Dodge Caliber



  • lexan1965lexan1965 Member Posts: 118
    I've got 29.2 mpg with my 2.0 liter SXT FWD ( 30% city, 70% hwy) This was improved after I added Mobil 1 synthetic for it's oil change but I'm sure it's also because the engine is a bit more broken in now. Before I was getting 27 mpg.
  • trgbassguytrgbassguy Member Posts: 21
    So you special ordered yours? Did you already settle on a price? And if so did they make you pay sticker or haggle?
  • wcottwcott Member Posts: 35
    We testdrove the orange Caliber. I liked it, my wife wants a blue or silver. It will be a debate in our household for the foreseeable future. It's not like a pumpkin's more like a bronze. The only other vehicle that I've seen that colour is the Murano.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    YOU lighten up!

    I don't make the news, I just report it.

    One of the reasons I left Dodge was because they dragged their feet in pushing the car, and many people didn't know what a Caliber was, what it looked like, why they should get one. Could've had some nice "Full Pop" deals if they worked it like GM and the Solstice.

    Now they hit the lot, and Chrysler has to jockey for equal time, while the press bags it. If it was going to tank, publically, it would've been nice to make some money on it first. :mad:

    Not helping was a $500 rebate BEFORE IT HIT THE LOT! :cry:

    With a plan like that, I should be upstairs, teaching them Macroeconomics, not giving away the store.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    Let's stay away from personal comments, please!


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  • clockmakerclockmaker Member Posts: 9
    I special ordered an R/T on March 7th, and got it for $500.00 below invoice. I should have it next week some time.
  • wcottwcott Member Posts: 35
    I got the new Carguide magazine today (it's Canadian). They did a brief review of the new Caliber, and it came off with quite a few positive comments.
    "...we're predicting this newcomer will not only be successful, but it will shake up the entry-level segment."
    I'm itching to pull the trigger...but I'd like to wait a couple of months to get some longer-term reviews and comments on a newly launched model. I'm interested to hear about bugs, glitches, and pet peeves.
    This forum has been tremendous helpful, educational and entertaining.
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Setting aside the first 6 months of production, there is a possibility the Caliber will be relatively defect free. At least that was the history with the PT Cruiser. Consumer Reports also gave manufacturers a "defects score card" and Dodge was noted as being higher quality during the initial years, degrading thereafter. (Chevy was the other way, bad in early years, then getting better and better.)

    As your buying of a Toyota Corolla - it's a great car, and if I were overseas it would be my first choice (Hondas are pricey overseas). But over here we have a lot of more fun choices to choose from. Honestly, I don't think buying an American car nowadays is as risky as buying a 70's era Trans Am or even a mid-90's Concorde.
  • calibreathcalibreath Member Posts: 22
    wise choice, I am doing the same. Patience is rewarded.
  • nonnemachernonnemacher Member Posts: 98
    I took a trip today and drove 191 miles in the new Caliber. It gave 29 MPG. Most of the time I was driving 70 mph or 50 mph. The trip was not exclusively on the freeway, so I think if I were to drive exclusively on the freeway, 30 would be quite possible.

    As stated before, I am rather picky about cars - especially noises, performance, and fit. To date I have driven over rough roads, RR tracks, gravel lots, speed bumps, roadkill, ... and I can't get this car to shake or rattle. The CVT gearbox is always on target.

    After driving on the highway, I do need to de-bug the windshield, though...

    Does anyone else know about the outside temp display in the ODO readout on the SXT? Can it be changed from F to C? I still can't find any info on this in the owner's manual. I emailed Dodge last night, maybe they will answer soon.

    Thanks :D
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Member Posts: 47
    Does anyone have the leather seats? None of our dealers have any yet. I am holding out on buying or ordering until I can see them. I am interested in them because of the lumbar support. Also have not seen any in the marine blue? Thanks for all the helpful input. :)
  • calibreathcalibreath Member Posts: 22
    F - 32 / 1.8 = C
  • wcottwcott Member Posts: 35
    I wouldn't rely on that calculation for Fahrenheit to Celsius.
    What you want to use is.... F - 32 x 5/9 = C. Otherwise, you're bringing a bikini to Antarctica.
  • katiescaliberkatiescaliber Member Posts: 45
    For those of you who have Calibers, what color do you have?

