Dodge is reviving the Dart brand with a new 2013 car, and it's adding a customizable digital instrument cluster that the company says is a first for a compact vehicle. We spent some time with a mock-up, and there's a lot to like about the new layout. The 7-inch TFT display is bright with vivid colors, and while it's nestled between the car's physical RPM and fuel gauges the visual effect is that you're viewing one continuous display. The system allows you to change the look of your speedometer with four different preset styles, and you can customize the information laid out in the corners of the screen: time, date, and available driving range are amongst the options. Turn-by-turn directions are also delivered to the display, and integration with the car's Uconnect Media Center is of course included.
We were informed that some minor animations do occur when directions appear on the display, but a Dodge representative reassured us that the company has tested the system to ensure that drivers won't be distracted (changing display presets is disabled altogether while the car is in motion). The 2013 Dart will be released later this year at a starting price of $15,995; there's no word yet on when the new dashboard will be making its way to other Dodge vehicles.