Dodge Caliber Safety & Crash Test Results

vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
I have never bought a Dodge/Chrysler vehicle before. I have concerns about the general reliability of Dodge vehicles.

Can the new owners please provide some feedback:

1) Are there any "fit and finish" issues in the new Caliber? Example: squeaks, rattles or loud engine?

2) I have not seen any safety crash test results. Any idea if this vehicle will get 5 stars for front AND side impact?



  • lexan1965lexan1965 Member Posts: 118
    I have had no issues with any noises, etc. on my Caliber. If u go to the national highway institute web site it gave the Caliber 5 star ratings for front crash (offset) for both driver and front passenger.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    I have had no issues with any noises, etc. on my Caliber. If u go to the national highway institute web site it gave the Caliber 5 star ratings for front crash (offset) for both driver and front passenger.

    NHTSA has indeed tested this car for Frontal crash only. The side impact has not been tested. This test which is part of the "NCAP" is an EASY test to pass. Also, this is not an offset test.

    The real test will be the one conducted by IIHS. I have my doubts if the Caliber will be able to ace the IIHS tests which mimic real world conditions.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    Do you think that Dodge is deliberately shying from the side impact tests?

    Before I buy a car, I would like to know how safe it is. I dont want to buy a lemon when it comes to safety.
  • neely2005neely2005 Member Posts: 70
    I doubt it since All Calibers come with Standard Curtain Airbags, Standard Driver & Front Passenger Airbags and Standard Front Seat Knee Airbags.
    Plus Chrysler is going to sell this vehicle worldwide so it has to meet the Saftety Standards of all of the countries it's sold in & since all the vehicles for the entire world market are being produced from the same plant in the USA they'll all be the same. That's why the Caliber has such powerful headlights - it has to meet the Tougher European standards.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    When will IIHS do the front offset and side-impact test on the Caliber? This test will determine the safety stripes of the Caliber.

    The NHTSA crash test is less severe. Almost all the cars manage to get a 5 star rating on the NHTSA crash test

    Is Chrysler/Dodge delaying this test deliberately?
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Chrysler has no control over the testing, by IIHS, a private organization, of the Caliber. Some companies (VW did this) who expect high test scores and want publicity will pay IIHS to test early, but only a very few do this, possibly because it might make a wrong impression (if the company paid, are the results honest?).

    Conversely, some companies (Ford) are too cheap to pay for the extra costs of testing with side air bags, where side air bags are optional (IIHS only tests standard equipped cars).

    I wouldn't read anything into the lack of IIHS test results. With their very limited, private funding budget, sometimes they never test cars at all.

    NHTSA is also slow testing. It is no reflection on the manufacturer.
  • azrdrunnerazrdrunner Member Posts: 8
    Really folks, I understand the desire to want the ultimate in ratings for safety but come on...we are driving sheet metal while we sit 14 inches off the asphalt, what can the safety numbers mean when you get t-boned by a larger (say 1980 Lincoln) car? Nothing. If saftey is the issue, I would do what I family rides in a new Dodge Ram 1500 - my kid's sneakers are a foot above my head in the Caliber if you put them on a level surface. Stick to Aa large vehicle.
    I do know that the Calibers have a deflector that sends the engine underneath you in case of a head-on, but don;t dwell on it. I race these things in the dirt and I wear a crash helmet, but I wouldn't dream of taking my wife and kids to the mall in one. :shades:
  • azrdrunnerazrdrunner Member Posts: 8
    Yes, Diamler has all the control they need to deliver the numbers you want to see. I work in the test track design component as a private contractor and I can tell you the cars they deliver to the testers are NOT the same ones you buy at the dealer.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    Wow! If this true, this is MAJOR fraud.

    Under the Whistleblower Act (for private sector), you can become very rich. If you have the documentation, i suggest you contact a competent attorney.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Member Posts: 271
    The 2007 Dodge Caliber received 5 stars all around! Now I want this vehicle! :shades:
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    The Caliber got "good" scores on each measurement category for the front offset test.

    The Caliber got "good" scores on every category for the side impact test except one, the driver torso - they were downgraded on the driver torso for potential rib fractures - but the head and every other side impact scores were "good." Dodge seems to think when side torso airbags become available as an option, the Caliber will ace the side impact test.

    As a consumer, I am really heartened that the Caliber has a solid body structure and that side CURTAIN airbags, which are the ones needed to prevent fatalities, are standard.

