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Dodge Caliber MPG-Real World Numbers

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,343
With the price of fuel being what it is, the mileage you're getting is becoming more important. This is the place to discuss the mileage performance you're getting out int he real world.

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Comments

  • Just wondering if all the caliber owners reporting MPG are doing it by calculating it at the gas pump and odometer or using the in-car system. I think its been shown time and time again that the in-car MPG ratings are very generous and overestimate milage.
  • zugislandzugisland Posts: 21
    Frogger, I ve been doing the MPG calc manually aslo and thetrip computerhas beenvery accurate......so farwith 1500 the best ive done is 25.4 mpg per tank ....so I am slightly disapointed with that so far...the dealer says break in will improve it...those that have posted 27 mpg .what enginedo you have? I have the 2.0 L sxt sport fwd variant....I also concur with the mssg re the cup holders....but other wise love the car so far....also this is the 1st car ive had in awhile w/o heated mirrors....they did freeze up with some snow fall and it was hard to see out of them....cant believe this is not an option at all...any thoughts?
  • canoenutcanoenut Posts: 12
    Thanks for your input. I've taken the gamble on ordering a Caliber SXT 1.8 w/5-speed. Looking forward to finding out what my real-life mileage per gallon will be. I also was hoping for the heated mirrors like the VW Golf, Focus, etc. and don't understand that DCX wouldn't offer them with the heated seats option.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I have a 2.0 liter on my Caliber SXT (2wd) and have gotten 27mpg consistently. I just recently changed the oil and put Mobil 1 synthetic in the engine. I now have 2200 miles on it and am testing the gas mileage manually as I did'nt get that option on my car. I'll post my gas mileage average after a few tanks of gas.
    I was also surprised the SXT model I bought did'nt have cruise control on it. The dealer told me they would give it to me at cost as soon as the kits become availible. It's the only "other" thing I wanted on my Caliber so I'll have to wait until they send the cruise control kits out to the dealers.
  • I thought cruise was standard on the SXT? What color did you get?

    CB
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I bought a caliber in the "inferno red" which in my opinion is the best color they have. :shades: I would have thought the SXT's would have cruise as being standard but alas...it did not.
  • zugislandzugisland Posts: 21
    folks there as been a few posts with 27 to 29 mp combined...i have 2400 miles on mine now and still havent gotten better then 25.5 mpg ....i admit i drive a touch aggresive but most of my driving is highway....any other oomments would be appreciated
  • I bought my new Caliber SXT 2.0 about two weeks ago, I have not been getting the clamed gas mileage, I have run about two tanks through it and I am only getting 24 or 25 miles per gallon even though most of my driving is on the highway. Today the check engine light came on, I took it in to the Dodge dealer and they said it was an ambient air sensor error; They told me Chrysler knows about the problem but would not have a software fix until April or May. They told me not to park it in a warm garage and then drive into the cold because the car thinks something has gone wrong when it sees a sudden temperature change. I am loosing faith fast, It may have been best to wait until they had all the bugs worked out.
  • I have 1100 miles on my SXT 2.0. It gets the advertised 26-30 mpg. This is about the same MPG as my last compact car, which weighed much less and had none of the Caliber's style or versatility.

    I park in a warm garage every night and I have not had the check engine light problem, but this appears to be something that will not be dificult to fix. DCX needs to get the new programming road-tested before they tell everyone that this is the "fix", that's probably why you were asked to wait.