    For those of you who are just looking, what color is your favorite? I like Marine Blue and Sunburst Orange.

    Does anyone know of a site where I can see more photos of this car? Besides just plain ol' stock photos. There is only one dealership in my area that has Calibers and they are all silver SEs! So I need pics!

    Also, on the stock/standard radio for the SXT, does it come with an Auxillary Input Jack that I can hook up my mp3 player to? The salesman didn't know, he insisted I would have to upgrade to do that but I don't think so...

    Do you think the Driver Convenience Group option is worth it?

    Katie :P
  • katiescaliberkatiescaliber Member Posts: 45
    For those of you who say you got your Caliber for (or were quoted at) $17,000, how are you getting them so cheap?

    I would like to get an SXT with a few options (sunroof, driver convenience group, musicgate sound system).

    Basically the price I get when I "Build" this online, is the price the dealership is giving me. I think they said they would go down $500 plus the $500 rebate. Is this good?

    The salesman won't give me a quote on an interest rate! I have great credit as does my husband and I am approved for Chrysler financial credit and all I want is for them to give me an interest rate so I can figure out down-payment versus monthly payment numbers for myself. He just keeps saying to go to a 72 month loan to bring the payments down and that the markup is not that high on these so maybe try to put down more. I just want an interest rate! Grr! :mad:

    I don't know much about buying cars. Especially new cars. This will be my first.

    I know I am posting a lot today but I have a lot of questions! Thanks!
  • clockmakerclockmaker Member Posts: 9
    Chrysler financial most likely won't be able to even compete with the interest rate from a standard auto loan at your local bank right now. They are not currently offering any special interest rates. The dealerships sometimes get incentives to finance things through Chrysler financial, and I bet this guy isn't quoting you a rate because he knows he isn't competitive. He possibly just wants that extra perk for financing in house. Shop other loans, find out what rates you can get and then make him beat them. And regarding the driver convienience group, I purchased it on my R/T. I felt the tire pressure monitoring system by itsself was worth the money. Maybe I'm nuts or ill-informed, but to me it's a safety issue.
  • silversxtsilversxt Member Posts: 1
    I just bought my silver Dodge Caliber SXT yesterday the 3rd of April.

    The SXT comes with an aux jack and works well with my mp3 player.

    If your looking for pics of modified Calibers, don't bother just yet. Nobody has had time to change anything yet. Give it some time girl!
  • katiescaliberkatiescaliber Member Posts: 45
    Haha, good point SilverSXT! :P
  • blackcaliberblackcaliber Member Posts: 11
    Hey people! This is a pretty cool forum by the way! I live in Alberta, Canada. I want to test drive a Caliber so bad, but the dealers here don't have the trim model I'm looking for. I'll probably end up going there anyway to test drive whatever they have... But I know they don't have them for too long, since they are selling so fast. Well, I built my car on the Dodge website... SXT, 5speed, black clear coat, E package, upgraded audio system, security group, heated front seats, speed control, and hitch... It comes to $20630. And then you have to add 7% tax = $22074 with destination and A/C tax. 1)How much should I offer? None of the dealerships in Calgary have one like that and they say I'll have to wait 3-4 weeks. 2)What are the rebates? 3)What is the invoice price? 4)How is the 1.8L engine? :confuse: A lot of questions... Please, I need your comments. Thanks! Oli
  • allworld1000allworld1000 Member Posts: 1
    Hello: My name is Bob and I live in Boston, I have only seen one acutal Caliber on a Dealers lot and the sticker price was $17,900.00 +- I am not sure if the you could nogotiate a better price but here is what I suggest;
    There is a good article in Car and Drive Magazine, in the May 2006 issue that talks about how to NOT pay to much for a new car.
    Also you can buy new cars through Costco and BJ's wholesale clubs.
    good luck an Happy motoring.
  • pocono35pocono35 Member Posts: 89
    This month the Calibre was rated LAST in Car and Drivers Econo comparo. It was rated behind the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, which is not an insult due to the enhanced quality of the Koreans. It is disappointing that the Calibre will be starting out where the Neon left off.
  • shadowmicashadowmica Member Posts: 18
    72 Month loan!!!

