20th May 2008, 23:07
You hate the Caliber. Too bad. The Caliber is reliable according to Consumer Reports & Michael Kiresh who is also compiling repair records. Caliber is as reliable as the Ford Fusion.
Treat the CVT like an airplane. Set your rpms & away you go. Like an airplane there is no jerking acceleration. Like an airplane engine, Caliber's engine doesn't go up & down in noise & rpms. Unlike an airplane, if you drive for economy, there is no vibration & noise to match the silky smooth acceleration. My yearly overall average is 31.4MPG, average 32.7MPG over 4000 foot mountain passes, & have a 35.6 MPG flat highway high.
25th May 2008, 14:04
The Caliber is an inexpensive car, and interior finishes reflect this. Mechanically, however, the Caliber has proven to be a very reliable and solid car.
I looked at and drove several Calibers in 2006, and found them to be dog-slow on take-off, but very respectable once they were rolling.
Appearance is highly subjective, but I liked the styling of the Caliber. I waited a year and went back to Dodge in 2007, only to find that the beautiful and sporty yellow had been discontinued and the Caliber was only offered in very bland colors. Since I am not into driving boring cars, I opted for another car that DID come in a sporty color. One thing I CAN'T accept is driving a car in an "old folks" color.
30th Jul 2008, 17:01
Wow, it's kind of too bad that you missed out on a good car, and one that you obviously liked, just because they didn't have a color that you liked. I guess a "sporty color" is in the eye of the beholder, but I personally like the metal flake copper and metal flake dark and light blue, and don't see how they could be considered bland or "old people's" colors at all. I don't know what you bought, but hopefully your "sporty color" car won't be sitting in the shop all the time.
11th Oct 2008, 14:08
The different perceptions that each country seems have of cars built in their homeland and cars not from their own country, interests me.
After several years reading thousand of articles and comments on this site, it seems that many Americans have a strong loyalty to American brands and do not appreciate fair criticism or comparison with imported cars.
As a very general observation, it seems that American cars are more concerned with equipment and brand loyalty, European cars more concerned with perceived quality and status, Japanese cars go for efficiency and reliability but use hard plastics and the emerging Koreans cars are looked down on, but are trying to build brand loyalty by building well equipped, reliable and efficient cars-and lately are focusing on perceived quality.
I mean no offence, but a large number of American cars are now totally irrelevant in the current global market due to their ridiculously poor economy, hard poor interior plastics, huge size and poor handling on roads other than American highways.
The tide has turned against large gas guzzling cars and unfortunately a number of American brands model ranges consist mostly or entirely of large SUVs, pickups and heavy sedans-which are now sat on forecourts unsold.
Perhaps if the manufacturers of these products had been less jingoistic and moved away from the "American is best" mentality, they would now be thriving like many European, Japanese and now Korean brands.
These comments are not directly aimed at the Caliber - but having been out in one, I would consider the Korean Kia Cee'd to be a far superior product, sold in the UK at a similar price/spec, but with a much better interior quality, engine, gearbox, styling economy/efficiency and so on.
If American car builders do not take the rest of the world seriously, they will fail. Looking at the high demand for non-American cars, and the huge number of built yet unsold American cars, it will not be long unless something changes.
Blind loyalty to a country of manufacture may be laudable as it helps the economy of that country, but in the long term especially when under financial pressure, buyers may start to look more fairly at non-American cars which offer a more relevant package.
Please take these comments in the context they are meant - I am not anti-American, but have noticed a strong bias that Americans have for cars built in their own country!
10th Jan 2009, 15:21
We have been looking at purchasing a Caliber as a second car because here in the UK, the residuals have plummeted and a two year old one can be had for a little over £5k. It is true that the interior is like that of an early 1990s van, very cheap and nasty maybe made of VHS cassette plastic? But overall, the car seems fine is an almost utilitarian way. It seems like a simple low-tech car without much to go wrong, you can just hose down the interior if it gets dirty.
Our main worry is the long-term availability of parts, and that the dealership network seems to be on the brink of collapse. If not, then even Dodge/Chrysler themselves who have just had a $4000,000,000 bailout.
11th Jan 2009, 11:28
There certainly is a group of Americans who do not appreciate criticisms of American brands. But there also is the group of Americans who refuse to admit there is any possibility that maybe some American car models have caught up to Japanese imports in reliability. They seem to feel threatened by the idea.
I visit Europe every year, and the cars that I love driving in the United States I would not care for on European roads. I just rent small to mid-size cars when we visit and we usually end up with an Opel (GM owned) and I feel they are better suited to European roads. I find the European roads better maintained, smoother, but more crowded and with more quick turns and narrow lanes requiring more attentive driving. Parking is harder to find and more cramped. And you find fewer people who have really long commutes, so there is less emphasis on having lots of electronic toys, storage space and good coffee cup holders.
18th Jan 2009, 19:24
The Dodge Caliber is made for American roads. This means good cruising, but a cheap interior.
Quality actually is fairly important to the American consumer, as you'll see from reviews of this car. People compare its interior to a camping cooler. It's a decent car, but don't expect economy from a brick.
Also, watch out for Chrysler's traditional weak points: transmissions, electrics, interior bits falling off, and head gaskets.
These deserve to become much more popular as people lose the paycheck that keeps their Ford F-450 on the road. Off-road without a penalty, lots of cargo room, it almost has it all. Now it's up to posterity to prove if it has reliability.
26th Jan 2009, 13:07
I drove my 1990 Dodge Omni 240,000+ miles with two brake jobs, two timing belts, and one heater hose... and NOTHING else other than tires, batteries and oil changes. I have owned three Dodges and one Plymouth since 1972 and I can't fault Chrysler Corporation's reliability. Of course, none of my Ford or GM products have been unreliable either. That includes a 277,000 mile Buick and a 325,000 mile Ford. I think upkeep and proper maintenance goes a long, long way toward making a car last a long time.