    As I've said before, the positves on this car far outweigh any negatives. Everyone I've showed mine to is amazed at the style, safety, quality, and versatility that less than $17k will buy.
  • zugislandzugisland Posts: 21
    24--25 mpg with mostly hwy driving and alsmot 2200 miles now...will switch to mobil one soon .....no engine light problem but am getting significant torgue steer from a dead stop.....anyone else experiencing this....took it to the dealer and they were dumbfounded althought they did correct it slightly ....anyeon getting better mileage ar eyou in a warm weather state? i am in michigan and it has been consitenly cold here...
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I just went over 3000 miles on my 2.0 liter Caliber and I'm getting between 27 to almost 30 mpg. I drive about 70% highway miles to and from work. I did change my oil at about 1500 miles and used Mobil 1 synthetic 5w 20. After that I checked mpg and was getting 29.6 mpg. So, whether it was the engine breaking in or the synthetic oil or maybe both.
  • My SXT CVT has about 1700 miles now. MPG has increased to about 28 to 30 overall. This is a little bit better than my previous small car, which was not as heavy or versatile and was rated higher than it actually got(2004 Saturn Ion Auto.) CVT has very smooth operation. I believe the CVT is the same one that will be used in the upcoming Nissan Versa. Very solid car overall. As for the PT cruiser, it is versatile, but it was only rated 25 mpg highway, so the Caliber is better in both categories, in my opinion. :)
  • i GOT MY SXT SPORT ON WEDNESDAY. i HAD TO DRIVE FROM NORTHERN OREGON TO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA (650 MILES) IN ONE DAY. i WAS ONLY ABLE TO GET 88 MILES ON THE CAR AROUNd TOWN BEFORE THE TRIP STARTED.

    i GOT A solid 30 MPGs this first run. I'm very pleased with that. what do you think? also should i be worried that such a long hwy trip happened before having adequate break in tme?
    thanks!
  • :D Relax, the service manager at the dealer where I ordered my SXT Sport 1.8 5 speed told me that there is no break in period for these engines, just get in and DRIVE!!!
  • 79customd79customd Posts: 87
    So was most of the trip on the highway at road speeds? I ask because we rescently took a trip to the Peidmont of NC( 580 miles round trip ) with our 2005 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax deisel crew cab 4x4 and got an impressive 21.6mpg!

    I like the 30mpg, but that is not significantly higher than what you can get in a truck that is 4 thousand pounds heavier, can fit a family of five in, tow a 12k trailer and haul a load MUCH GREATER than that of a compact. I will admit though we are kinda granny drivers though so guys who like to give her the whip can fly by us and get ther faster but we hold the speed limit. I hope that there are some people who are getting upper to mid 30s range mpg, b/c that is not to impressive in my opinion to make me step dowwn the scale so far in capability.

    My dads old 99 GMC K1500 gets 22.5mpg, and its an old 5.7L V8 old classic version( old body style ) My old 1979 Custom Deluxe lacking overdrive will probably get 20MPG or there about even though its a 6 cylinder.

    Any other mileage figures on the Caliber on trips or highway cruises that top 30mpg or is that about all you can squeeze out.
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    "Any other mileage figures on the Caliber on trips or highway cruises that top 30mpg or is that about all you can squeeze out. "

    the highest highway mpg rating for any of the caliber is 32 mpg, chrysler, gm , ford historically seem to struggle to meet these numbers in the real world, where several of the asian automakers come close to achieving or exceeding their numbers, which are already quite a bit higher than 32 mpg. the pt cruiser is a perfect example: rarely were drivers able to achieve the epa numbers, which were pretty low as it was. the caliber does not possess a particularly fuel efficient engine, is not aerodynamic, and is way too heavy. 30 mpg is probably about as good as its gonna get. its really disappointing that dam/cry has nothing to offer in the compact segment (AND YES THE CALIBER IS IN THIS SEGMENT) to attract those looking for fuel efficiency and versatility--see: matrix/vibe, nissan versa, honda fit,et al. sorry to offend anyone, but when your MOST fuel efficient version is rated at 32 mpg, that is downright embarrassing.
  • oh, i should have stated that my last car was a crappy subaru in bad shape that got 14 mpg! so i am getting 2x what i was a month ago.

    also, i was expecting 25 mpg after reading the forum and other's experiences. and since this was the first tank of gas and i'm still under 800 miles on the car, it can only het bettr. :)
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I've got 4700 miles on my Caliber and I'm getting about 29 mpg on a 2.0 fwd. I drive 80 miles round trip a day to and from work and a tank of gas last me 4 days.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I used to get 35 mpg, on long freeway roadtrips (75mph or under) with the following cars:

    2002 Neon stick shift;
    2004 Scion xA stick shift;
    2004 Chevy Cavalier (ecotec) with stick shift;
    2006 Chevy Cobalt with stick shift (current car)
    2003 Honda Civic coupe with stick shift.
    2005 Focus ZX3 PZEV with stick shift

    The following cars got me 32 mpg under my 80 mile mostly freeway commute with light to moderate traffic:

