2007 Dodge Caliber SXT from North America - Comments

22nd Jun 2006, 10:37

It's funny, we bought this car last night. The CVT transmission has a lot to do with the car going very fast. The problem is that we are all to believe that high rpms makes the car go quick, and the CVT is constantly "shifting" and making it seem like it's not going faster. I looked down and thought I was doing 20, maybe 25. I was almost to 50 mph and the shifting led me to believe that I was still going slow.

22nd Jun 2006, 18:07

CVTs don't shift, the pulleys, wheels, and weights all expand to mimic different gear sizes.

26th Jun 2006, 17:21

To the person concerned about buying a first year version due to everything being new and untested, I have to say you're wise. I LOVE the Caliber, but will wait a year to get one. Every new car has tons of bugs. Usually by the second year most have been found and corrected. As for the CVT, I don't feel comfortable with them. The principle of having a belt-driven transmission smacks of slippage, broken belts and lots of headaches. I'll either find a 5-speed or order one when I get ready to buy. Chrysler builds VERY GOOD CARS, however, as someone who has owned three, be forewarned that the warranty is pretty much worthless. My brother and I both bought new Dodges some years back and had problems with them. The dealer just laughed at us and refused to fix them and appeals to Chrysler's arbitration board didn't even get the courtesy of a reply. My brother traded his for a Chevy and I opted to pay a private garage to fix mine. I drove mine 100,000 miles without another problem, and have owned two more since then. Just know that if you do buy a Chrysler product and DO have trouble, you are pretty much on your own. That's why I will wait 'til all the bugs are worked out of the Caliber.

9th Aug 2006, 22:20

I think Dodge has a winner with the Caliber. It has so much more to offer than anything even remotely comparable to it at the same price. I test drove the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Both were priced thousands higher and did not have nearly the power and smoothness of the Cailber and were not nearly as well equipped. My family has owned both Toyotas and Hondas as well as Dodges, and the Dodges had far less mechanical problems than either of the Japanese cars. We're going with the Caliber.

29th Aug 2006, 10:10

The Caliber has just arrived in the UK, and I am contemplating as whether to purchase one. It looks great, and the amount of equipment on the SXT looks great; free AUTO transmission and full leather... are just some of the features. I have looked at ALL other options; Fords, Vauxhall, you name it. For a Focus I would need to purchase a "GHIA" model. It's nearly £3000 MORE!!! The Caliber seems to be the best value for money... and it is "different"...

Just wondered if you fellow friends in the US rate these cars... I'm looking at purchasing the SXT 2L AUTO with the CVT trans... Any advice?? I currently own a 2001 Grand Voyager Town and Country spec.

I really love these Chrysler/Dodge's...

29th Aug 2006, 23:17

Hey I loved Dodges until my 1996 Grand Caravans brakes caught fire.

Yes the calibers have fancy cvt transmission. It's funny cause it's almost identical to what golfcarts use. Try test driving a Matrix.

29th Aug 2006, 23:35

Go for it!

I myself am not completely sold on the look of this vehicle, but it seems to be getting great reviews over here.

I'll bet they are really rare in the UK!

30th Aug 2006, 07:46

Not that Cvt is all that amazing to drive...

"fancy cvt transmission"

You say that because you don't know what it is and how its superior to a gearbox.

30th Aug 2006, 12:56

Forgot to ask. You must be an expert. Why don't you explain yourself. A bit clearer... So can I get CVT on a stick shift.

30th Aug 2006, 23:18

A CVT transmission is made up of belts and pulleys using centrifugal force and such so that the weights in the pulleys expand and stretch the belt in a way as to allow infinite gear ratios. This ability to replicate infinite gear ratios allows the CVT tranny to keep the engine at the perfect rpm level for whatever it is that you're doing be it accelerating or cruising. The fact that it will at the lowest rpms possible for cruising allows for much greater mpg numbers. (Imagine having an 8th gear for highway cruising, kind of like that, going 65 in 8th at idle rpms)

Only problem is that CVTs don't really wind up nor do you get the notchy feeling of manuals plus the rise and fall of the tach. The car accelerates and cruises as quickly, smoothly, and perfectly as it can all the time.

Manuals and automatic tranny's work on a set number of gear ratios and switch up and down through them to maintain optimum engine rpms and total speed. (manual depends on the driver) The engine accelerates by raising engine speed in said gear until a certain point then is shifted to the next gear and the process continues until you reach your goal of cruising, accelerating, going really frigging fast or whatever.

Anyhow, advantages of the CVT over conventional trannys are that there are infinite numbers of gear ratios for the tranny, there is no power/energy lost in the second/half second when the tranny is shifted to the next gear, and fuel economy is optimal because the engine is at idle while cruising. The only disadvantage would be the odd feeling of driving one and its "excitement factor" compared to conventional transmissions.

Is that a better explanation and answer to your very LOUD and annoying response?

Oh, and may I ask what a CVT on a stick shift is?

31st Aug 2006, 13:49

Thank you for your very useful description... Loud and annoying I may be, but I'm after a bit of help here... In the UK the Caliber is marketed with either a six speed manual engine OR a CVT AUTOMATIC.. now I'm only trying to get a response for this type of transmission so to speak.. so I can consider buying one.. As to my background, I don't have a MANUAL license..that's why I need as much info on this "other" transmission. Let me tell you that since the UK press enjoy slating everything that hits our shores EXCEPT BMW's AUDI's etc... why shouldn't us brits enjoy a bit of the US thing... I love my US Cars.. but thank you for your helpful advice on this... I shall now soak it all up... good luck to you.

15th Sep 2006, 06:03

With reference to your comment above, can I add that local car manufacturers develop and research their products for their home market. The reason the European press slates US cars is because it’s all down to taste. For example US cars don’t handle too great on European roads, as US cars are set up to float rather than take demanding bends. Also quality of the cabin has long been an issue with US cars. They have got better in recent years as they are learning valuable lessons from their European cousins, but the game of catch up is far from over.