I would agree with the comment above, it does sound like original reviewer is out to put people off investing in a Dodge.
US auto manufactures, have slowly learned that the modern American driver wants a lot more than heavy, fully loaded, sofa on four wheels with a domestic badge on the front. They have slowly released that the Europeans and Asians have been getting the formula right for some time now, and they have lost out at their own expense. But this latest creation from Dodge is way up there with the foreign mainstream, and is no way near as bad as he or she is making it out to be.
Well done Dodge for finally getting your act together and making a decent sedan, or do they call them crossovers now?
What are you talking about? The Caliber is at least 400 lbs heavier than the competition, gets worse gas mileage, and has a very very cheaply made interior. It may compete with the equally mediocre Chevy Cobalt, but it is far from a match for the likes of the Honda Fit for one.
When the Calibrer came out I was impressed with it, but I never buy any car without shopping around. I test drove 3 Calibers, 2 Pontiac Vibes (a Toyota Matrix with better dealer service and better looks), a Saturn Vue, a Toyota Corolla and a Scion Tc coupe. Of all the vehicles I drove the Caliber was far and away the best value. It was much smoother and faster than the Vibe (and had a nicer interior). It was also much smoother and quieter than the Saturn, the Corolla or the Scion (which rode like a LOG WAGON!!). In addition, for some insane reason the Corolla and Scion only come in "old lady" colors. I wanted either red or yellow. At this point I still have not bought a Caliber because Dodge would not meet my trade-in requirements on my present vehicle (which is perfect, I just wanted a Caliber).
The Caliber could NEVER compete with the Honda Fit. The Caliber would never stoop that low.
None of the import offerings I tried out came close to the Caliber in overall comfort, equipment and value. In addition, with Toyota's massive reliability problems now and Honda's transmission disaster (few of them are lasting more than 40,000 miles) I'd be afraid to risk my hard-earned money on one of them.
The Dodge Caliber is a joke on wheels. It looks like something you'd find in a box in the toy section at Walmart. The Honda Fit is so far above this hilarious Dodge disaster that it is a disgrace to mention it in the same sentence. I don't even want to know anything about it. Just looking at a picture of it should be enough to convince anybody in the realm of sanity NOT to buy it. You couldn't GIVE me this car, as I'd be afraid that no one would want to buy it from me, and I'd be ashamed to see it sitting anywhere near my property.
I live in the Uk, and I recently went to test drive a Caliber, as the Dodge brand is recently new to Europe. I have to say, I was very disappointed with it compared to the competition I was also considering. For a family car, it was too big and bulky, quality of the interior was way below par and was the same standard the Koreans manufacturers were at lest five years ago. The diesel option was noisy and made the car feel too heavy. The only good point was the price and the standard of kit. But you really do get what you pay for in terms of quality. When I told the sales man I was taking the Caliber off my shortlist, the salesman commented saying “ this is another car the Americans are claiming is a world car, boy have they got it wrong”.
"For a family car, it was too big and bulky..."
Wow, if you think the Caliber (which is a compact) is too big and bulky, then you definitely have some different ideas about cars. You're right, this one isn't for you, but I think it would please a lot of people. I was seriously considering buying one last summer, and I'm single.
As an American I am embarassed that Chrysler would create such an average product like the Caliber and have the nerve to say it is "world beating". I am even more embarassed that people actually defend this vehicle and say it's better than a Honda Fit, much less an Elantra.
I mean, EVERY US auto magazine said this car was simply average, and nowhere near competitive with any of its rivals. And, of course, rather than build a quality product Chrysler wastes its resources on doing what American car makers always do - put a bigger engine in it. The 300 hp Caliber SRT is just a faster piece of junk, only it gets SUV gas mileage.
But, as one marketing executive once said about buyers of American cars, giving them a quality product is like putting pearls before swine.
I went with a friend car shopping weekend before last. We looked at several of the new offerings in the way of tiny, underpowered and easily crushed small cars just to kill some time before looking at the real cars at the Dodge dealership. Anyone who thinks the tiny, underpowered Honda Fit is in the same class as the larger, much smoother, far safer and much better looking Caliber needs some serious professional help.
And as an American, I am embarrassed to hear other Americans trashing Dodge while defending anemic junk like Hyundai and Honda. The comment about casting pearls before swine applies equally. How could you choose an Elantra or Fit over a Caliber??? The Caliber is the nicest looking small car to come out in a long, long time. The Fit looks like some impressionist remake of an old Citroen.
I think the last sentence of 8:41 pretty much sums up 22:47. The Fit is no looker, but it is a supermodel compared to the coyote ugly Caliber.
The Caliber is not classed as a compact in Europe, where the roads are less spacious. The best selling car in Europe is the VW Golf (VW Rabbit). The Golf is everything the Caliber isn’t. While us Europeans are better used to the quality of the VW’s and their European lead design approach, I don’t think the Dodge has any chance of doing well over here. It just looks out of place, and that could be a reason some people buy it.
In terms of quality, I look forward to hearing your reviews on the European designed and made Saturn Astra when it comes to market. You will then see that American manufacturers can offer quality compacts, but the only thing is, they're not American made, unlike the Caliber.
One last point to make, Ford is still doing well in Europe while it's failing back at home. The quality of an American Ford is no match for a European Ford. Compare the Focus on ford.com and ford.co.uk to see what I mean.