to the black panels on the rest of the car, such poor color harmony between components is something that shouldn't be accepted at the assembly plant. I also found numerous fit issues on interior trim items and in general there were a lot of injection molding defects on my interior plastics that were painted over and not painted well. As a plastics engineer, I have an eye for this kind of thing and trust me, the interior was generally poor. I don't see any of these type issues on Corollas, Civics, or Focus that I've been in.