2008 Dodge Caliber Base 2.0 from North America

Summary:

Fun, comfortable, low purchase price

Faults:

One turn signal, Rear left. Not a big problem at all.

Oil change light, not the cars fault (turn key to ignition and pump the gas pedal quickly multiple times and it resets)

General Comments:

Like it, comfortable (I'm 6'6), awesome speakers even for the base models (I tested out my rap and electronic music) with no rattles at all. Bass is great, treble is excellent.

However the rear pillars make lane changing difficult. I'd recommend getting a wide view mirror attachment for it.

Love the looks, mileage is not too shabby for what it is. Tons of room, especially when you fold the seats flat and put blankets in there when your with that special someone ;)

Good for when you're with your friends and heading to a party (cooler in glovebox)

All in all, I loved it, it was just a rental (hence those two VERY MINOR problems).

It is what it is, test drive it yourself and make up your mind. I for one would not mind purchasing one of these (and I will once I finish school).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2009

2008 Dodge Caliber R/T AWD 2.4L from North America

Summary:

Lump of trash

Faults:

Transmission has been replaced (27,000km).

Main engine computer replaced once and reprogrammed twice due to stalling (12,000km, 18,000km, 42,000km).

Rear struts replaced because they were leaking (35,000km).

Two wheel bearings have been replaced (22,000km, 49,000km).

Left front headlight has blown out seven times!

Dealer doesn't know why! (Seems like I'm always driving with one headlight!)

Interior creeks and groans when its cold (since new).

Security system malfunctioned this morning so the car would just crank over and not start. Had to be towed to the dealer. (this morning - 57,500km)

Of course, all the quoted mileages above are approximate.

General Comments:

Too many issues. Will never buy another Chrysler product. I guess I should have paid more attention to all those anti-Chrysler websites, but I thought "they can't be that bad". I was wrong. It's a huge lump of garbage. Thank God I bought the extended warranty... I'm going to need it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th June, 2009

10th Jun 2009, 20:09

Your example is not typical of Chrysler products.

One of my longest-lasting vehicles was a 1990 Dodge Omni. It made 240,000+ miles with nothing but two timing belts, two brake jobs and one hose. The man who bought it from me now has over 300,000 miles on it. Granted, that is not as good as our Ford that made 325,000 miles with less than $500 in total repairs, but still, 240,000 miles is not bad for an inexpensive compact.

We also drove our Dodge Daytona 100,000+ miles before trading it without one single problem, and our Dodge truck never had a single problem in the 5 years before it was totalled in an accident.

2008 Dodge Caliber SXT CVT 2.0 litre petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Best specification for the price

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

The A pillars are too thick and can obstruct vision.

The plastic is too hard & scratches too easily.

The suspension could be better over small bumps & ridges.

There is too much tyre roar over 40 mph on certain road surfaces.

Despite these faults, the car is very comfortable and has a excellent tight turning circle, with a full specification on the SXT CVT model not found on any other car that I know of, especially at the price.

This my second Caliber, and provided stupid Chrysler returns the TPM, the auto dip mirror & the engine cover, I would buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th September, 2008

21st Oct 2008, 16:13

I just rented on of these for a long weekend, and drove it on a wide variety of roads, including interstate, city, and dirt country roads.

I agree about the rear pillars being in a place to cause blind spots. Every time I glanced over my left shoulder, I kept seeing the pillar instead of the road or the car that might have been in my blind spot, so I had to trust the mirrors more than I usually like to.

I can also understand how some people can say that it feels sort of cheaply made. As an example, the electric locks sounded a little loose and rattly. The engine also sounded sort of rattly when you tromped it, although I may just not be used to 4-cylinders.

With that said, I really enjoyed my rental. It was a 2008 Caliber R/T All-Wheel Drive with 25,000 miles on it. At first there was a lot of road noise, but I think that was due to under inflated tires and rough pavement, because it went away later.

What really impressed me initially about this car is that it is peppy, and does not lose speed going up hills. Other cars next to me dropped back as their engines worked harder in high gears, and they downshifted and strained up the hills in lower gears. But the Caliber left them behind and zipped right up, maintaining speed.

The handling was also great, and I routinely took 25 mph corners at 50 mph and did not feel significant body sway. The car zipped right around. Also, when my TomTom guided me onto 1-lane dirt roads in the mountains, the AWD was great -- no tire slipping on dirt or climbing steep hills, and the "manual" function on the CVT made it easy to climb the steep, dirt roads. At first I was horrified to have wandered onto those roads, but the Caliber did not feel out of place there. I would classify the Caliber as a miniature crossover, and I see that it would be a good choice to take camping. I mean, these were 1-lane dirt roads with steep, hairpin turns in the Ocoee National Forest, and the Caliber was totally confident on those roads. That's something you won't take a Pontiac G-6 or Honda Fit on. I think it actually did a better job with AWD than my 4WD Explorer would have as far as driving on winding roads of loose gravel.

I also did not notice the hesitation that others mention. In city driving and in stoplights, I felt no dead spots on take-off. However, I don't know what difference there would be in power between the 1.8 L, 2.0 L, and 2.4 L, and don't know if the FWD Caliber would handle as well as the AWD that I rented.

What appeals most to me about this car is its practicality. I believe it could replace both of my current cars if I felt like downsizing. With the hatchback and AWD, it fulfills the role of a miniature SUV, and with the handling it fulfills the role of a sporty car. I was previously interested in the SRT4, but have been really favorably impressed by the R/T with the CVT transmission and All Wheel Drive. For me, the R/T AWD would be a more practical choice.

23rd Oct 2008, 15:48

Having driven 3 Calibers with the 2.0 engine, CVT and front drive, I am very impressed. Yes, they are somewhat lacking in high-quality interiors, but the low cost is a result of not putting a lot of posh materials into these cars. I find the SUV-like interiors very useful, and I like the cars overall styling. My experience with Dodge reliability has been very favorable.

The things I did not care for were a lack of exciting colors (no red or yellow, just muted blah non-colors) and the snail-like off-the-line acceleration. The SRT is over-kill for this sort of car, though it is a very reasonably priced high-performance vehicle.

24th Oct 2008, 10:55

I agree that silver is bland, but you can't go wrong with black, and I like the blue and copper colors. I've seen a couple of models that have seats and instrument clusters that match the exterior color, which is striking in this day and age of bland interiors.

Yellow and red have become overplayed, anyway. It certainly wouldn't stop me from buying a good car, just because they didn't have my color.

I have not noted this sluggish acceleration, either, but maybe the 2.4 L makes a difference.