Dodge Neon vs Dodge Caliber

79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Okay, heres the thing. dodge has been making the neon since 1994. Obviously Dodge has learned variuos lessons in order to have updated them in 2001 with the more modern superior style, but what happened with the Caliber?? The Caliber bares NO RESEMBLENCE in any way, technical or exterior. Dodge has discarded all the knowledge they have learned in making the Neon to start something totoally new that might not sale well in todays modern environment.

Also, what are the prodominent ammount of Compact buyers. Young buyers such as collage kids, that mostly like the cheap price tag. They dont care weather its got auto 4x4 and CVT tranny. They just need a car capable of getting them from point A to point B and back safely. That is why the Neon was such a great entry for Dodge. Simple basic car with a cheap price tag. Same way for Chevy with the Cavalier, but Chevys new compact( the Cobalt ) is a direct descendant from the past. Carrying on the lessons learned from past models to future models is what has built the companys to where they are today.

I guess its pretty obvious that I like trucks because my old Chevy is a direst descendant of the desighn infront of it and so on. Cars trend more to market rage. Where ever that shiftss is where they go. But killing the whole Neon platform( Dodges best selling car ) and junking it for something totally new and techno is cheap if you ask me. The Neon has been a way better car than the Caliber will ever be in my opinion.

I've gave yawll my opinion, whats yawlls. Any input will be greatly appreciated.



  • gljvdgljvd Member Posts: 129
    I don't think this is the neon replacement . I think this is simple to agument the offerings in this price bracket with the true neon replacement coming out in a year or so.

    With the caliber platform they are making the caliber , patriot and compass. All 3 looks vastly diffrent . I'm sure they will created coupe / sedan version of the platform to replace the neon.
  • 79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
    Wonder why Dodge dropped there best selling sedan to leave a gap for 2 years or so. Why do you reckon they did that? If the Caliber is not the Neon replacement then why is the SRT4 a Caliber. Also, there is no plans to make a replacement for the Neon thru any site yet and usually after a model is announced it takes 2-3 years before it actually comes out so, If the Caliber is not the true replacement for the Neon then the Neons gap will remain vacant for 4-5 years. I just do not get it. :confuse: :confuse:
  • whiskerratwhiskerrat Member Posts: 9
    The Neon while being a great car (in my opinion) was discontinued because the folks at Daimler Chrysler decided to abandon younger buyers in favor of 24 and older consumers. The closest thing to the Neon that might be produced by Dodge is the Hornet (although no one really knows if it will ever see the light of day). By moving in a different direction (away from simple practicality to versatility and utility) Dodge is taking a risk that could either hurt the company or be a big hit, especially at a time when other manufacturers are producing more quality compact and subcompact vehicles. The problem with the Caliber is that it excels in nothing except versatility features that have little or nothing to do with driving. Performance-wise it gets outranked in handling as well as 0-60 times by sub-compacts like the Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit (check the recent edition of Car and Driver). For the price of the SXT (the SE model is not worth mentioning) one could buy the just-as-versatile-better performing Chevy HHR. The car's fuel effiency is average for 4 cylinder vehicles, so that isn't a strong selling point either. If Dodge's marketing efforts can convince the public to overlook the Caliber's shortcomings, then the "anything-but-cute" sport-touring compact might be a hit.
  • 79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
    I admire the emphasis on making something new to sale to a little bit different group, but why drop whats making you money? The Neon was Dodges entry into the basic simple subcompact sedans. Like you said, this new idea that DCX has come up with, might be a hit or a major miss. Why would Dodge not keep the Neon and then add whatever the Caliber adds or be there to hold up Dodge is the Caliber flops?