    2002 Neon stick shift;
    2004 Scion xA stick shift;
    2004 Chevy Cavalier (ecotec) with stick shift;
    2006 Chevy Cobalt with stick shift (current car)
    2003 Honda Civic coupe with stick shift.
    2005 Focus ZX3 PZEV with stick shift

    The following cars got me 30 mpg under my 80 mile mostly freeway commute with light to moderate traffic:

    2001 VW Golf stick shift;
    2004 Neon automatic;
    2004 VW Golf stick shift;
    the other Focus ZX3 sticks shifts I had (Zetec engine)

    The following cars dropped to 26 mpg if I took long road trips and drove 80mph:

    both VW Golfs

    The following car dropped to 30 mpg if I took long road trips and drove 80 mph:

    the Scion xA

    26 mpg, all conditions:

    2003 Focus ZX3 automatic (2.0 Zetec).

    24 mpg, optimal highway conditions:

    PT Cruisers, 2004 and 2006 both with automatic

    28 mpg, optimal highway conditions:

    2005 Honda CR-V with 5 speed auto

    23.5 mpg, daily commute (80 mile freeway, as above):

    2006 Dodge Carvan SE with 2.4 4 cylinder engine.

    18 mpg, 50/50 city and higway:

    the PT Cruisers (they take a big hit with city driving).

    IN SHORT 26-30 mpg with the Caliber is excellent mileage, given the following factors (i) I am a turtle away from stop lights compared with most of you; (ii) I read the traffic conditions ahead of me on the freeway, and seldom have to brake (just lifting my foot off the gas works) or accelerate hard; (iii) the Caliber is a much heavier, safer car than most of my higher mpg vehicles listed above; (iv) almost all my high mileage numbers (except the CR-V and Neon) come from stick shift vehicles - automatics really slam the mileage, I don't care what the EPA says in comparing stick shifts and automatics. The CVT in the Caliber is supposed to be more efficient in the Caliber, but apparently only improves city cycle mileage, not freeway mileage, over a conventional automatic.

    In short, enjoy the car, don't stress.
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    "IN SHORT 26-30 mpg with the Caliber is excellent mileage, given the following factors (i) I am a turtle away from stop lights compared with most of you; (ii) I read the traffic conditions ahead of me on the freeway, and seldom have to brake (just lifting my foot off the gas works) or accelerate hard"

    WHAT!!!???, you consider 26-30 mpg excellent mileage, AND you drive conservatively!!! sorry, this car is a compact car. the matrix has pretty much equal cargo capacities and blows the caliber away as far as mileage. ive driven a couple and they were a blast to drive as well. i hate to see what caliber owners who dont drive conservatively get for mileage. i just got back from a 265 mile trip with my corolla--44.3 MPG and i am only willing to say this is acceptable: i could probably have driven a little slower and done better.

    "(iii) the Caliber is a much heavier, safer car than most of my higher mpg vehicles listed above;"

    several of those cars similarly equipped as the caliber get similar crash test results

    why does chrysler offer such PATHETIC gas mileage in their vehicles. i dont have the answer, but perhaps there are a plethora of chrysler owners feeling that an anemic 26-30 mpg is excellent. the caliber is not fast anyway, so why cant it be reasonably fuel efficient?

    sorry to rant, but in no way, shape, or form can 26-30 mpg be considered acceptable in this segment. it is just SAD, SAD, SAD people accept this from chrysler products. it is particularly bad timing as well, considering the state of gasoline prices.

    a good analogy is chicago cubs fans who keep filling wrigley field year after year even though there is a poor product on the field. they are all there for the "atmosphere" but in the end the product is still a loser.

    chrysler owners: demand better, and maybe they will build something that doesn't insult your intelligence.

    the caliber offers nothing over the competition, and they've had several years (matrix/vibe came out in 2002) to engineer and build something more competitive.

    i may come off as a toyota owning snob, but on the contrary i would love to see the big 3 step up to the plate, but they always seem to be lagging behind, and in the case of the caliber, lagging far behind. this is 2006. i just passed a gas pump that read $3.01 for regular. your most fuel efficient car needs not be such a JOKE!
  • neely2005neely2005 Posts: 70
    I know that you're not comparing a Diesel Engine to a Gasoline Engine, Right?
  • First off, they probably have a forum for Corolla lovers, ok kato1?

