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New Caliber Owners - Give Us Your Report!



  • I just got my Caliber SXT on March 30th its totally loaded including a sun roof. It came with the sports package on the only Caliber the dealership had. I have the Inferno red and its only the second Caliber that the Dodge dealership has received the first one was in black and sold within the first day. I live in Louisiana and you don't see these cars anywhere. I love the car its fun to drive and you get pulled over so people can get a look at it.
  • OrangeRT,

    I didn't know the RT had an autostick...? Actually, what exactly is autostick? My husband wants me to wait and get the SRT so he can drive it too but I'm not sure. I like the RT just fine. How does your wife like it? Is the inside too "utility-ish"?

    Katie :blush:
  • I am reading all the past messages and seeing the bad and the good. I am a new owner of a Inferno Red Caliber SXT fully loaded with the sunroof and I love the way it handle the road and the looks it gets. I'm still going over the owners manual to see if I have missed any more features that it might have. The sales dept. was great where I purchased my car but they were a little slow on what all the features the car has (it was only the second Caliber that they had received at this dealership) the first Black Caliber SXT was sold within the first day. In Louisiana you would be lucky to find the base models. :shades: if anyone has had any mechanical problems or grips please let me know.
    If anyone sees me on the road they'll hear me first the sound system with the musicgate is awesome. I dont think I have found anything I'd change about the car except me being 10years younger IT"S A HOT CAR !!!
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    The autostick is when you put the shifter in what would be manual low and then its locked in first gear. When you press the gas and the rpms go up you press to the right to shift to "second" "third" "fourth" "fifth" "sixth", there are no gears in the CVT, it is variably applied belts. The Autostick simply adjusts the tension of the belts and keeps it at one spot until you shift. The earliest version of this transmission was the Subaru Justy 89-91(RIP). It has come a long way since then.

    We love the color and the Sunroof especially, it really looks sharp and is VERY comfortable for us. My wife and I are just shy of 6 foot tall.

    When you ask "utility-ish" I am not really sure what you mean. But if you mean "plain", it's really just a well laid out interior, each to his/her own opinion. The orange colored seats are great, so is the orange center applique.

    The SRT may be hard to get and may be pricey. But it will have the new gen. six speed manual, so if YOU don't drive stick, YOU won't be driving it!!!!! lol

    We paid 19,500 for our R/T, whats up with the 20,000 plus SXT's out there??? :confuse: :confuse:
  • Thanks everyone for your replies!

    OrangeRT, I actually wanted stick in the SXT but the salesman talked me out of it... He said the best thing about this car is the new auto trans it has in it and to go to a stick would be a shame, plus the resale value would be higher. I would like to test drive a manual Caliber but the salesman said he doesn't have any coming in. :confuse:

    I would also like to see some models with the color inserts but again, none coming in!

    You got a good deal on your RT. The SXT that the salesman and I "built" was about that price. What all does your RT have as far as options? I know you have the sunroof. I want a sunroof, driver convenience group, and musicgate.

    I really need to learn more about buying a new car!

    What I do know is that I better be sure when I buy it because I will have it for a long time!
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    We leased ours for 27 months to be safe. Just in case it becomes a "dud" and problematic we won't own it!!!! After the end of lease we either purchase it or order a new one!
    The first year production of most cars really can be trial by fire (70 Ford Pinto- LOL!!)

    We do not have the driver convenience group. I would have liked it, but this was the first R/T in our area and we bought it right after the truck unloaded it, supposed to be a display model I was told!

    Sunroof appears to be the only non standard item on this R/T. The R/T package has pwr windows, door locks, and key fob. We do not have heated seats. I wanted the other items like convenience group and seats, but hey, the price ROCKED! Neither one of us really play the radio that loud, no musicgate. The garage door feature is nice, but.... we sometimes leave the car outside and a friend had his house broken into by someone breaking the car window and pressing the garage door button on the overhead console!!!

    My mileage calculations are actual based upon the fuel capacity and the reciepts that we get for gas, using standard unleaded 87.