    I appreciate the info and any additional info will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
  • whiskerratwhiskerrat Member Posts: 9
    While the Neon was the top selling vehicle in Dodge's fleet, Daimler Chysler was not making a big profit from it. Selling 120,000 units a year might be good for a car in a different category where the financial margins are different (e.g. luxury sedan, sports coupe, etc.), but subcompacts for the Chrysler group needed to be sold in higher volumes. This is one of the reasons why the Caliber is being emphasized as a "world car" - as the Neon was not embraced by the European market.
  • 79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
    The Neon was dropped due to sales in the US slumping and they engineered a car that would sell better overseas. That makes sense. GM actually posted gains in profit last year due to high sales in Europe and China so I now Can understand why Dodge dropped th Neon in favor of a car that will sale better over seas. Also, that is what world car meant, I didnt know what the World car and world engine meant. ;)
  • mek0123mek0123 Member Posts: 33
    One other reason I've heard and read about the Neon elimination besides the lower sales numbers was the problem with no other vehicle in the DCX stable, including the PT Cruiser, could be built in the Belvidere facility. The paint shop was supposedly too low for anything else but a Neon and the lines were set up just for the Neon as it relates to width and height dimensions. The Neon as we all know sat very low to the ground, considerably lower than almost everything Chrysler Group builds. After the facility was refurbished, DCX claims that they could now build about six vehicles on the same line without changes. Sounds like Smart Manufacturing to me.
  • 79customd79customd Member Posts: 87
    So now the Caliber and the PT Cruiser can be painted at the same factrory now. That is it? Thats the reason DCX dropped the Neon to go with a car that bears no resemblance to the Neon or any other vehichle that DCX makes( including the PT Cruiser ) Just so they could paint more vehichles at one plant. Sounds like Smart planning to lose money to me. The Caliber will enjoy 1 possibly 2 years of buyers who like that new car feal but then once the Claiber is OLD in the auto world the true mechanics are gonna make or break your car sales. I have news for you. True the Neon had known problems such as head gasket problems but the Caliber is all new! Its unknown what there is to look out for from buying one of these things. There could be problems on this thing such as tranny failure at 50k miles or coils breaking down at 25k miles. With the Neon and the proven 122 cubic inch powertrain you knew what problems to look out for due to experiense, Its buyers Beware 101 for the first few years( wait a minute. Dodge cant afford for the majority of buyers to wait a few years b/c the Neon is toast so it sounds as though an attempt to lose money to me, know what I mean? )

    Dodge could have just as easy incorperated the Neons underbody into a bigger higher platform and done just fine. My guess DCX is in Financial straights and needs a way to lose money to save on taxes. Dropping a good saling car completely and offering something TOTALLY NEW!! Is a good way to break your own back. I like the idea of Dodge redoing the vehichle to appeal to appeal to Europe but does Dodge really expect to go in to Europe with a totally new desighn and expect to blow out GM, Yugo, and those other half car makers. I hope not. Dodge just wants to sale enough cars to stay a float and to save money on tax break by losing sales with the Caliber. Simple as that ;)
  • sfitz3sfitz3 Member Posts: 3
    I don't see the logic in abandoning an established name that's selling well in the market place. You revamp and refresh the platform, but you've already got the name recognition. How long have the civic, corolla and sentra been around? Its a good selling name that you can repackage under a different label overseas if need be, but it doesn't make sense to dump the knowledge.
    The caliber is starting from scratch. How many folks have been taught to never ever buy the first model year if its not based on something with a proven track record? ;)
  • whiskerratwhiskerrat Member Posts: 9
    The Neon was not selling well enough... that's the way it is. If the car was making a significant profit, DCX would not have abandoned it. Econocars need to be sold in high volumes. The reason why the Neon didn't sell well is a topic for another discussion (I partially blame DCX for that). To DCX's credit, they cut back production for the last two years anticipating the slump in sales, thus subverting a serious profit loss (this may have been one of the reasons why Daimler Chrysler remained profitable in 05'). As far as the name is concerned, the Neon undeservedly became the butt of Saturday Night Live jokes and equated as the modern version of the Ford Fiesta. Switching to the new platform (which the PT Cruiser will ride on next year) is risky, but it may prove to be more reliable in the long run.
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    "If the car was making a significant profit, DCX would not have abandoned it."

    DCX has not making money on the Neon and couldn't design a competitive replacement when Civics and Corollas sell 300k+ per year.

    Despite many satisfied Neon owners, Neon had a bad reputation in the market.
  • ffcrackerffcracker Member Posts: 1
    I think the logic is that the Neon does not fit into the new Dodge image.
    All new Dodges have brute in your face styling. The Neos is "cute".
    Honestly, I cannot figure out why the passing of the Neon would bother anyone.
  • gljvdgljvd Member Posts: 129
    I think its simple . Replace a car selling 120k units a year with a platform that will be in 3 cars by 2007 model year .

    You have the caliber out now . In the summer you will have the jeep compass and in fall you will have the jeep patriot .

