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Also, fairways 19, it does come with an optional sun roof. I know it's an option on the sxt and I believe it adds $750 to the price. Go to link title and build one for yourself.
Many people like it, but not everyone. Thanks for the heads-up!
When is the SRT-4 version due out? This fall?
I think the Caliber has a great future. It looked great in person, vs. questionable in photos.
The A3 Quattro is pretty pricy in comparison and would be comparing FWD vs. AWD.
Putting your heater on recirculate can alleviate the problem somewhat because warm cabin air is recirculated through the heater core rather than getting cold air from outside. However, that can cause you windows to fog over inside.
Four Ads For The All-New Dodge Caliber
I didn't like the comments posted about the Matrix (weak power, rattle, insufficient heat/AC, engine and road noise). So, I'd like to know how does the Caliber compare in these areas???
If I get one, it'll be the 2.0L SXT with no other options other than Auto Trans & heated seats (under $18K).
I don't understand all of the complaints about the "underpowered" Vibe. I have a Base 5-speed, which means 130hp (at least that's what they rated it at in 2005 - now I think it's 126).
My car has plenty of get up and go - much more than many V6s I've driven. It's not a hot rod, of course, but acceleration is strong - especially in 2nd and 3rd gear. Of course trying to accelerate at low speed in 4th or 5th gear makes the engine feel weak, but other than that, I have no complaints about the Vibe's acceleration. I test drove an auto before buying, and did notice it was a bit slower, but still not a dog.
Personally, I think horsepower ratings are WAY overrated and consumers pay way too much attention to them. For goodness sakes, if you go back 20 or 25 years, 4 cylinders were only putting out 80hp if you were lucky, and most V8s were pumping out the same horsepower as today's 4 cylinders.
Anyhow, just my two cents worth. Since this is the Caliber forum, I will say I am curious about the Caliber and the CVT and hope to test drive one soon, even though I'm not in the market for a new car currently. I did sit in a Caliber at the Detroit auto show, and thought the front driver's seat didn't have as much room as the Vibe, and the backseat was nowhere near as roomy as the Vibe. I'm BIG - (6 foot - 375 pounds) - so this is an area I monitor closely. I fit right into the Vibe, although I do agree with the posts that say the steering wheel position is weird. You get used to it - or at least I did.
When I sat in the Caliber, with the seat all the way back, the steering wheel was pressing against my stomach, and I felt like I was jammed against the door. I had to go in to contortions to get in the back seat.
All that aside - I think the Caliber is a cool design and will sell very well. I sure hope it does. I've always owned sedans until my Vibe, and now I'm sold on hatchbacks - much more versatile. I can't understand why anyone would rather have a sedan. The back of my Vibe will hold more cargo than a Chevy pickup - or at least it seems that way.
Do you guys have vapor recovery systems on your gas nozzles? In California they are mandatory except in low pollution counties (which are few), and they help with the problem by essentially vacuuming up the vapors during the fill process.
Truth is, I am not sure order cars are the most profitable for dealers. They get their usual holdback and profit margin, but sometimes when inventories are piling up, manufacturers will provide extra incentive money on existing stock only (which wouldn't apply to special order cars). On the other hand, I have heard of a manufacturer offering extra incentive money if the dealers will order more cars even though lot inventory is building up (so the manufacturer won't have to shut down the assembly line temporarily). I don't know if that would apply to a special order car.
In short, the auto business is arcane, but I'd rather special order to avoid paying for options I don't want and missing options I do want. Although the main option I want these days (besides air conditioning) is side curtain airbags.
I think the vapor recovery systems should be mandatory nation wide. For one thing, gas vapors contribute to the breakdown of the ozone layer. I'm not an environmental nut, but we should do whatever we can that is practical to help out.
My favorite local gas station burned down as a result of the fire I mentioned in my previous post. I've seen most stations in the area put up the warning signs you mentioned since then.
They are very positive towards the SRT, but they dump on the standard version, placing it 6th out of 7 sedans and mini-crossovers. It only beat the Susuki Reno.
They hit the clutch ("abrupt"), the interior materials ("hard"), the handling ("clumsy"), torque steer, front seat ("too low"), and was generally slow (0-60 in 9.7).
I've sat in the Caliber, but never driven it. They did like the size of the back seat (I don't, the Vibe/Matrix is much bigger). I like the car, but the interior surfaces are hard.
Honda's new Fit smoked the competition, with a 25 point victory.
It takes about 3 months for an assembly line to settle down on a new vehicle. During that period, a lot of product coming off the assembly line is parked after they come off the line, until assembly issues can be fixed. Some bad stuff makes it to the dealers lot. Witness the teething pains for the Chevy Cobalt during the early portion of its ramp up.