    I am surprised that the rear seat passenger got "good" marks on the torso injury portion of the measurements (although the driver didn't). This indicates it is possible to pass the torso portion of the test without side torso airbags; maybe Dodge will change some of the design of the door trim (like Chevy did with its Cobalt) and get better marks on the side crash. At least I know my kids won't need side torso bags in the rear to be safe.

    So right now it looks like the Caliber, Honda's Civic and the VW's Rabbit/Jetta are the safest cars out there in this size category, based on the combination of good crash tests with side curtain airbags, and the fact that side curtain airbags are all standard on these cars. The Corolla and Cobalt also test well, but the side curtain airbags are an option that is difficult to find on cars on the lots.

    Kudos to Dodge for making side curtain airbags standard! You might find a stripper without aircon, but you'll never find a stripper without side safety....

    (And shame on Ford for introducing its popular midsized Fusion without side curtain airbags...they got horrible test results in the IIHS test.)
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    I have to disagree. For a newly designed vehicle, getting anything short of "good" on the side impact test has to be viewed as a failure. Especially a next-to-lowest "marginal." It's not as if the Caliber uses a platform that had been developed before the introduction of stringent IIHS safety testing. Honda and Volkswagen were able to design their new vehicles in a way that enabled them to get "good" scores.
    Speaking of Ford, they're probably not pleased that the Zephyr scored "acceptable" rather than "good" in both the front and side tests. At that price level buyers should demand nothing but the best ... though when it comes to safety, buyers of less-expensive vehicles shouldn't have to compromise either.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    The Caliber got "good" scores on each measurement category for the front offset test.

    How do we know if the Caliber tested by IIHS is the same model in the dealerships?

    In other words, did Chrysler send an artificially reinforced model for the sole purpose of acing the IIHS test?

    This was mentioned in a earlier post. The author claimed to work in the automobile industry. I dont trust Chrysler. They are capable of doing this.
  • antithesisantithesis Member Posts: 9
    From what I remember from Dateline NBC, they said the IIHS anonymously buys a vehicle from a dealer. So the manufacturer has no idea of when it is going to happen. Now that made sense. What this other poster said doesn't make any sense. I know someone who works for Nissan. They basically buy other cars right off the lot of competitors to do testing.
  • faroutfarout Member Posts: 1,609
    azrdrummer: They are not the same is true. But they may have different colored doors, hood, and the seats might be a mixed color, but they DO resemble the equipment that they say they have to offer. To say these vehicles are a special version to make the vehicle come out better than the average vehicle is a very misleading statement and puts your statement at very serious risk. Watch what you put in print as this could come back and if tracing was done this could wind up in your lap.

  • faroutfarout Member Posts: 1,609
    antithesis: Your are 100% correct! Some on this forum do not know when to say "I don't know", or have the wisdom to keep their mouth shut. What was said is disrupting and slandering a huge company, that has the resources to defend such lies. Perhaps, it just might take DCX or someone like them to bring this person into reality, and back to earth.

  • bowling6bowling6 Member Posts: 2
    I can say that I wasn't impressed with the safety of my own Caliber as I T-boned a big Dodge truck. He ran the light and I had no reaction time for brakes, nothing. I hit him at 35-40 mph and NONE, yes NONE of the airbage deployed. No steering wheel, no dash, no nothing. Did I mention that both vehicles were totalled ? Let me say that I will not take my payoff and put it back into another Caliber, possibly not even a Dodge for now. Finding out that the sensors are located on the frame for the radiator and not closer to the car's frame or even the front molding and bumpers scares the snot out of me. If I'd known prior, no matter the stars of safety, I wouldn't have bought it. Good Luck ! :mad:
  • jhknightjhknight Member Posts: 46
    You didn't say if you were hurt? As I understand it the Caliber system is made up of "smart" airbags which will not deploy in situation where the seatbelt will do. This is to prevent the extra expense of replacing the airbags and to prevent airbag related injuries. I don't know where the threshold for deployment is but I'm sure it depends on the type of impact. Seems like hitting a pickup on the side would be a "soft" impact which may not trigger the airbags. And if you were not hurt then the seatbelt did its job. The Caliber seems to be built like a tank and the fact you weren't hurt proves how safe it really is, I'm not concerned.
Sign In or Register to comment.