    Now, if I drive a Caliber 100k miles and average 28 mpg (likely) that takes 3571 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $9821.

    If I drove a car that got 38 mpg for the same 100k miles, it would take 2632 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $7237.

    Thus, the savings would be $2584.

    BUT, how much more would it cost to build/buy the higher MPG car? Probably $2500 or more, ... Do we all get it now? I'm sure DCX has done these calculations several times...

    When I was looking at Jettas a while back, it was actually cheaper to buy the gasser than the TDI, because the TDI commands full sticker price and the gasser does not. There was more of a price differential than the fuel savings would offset in 100k. Even the VW dealer agreed with my numbers...

    I think you would need to drive a Toyota Prius about 250k before you actually start saving money, since they cost so much to begin with... and the insuracnce is high too because of the value of the car.

    The 2006 Civic may get 35 mpg overall, but it is slightly higher priced than the Caliber, has fewer features, and will break you on insurance since its the #1 most stolen car...

    Bottom line - my Caliber uses no more gas than my late-model failed GM experiment did, and it has many likable features not found on the entry-level econoboxes.

    Its all in what you want and what you want to pay for.
  • here here, nonnemacher. my sentiments exactly, and more eloquently!
    Thank You!
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    Now, if I drive a Caliber 100k miles and average 28 mpg (likely) that takes 3571 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $9821.

    "If I drove a car that got 38 mpg for the same 100k miles, it would take 2632 gallons of gas, $2.75 per gallon on average, gives a cost of $7237.

    Thus, the savings would be $2584.

    BUT, how much more would it cost to build/buy the higher MPG car? Probably $2500 or more, ... Do we all get it now? I'm sure DCX has done these calculations several times..."

    ...this argument holds no water. to even get air conditioning in a caliber, youll spend as much or more than a toyota matrix w/ac and still give up at least 6-8 mpg. (BTW, MY COROLLA COST ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE BASE CALIBER, BUT I GET AC, POWER LOCKS, MIRRORS--AND A GOOD 8-12 MORE MILES PER GALLON.) additionally, $2.75/ gallon is likely wishful thinking for the next decad. so, toyota and honda can do it but DCX cannot? its not that they cannot afford to build such a car, they do not have the will to do it and here's why, IN MY OPINION:

    your quote was as follows--"Bottom line - my Caliber uses no more gas than my late-model failed GM experiment did, and it has many likable features not found on the entry-level econoboxes"

    BIG 3 owners have fairly low standards. you seem satisfied to be using no more gas than a "failed gm experiment". if you want to compare DCX products to ford and gm, they will always come out ok.

    yes i think the corolla (and matrix) are great cars. since i sell both DCX and Toyo products for the same dealership, i find those two cars strong representatives for the compact car segment and a good point of reference for comparing to the caliber--I WOULD LOVE TO PURCHASE A DCX, FORD, OR GM PRODUCT--but, i work hard for my money and want/need to get as much for my money as possible. a dodge caliber doesnt give me any value for my money.

    i believe that domestic car owners have slowly begun to speak with their pocketbooks and are demanding better innovation at fair prices, thus TOYO's incredible growth in market share. (as well as the Korean automakers) as an american, i would love to see the big 3 as the leaders in the automotive industry, but im not willing to give them my money unless they are willing to step forward and be more competitive.

    i honestly think, and would hope, most Americans are like me and would gladly drive a domestic vehicle if it were up to par with the rest of the market. unlike some, i think the caliber looks decent, and if they offered a fuel efficient version i would have seriously considered it. they chose not to offer such a vehicle. if enough people are willing to drive a compact that gets poor mileage, then i think DCX will be content with that.
  • does the beverage cooler take away from gas mileage?
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Go to Toyota.com and Dodge.com. Build a Caliber and a Matrix with as close to the same equipment. Pick the popular Matrix XR and Caliber SXT, both automatics. The Caliber has about $1500 lower MSRP. Comparing base model prices means nothing if they have different equipment.

    quote=this argument holds no water. to even get air conditioning in a caliber, you'll spend as much or more than a toyota matrix w/ac and still give up at least 6-8 mpg

    You cannot even get a Matrix in my region with ABS and side air bags that are standard on the $16k Caliber. AC is important to you, other features are important to other people.