    Big Mistake
  • katiescaliberkatiescaliber Member Posts: 45
    Why is a 72 month loan a big mistake?
  • w9cww9cw Member Posts: 888
    Primarily because of two reasons: 1). the amount of interest paid over the term of the loan, and 2). the possibility of being "upside down" due to the long term loan.

    Re. #2 . . . if the Caliber's depreciation rate is equal to many of Dodge products (rather high), you may find yourself owing more than the car is worth in 3 to 5 years.

    If you must finance a car purchase, do so for the shortest term possible (if you can afford the higher payment).
  • katiescaliberkatiescaliber Member Posts: 45
    Thank you for the explanation.
  • moonhunt18moonhunt18 Member Posts: 33
    I agree with someone earlier that said the dealer wont tell you the interest rate because it will be ridiculous. I FINALLY got my dealer to tell me (lots of arm twisting) and it was 19.9% !! Granted I recently filed bankruptcy, but I already had a loan with a quote of 13.3%...the dealer kept doing the same thing...trying to tell me the monthly payment, the time frame (60,72, etc) with no specifics! Whatever!

    Definately go to your bank or eLender.con, etc. eLender is who helped me.

    Above all!!! remember that you dont have to sign for a rate or car until you are happy with iot. you can walkout at any time, until you sign. So if your at the moment of signing papers and they trow something new at you, or a fee that they didnt tell you, or especially a rate that the didnt mention, DONT SIGN until you are happy with it. YOU have th controll.
    Worst case scenario, you have to wait a day, but may save hundreds or thousands!!!

    ps...i want the orange sport and i got a quote of 18,200 out the door.

    good luck!
  • mike91326mike91326 Member Posts: 251
    I understand that the Caliber uses the 1.8 2.0 and 2.4 world engines that are built by Hyundai for DC and Mitsu. I hope that’s true because Hyundai now makes great cars and their engine would be a vast improvement over the old DC four bangers. Now if DC would only drop in a MB or Hyundai 2.2L turbo diesel. A diesel and CVT would be a great combo.
  • w9cww9cw Member Posts: 888
    I am a former new car saleperson at a local Dodge/Jeep dealer. I was "in between" jobs at the time, and truly enjoyed my time at a family-owned (since the early '40s) dealer.

    This dealer's F&I Manager was very up front with customers regarding interest rates. First of all, everyone should know what determines the interest rate (other than the Fed's prime rate, and discount rate) is your credit rating. The better your rating, the better rate you will be offered. Don't expect a competitive interest rate if you've had a recent bankruptcy filing or a poor credit report.

    Also, remember the F&I Manager (the person you see when you sign the final papers to buy the car, and directly before delivery) is also a salesperson. In addition to seeking financing for you, they are also there to sell you such add-ons such as extended warranties, etc. There is a substantial profit margin in all of these "after the sale" items, and generally a portion of this extra money is given to the salesperson of record on the vehicle. Be careful, and Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware) is the operative word here.

    Unfortunately, the car payment, and the term of the loan, are the factors most often spoken or advertised by car dealers. Why? This is what most of the car buying public wants to hear. Many prospective car buyers are only interested in what their monthly car payment will be - not the total cost, as many never have plans of paying off the loan! This is what gets people in trouble "for the long term." They move from being upside-down in one vehicle, to the same in another vehicle, and it's truly a vicious cycle.

    The answer is simple, but not popular. Save your money until you can do either of these two things: 1). Have enough money to place a substantial down payment against the loan, and only finance the car for no longer than 36 to 48 months (or, hopefully, a much shorter term than either), or 2). Pay cash for the car. I know neither sounds plausible for most, but it can be done, especially #1.

