Dodge Caliber Changes You'd Like To See

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited April 2014 in Dodge
Ever find yourself thinking, I just wish the Caliber had...

Well this is the place to let us know what improvements you would make to the Caliber to make it even better!


  • habalanchehabalanche Member Posts: 57
    I would like to have had a power seat instead of the manual barber style chair for the driver,and it should have rear window tinting like the Magnum,and the minivans.Other than that I'm happy with my R/T
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    It's amazing how fast those nice "extras" almost become necessities. Power seats and windows, cruise control.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Member Posts: 118
    I'd like to see dcx use padding on the center and door armrest areas, they are very hard on the elbows! I'd also like to see easier access to the coin holder area as it's almost impossible to reach for coins going up to a toll booth, etc. Another improvement would be for them to take the hard plastic dash out and use a softer padded dash. Also, I still think it's possible for the engineers to give the cars computer a "tweaking" to make it get better gas mileage. Those are my thoughts so far.
  • canadacalibercanadacaliber Member Posts: 6
    I miss not being able to control door locks from passenger side. Also would have like to see power seat control
  • faroutfarout Member Posts: 1,609
    I drove a Caliber yesterday. I must admit it was a smooth ride. This car has the biggest blind front pillers I have ever driven. WE drove up a steep on ramp, the transmission got up to over 6500 rpm and would not shift or move the belt to the next step, I had to take my foot off the accelerator. I could sure feel the belt move as it went up.
    For me, I thought $17,890. was no real bargin and with no rebates, and no Farm Bureau rebate I said no thanks. We then took a test in the new Nissan Versa. It was $14,600. and had the biggest back seat with plenty of room for you feet of any compact car and even some big cars, it was better than the Caliber, except for interior room.
    One thing that DCX has to deal with is Ford has a 5 year 60,000 mile no deductable warranty. The 3 year 36,000 mile DCX has needs to be
  • missiminmissimin Member Posts: 1
    I would like an inside trunk release like I had in my Ford Focus wagon. Also since I'm not tall I have a hard time closing the trunk so a strap would be a help.
  • neely2005neely2005 Member Posts: 70
    Electronic Stability Control (ESC) & Traction Control!!!
    Hopefully in the 2008 Model Year!

    I'd also like to see an All Wheel Drive SRT Model.
  • neely2005neely2005 Member Posts: 70
    Unless you drove a Caliber with a Standard Transmission it had a CVT Transmission and they don't "Shift" as they don't have gears.
  • jhknightjhknight Member Posts: 46
    Let's get rid of the stupid air conditioned glove box and spend more money on a better flashlight and a more efficient engine. Change the ugly butt too.
  • litesong1litesong1 Member Posts: 39
    First, all car designers must have safety foremost in their minds. The Caliber has terrible blindspots front & back, windows that are too many(along with too many posts) & too small(both in width & height), & posts that are too wide.

    The back roof should not be tapered down. Front headroom is almost too much(unless one is very long torsoed), while back headroom is quite a bit less. A non-tapered back roof would also allow more glass & rearward visibility.

    More space efficiency is needed. There is far too much fore & aft space in the console between the firewall & the driver's instrument panel. Space is wasted also with the stepped hatchback above the rear bumper, plus the overly raked rear window. With a redesign of the rear, the rear window wiper could be enlarged to clean a much larger area of rear glass for greater visibility safety. With an extensive space efficiency campaign, the Caliber could be reduced in size & weight with a comparable decrease in engine size making for further decreases in weight & size with little space sacrificed to humans or cargo.
  • albert525albert525 Member Posts: 9
    Check with your local dealer, ESC should be available now.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Your absolutely right with all your points,I overcome the
    rear blindspots with convex 1-1/2 inch mirrors on the side
    mirrors and a large panoramic(slightly convex) on the inside
    rearview mirror.
    The styling is one of the major factors in my buying the
    Caliber,if the size,mid range fuel economy and look at me
    style were not present I could have a Ford Focus wagon or some other plain jane box.
    Just my opinion as a biased extremely satisfied Caliber
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    A reporter seeks longtime loyal Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep buyers who want the company to build a subcompact model or two. Please reply to [email protected] no later than Friday, October 20, 2006 with a few relevant comments and your daytime contact info.
  • pontiacgtppontiacgtp Member Posts: 15
    Being 6'5", i wouldn't mind seeing the steering wheel that telescopes in addition to the tilt function. When i sat in a Caliber at the dealer the other day, the steering wheel was too close to me.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    I am not being a smart*ss here but I am 6'2" and I have
    found the tilt plus seat movement resolved this concern
    when I was test driving the first few Calibers before
    buying a SXT.
    I would hazard a guess that someone who has out of"norm"
    body proportions (heel to waist say) could have genuine
    problem without telescopic steering column.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    I'm only 6' even, but have those long legs and arms, so I can relate to this. Not only would additional leg room be nice, but my wish list might include the ability to move the steering wheel a bit closer to the dash for arm position too! (realizing that there's no doubt going to be a monetary cost for fulfilling my wishes :P )
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    A reporter from a large daily newspaper is looking to speak to women who are current Dodge Caliber or Compass drivers. The reporter would like to discuss why you purchased the vehicle. Please provide your daytime contact info to [email protected] no later than Wednesday, October 18, 2006.
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    These are the changes I'd like to see:

    2.0 as an option with the stick shift, included with the SXT package;

    PZEV emissions in the green states (where I live - it's not just better for the environment, the cat converter and a lot of other emission parts are then covered for 150,000 miles).

    ABS standard - the more I think about it, although studies don't see a safety benefit from ABS (due to operator mis-use - taking the foot off the brakes when it pulsates) this is a matter of education, not the equipment. Every time it rains out here I get nervous not having ABS, and I don't see how those of you in the snow states can live without it.
  • neely2005neely2005 Member Posts: 70
  • mek0123mek0123 Member Posts: 33
    Sunscreen glass (just like the Compass), cruise control, tilt/telescoping wheel, and better sound deadening materials to control road noise.
  • kenoyerbkenoyerb Member Posts: 1
    I've had my SXT (2.0 CVT automatic) for just over a year and here's what changes I'd like to see:
    1. Either some sort of light over the back seat or a switch to turn the rear interior light on. It is so dark at night in the back seat, the kids can't find their seat belt buckles very well.

    2. I agree with the door and center console armrests being too hard.

    3. I agree with the lack of need for a glove box air conditioner.

    4. It's hard to fit almost any size cup/bottle in the center console's second cup holder when the armrest is slid forward...much less how hard it is to get anything out of it.

    5. I agree with the blind spots, both at the front A pillars and at the back C or D pillars. They are a bit big, but I've gotten used to them.

    6. I like the hard plastic/rubberized interior surfaces for looks, but they are very hard to clean. Anyone come up with a good way or material to clean the textured plastic?

    7. It would be nice to have a spare tire mounted with the valve stem facing up so I can check the pressure without taking the whole thing out.

    8. I noticed this past winter that when I have the heat blower on my feet only, I can't hardly feel anything. After I get twenty minutes away to work from home, it finally starts to feel warmer, but there is no noticeable air flow on the floor like there is coming out of the vents when the dial is pointed there. Related: when the dial is set to blow on my feet only (not feet and defrost), why is there so much noise coming from the defroster area of the dashboard?

    9. The computer won't let me select recirculate on the HVAC when I have the heat on. I realize this is supposed to keep my windows clear by keeping the humidity down, but shouldn't that be my choice? In my old car ('94 saturn sl2), when it was recirculating, the heat was a whole lot warmer a whole lot faster.

    10. What are we supposed to use to protect the black plastic trim on the outside of the vehicle in leiu of wax, like the body?

    11. I would like to see a strap or handle on the liftgate to make closing it easier.

    12. The seatbelt for the center occupant in the back seat is awkward to run over the back of the seat from the rear of the car...especially when somedays I have things to haul/carry and then need to transport kids.

    13. How about a better wiper on the back window? Mine just streaks and I can't find better branded wipers in that length (seven inches, I think).

    14. A central door lock/unlock button on the front passenger door would be nice. Sometimes I need to open that door to get something out and would like to be able to press a button right there instead of using the batteries of my key fob.

    15. I'd like more bolstering on the front seats.

    16. How about outside mirrors that fold or break away. I've had my Caliber for just over a year and my driver side mirror got smashed (vandalized) already. It might not have been so bad if it had folded when they hit it or if I had it folded in so it would have been less likely to have gotten hit. It was only $66 to get replaced, though.

    17. There are two trays on the center console that are all but unusable. I can't even get my hand down to the one on the passenger side of the console, much less get anything to stay in it (coins, I assume is what it was meant for). The one up next to the gear selector could be deeper to hold more coins and somehow needs better access-I have a hard time getting my hand in that one, too.