    By the way, I understand that as of now you CANNOT get a stick with the 2.0 engine at all. It will probably change later in its lifetime though. I really want the SRT for myself, currently looking to sell my SXT neon and snag a 05 SRT4 Neon.
  • My caliber now has 1400 miles now. And it runs better every day, the first 1200 miles it was very sluggish, they must have the computer setup for break in, after it rolled over 1200 miles it has had a noticeable power increase. In St.Louis there is a HWY 170 that all 3 lanes start at pretty much at a dead stop. When I pull out on the highway I can now leave the cars around me behind. It will sit you back in the seat.
  • My black R/T arrived tuesday morning, so I've had it almost two full days now. May I just mention in passing that the R/T looks unbelievable in black because of the chrome trim pieces. I feel like I'm in a tuxedo while driving this car. I'm very pleased with the ride quality and the handling is terrific- I haven't been able get the tires to squeal in a turn yet, and I've pushed the lines of reason a bit. My gas mileage hasn't been outstanding, but I don't expect it to be because my typical driving style doesn't generally produce great fuel efficiency.

    To Katie re: DRL and Fog lamps- I have both, and the DRLs work like your car does.

    So far are no disappointments with this car, it is exactly what I had hoped and expected it to be. If, however, anyone has any good suggestions on how to increase the engine torque by 10-15lb-ft without turbo/supercharging the car I would love to hear them. I am not sure that my wife would appreciate you giving me this information, but she doesn't read the forum. :P
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I think it's a little early to expect the aftermarket to have any performance parts out. The good news is that your R/T may have the same engine that's going in the SRT4 ... so there may be some air-intake systems that'll fit both. You also might think about getting a new muffler system (about $500).

    Before you do that though, you might want to find out how much torque that transmission was designed to take. If this CVT-design is pretty much maxxed out, you could end up causing a problem and not having a warranty (if they can show the failure was due to your increasing the power).
  • dianicessdianicess Posts: 7
    I am a Dodge Neon owner who was researching new cars for months. Caliber intrigued. I had decided on it, expecting to wait another month, saw a silver one at a local dealer,'s now mine! I wanted to buy American, and I loved the Caliber's innovation and style. I have the 2.0 SXT with cruise, fog lights, 17" aluminum wheels. I would have been happier being able to have more choice of colors or options on the spot (I bought the dealer's last one), but the silver looks hot. No one can believe that the car was under $20,000, it does look more expensive. I'm not a car expert, but I love the way this car drives! You feel like you're in an SUV, not a car. I find the drive quiet and smooth, with plenty of power. I didn't know that this much power was possible in a 4 cylinder. Being a first year vehicle, I did purchase an extended warranty. When I googled the Firestone Affinity tires, they got lots of negative comments in some forum reviews I visited. But I'm keeping an open mind and hoping for the best. I will keep everyone posted.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    How much was the extended warranty if I may ask? Oh, and how long? I will probably lease and the warranty is only 3 years, we may go 4 years.
  • dianicessdianicess Posts: 7
    I picked the Maximum Care service contract for 6 years or 85,000 miles. I believe it was $2295,or 22.95 a month, 0 deductible. For $100 deductible, it was 19.95. It covers practically everything under the sun, except for things like brake pads. (ABS is covered) Any time you bring your car in for service, you can get a rental, plus it has a $1000 trip protection for lodging if you're away. When I leased my Dodge Neon, my service contract more than paid for itself because it had an oil leak problem, 2 years in a row, one within a year after the initial warranty had expired. Both times my car was in the shop for a week at at a time while they did major engine work. They have a variety of plans to chose from, according to your needs. With my lease, back in '95, I had a plan which cost $995, the 48/48, and all oil changes, tire rotations, and routine maintenance were covered. The plan paid for itself. To me, it's worth the piece of mind. You never, know, you might decide to purchase the car if your mileage exceeded the limit, or you have to pay for excess wear and tear. That's what I did.
  • :cry: Congratulations! I'd have my new silver Caliber by now too but I'm holding out for the manual transmission, I put a deposit down on March 6th and have had no word whatsoever when the car may be delivered.
  • renchbnderrenchbnder Posts: 13
    bought my extended warrenty at 5yr/70,000 for 999.00,, pretty much covers everything, but the normal wear out maintains things
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
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    We still need to tint the windows, install the spoiler and chorme parts(our dealer is ordering a chrome grill for us free of charge), and install the rain guards but otherwise it is already attracting attention.

