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Dodge Caliber MPG-Real World Numbers

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Comments

  • habalanchehabalanche Posts: 57
    Hey Farout.I agree with everything you said I like the Caliber,and as for getting 26mpg Hwy I was pleasantly surprised.Like you said good on the HWY but 0-20 does suck.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    Have you bothered to have the latest TSB#18-031-07
    done on your Calibers yet?
    It applies to any Caliber with a build date before
    April 28,2007 and it resolves your complaint regarding
    acceleration plus quiets engine with improved mpg.
  • habalanchehabalanche Posts: 57
    I had mine in two weeks ago for the lack of pwr at 0-20 and they did reflash the computer but I'm not sure of the #.All I know is that it running alot better since then.And I no longer want to get rid of a car that I really like except,for it's poor mileage and lack of pwr.If the mpg stays above 20 I'll be happy.I cannot live without AWD and I'll gladly trade mpg for driveability in snow.
  • daveydodgedaveydodge Posts: 23
    So, if I am getting 27 mpg on my 2.0L CVT Caliber SXT that I ordered from the factory and received last August of 2006, I should still get my computer reflashed even if things are running fine?? Just asking...I now have 17,800 miles and have had no problems running on Mobile 1 Synthetic and would buy another one at this point and recommend them to friends and family. Dollar for dollar...I find it unrealistic to bash the Caliber and be disappointed in it's looks, drive and performance!!
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    The latest flash is to resolve sluggish acceleration
    0-30 mph and resolve the sometime noisey diesel like
    sound emanating from the engine at idle or low rpm
    acceleration.
    A byproduct of the flash is increased mpg as has
    been posted on several forums by those having had it
    done to their Calibers,my mpg increased by 4mpg
    in city driving and 1-2 on hiway and 0-30
    acceleration is totally different.
    So if you have these traits or concerns it's
    up to you to decide how to proceed.
    By the way my Caliber SXT 2.0L/CVT was a June 06 build.
  • litesong1litesong1 Posts: 39
    Haven't posted since 5-4-07. With the continueing warmer weather, summer mix gas, & longer trips, my MPG continues to rise. Also I found that my odometer was incorrect, -2%, so all my previous MPG reports were 2% too low.

    With my SE Caliber 2 liter w/CVT, my highway high is 35.6MPG, trips over 4000 foot mountain passes from sea level average 32.8MPG, & my overall average including a miserable winter w/41 tanks of gas is 30.8 MPG. The overall average will continue to rise to 31+ MPG till my first year of ownership, & then colder weather & winter mix gas will lower MPG again like last year. The CVT responds well on steep mountain grades as long as you don't rush thru them. Work to maintain speed thru corners & not have to accelerate hard up slope. Drop your speed. Enjoy the mountains. You will also enjoy your mountain MPG.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    Here is the link to EPA website
    using the new mpg formulas.
    I think some Caliber owners will be suprised!!!!

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/sbs.htm
  • airnosairnos Posts: 16
    I'm not sure why you keep throwing the Corolla into the mix. Yes, it is a compact, but does not have the utility of a hatchback/5-dr nor the look/image. People are not cross shopping the appliance Corolla with hatchbacks.

    Agreed. I just traded a Corolla in good condition and making good mileage, for a Caliber. My express reason was the cargo capacity. The SE w/options that I got was STILL cheaper than a local Matrix, and I was thrilled to only have to give up a few mpg in order to get the cargo capacity I wanted.

    I'm only half done with the first tank of gas and in mixed driving in Atlanta am already getting 22.22 mpg. Could be better, but I'm assuming the dealer put gas in right before I bought the car (he knew I was coming, but that's still an assumption) and I don't expect the best mileage until about the third tank. Plus, Atlanta requires A/C use and a certain amount of stop-and-go.

    Best mileage ever on my Corolla (which I bought used) was 41 mpg on a highway trip in the winter. But in practical application, lately I'd been getting 28-30. So if I can beat 25 in the Caliber, I'll be satisfied. Because I'm still coming out ahead with respect to cargo capacity and safety features.