    I'm not sure why you keep throwing the Corolla into the mix. Yes, it is a compact, but does not have the utility of a hatchback/5-dr nor the look/image. People are not cross shopping the appliance Corolla with hatchbacks.
  • I agree! I need the cargo capacity of a hatchback or wagon and would like good gas mileage (better than my Jeep Liberty). The only vehicle that I am considering (other than the Caliber) is the Kia Rio 5. I drove one yesterday and it is great. Now, if my Dodge dealer would get a Caliber in that I could drive, I could make a decision. A Corolla is another car in another automotive universe.
  • mek0123mek0123 Posts: 33
    I think I would rather get broadsided or T-boned in a Caliber than its Toyota/Honda/Kia/Hyundai equivalent. I've seen the smaller economobiles after a bad accident and it has (in some cases) taken years, if ever, for the driver and/or occupants to get back to a normal mobile life. The 3100lbs the Caliber weighs affects the mileage naturally, but one must ask themself, is it worth it to be seriously crippled up after such? Urban dwellers might find this point more important than their rural counterparts. Just a point I thought I'd throw your way.
  • wcottwcott Posts: 35
    I've driven the Rio...my biggest bug with that car is the size of the motor. It's a bit small for my tastes. Granted for 75 percent of the time when you're city driving, it would be sufficient. But I don't want to be white-knuckling the wheel while trying to pass a RV on the highway.
    Isn't the Kia Spectra5 a titch bit bigger?
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    "I'm not sure why you keep throwing the Corolla into the mix. Yes, it is a compact, but does not have the utility of a hatchback/5-dr nor the look/image. People are not cross shopping the appliance Corolla with hatchbacks. "

    youre right. most people probably arent cross shopping a caliber with a corolla. the corolla is indeed very appliance like, but does its job very well. but i think the matrix is a good comparison. when i build a caliber and matrix the way i want them the price is within $1000.
    of course we all want different features in a car. the caliber will have good utility and definitely has unique looks. i guess all my babbling on the caliber is that it doesnt shine in the one area that a compact car should. maybe a couple years in, they will offer a more fuel efficient version??? as ive stated before, i'd definitely consider this car if they did that.
  • canoenutcanoenut Posts: 12
    Thanks for your comments and for now removing the Corolla from the debate. As a long time VW Diesel driver, I'm making a leap to the Caliber knowing that in no way will it equal my past fuel economy. However until VW comes up with a Golf Plus model in North America or until DCX will be able to offer the VW diesel in the Caliber (like they are doing now for their overseas markets), I'm willing to pay more to travel the same number of kilometres in order to have what the Caliber offers. Perhaps a new Matrix in 2008 would be more attractive to me but I'm not going to wait and see.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    I think the Corolla is probably the best single person commuter vehicle, a great appliance car.

    I also think the Matrix/Vibe are perfect competition for the Caliber, as well as PT Cruiser, Mazda 3 5-dr, Focus ZX5/ZTW, and VW Golf.

    I think the Caliber shines as a uniquely styled compact with extra utility and some nice features for the money. Fuel economy is not far off the other 5-dr/wagons.

    I also think the media and therefore many consumers are placing too much value on fuel economy. It should be a factor when deciding what vehicle to purchase or possibly replacing a less fuel efficient vehicle, but the numbers should be evaluated for the real cost, not just the knee-jerk reaction of paying more at the pump.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Probably a little since the AC compressor needs to always be taking engine power. Is there a switch to turn off the beverage cooler? I don't think so, but do not know for sure.
  • I agree that the Rio 5 would not pass muster as my only car, but my wife's car is a Buick Lucerne for highway travelling. In need something for in city and short distance hauls (not more than ~300 miles.)
  • jstant01jstant01 Posts: 65
    Having read these arguments about fuel mileage, I have to say that I can see "reason" in most of them. Certainly, buying a "hybrid" to "save money" doesn't make sense. Forget it - you're going to pay more for the car than what you pay in gas unless you keep it for 200,000+ miles.

    However, I also agree with those who have to wonder aloud why domestic compacts don't get better mileage. I just returned from a 500 mile roundtrip with my Pontiac Vibe. I easily got 40+ MPG across the Ohio Turnpike at 65 mph. The Vibe has a Toyota motor, as we all know. I suspect that if it had any of the 4-cylinders GM is currently using, the mileage would be well below that.

