Dodge Caliber

wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Allpar reports:




Replacement for the Neon finally unveiled?


FWD? I don't care. AWD or RWD, I'm mildly interested, except for the hard styling cues.


  • npgmbrnpgmbr Member Posts: 248
    I must say that I have never considered buy a Dodge until I saw the Caliber today at detnews. I think the Caliber will give the Vibe and that ugly Matrix very stiff competition.


    Not sure which article is correct but Detroit News says that the Caliber is based on the Neon replacement, not that it IS the replacement.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,126
    I thought the Dodge Razor was the heir to the Neon throne?


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  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    I think the Razor is kaput, isn't it?


    That was a spartan, yet potent roadster/coupe supposed to come to market for about $15K IIRC. They finally figured that to hit the performance numbers they wanted the price would be closer to $18K, so it was shot down. At least that's the way I remember it. Then again, I've been wrong before, at least according to my wife...


  • davesbrewdavesbrew Member Posts: 45
    Does the Dodge Caliber remind anyone else of either the Jeep Varsity or Jeep Compass concepts? I've read that Jeep is intending on expanding their lineup into a car, and I'm thinking this might be a new base.
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    Kind of. I liked the Varsity concept. Odd name, though. I don't know if Dodge will make another wagon though. They already have the Magnum.
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Member Posts: 248
    True but the Magnum is not entry level like the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix. The Calibre will compete directly with the Vibe/Matrix.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    If that's the new neon... forget it!! How did they go from the SRT-4 to that butt ugly thing?
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    The Razor dead? What a shame! Last year I went to the Motor Trend autoshow and asked a guy from Dodge and he said it did great at every show they took it to but so much for what the public likes ehh?
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    Well, the Razor concept as originally presented was a market no-brainer: close two-seater with all the concentration on handling, driving dynamics and power to weight ratio; utterly devoid of weight-adding options other than decent seats and a stereo, and everything else optional. In short, a sportscar enthusiast's dream a la the first Miata, only updated. The target of $15K meant you'd get sort of the Elise experience at an everyman's price.

    Problem is that at $18K+, it's into competition, and the market for a stripper at $18K is certainly smaller than at $15K.

    Great idea, but apparently the parts bin is either smaller or more expensive than they thought!

    Re Neon: no, I guess it's not a replacement, but rather a version along the same lines as PT.

    I hope the next Neon platform is half as good as the current. I'm still amazed at what they've been able to accomplish with it. But for the early head-gasket debacle and some interior materials penny-pinching, the car was world-class in its class (IMO). Pity. The PT thing was (and remains) genius through and through I think. The legs are gettin' thin and it's time to move on, but man oh man, what a run for the money!
  • dyuendyuen Member Posts: 4
    I have to agree that the Dodge Caliber is a direct 'copy' from the successful twins Vibe/Matrix. But they should not throw away the Neon because it is a great affordable car with lots of power, styling and features. Even though the hatchback seems to be the latest trend, but there are still people that perfer a sedan.
  • greg23greg23 Member Posts: 4
    I agree the Caliber looks similar to the Matrix and Vibe but my first thought after looking at it was that it is a mini Magnum. Now that I've compared how all 4 look I believe I'm correct, it looks like all Dodge did was shrink the magnum. This doesn't surprise me because they did the same thing with the Dakota, but come on, Chrysler has better designers than this, they're known for having the most outrages and different concept cars, why couldn't they come up with something new and original. And why couldn't they just take the neon and make it a hatchback, I dont see the purpose of creating "a whole new car."I am happy to see that Dodge has finally got a compact wagon, thats one thing thats been missing from the line up, but c'mon, you can do better than this.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    It is nice to have another competitor for the Matrix/Vibe, and I think the Dodge even looks better. Gotta lose the grill though - pushing that in your face thing a little to far. Not every vehicle has to look like an SUV.
  • smalltownsmalltown Member Posts: 75
    About time! When it was time to replace my Plymouth Sundance hatchback, I was looking for another small hatchback or wagon. But I had no choice except by going to another brand.
  • callmedrfillcallmedrfill Member Posts: 729
    The Durango front clip doesn't work.

    Probably have more torque than the Matrix.

    Won't sell 100k like the Neon.

    The only thing I don't like about the Matrix is the steering wheen is MAYBE 3 inches from the guages!

    The Matrix and PT are the best of this class until further notice.

  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Member Posts: 435
    The main reason I didn't buy a Mtrix/Vibe (other than the weak engine) was the steering wheel too far away.

    So what do I do? I buy an 05 Outback and the steering wheel is too far away!!! It wasn't as obvious at first as the Vibe is.