    I once bought straight on mileage and chose a 1996 Nissan 200SX w/AT (bad back -- I can operate a stick but not if I want to drive more than an hour or so at a time). Using octane booster, at 10K on the Nissan I got 52 mpg on a highway trip. That car was great, but it also had low power and lousy cargo capacity. Times and needs change...
  • gman55gman55 Posts: 5
    I never had a CVT or AWD before. Bought mine in Feb 07. Started out with 25.6 mpg ( 90% of my drive is hwy). During the spring I got used to the CVT and started paying attention to the mpg's. As of today I'm getting 28.9 mpgs. Seems that the longer I drive it the better the mpgs become.

    BTW I bought my RT/AWD with 2400K on it...it was a buy-back from Dodge (lemon-law). The disclosure indicated that the "check engine" light came on 3 times and couldn't be fixed...After the buy-back Dodge techs found that the "codes" were wrong and corrected that problem...haven't had a problem since I bought it...13.5K on it now.

    How would I know if the latest TSB#18-031-07 was applied? Would I have to take it in to dealer for that or is there another way to find out?
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    I would recommend you check with the dealer where
    you purchased the car they should have the service
    records on file providing it was originally from
    their stock.
    Check under the hood for a label or sticker that
    by DCX procedures should afixed when the car undergoes
    a software revision.
    It would seem to me that with that mpg on the RT/AWD
    it probably has been done, look for other criteria
    such as deiseling sound and sluggish acceleration
    from starts as outlined in the TSB.
  • habalanchehabalanche Posts: 57
    I've had my RT/AWD for a year now.Very low mileage 4500 miles.I had the flash done on mine about three months ago and noticed a big difference on the HWY.around 27mpg.Most of my driving is 5 miles to and from work.Car was advertised to get 23-26mpg so I am happy now when I can drive 70-75 mph and get 27mpg.I am hoping for a nice long road tip in the fall to see what it will get over 1500 mile trip
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It probably will get good mileage on a 1500 highway trip, as will many cars --even some larger cars with bigger engines.

    However, what really matters is what mileage it will get on your typical day to day driving.
  • airnosairnos Posts: 16
    I'm back...

    Took my new Caliber on a road trip last week and had 28, 30, 31, 25 for the mileage. The last tank was mixed and also involved me hauling some things around for a friend.

    Typical driving for me is about 60/40 highway vs. town. Latest number was 26.16. For mixed driving as applied to Atlanta (i.e., it's rarely possible to drive for the mpg) I think that's pretty decent.
  • airnosairnos Posts: 16
    Back again. I'm now just under 5000 miles and I'm solidly averaging 27 in Atlanta traffic, about 60/40 highway/street since I live in midtown. I'm a bit of a featherfoot and love coasted stops, but there is a limit to how much of that can be done in Atlanta.

    On road trips I routinely run 30-31. Again, I'm a bit of a featherfoot but only a bit -- yes, I do run 70-75 mph on the Interstate.

    These numbers have been remarkably consistent since 1700 miles or so.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 336
    We're getting interested in the Caliber as a car for my wife. Mileage is not a huge issue with us, but I was sort of wondering why this car doesn't do a whole lot better. My BMW 325i gets 24 around town and 30 on the highway. In fact, the big Olds Intrigue that we will be getting rid of doesn't do much less that what is being reported here for the Caliber! On the other hand, the Caliber seems quite heavy for its physical size, so that might be a big reason.
  • jmechjmech Posts: 15
    Weight(3000 lbs) is one reason. The car is stronger for safety and gets great front and side impact ratings as a result. The other is increased EPA standards required for 2007.
    You are correct about the MPG. I get up to 24 city and up to 34 highway. I average about 25 mpg for mixed driving.
    Many of my previous cars used to get better mpg, but then the EPA was not as strict as it is now.
    You should see good traction in snow as I have. The extra ground clearance helps too.
    You will like the Caliber as I have. Its been reliable so far(19,000 miles)with no issues. :)
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The BMW is an expensively engineered vehicle optimized for a combination of performance and economy on smooth pavement which the European market demands. It costs over twice as much as a Caliber, and every repair will be at least twice as much.

    BMW achieves good fuel economy by optimizing aerodynamics in part by having minimal ground clearance, and the engine requiring premium unleaded, the sign of a higher compression engine. It probably has very expensive engine controls.