    18. Why don't cars have the parking brake lever on the floor like they used to, instead of taking up console space? If it were moved to the floor, there might be enough room to have more storage in the console bin and/or have the cupholders side-by-side and provide a little more room for the two awkward trays.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Caliber. But, it is brand new and has a few kinks that could be worked out to make a whole lot more people more satisfied to own/drive one and for more people to choose to buy/lease one.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Use Mr. Clean Magic eraser to clean the plastic parts.
  • habalanchehabalanche Member Posts: 57
    Tuff Stuff cleaner is excellent for plastic,and also any other interior fabric.It foams up real good and lifts the dirt away from the pebbled R/t doesn't have the heat distribution prob that yours has.Maybe it's an internal lever prob with the system.
    Yes pillars are big,too big.
    11. I would like to see a strap or handle on the liftgate to make closing it easier.- We just got a Honda CR-V and the liftgate on that is amazingly light.It's one of the things my wife hates about the Caliber compared to her car.
  • airnosairnos Member Posts: 16
    Things I miss the most:

    * Remote rear door/trunk release. I'm ambivalent about it being on the keyfob but it'd be nice to have it near the driver's seat.
    * Tachometer isn't available on SE w/CVT. This makes zero sense to me given the importance of RPM with the CVT -- I'd say that it should at least be an option for the 2.0 upgrade on the SE. And come on, it's not that much more expensive.
    * Master power lock control on the front passenger door.

    Things I'd like to see changed:

    * AFAIK there's no good reason for the HUGE amount of space between the console and the windshield. A smaller windshield that will take a Wal*Mart sun visor would be wonderful; and just angling it differently will keep it from becoming a visibility problem.
    * At least one storage area with a door, easily accessible from the driver's seat. I've had my sunglass case go flying more than once.
    * Please, please, please don't force the CVT into economy mode at 20 mph. It plays havoc in stop-and-go traffic.
    * Automatic door locks when the car is taken out of neutral/park as opposed to 15 mph. I manually lock mine when pulling through dark parking lots.
    * I'll echo the comment about the cup holders being impossible to reach with the armrest extended. Having them that low also has caused me problems.
    * Body color moldings instead of that black stuff.

    I'll also echo the comments about the Chill Zone being a neat little toy but certainly not all that.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Caliber, but no car is perfect and this one (like any other) has room for improvement.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Everyone has some thing that does not meet their
    wishes/needs in a new car.
    1.-Remote release for hatch,the lock switch on door
    next to driver.
    2.-If you have not had your dash apart then you
    can't appreciate all the bits and pieces crammed
    between you and the windshield.
    3.-Unless your are short in arm length then either
    the glovebox or storage above it is where I keep
    my glasses.I would like either to lockable.
    Good point with regards to the door locks and
    the cup holders.
    Bodyside mouldings don't bother me as my Caliber
    is black and again I agree about chillzone,
    it sort of works but not a biggee for me.
  • popdaddypopdaddy Member Posts: 22
    1. Remote release for hatch.
    2. Lockable glove box.
    3. Parking brake lever on floor.
    4. Something else for the rear middle seatbelt.
    5. A reverse light on the dash - Have a 5-spd, half the time when I think it's in reverse, it's in 4th. A light on the dash would let me know for sure it's in reverse before I let out the clutch.
  • airnosairnos Member Posts: 16
    2 - I've never had so much space between dash and windshield before. It's easily twice other cars I've had, and they were in the same class. So I find it really hard to believe that the amount of space between steering wheel and windshield is necessary. Heck, I've had full size cars with less space in that area. It's cosmetic, and it's a pain in the tail to keep clean.

    3 - I'm not particularly short, 5'6", and from the driver's seat must lean over far enough to open the glove box that I can just barely still see the road (a shorter dash would have solved this). Doing so is obviously a Very Bad Idea while the car is in motion. So my sunglasses live in the area above the radio. I also keep a keyfob in the car because I routinely park in a restricted-access garage. That'd get hopelessly lost in a huge glove box, so there is an advantage to small little storage areas.

    As I said, I'm nitpicking. I'm happy with my Caliber.
  • unhappy13unhappy13 Member Posts: 2
    cruiz control- is what i got use to using on another vehicle.
    yes ...yes the parking brake lever should be on floor- :confuse: awkward place- duh

    power seats- have bad arthritis n that- very hard to reach n... keep changin the place of it- from previous drivers-
    am 5'2 - husband is .. 5'9...
    no leg room in back of when he is driving.

    WE did have a dodge grand caravan05- stow away seats- traded :lemon: it for this.
    altho- def. have no complaints on the $$ it has saved us for the - gas...
    we travel about ... 20hrs or so- in BC.
    With the van- it cost us a whopping - 180 one way.
    now it costs us- like ... 80 one way!

    tru too- about side mirrors- should be able to FOLD in- when needed.

    fix'n or even awknowledging the many many complaints about the ...BLIND SPOTS!!
    i try put in many letters bout this- cuz they seem to say --- EACH n everytime that they do not get any other ...similar problems being reported... sigh
    i am laways terrified coming up to intersections.
    too many times I get --- hands shakin at me- or terrified pedestrians...
    sum- seem to pop up outta nowhwere... run in front of me

    the psgr side has no control of windows- are evn blocked from opening the windows or closing unless driver does that.
    yes it is good- when you have kids- but c'mon...
    DRIVER already has keep eyes on roads- not the window control.

    my main complaint is about the ... service and the tone that I get.
    Seems to me- they want me to think that i am the ONLY one that has these complaints.