    The Caliber should be a great replacement for the Neon... I love hatchbacks! What's the point having a small car that you can't even put anything in because you just have a little trunk... when you can buy a verstile hatch for the same price...
  • sp00gesp00ge Member Posts: 1
    Matrix? Weak engine? Maybe the base/XR, but definitely not the XrS. 180hp VVT-i engine paired with a 6speed manual (all taken from the celica GT-S). I test drove one a year or so ago and was amazed by it's performance. The only reason we didn't buy it was due to numbers not working out. (Wife got way upside down on her car loan before we were married)

    Now with a kid on the way, we're looking again, and may hold out for the Caliber. But if it gets butchered, much like GM did to the Aztek, the Matrix is still a possibility.
  • dyuendyuen Member Posts: 4
    The Caliber is indeed another 'cross-over' hatchback, in a booming segment of the market. I think Dodge can meet the best of both worlds by offering this new vehicle as sedan, wagon, or a hatch ... just look at how great Ford is doing is with the focus, I actually purchased the 2004 Focus ZX5 over the Matrix. Well, that's another story.
  • lexusrockslexusrocks Member Posts: 56
    Finally Dodge is offering a hatchback. Ford has had the Focus for 3 years, Pontiac/Toyota had the Vibe and Matrix, Mazda had the Protege5, now the 3. Dodge meanwhile had nothing. In fact Dodge's car lineup has been largely neglected for a long time. The Stratus isn't even a competitor anymore, the base Neon is unrefined, noisy and feels cheap. The Neon SRT-4 is undeniably a fast car, yet it's design is very tired. After the Caliber is brought to the market, will Dodge discontinue the Neon or will they make a Caliber sedan? Either way the Caliber is a very attractive car.
  • charley9charley9 Member Posts: 48
    Has anyone heard if the Caliber will have AWD as an option?
  • biggus3biggus3 Member Posts: 32
    Sure the XRS does have the 180hp VVT-i engine, but in order to get ANY power out of it, you have to rev it above 6000 or so RPM. As far as normal city type driving, the engine is a dog. Take for example that a 160hp Mazda3 with a better torque curve is just as fast as the matrix with 180hp. On top of that, the Matrix(regardless of type) is BUTT ugly. While the Caliber isnt the best looking car in the class (I believe the Mazda3 is) it is worlds ahead of the Vibe\Matrix. As long as they can give it a decent powerplant, decent handling, and keep the price around 15-20k fully loaded, I think it will do well.
  • tarquinitarquini Member Posts: 3
    I think it would be better if dodge tried for a sleeker front than that trucker-ish grill they use on their massive vehicles. I think the stratus grill, if strethed up some with a curved hood would look much better. That way they could smooth out the rest of those harsh lines, especially on the back end!

    I dunno, I will be in the market for a newer used car by the time these babies come off their 2 yr leases.... Only time will tell.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLMember Posts: 6,069
    Add also the price. Load Matrix XRS/Vibe GT with just a little bit of stuff (airbags, some convenience features) and you easily top $20K list, I even saw once jaw-dropping $23K (OK, there are discounts, but you get the point). For that you get Mazda3 with everything, including navigation (!) and with a leap of just a couple large more you get Subaru Impreza WRX (comes with hatchback, too) or Acura RSX-S! Who in the world would get Matrix XRS with these specs and this pricing?!! I used to be quite excited by the Matrix, but when compared price and content, it just doesn't cut.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    Chrysler has hit quite a few homeruns in recent years, I think it's beginning to go to their heads! How they can go from a sleek little car to a HATCHBACK is amazing! The fact that their willing to S-can the SRT-4 for that is well NUTS! :mad: The more I look at that thing the more I think... Good luck Dodge your gonna need it!
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    Hatches are hot the world over. Except here of course. Average American isn't bright enough to understand the tremendous advatages I guess. Thankfully, that seems to be changing a bit. Maybe the success of the Magnum is a harbinger of things to come. Lordy I hope so. Audi has brought the A3, the Magnum is selling, BMW will have tthe 130i here next year; things are starting to look up!

    Only thing I don't hold with is that idiotic redneck truck grille; great for a Ram, stupid on a compact. Well, that and FWD, but I'm willing to make certain exceptions for a good cause... [-)
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    I don't know how things are up there but down here in the US we've been there done that back in the 80's! Not all hatchbacks are bad, I should know I've got one! But most aren't performance vehicles, just people movers and boring. And the thing with the grill is it's alll about branding or whatever they call it. You can just look at it and know it's a Dodge.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    Well, take heart and realize that the Benz Boyz apparently understand the street cred of the SRT operation and won't let it die. BTW, I'm in CA by the Bay.

    There are plenty of real performance hatches the world over, but we don't get them here only because most Americans have an aversion to the hatch format. Comes from years of anemic, crappy domestic offerings after that last oil crisis.