    I don't mind the fact that my 2.4L 168 hp NA I-5 Volvo V70 (which I got as a hand-me-down) requires premium 91 AKI to achieve EPA 30 mpg highway (I get up to 35 mpg driven carefully on IHs). The compression ratio is over 10:1. But a lot of people in the US begrudge every penny that fuel costs so a requirement for premium fuel in a moderate priced car would be fatal.
  • I am interested in ordering a caliber
    What model, engine, and transmission combination do you have?
  • Me again. I am debating 1.8/manual vs. 2.0/CVT on a new 2008 model.

    I am a conservative driver and the vast majority of my miles are highway.

    airnos, gordonwd - I am happy to here you both are getting good MPG, just curious about your model /engine/transmission combinations.

    Anybody else can jump in too.
  • I'd pay the extra 1000k for the CVT if I were you. It's amazing to drive, very smooth.
    I've had my SXT for 1.5 yrs now, have 54K miles on it and just replaced my 17" tires which make the car ride much nicer than 15" tires on other Calibers. I'm consistantly getting 30 mpg on my car with no issues at all. This the best compact car I have ever owned.
  • I have had my 2.0 CVT for 15 months and 27,000 miles with mostly highway miles and get 29-30 MPG almost always...no problems and use synthetic motor oil..very happy with good looking but cheap transportation...get the 17" Sport Aluminun wheels and chrome door handles and gas cap...very sharp!!!
  • airnosairnos Posts: 16
    Hey pmkon7,

    I have a 2.0L SE with the CVT. I do drive to maximize mileage (lots of coasting stops, gentle acceleration, etc.) except when I have to run with traffic for safety reasons. Now that summer's over I've gone up to an average of 28 mpg, with a range of 26-29. On the highway I usually pop at least 30 mpg and I've had 32-33 a few times.

    I live in the South so there is really no need for me to have an AWD, and I passed on that option.

    Just to note, the SE does not have a tachometer or trip computer standard. I'm not able to do the straight-2000-rpm trick although I do try to keep the "tone" of the engine as even as possible. I'm also calculating mileage manually. (I really wish I at least had the tach...anyone know if it can be done aftermarket?)

    One thing I've noticed is that it's not very forgiving about weight in the back end. The one and only time I went below 30 on the highway involved me taking a bookcase between Atlanta and Raleigh. I ran about 27 the whole way up, but the first tank after the bookcase came out was the highest I've ever gotten - 33.9 mpg.

    My D.C. (that's her name) is now just under 8K miles. The manufacture date inside the driver's door is June 2007 so I've not asked the dealer for the TSB.
  • Hello everyone,

    Thanks everyone for your input. As of today, I have a new 2008 Caliber SXT with 2.0L and CVT on order. I will post updates after the car arrives. Doubtful I will get it before Christmas.
  • The following may upset some of you but the Truth is seldom pleasant.

    Other than pushing a button on a computer (which could make the car manufacturer look good ) most drivers have no clue on how to derive their true MPG.. Step #1 Go to a gasoline station, park the Caliber on the most level area of the pavement. #2 Turn off engine. (Leaving the engine run while re-fueling can screw up the on-board computers; it is against the Law; and most importantly can cause an explosion which can kill you, your passengers and other re-fuelers.) #3. Fill your gas tank until the nozzle's automatic shutoff stops the flow of fuel. (DO NOT squeeze a few more ounces or even drops into your tank. It's truth time, remember. ) #4. Assuming your Caliber has an accurate trip odometer, reset the trip odometer to 0000 and resume your normal driving routine. Drive the Caliber for several days or until the gas gauge reads half full. #5. If possible, go back to the same gas station and same fuel pump and repeat step #3. When the nozzle's automatic shutoff stops the fuel flow...immediately write down the Gallons Purchased number on a piece of paper. #6 Divide the trip odometer number by Gallons Purchased...that number is your Caliber's true MPG.

    The WheelMan
  • Traditionally, manual transmissions deliver better MPG for non-stop highway driving
    Automatics have improved substantially and are a close second. Automatics, of course, are favored for stop and go city driving.