    The stick shift drives much nicer than the automatic IMO. It has more power than that auto we test drove. LOVE the driver convience group, how neat that it tells you how many miles until your fuel tank is empty! Only drove it for a few mins so far, I am sure I will be back to brag some more! :)
  • :blush: Hi caliberchic. Those are great pictures you posted, so clear, such good colour. It's the first time that I've seen what the manual shifter looks like. The one I ordered is the same car, except for silver ext. I'm even more anxious to get it now.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
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    Here is the front and back. Our car didn't come with the chrome grill like it's suppose to. It's being ordered.
  • gljvdgljvd Posts: 129
    Think you can post some booty pictures for me caliberchic ? Some with the trunk open and closed...

    Hmm that didn't sound right :P
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Your Caliber looks great! I especially like your choice of color, right on!
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Boy ya got me there! I had to stop for a second and re-read your post. :surprise: LOL

    I added some of the back with the trunk closed but I can take some with it open too.

    Any other special picture requests? :)
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Here ya go More Pics there are several more photos now and two of the hatch open for you! :)
  • moonhunt18moonhunt18 Posts: 33
    hey caliberhcic,
    how are you posting pics? i tried to post mine but couldnt determine where to do it from...?
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    The first batch were from picturetrail, I have an account with them. The link in the last email was right from edmonds carspace account. I went there and set up a profile and uploaded my pictures.

    Picturetrail isn't free but it gives you URL's to post to websites that display your pictures in an easy manner.
  • :D caliberchic if you're taking any more pics of the interior I'd like to see another shot of the console showing the stick for the manual tranny as I've only seen Calibers with the cvt.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    Nice car! Is that the orange or inferno red? Kind of hard to tell or I'm color blind *L*. My Caliber is Inferno red and I wish it had the body matching color grill in front, I've got the chrome one on my SXT.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Orange, I have noticed that the orange exterior photographys a bit red and the orange interior photographys a bit ORANGE!! It is really orange but the flash on the camera emphasizes that to the 10th degree IMO.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Click Here for the stick pictures.

    It actually shifts nicely although the clutch is a bit looser than I am use to.
  • ewitzewitz Posts: 1
    I looked at the Caliber a week and a half ago. On Thursday the dealer phoned and said that they just received the car I was looking for, Steel Blue SXT with 17 inch alloy rims and CVT2. I did not have a chance to drive the car when I went to the dealership but I decided to make the great leap of faith after just sitting in one in the showroom. Gave a deposit over the phone and bought the car sight unseen. Went in on Friday to finalize the details and picked it up on Saturday.

    Well, after having owned the car for all of two days I think it is great. The car unfortunately did not have the fog lights but I will live with that. I did get the 6 disc CD and the Security Package. The Steel Blue is almost a charcoal grey in colour with just a hint of blue in the tint. I have gotten some real stares and a few thumbs up, something I have never seen driving any other new car.

    I bought this as a replacement for an '01 Neon that luckily ran into some mech problems right after looking at the Caliber. I fixed it up enough to just drive to the dealership for trade in.

    First impressions are that it is way more solid than the Neon ever was. Solid doors, smooth power, better fit and finish. Also, the CVT2 does take some getting used to, the lack of any gears shifting is disconcerting at first, but you get used to it very fast. The stereo, even without the swing down speakers is more than adequate and the sound quality is excellent. I have not burned any MP3 CDs to try out how it works but I figure that the 6.6 gig of storage on 6 CDs is more than enough for my needs. No more driving around with tons of CDs, just burn them onto CDR and pop them in.

    Overall I am sure that I will enjoy the car for years. I guess after reading about the wait times for special orders I am glad I got the car I was looking for in a 48 hour turnaround.
  • mbrymbry Posts: 9
    Hi, I just bought my Caliber less then 2 weeks ago. It is black sxt & has 2.0 & cvt. couple of option groups on it & paid 18.5 for the car. I've had the windows tinted & dual out (looks like dual exhaust)stainless tips installed. I ordered a set of 20" TSW Slot wheels with 245/35-20 tires. They should be here within a week. I will need to find someone who can swap out the valve stem sensors so I wont keep getting a low tire reading. I'll keep you guys posted.
  • azrdrunnerazrdrunner Posts: 8
    About the tire pressure: I guess its because I live in the Phoenix area and its about 108°, but my tire pressure varies from 32psi in the morning (75°) to 47psi at 4pm.
    What do you think about the 4-wheel disks? Stops right on the button! Very, very nice car for the money.
    I actually used the slapstick on a long, empty road and was at 120mph very quickly and back to zero (lucky for the rabbit that crossed in front of me) instantly! :)
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