    You'll be glad you did.
  • calibreathcalibreath Member Posts: 22
    You really can't go by the pictures for color evaluation, IMO. Go to several dealers and make them compete for your business to get the best deal. Be patient and wait until the supply goes up and the demand goes down a little to get a better deal. Don't get taken to the financial cleaners.
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Member Posts: 47
    Hi Katie,
    I like the Sunburst Orange also and the Marine Blue. I have only see the Marine Blue on the GM Dealers site in the Chicago area. I don't think the two blue colors have come to the west coast dealers yet. I saw the Sunburst Orange at a dealer, out of my area, while on a trip. I looked for a site to see pictures without much success so when ever I see a Dodge dealer I try to stop. I want the leather seats and they are not out here either. My local dealers says I can order the Marine Blue with the leather, but I really need to see it in person first, if you know what I mean.
    I have found the Dodge site and the search inventory window by zip code or city to be very useful. I check it daily to see if a Blue has come in to another dealer. It is updated every morning or so it says. My dealer said he would call me when one comes in.
    Mary :)
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Go to for a fairly complete article on the topic. Briefly, the three companies you mentioned formed a fourth company to manufacture and sell (to them only) the same basic design engine. Engineers from all three companies contributed to the design of the engine. One of the design mandates was to allow the three different companies to "personalize" the engine to their own needs, to a limited extent. So technically it isn't a Dodge, Hyundai, or Mitsubishi engine - it's all three.

    BTW, I wouldn't underestimate Dodge. For years when most makers offere a 100 hp or 115 hp engine, the Neon had a strong 132 hp engine; and the R/T and ACR had 150 hp engines. All pure Dodge.
  • silvercalibersilvercaliber Member Posts: 30
    :D A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Caliber SXT full load with 1.8 five speed in Toronto, Canada. I did this without a test drive because there was no demo available and my dealer could not tell me when one was coming in. I also expect to have to wait a long time for my new car. i don't know if they are even producing 5-speeds yet. Please reply to me if you get to try a 5-speed and what you think of it, and if you order a car, how long is it supposed to take to get there. Thanks.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Wolfsburg, Germany - Volkswagen in Salzgitter has now begun delivery of the 2.0 liter TDI engine to DaimlerChrysler in the USA.

    The Chrysler Group assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois (USA) has thus started production of the new Dodge Caliber model variant equipped with the Volkswagen 2.0 liter TDI engine. The vehicle will be available in Europe from this summer.

    Some two years following the conclusion of the contract between DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi Motors and Volkswagen concerning delivery of TDI engines, the first Chrysler vehicle equipped with such an engine is now being launched.

    The engines are produced at the Volkswagen plant in Salzgitter and have been specially adapted to DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors specifications.
  • nonnemachernonnemacher Member Posts: 98
    **This forum has exploded in the last 48 hrs**

    1. I know the F to C conversions and I don't wear a bikini... Does the car display outside temp in F and C or only F? I'd think it would do both. I'm not even sure if the SXT without driver's group is supposed to have this feature, but mine does. Does anyone else have a non-loaded SXT for comparison?

    2. My SXT is a CVT with the only option being the cruise control - Steel Blue. Sticker was $17,335, I paid about $2,100 less than that ($500 rebate included) and they gave me what I wanted on my trade. THhat said, not many of these are out there and you will likely look long and hard for a deal like I got.

    3. Chrysler gave me 6.64% fixed for up to 60 months, but my credit score is better than 99.5% of Americans, last I checked. The local banks would do 7.24% at best.

    4. If you take a long loan you can always pay extra each month to pay it off quicker. There are copmlex mathematical formulae for this, but my graphing calculator has a built-in amortization feature, so it can solve anything... For example, You financed $15,000 at 7.5% for 72 for a payment of $259.35. By paying $300 per month instead, you cut the loan down to 60.14 months, saving $631.20 in interest. $400 per month gets you just under 43 months and saves about $1529 in interest. Most loans worth signing do NOT have a pre-payment penalty.