    The WheelMan
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You said, in part:

    "One thing I've noticed is that it's not very forgiving about weight in the back end. The one and only time I went below 30 on the highway involved me taking a bookcase between Atlanta and Raleigh. I ran about 27 the whole way up, but the first tank after the bookcase came out was the highest I've ever gotten - 33.9 mpg. "

    It's more likely a fill variation between your two tanks of gas, than the book case (unless your hatch was open and it affected the aerodynamics).

    I usually have pretty consistent mileage based on my commute, but if I use a different pump, or go to another gas station, or especially if I fill up on a slight angle, it can throw the mileage calculation off.

    Over 18,000 miles of driving, I have averaged approximately 32 mpg on my stick shift Caliber. Pretty good, but I drive very smoothly and have a largely free-flowing freeway commute in a mild climate that seldom requires aircon and is never below freezing, a couple of common mileage killers.
  • K&N has an air filter and more for your Caliber. Check out> knfilter.com

    The WheelMan
  • To significantly increase the MPG of your Caliber you are going to have to do some things that Dodge did not. #1 Use Synthetic oil #2 Change to a Cold air intake #3 Change to a performance exhaust manifold #4 Change to a Cat-back
    (catalytic converter to the tail pipe) exhaust system. #5 Inflate tires to "firmer" pressures. #6 Drive close to the speed limit.

    Expanded: #1 Full Synthetic oils signicantly reduce friction. Less friction means your engine strains less to do the same work. #2 to #4 Each of these assemblies adds approximately 8-10 hp by allowing your engine to 'breathe" and "exhale" easier without adding any load to your engine. More horses to move the same weight (Caliber and passengers) easier #5. Inflate the tires to what the tire manufacturer recommends...not to what Dodge recommends. Most car manufacturers want you to travel in smooth comfort, so they recommend a 'softer' tire pressure. "Firmer" tire pressures deliver better MPG by providing less rolling resistance. IMPORTANT:DO NOT OVER INFLATE YOUR TIRES. HIGHLY OVER INFLATED TIRES REDUCE TREAD LIFE AND CAN LEAD TO DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.

    #6 Speeds above 65 mph wastes fuel. Period.

    Your Dodge dealer's Parts Department can get you prices for items 2,3,4 and their Service people can install these parts. These assemblies are genuine Mopar and are specifically engineered for your Caliber. NOTE:Performance parts/assemblies may affect your warranty so get all the info before you open your wallet.

    If you plan to keep the Caliber until the wheels fall off the performance modifications might be a way to go.

    Much of 2,3,4 is a digest from Pat Goss of Goss's Garage, MotorWeek on PBS

    "Drive like your life depends on it."

    The WheelMan
  • Yeah, I calculate my mpg this way all the time. Even if I had a mpg estimator on my car, which I don't, I would not trust it. Checking mpg is most acurrate doing it manually. Still getting very close to 30 mpg average.
  • Haven't posted here in many months & need to follow up. At the end of my first year ownership (October 1, 2007) with the CVT 2 liter SE Caliber here is my MPG compilation.

    The first month of ownership(Oct. 2006) I averaged 31+MPG. As the weather got colder & lower energy winter mix gas was used, individual tanks dropped to 25 MPG, dragging overall average down to 28.4 MPG. During February & March, 2007, weather warmed & higher energy summer mix gas returned, & individual tanks averaged 33+MPG with highway highs of 35.6MPG. Slowly overall average rose till October 2007 when my YEARLY overall average topped out at 31.4 MPG for 50+ tanks of gas. My average going over 4000 foot mountain passes was 32.7+MPG.

    My 2 previous cars were very reliable & averaged 42 & 45MPG. I bought the Caliber because I'd been waiting for a cheap reliable CVT for 16 years. Tho I got less MPG than my previous cars, I have feather footed the Caliber & the CVT returned as good MPG as I could have hoped for. Many people have had bad Caliber MPG. But my SE Caliber & feather footing have done a pretty good job.

    Furthermore, my SE Caliber has been 100% mechanically reliable & NOT ONE creak, squeak or rattle has developed anywhere in the car. I'm happy! :D
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