    I can't offer any educated comments on a diesel, having never owned one. However, I too am sick of hearing Americans complain about gas prices while they continue to buy and drive around in behemoth gas guzzlers. A family of five could easily fit in my Vibe, with plenty of room for carrying cargo and "stuff."

    Anyhow, rather than continuing to rant, I will also say it does come down to what someone else said - the bottom line is that people are buying what they want and as long as consumers still "want" gas guzzling behemoths, that's what the Big 3 are going to provide.
  • philqb2philqb2 Posts: 6
    Don't worry about the beverage cooler and the A/C because I get better gas mileage with the A/C on than off, whether I have the window up or down. At 27.4 mpg after 2650 miles, mostly highway, partly city (work in DC). And I haven't put synthetic in it yet either.
  • philqb2philqb2 Posts: 6
    "But I don't want to be white-knuckling the wheel while trying to pass a RV on the highway.
    Isn't the Kia Spectra5 a titch bit bigger? "

    There is none of this at all. The caliber is a bit slow at the start, but races by other cars easily. I thought I would have to gun it the first time I passed a semi, and was surprised when I hit the gas hard and blew on by. Better passing pickup than my old 6 cylinder Stratus, and that was a 2004.
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    Hi. I was getting decent mileage in our R/T with driving normal and spirited, splitting 50/50 on driving Avg 25/26.(reported here several messages)

    Our last tank just ended up with only 22 mpg avg. Kinda sad right now. This last tank only my wife drove it. She does not drive fast nor hard. Same daily destinations too.

    Going to let just her drive the next tank to check again.
  • The cooler only works when the AC is on. So if you want to turn it off....turn off the AC
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    However, I too am sick of hearing Americans complain about gas prices while they continue to buy and drive around in behemoth gas guzzlers. A family of five could easily fit in my Vibe, with plenty of room for carrying cargo and "stuff."

    Very few vehicles could fit adult behind me @ 6'4" and long legs. Also, reverse facing child seats do not fit either. The cargo space behind of a compact hatch won't hold a pack N play, strollers, portable high chair and other baby/toddler stuff either. Maybe when kids are >5 a small hatch would work as a primary family vehicle, but not a young family. This is why I have a minivan (21mpg) and two 4-dr pickups (14 & 12mpg). Combined 40k miles per year between 2 drivers

    But I don't complain about fuel costs.
  • jstant01jstant01 Posts: 65
    I'm glad you don't complain about gas prices. I'm doing my best not to complain either! :-)

    I'll agree with you when it comes to "storage" of toddler stuff in a car like the Vibe. It is unlikely that a folded down playpen would fit. However - strollers, etc., no problem. I've had them in there on occasion.

    Also, your height would probably not be a factor either since the backseat of the Vibe is roomier than any vehicle I've ever owned. I am about 6 ft and weigh 350 pounds. This translates to "seat all the way back, and reclined some." I've had many adults and kids sit behind me with no complaints. I've actually sat back there behind other drivers that have the seat in the same position. The Vibe is simply above the pack when it comes to rear seat room.

    As for rear-facing child seats, again, I've never had any trouble using one in my back seat on the driver or passenger side.

    Enough about the Vibe for now, since this is a Caliber forum. Based upon my "test" of the Caliber at the Detroit auto show, I suspect it would easily accomodate a family as well, although I personally thought the back seat was much more cramped than my Vibe. It may have more to do with the design of the door opening, or the floorboard, or perhaps the height and extension of the seat, but I had a hard time getting in and out of the back. The storage space behind the back seats looked to be about the same.
  • The beverage cooler only cools with the air conditioning on. You can have it cool whatever is inside it by sliding a panel in the top of the bin forward or backward (I forget which) which opens a slot across the front that lets the air conditioner's cooling air enter the Chill Zone.

    If you slide the panel the other way, it stops the cool air from entering the Chill Zone, and makes it into just a Zone. The beverage rack at the bottom is removable.. it just sits there. I'm sure there are many people who don't want to use that space for chilling beverages, so they allow you to close of the cool air, just like most dampers that you have on any of your air conditioning outlets now.