    The grille thing bugs the ever-loving crud out of me, and I wish they'd tone it down a bit, and emphasize the shape a little more. It really does have the basic proportions necessary to be a hottie, it's just the details that are whacked.

    Personally, I don't believe this is the only variant coming to market, especially in the US. They'll hedge their bets with a sedan, or I'm several Dutchmen...
  • leadfoot_edleadfoot_ed Member Posts: 22
    I dig it. Like most Dodge products of late, its styling is polarizing, as I think is the company's intent. How many people love or hate the looks of a Camry? Not many. While I agree the grille is a bit truck-ish, I don't think it's patently offensive. Call me weird, but I actually see a little bit of Lexus RX 330 in the rear 3/4 view.

    Here's my hope: Good build quality (DC has gotten better at this lately, let's hope they continue to improve) and I hope they offer the diesel option when it goes on sale in the States, and (hoping against hope) they actually offer the diesel as an option in CA. From what I've heard, it's a VW-sourced diesel of around 2.0L and 140 horsepower (!). I can only hope it's the new 16v diesel they have in Europe. If it is, and it has 236 lbs./ft. of torque, I think this is definitely the "must have" powerplant. Granted, the rumored SRT4 version with a 235+ hp turbo is tempting, but with fuel nudging $3.00 a gallon, 40+ mpg and and 236 lbs./ft. is looking pretty good. :)
  • f111df111d Member Posts: 114

  • medinamalibumedinamalibu Member Posts: 71
    Shouldn't subcompacts be fuel-efficient above all, anyway? I have to agree that 40mpg does sound super sweet though. :D
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    I'm not sure why a company affiliated with Mercedes Benz, which has some outstanding diesel engines, would be offering a VW sourced engine?

  • leadfoot_edleadfoot_ed Member Posts: 22
    I'm not sure why a company affiliated with Mercedes Benz, which has some outstanding diesel engines, would be offering a VW sourced engine?

    Yes, it's a bit strange that DC is buying diesels from one of their biggest competitors (in Europe, at least). I think it's a matter of having a right-sized engine for this application that has already passed (or is in the certification process of meeting) U.S. emissions standards, rather than developing one from scratch. I think most of DC's existing diesels are either too big (Mercedes E320 CDI) or too small (A-class or Smart). My guess is that in 2-3 years, depending on the popularity of the diesel option, they will have developed and will offer their own 4-cyl diesel of similar power & displacement to the VW unit.
  • jhilkejhilke Member Posts: 1
    Hi everybody: This is my first knowledge of the Caliber as of May 2. Am I to understand they will offer the VW 1.9 TD engine? What about the gear box? Please, somebody inform me. Thanks. jhilke
  • leadfoot_edleadfoot_ed Member Posts: 22
    Allpar ( seems to have some insider info on the Caliber. The rumor is that it might have the 16-valve 2.0L diesel similar to the one in the Passat, and currently offered in some of its European variants, like the Golf-based Touran tall-wagon. The output for this engine is approximately 140 horsepower and 236 lbs./ft. of torque. Definitely more interesting than the 100 hp and 177 lbs./ft. of the current 8-valve 1.9L TDI. As far as the tranny, it looks like it will be a 6-speed of some sort.
    Hi everybody: This is my first knowledge of the Caliber as of May 2. Am I to understand they will offer the VW 1.9 TD engine? What about the gear box? Please, somebody inform me. Thanks. jhilke
  • donkilldonkill Member Posts: 4
    hey people , everyone keeps comparing this to the toyota matrix what about the scion tc?I just bought one and the only thing in its price range that compares is the mazda 3 and the mazda scares me since ford has there incompetant hands in the car.Before the ford fans rip me a new one Ihave owend nothing but fords untill I got this tc .I just traded in my zx3 with 5grand in upgrades and only 36,000mi becuse I treated the damn thing Like Royalty and it still broke down twice ayear like clockwork.On a side note my last ford truck lasted 10 years without one breakdown.
  • medinamalibumedinamalibu Member Posts: 71
    Isn't the tC a sporty coupe? I don't see much to compare with the Caliber there.
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    I do. They're both really useful for more active people without being an Exploder. Dodge wants young people to but this one, I believe.
  • biggus3biggus3 Member Posts: 32
    I dont. They may cost the same, but they are marketed two very different ways. Comparing a two door to a five door may be valid in the sense of price, but I reckon most people will search out the Caliber for the functionality it gives while not being boring. You cant make that argument for the tc. The tc is also probably going to be much sportier that the Caliber. Unless Dodge nails it, its not going to handle anywhere near the tc. So if you are looking for sportiness, you are probably more likely to lean toward the tc. If you are looking at something practical, you would look at the caliber.

    They are both good cars, but in two different ballparks.