I was actually very surprised that the SXT's I saw recently seemed as nicely put together as they were (although the interior design is spartan compared to the PT Cruiser we ended up buying).
The clutch being abrupt, may be a sample issue (test car already thrashed by the press? adjustment? needs a running change?) but I suspect it won't be an issue as Dodge makes running changes during the very long 2007 model year run.
I think the power to weight issue is going to be a problem Dodge is going to have to struggle to solve. The Chevy Cobalt is MUCH heavier than the Cavalier it replaces - thanks to a stronger, more crash resistant, and quieter body. But at least the Cobalt comes with a standard powerful 2.2 liter Ecotec engine (with conservative 8.7 second 0-60 times with the automatic as clocked by Consumer Reports).
The Caliber, on the other hand, is being asked to make do with a 1.8 liter engine in the FWD stickshift version, with a 2.0 liter engine in the FWD auto transmission version, and with a 2.4 engine in the AWD auto transmission version. Sorry, even with the addition of variable valve timing, the additional weight over the Neon (2500 pounds vs 3,000 pounds) is going to penalize the Caliber, and upping the engine to 2.4 won't help when you are running heavier AWD hardware and an automatic.
Of course, all Dodge has to do, is drop the 2.4 and the stickshift into the FWD version to get some numbers enthusiasts like to see. Not great numbers, it's still heavy, but decent numbers, with the possibility of good gas mileage (the optional Ecotec 2.4 in the Cobalt gets good gas mileage).
So you pay your money and take your choices: pay a premium today (MSRP, without nose-bleed discounts) for a product that has a lot of new technology and innovative thinking, and probably cost Daimler Chrysler way over a billion dollars in development costs (makes MSRP look like a bargain, huh?); or wait two years for the inevitable refinements AND get a discounted price (but where's the fun in that?).
This car is a toy, in the good sense of the word - candy for sport compact (or just plain compact) enthusiasts. It is the American Rabbit/Golf (hey, that's a hatchback, wink-wink). The Fit is utilitarian transportion. It's already mature and due for a refresh or update. The new Civic fails to please - it's slower than it should be, and still doesn't handle like it should. Plus, it's got teething pains.
So it's either a fey, but great handling and decently powered, Mazda3, or a brawny, but rough around the edges Caliber. (The lack of the Generation 2 Focus over here, takes Focus out of consideration.) Let's see how the Caliber grows up, and how quickly it grows up as more product comes off the assembly line. Let's hope real hard that it doesn't get a Consumer Reports black ball of death on the reliablity issue like the 2005 Cobalt picked up.
American products have great design. They falter on execution. The Japanese often have a mediocre product, but they don't usually drop the ball on execution and keep refining it to perfection.
She runs a lot of errands during a normal day. Falling down into, and climbing up out of her 626, is exhausting. The truck has the opposite effect, but is not as objectionable and she doesn't use it as much.
I cannot find this measurement for any car/suv on the web and I am disinclined to visit all of the dealerships with my yardstick. I estimate it by subtracting the front headroom value from the overall vehicle height value, but I think this is wildly inaccurate.
Since the list of possible-next cars includes the subject of this forum, I was hoping that somebody would, in their spare time, measure the height above ground to the middle (more or less) of the seat cushion (i.e. the top-center of the horizontal seating surface) and post that value here.
I have read these forums extensively over the past few weeks and I have not seen any discussion of this. I beg your pardon if I missed it and am being redundant.
Thanks in advance.
Your wife is not unique in her preference. You would think car manufacturers would start posting this. Then again, maybe they fear too many figures become confusing.
For "American" Hatches, I guess (am missing something here ???);
Dodge Caliber (new)
Ford Focus (phasing out)
Chevy Malibu Maxx (also phasing out)
Pontiac Vibe doesn't count as it's a Co-Toyota design.
Not many choices, and none of these appear acceptable to the sporting driver.
Often these lights come on if the fuel cap is not on tight enough, but if tightenting the cap does not make the light go off, there is a leak somewhere else.
2 Saturns bad O-rings on the top of the gas tank - hard to change, and our Grand Caravan had a dried out hose that snapped and made the light come on - easy to change.
Should be easy for the dealer to fix in an hour depending on where the leak is.
me too. 17k.
You said it all. The Caliber is a great update to the Neon with innovative design and bargain price but Chrysler/Dodge has a weak repair history reputation.
I was really burned on the first totally computer designed Chrysler, the 1994 LHS. It's cab-forward design (from Intrepid) was years ahead of GM. Unfortunately, I had to replace the right front tie rod twice in 24k miles not to mention the self-destructing, overheating transmission, weak timing belt and other design defects that added up to over $5,500 in repairs. I loved the car but it hated me.