    5. I got a response from Dodge's customer assitance via email about the timing system in the engine. The world engines do not have timing belts, they have timing chains, so no belt changes are required. Nice feature for the long haul! If you keep the oil changed regularly with 5W20, the lubrication of the chain should be sufficient for it to last the life of the car.

    6. On my recenrt trip towards Cleveland, a toll booth worker almost let me through for free because he was stunned by the Caliber......then he awakened from his trance, asked me about the car, and took my money.

    7. About 5 miles later, I tested the brakes, as a person driving a real beater made a left turn and stopped right in front of me. The ABS kicked in, the seat belt locked, and the car stopped solidly about a foot from his car. I sat there for a few seconds before I drove any further.

    8. I was talking to my wife at dinner about the "caliber of education" at certain colleges and my 10-year old daughter looked to me and said "Dad! Did you take your car into class today?" I said, "I was talking about a different kind of 'caliber.'"

    9. When driving at 70 mph into a strong headwind or crosswind (say 30-40 mph+) I get some sort of noise off the passenger side of the car, that sounds like its coming from the pillar for the windshield. All moldings are really tight. Has anyone else had this noise under these conditions?

    10. :):):)
  • orangertorangert Member Posts: 41
    I know I have posted several items recently, but here is a question not a statement.

    I bought the Dodge Window Vent Visors and they are stick on from the outside. The ones for the front windows are acceptable, the ones for the rear are HORRENDOUS!!!! :mad: They really kill the blackout kit for the R/T. I think the base and SXT without the blackout paint on the doors will be fine, just not the R/T.

    Does anyone out there make the visors for "In Channel" i have been web surfing the sites I know of and can't find them yet, yea I know the car is new, but...... :confuse: :confuse:

    PS the person above me making comments about the ABS, --- It is dynamite, especially with the 4 wheel disc!!!!!!
  • bookhudbookhud Member Posts: 9
    I really want to like the Caliber, but I haven't had a chance to see one in person yet (the dealers near me sell out before I can get in). I did see an orange Caliber on the road today and it looked pretty sharp. The one thing that concerns me is the room in the back seat. I currently drive a Pacifica, and the MPG and 89 octane gas is getting out of hand. A bit selling factor on the Pac was the passenger room. Reading Caliber reviews the comments about the room in the back seat have been mixed. I drove a Mazda3 a week ago and it drives great but then I moved the seat all the way back and sat in the back and I felt like my knees would go through the front seat if there was an accident. What brings on my fear is the Caliber is listed as having less leg room in the back than the 3. So what's the verdict from Caliber owners out there? How comfortable would a 6 footer be in the back? OK for short trips but cramped for long trips? OK for both? Completely unrealistic? Any insight would be appreciated.
  • orangertorangert Member Posts: 41
    Orange R/T again! The leg room in the back is cramped if you are 6 foot. I am just shy of that and we took a long drive the other day and I was uncomfortable when she had her seat in her normal position. We don't plan to have many adults in the back for long periods!!! 25-40 min trips max!!!! Not been in the Mazda, Matrix, or Vibe.

    When she moved it up a bit, I was fine for the 35 min return ride, I am also only 155 pounds too!!!! I could live with a good 2-3 hour trip at this position, but again I am not large in girth!!! I might need to stretch once or twice in that period though. I also understand this is a SMALL car no ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!

    The gas mileage in our 2.4 R/T is 25 avg. by pump recpts. Driven by my wife with NO spirited driving whatsoever.

    By the way what is you mileage in Pacifica, Family member has an 04 and they get about 23.5 avg.
  • pacermanpacerman Member Posts: 62
    I got a quote from a dealership in Victoria for an Orange RT..$25,985 CA, including air tax and destination, prov and GST taxes not included,no sunroof, no leather, but everything else....... vehicle alone was $24,835 MSRP ca