    You have 3 vehicals using the same platform which means you can produce alot of this platform driving costs down on it. I'm sure once production on all 3 start rolling along the caliber , compass and patriot will be cheaper to produce than the neon . Even if they only sell a 100k each. That is 300k on the platform. Not a 120k on it. I highly doubt they will only sell that many . Aside from mpg diffrences they are all competive with the other cars in thier price range , some like the patriot will be more competive than other vehicals in that bracket
  • whiskerratwhiskerrat Member Posts: 9
    I think what has upset many Neon owners is the fact that the car was replaced by a totally different vehicle. It's very similar to how Camaro owners felt when the SSR truck arrived to replace a muscle car. After a long line of econocars from the K-car to the Dodge Spirit and finally the Neon, it seemed the Dodge was getting better with each iteration of its compact cars. Now that it is replaced by a mini SUV, Neon owners feel abandoned. On the flip side of the coin, Daimler Chrysler seeing that the market is being saturated with many affordable, high quality small cars decided to offer something that would stand out in its price range. It may be a mistake. It may not. Some people are upset. Some are delighted. That is the nature of risk. It will be a matter of a few years before we find out if DCX made the right decision.
  • gljvdgljvd Member Posts: 129
    well sometimes you just need a break in a market . It could be better that a true replacment for the neon comes in two years instead of today. I bet it will come on the caliber platform anyway and will be 4 door not 5 door .

    This way the new caliber can shine by itself and a future neon will shine on its own
  • whiskerratwhiskerrat Member Posts: 9
    The closest thing to the Neon that DCX is talking up for the future is the Hornet - a concept hatchback similar to the Mini Cooper (but even more boxy looking). No one really knows when it will produced, but it will likely be available in the European market and possibly here in the U.S.
  • gljvdgljvd Member Posts: 129
    that is what they are talking about now .

    Neon isn't selling all that well if the 120k a year is true . They want to move past the neon image and they want a clean break. To do that you need a few years between your two products
  • whiskerratwhiskerrat Member Posts: 9
    Getting back to the original idea of this string I have few (opinionated) observations about comparing the two vehicles. From a comfort and utilitarian standpoint, the Caliber outclasses the Neon without question. The Neon's wind noise, stiff suspension, limited rear seat room, etc. were areas that the car needed some improvement. The Caliber is also a more family oriented vehicle with many compartments and interior features. On the other hand, the Neon's fuel economy and performance make it a better choice for people looking for a simple commuter car.
  • pacermanpacerman Member Posts: 62
    Its like comparing apples and oranges IMHO. For downright fun factor you can't beat my 96 Neon ACR. Top speed 130 mph, corners as on rails, great gas mileage, 37 plus if not mashing the pedal.
    The Caliber has a lot more cargo room, but both the RT and SXT's I drove just didn't have the feel of the road and so very anemic get up and go.Caliber is a fine looking vehicle, for sure. Gimme my neon for fun and mileage, the Caliber to haul stuff.............. :shades:
  • yukonmasteryukonmaster Member Posts: 2
    I wonder when the 2007 SRT-4 is comming to canada? I mean it still wont beat my 2007 Subaru WRX STI but i'd like to race one!
  • faroutfarout Member Posts: 1,609
    We have owned three Neons a 1996, 2001 and a 2004. All have gotten more than 33 miles a gallon on a trip. The back seat was for children only as it is a tight squeeze. But the car was less than 2700lbs and the engine with a real automatic transmission worked great. We still have the 1996 and it has 195700 miles on it.
    I know that a Jeep Compass is some what different from a Caliber, but both have the same basic underpinnings. We bought a 2007 Compass 2.4 L AWD. The engine was gutless! The weight was more than 3300 lbs. The CVT is a sad excuse for a transmission! The CVT is as cheap answer to cut costs! Yes the back seat seats adults, but at what cost? We got 20 to 23 mpg and the best was 24 mpg. The Caliber, Patriot, and the Compass have really cheap plastic and will never measure up in gas economy as the neon did. Chrysler/Dodge needs to produce a car that gets an honest 30+ mpg.
    We traded in the Compass for a 2007 Chrysler pacifica AWD Touring and it gets 22 to 24.3 mpg and weighs 4500+ lbs. Something sure seems odd to me here! The pacifica has quality interior and plastic that looks grate and fit and finish are tops. Too bad this is the last year for them (08)!
    That's my dollars worth of opinion.

  • faroutfarout Member Posts: 1,609
    Just thought I would add that the Compass may well be in it's last year as Chrysler LLC,. is triming down it's line. The Compass should go!!! So should the CVT in all three types of vehicles.

  • neongirlneongirl Member Posts: 1
    What are u talking about? I don't think the Neon has any wind noise and tho it doesn't have the greatest leg room, the seats are really comfortable.
  • mudroachmudroach Member Posts: 1
    Why is it that the neon srt4 got no real valve upgrades? Why not make it either just srt6 or srt6 and srt4? The chrysler crossfire got srt6 and every dodge vehicle got at least a 2 valve upgrade. What gives!!!?? The only reason this bothers me is my first car is a neon and I wish I had an srt4.
This discussion has been closed.