Potential weaknesses in newer MOPAR cars include all computer controls inside the hot, sometimes wet engine compartment instead of the glove box where BMW (the original designer of computer controlled ignition) put them. Time will tell, but chances are high that this great looking, low priced Caliber could end up costing you a lot more to own than you anticipated. I see little improvement in PT Cruisers beyond appearance items. Owners may wish to comment on refinements in recent years.
I test drove all the Corolla alternatives and really loved the Mazda 3i (feels like a baby Beemer), but settled for a less exciting 40 MPG 2006 Corolla. I'm doing 2,500 RPM at 65 MPH and getting an actual 40 MPG in suburban driving. How many RPM's is a Caliber turning at 65? I'd like to know as this has an impact on engine life, heat, & mileage.
More importantly, I've come to appreciate the small refinements added since the 2003 introduction of the latest Corolla including unadvertised stuff like the redesigned roller bearing manual shifter (2005) and rear stop light integrated into the deck (2006) making it easier to add window tint. Excellent quality control is evident even in this fully equipped but very low end car. My Corolla's orange peel clear coat on the rocker panels impressed me as well as the deep candy apple computerized paint job. My Chrysler had sheet metal so thin it buckled if you leaned against it.
I wanted an initial PT Cruiser 5-speed at $14k but they were too popular so dealers only received them fully loaded. Caliber may have a high enough production run to offer less than loaded versions for under $15k, [your best value]. If not, you have a lot of choices out there for $17k and up.
Bottom line, the Caliber appears to be great fun to drive at a good initial price but it might be wiser to wait until the second model year or later and consider the total cost and satisfaction of ownership. I'm looking forward to many repair-free years driving my rather plain, very efficient Corolla. But I can remember buying a car because I loved it's looks or the way it handled (my T-top 6.6L Trans Am), regardless of it's obvious drawbacks. I have no regrets, except buying that crappy LHS!
Also, I'd think twice before buying an new car that gets less than 30 MPG with gasoline likely to cost $3/gal. or more this year and beyond.
The Caliber 0-60 passed 10 seconds (Mazda and Toyota led at 8 flat). And they didn't like the fact you can't fold the rear seats from the back of the car, like the other three vehicles.
The 3300+ lbs of weight didn't help, easy defeating the 172HP engine. The Matrix was not AWD, but weighed in at 500 lbs. less.
My personal experience is I like, but don't love the outside. At 6'4", I don't really fit in front, or out back. Not pleased with the fact that AC is optional. Like the dash, easy to use. Like iPod holder. Interior surfaces are quite hard, with plenty of corners to graze your knees and elbows.
This compounds, and reaffirms the C&D comparison (6th place finish). :sick:
Don't shoot the messenger!
This car has a great design, above average safety features, it drives very well, and is priced reasonably. Everyone who has seen my car around town is amazed. That said, the CVT SXT is not intended to be a super-sports car, just a safe and affordable car that people like me will be proud to drive.
If you want a "more luxurious" or "higher performance" car, then get ready to pay more money... Its that simple.
Again, this is a great car for its price range. Nobody is comparing a SXT to a well-equipped Focus, Colbalt, Ion,... If you do, the Caliber looks pretty good.
I really like this :P
Does anyone know how to change it from Fahrenheit to Centigrade? (Being a math teacher, I prefer C's to F's... ha ha)
"No way to control it - its totally automatic..."
The minor gripes that some recent reviewers have do even come close to the amount of positive ink this car has gotten so far. This is car a major improvement for DCX and a solid vehicle overall. Hopefully the pendulum will swing back when the crash test results come out, since cars with head curtain air bags seem to do well there.
I went for the exterior styling package as well and was sad to find out that the dealership really had no idea what was what and it turns out that it's not factory installed, it's an after market Mopar addition that the dealer will have to install, they said they have no idea when it will arrive. It better be here before we take delivery.
I also opted for the 1.8 engine with a 5 speed. After going from a V8 Mustang with a 5 speed to a 4 cylinder I couldn't bear the idea of driving an automatic 4 banger.
One thing that does concern me though is that the Caliber we test drove sounded a little off and a week later we drove past the dealership to see it's engine tore apart in the bay. It was already sold and it was rumored the buyers wanted an automatic start installed, also a MOPAR after market installation so I am praying that is the reason for the "maintanence". :confuse:
i am buying the same as you, but i've only seen the sunburst orange in pics! have you seen it in person? if so, is it bright (like a clown fish or orange (fruit))or is it dark (like the element and scion)
thanks for any info!