    ** I would like to see a strap or handle on the liftgate to make closing it easier.
    ** ahhh that also would have tendency of gettin ...caught- dirty... in the way- no?

    seats are uncomfy on long trips.
    again- have bad arthritis.../ fibromyalgia... n lupus- LUCKY ME huh haha

    so this is not good- as I said I take long trips- that are about... anywhere between 17-20hrs one way

    ya when we went to the dealer- he said yes there is ... cruiz control- on them.
    none has it

    DODGE- are not good ppl to deal with. am not happy... dont get me wrong lmao

    yup- dont get me wrong- an UNHAPPY dodge customer.
    if i bring it in- beinga lease- how much are they gonna freakin run up my milage??
    using it- up- i saw one time- nuther vehicle ownner sayin just that- that they had to elave it in shop- (was not dodge) jus making comment for you to keep eye on your ... KMs as you drop it off for servicing...
    NICE lookin vehicle- NAWT talkin bout --- sum1 will need your kool ride for a hunny that needs to be

    Anyhooooo - not a fan of dodge reps.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Both of my Calibers, SXT and R/T had cruise control. It has to be added at the factory, it doesn't come standard unfortunately.
  • pedalmanpedalman Member Posts: 4
    How about a FUNCTIONAL roof rack - not some plastic peice of crap!!!
    A real roof rack with adjustable crossbars that can be set to nearly the entire entire length of the roof. Something capable of hauling say a 17-foot canoe or kayak. Now add some real tie-down points front and back to better sescure the boat to the top of the car.
    This isn't rocket science. Just build a FUNCTIONAL car. But I guess the guys in the design department would rather give us extras like illuminated cup holders or air conditioned glove compartments. What BONEHEADS!!!!!
  • general13general13 Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone had this problem? On a hot and humid day, the air conditioner will have condensation flow down into the 6 disc changer, and cause the whole thing to give off an "error" message until it's dry. How about this one. What genius decided it was a good idea to have a cream ceiling with no screen for the sun roof? The ceiling in the back of my caliber is disgusting because all the dirt just flows in and sticks. Or for those of you that have a manual, does your car jerk when on cruise control, and going down hill to maintain speed? I've had both of my dodges just shut off while idling. Anyone had that?
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Although I have not experienced the humidity problem with the cd
    changer I would say there is a possibility that youe evaporater drain
    hose is blocked/pinched.
    The hose drains out just below the gas pedal and there have been
    several posts about it but usually you also can detect dampness
    at floor level under the carpet.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    I have that problem but not on a Caliber, as I traded mine in but on another Dodge a Ram truck. Someone that works with my husband said he had to same problem on his Dodge vehicle. The fix is to run your fan to dry to the condensation.

    It's apparently a Dodge design flaw.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Caliberchic I have to disagree with your comment re design flaw,
    if it was indeed the reason for the original post"humidity/cd changer"
    there would droves of posts regarding it.
    The crux of the matter is the fact that that under certain locality conditions
    the evaporeter does not dry sufficiently when you turn the car off with AC/Defrost
    cycle running or just terminated.This usually results in a musty smell upon start
    up again and you solution to "run the fan" will help eleviate this complaint.
    The amount of humidity needed to effect the changer which is designed/built
    with average humidity parameters would in my opinion require that the evap
    collection/drainage system is not working and Chrysler needs to get it's act
    together and solve this owners problem
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Ok agreed, then it would be a design flaw of the collection/drainage system...they need to design or install one that works properly.

    Odd thing is that my husbands CD player didn't work from start up, it had been sitting over night with no AC/Defrost running. I wonder where the condensation came from in that case?

    I would imagine we'd see more posts about this issue but it's hard to say how many owners use their CD players vs the radio or satellite, and how many use them in the perfect conditions to duplicate the issue. I know if it were happening to my vehicle I would never know because I use XM in my Dodge.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Good points about usage-I would think poor installation of the drain
    by an assembly line worker could be the cause or again poor sealing
    of the cowl/dash area on the assembly line which has been the subject
    of a few posts on the net,irregardless it's not right and should be addressed
    to each owners satisfaction.
This discussion has been closed.