    Understand? (Sometimes I'm too "wordy".)

    :)
  • You can have the AC on and close a damper in the top of the Chill Zone and the Zone won't chill. You can use it just like any other glovebox / storage area.

    See my post somewhere above.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I agree! I was going 60 mph on the highway this morning and had to get around some trucks. I floored the pedal and my Caliber took off ( engine @ 5K on rpm's ) like a race car! I was impressed as this was the first time I have passed trucks at high speed. I had to watch it as I was going near 85 mph when I passed them by easily. Very nice passing power!
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Re: fuel costs, I don't think enough people know their budgets (or manage one in the first place) to calculate the difference it costs them @ $2 vs $3/gal. They just complain even if it means half a percent more of their income, or whatever their number is.

    Long legs, mean seat track all the way back. Long arms means seat bottom front up, back down and seatback reclined a little. Not hiphop reclined, but it may look like that if a shorter person sat in a seat after I've adjusted it. The distance between the seatback and the front of the rear seat bottom cushion gets small quickly for most vehicles. When I had mid-sized sedans and took adults places, I moved the seat forward and seatback up a little, or had my wife (5'5") drive.

    Anyway, i haven't sat in a Vibe/Matrix or Caliber yet. I almost bought a PT Cruiser GT in 2004 and it had plenty of room, but 40" rear legroom is more than any other 5-dr hatch.
  • jstant01jstant01 Posts: 65
    I hear on the "budget" issue. Most people (including myself usually) just buy the gas, and complain when it's suddenly costing $40 per tank instead of $25. I haven't had a $40 fill yet, thank God. My last Vibe fill-up from a very empty tank cost me about $35.

    Anyhow - I hear you on the legroom issue. I suspect that if you sit in the back seat of a Caliber, you will be disappointed if the front seat is back all the way. When I sat in it, I had trouble in the back seat and also felt like the front seat was cramped. I'm more fat than I am tall, but either way, every car I drive I have to put the seat all the way back and recline it some. Otherwise, my stomach won't fit behind the wheel! :surprise: I've never sat in a PT Cruiser, but I've heard other folks say they are also very roomy.

    I still haven't had a chance to test drive a Caliber. There haven't been any available in my area. I've only seen one on the highway, and that was down in Ohio.
  • neely2005neely2005 Posts: 70
    It's funny that you mention that because I recently read an article that said that On Average compact cars have more Leg Room in the Front Seat than SUV's. The reason for this apparently is that Front Seat Leg Room is more of a selling feature on compacts & people just assume that an SUV will have more Front Seat leg room than it actually does.

    I'm 6' & I drive a 2002 Neon and can easlily fit myself, my wife, my 9 year old son & my 18 month old son & all his necessary supplies (aside from a high chair which I'm not sure why you need to take a high chair with you when you travel?)
    His Very Large Jeep Stroller and Jeep Play Pen go in the trunk. his diaper bag goes on the floor in front of him. He is no longer in a rear facing car seat but he current car seat is much bigger than the rear facing one was. Perhaps you just need to learn to pack lighter or more efficently?
  • moonhunt18moonhunt18 Posts: 33
    that was going freeway the entire time. between 70-85 mph.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I just went over 7600 miles on my SXT Caliber w a 2.0 CVT and am getting 28 mpg. I have yet to take it on a long trip but know I've reached 30mpg before so I'm sure it'll happen again. No issues with the car, get a lot of stares from people and I still have'nt seen one on the road here in Evansville, IN. My dealer tells me they can't get them in fast enough if they get any at all and if they do they r gone in less than 24 hours. ;)
  • I've put almost 6k miles on the car... its sweet spot for mpg is around 2000-2500rpm or so. I've been acheiving ~28-29mpg at that mark on the highway. I have yet to do a complete city tank, but city mpg is decent... mid 20s so far. One thing that will hurt the vehicle is its high drag coef. I drove from OK to ND and back and on the way back, had a monster head wind (we're talking 25-35mph with higher gusts). The vehicle which normally is around ~2300rpm or so at 70mph on flat ground was at ~3k. Far more susceptable to wind than my old saturn SL2. By the time the rpms get this high, your mpg starts dropping. For the trip back (with all the wind) I was only getting ~23-25mpg on the highway.
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