    options include:
    9 speaker premium sound
    Driver convienience group
    security group
  • bookhudbookhud Member Posts: 9
    Thanks orangert! Not what I wanted to hear, but it's good to have the truth. I'm still going to take a look to judge for myself. I have never reset the mileage estimate on my Pac and at 2.25 years I am getting 18.9 mpg with about 75% city 25% highway use.
  • wcottwcott Member Posts: 35
    I'm 6 foot myself...and when I sat in the back seat, it WAS a tad cramped with the front seats pushed back. When they were pulled forward a bit, there was sufficient room for my legs - however I wouldn't want to sit back there for a full-day's drive. I found the reclining rear seatbacks helpful in that regard.
    IMO, If you're thinking of having to put full-sized adults back there on a regular basis, you maybe should think of a midsized car, rather than a compact.
  • jstant01jstant01 Member Posts: 65
    Check out the Vibe (or Matrix if you rather). I have a 2005 Vibe. I am about 6 foot and 375 pounds. I PREFER the back seat. In fact, if I'm traveling with friends or family, I usually have them drive so I can sit back there.

    That being said, the front driving position is a little "weird" and even though I "fit" OK, it takes some getting used to.

    I sat in a Caliber at the Detroit auto show and thought the back seat was much more cramped than my Vibe. The headroom wasn't as good back their either.
  • nonnemachernonnemacher Member Posts: 98
    The rear seat room is completely dependent on the position of the front seat(s). This is true in all cars, but exaggerated in the Caliber since the front seats have an enormous range of adjustment. I drive with the seat fairly far forward and my wife often tries to leave nose-prints on the windshield... I spent half an hour or so in the back and had plenty of room especially with the recline feature. My kids love the back seat.
  • willsimwillsim Member Posts: 33
    I like the Caliber and will consider buying one however, you all might want to look at the latest issue of Car and Driver. The Caliber finished sixth in a group of seven cars that were compared to each other. Motor Trend also compared the Caliber to three other cars. It finished last although MT did say that the Caliber was a pre-production unite. I haven't driven any of these cars i'm only passing on the info.
  • canoenutcanoenut Member Posts: 12
    The $500 discount is in the US, apparently DCX Canada doesn't offer anything, not even decent loan rates that they are offering with all their other vehicles. I've ordered a car similar to the one that you want and the only thing I could get was a break on accessories, window-tinting, etc.
  • katiescaliberkatiescaliber Member Posts: 45
    Willsim, do you remember what other cars MT was comparing to the Caliber and why the Caliber finished next to last? I'm afraid I won't be able to pick up this magazine before it is off the shelf for this month.
  • dakota29803dakota29803 Member Posts: 56
    According to the Dodge site, the $500 rebate expired April 3.
  • blackcaliberblackcaliber Member Posts: 11
    Hi Canoenut! Ya, that's what I was afraid of. The discount is available only in the States... Daing it! Oh well... But I was wondering how much you paid for your car there in QC? I'm originally from Qc City and I may be going back there in a near future... How long do you have to wait for your car to get there?
  • willsimwillsim Member Posts: 33
    MT compared Chevy HHR 2LT, Mazda s Touring and the Toyota Matrix XRS. Road noise, lack of features, heavy, subpar handling. However they had an RT all-wheel drive which added weight so they indicated that they would like to test a more competive model. The CD tests are better with cars that are more equally equiped.
  • canoenutcanoenut Member Posts: 12
    The car we ordered is a Caliber SXT Sport Sunburst Orange 1.8 5-Speed with Heated seats, MusicGate Sound System, ABS, Security Package, Tinted Windows, Michelin HydoEdgeTires, 'Protection' Package - Ordered on March 21st and in production on the 30th with an approximate delivery at the beginning of May. As I mentioned it was at list but with a deal on some of the accessories.
  • wcottwcott Member Posts: 35
    I've read all the magazine this past month or two that reviewed the Caliber. Unfortunately, the MT comparo was with a pre-production Caliber R/T that was 250 pounds heavier than the competition.
    Granted, I think the Mazda and Toyota might have the edge in quality, fit and finish....but I've found that there is a significant upwards price differential in those models compared to the Dodge.
    If the Caliber proves itself reliable, affordable transportation at a decent price level, it's OK by my books.
    And as a Canadian, I'm annoyed that the American automotive "deals" rarely cross the borders.
This discussion has been closed.