    On a side note, you should just buy a Mazda3 hatch. It trumps them both. But Ill save that for another forum topic.
  • charley9charley9 Member Posts: 48
    I happened to notice some preliminary spec's and a picture for the '06-'07 (?) Mitsubishi Outlander and was doing a casual comparison to the Caliber. Seemed like there were quite a few similarities...Lancer platform, engines including a mention of the VW diesel. Seemed like the appearance of the bodies might be close too. Anybody else see this or am I dreaming? I guess I am curious because Chrysler has gone down this road before with Mitsu......
  • oldsvenoldsven Member Posts: 13
    Does anybody out there know when it will be shipped to dealers?
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    I've heard that this car is based on a Mitsubishi design.
    Why would Chrysler replace the Neon with a car based on a Mitsubishi design?? Mitsu is circling the drain!

    Chrysler has had a pretty good run lately so I guess there due for a flop and the Caliber is it!
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    Well, it's a partnership design as have been many Chrysler entries in the past 20+ years. Mitsu offers some excellent engineering prowess, frankly. Their own US management, OTOH...

    DCX, I'm sure, is overseeing this development closely, and likely delivers the lion's share of input. I surely won't write it off so soon. After having a couple Mitsu/Chrysler products myself, I'm easy with this partnership. Besides, at least the got the door count right finally. Mistake not to at least offer a sedan, though, IMO.

    Now, if only the power went to the correct wheels, I might actually buy one...
  • faroutfarout Member Posts: 1,609
    According to a Dodge dealership owner in our area; The Neon has extended the 2005 production a little longer to extend supplies of Neon's to the dealers. However until fall of 2006 the replacement for the Neon will not be out. From all I have read this relpacement may well have some parts made in China, and outer crossover parts as others have said. I personally REFUSE TO BUY ANY CAR, TRUCK, OR JEEP, WITH PARTS MADE IN CHINA !!!!!!!!! DC was one of the first to make a plant in China, and the likelihood of parts being made in China and sent to the USA, appears to be a strong reality.

    Having owned three Neons and still have a 96 and a 04, this makes me wonder where DC is heading. With GM in serious trouble, unless DC makes some better choices for the public, I see DC heading way down to the list of companies that will fail for sure. I personally think the "olden days" Magnium is nothing but an outdated sataion wagon! The Charger's back seat is not intended for anyone over 5" tall. Where is the logic in that?

    So Oldsven don't hold your breath, I am not sure anyone knows for sure what engine, or trans or where the parts will come from. Buy a 2005 Neon while you still can.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    Guess you won't be buying anything new because there ALL gonna got to China at some point. The lure of cheap labor is just too strong! The Magnum is a hit! It's roomy and sporty. The Charger isn't exactly my cup of tea but it's rear drive and has a Hemi. The only people that don't like it are those living in the past. The real flop will be the Caliber, it's just not good. But if DC would get wise they could make this a win-win. Caliber with a 1.0L lawn mower motor for those not interested in performance. And the Razor with the SRT-4's engine for those that want haulin [non-permissible content removed] horsepower. :shades:
  • lovetosavegaslovetosavegas Member Posts: 73
    What happened to the 4 cylinder gas engine developed jointly with Mitsubishi and Hyundai that suppose to run till 300K miles? I thought this would be the standard mill on Caliber :confuse:
  • hoffhoff Member Posts: 3
    I think an AWD SRT-4 with 250+ HP would be awesome. I'm currently on my second Explorer. I'd love to get into a smaller vehicle, but keep some utility. That's why I think my next vehicle will be some type of wagon/hatchback.

    I like the looks of the Caliber. Hopefully, they can get better fuel economy out of the turbo 4. My parents have a PT Cruiser GT with the turbo. That thing doesn't get much better mileage than my V8 Explorer. Not to mention, my Explorer can turn on a dime. You need to do a 10 point turn to pull the same turn in the PT.

    I'd love the AWD SRT-4 with navigation, Sirius radio and every other goodie out there. :D
  • warlock1806warlock1806 Member Posts: 5
    Kind of like the concept myself. I can't say anything for certain untill i spot it in person though.

    And who knows.. with just a little work the srt-4 made it cool to drive something related that could be called a Neon, (not that i have anything against them as i used to drive one for the past 3 years) so who knows we may see a srt version of the caliber out quicker than it took for the neon version to come out, so they can stay in with those econo-racer crowd
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    Car with Turbo equals performance so fuel economy is not what those that buy such vehicles are usually worried about. In other words I doubt it will sip gas. ;)
  • 4itgog4itgog Member Posts: 15
    The beauty of a turbo is that it gets great fuel economy... if you can keep that lead foot off the pedal.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    Pretty big "if"...
  • thecarsharkthecarshark Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where the picture of the sleek sedan is? Not the Avenger, though.
This discussion has been closed.