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Dodge Caliber



  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    neely2005: I will do a CR report for you. Which way do you want me to slant it? I can say it gets only 12mpg or as high as 38.789mpg. After reading CR's report on the Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel) it was very clear that the person doing the report never even drove one, and they had to be in a YUGO when they thought it was a CRD Liberty. I canceled my CR subscription.

  • neely2005neely2005 Posts: 70
    If Consumer Reports is biased then every other forum, website, magazine, newspaper... is much more biased - Consumer Reports is a Non Profit orginization that does Not accept advertising and pays for every product that they test. I'm not sure how much less biased you can be.

    In regards to the Liberty CRD's milage, Consumer Reports reported the Real World milage as oppossed to the EPA's BS milage stats.

    I hope you had a chance to read this article before you cancelled your subscribtion:

    Don't be fooled by the manufacturers / EPA's milage numbers.
  • maryr22maryr22 Posts: 7
    Hello-this is my first post. I'm picking up my Dodge Caliber R/T tonight and have a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me with! by the way, I'm SO excited after reading these posts to get my new Caliber! I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee (an Isuzu Rodeo before that) so this will be a change, but a much anticipated one! Anyway, I have been waiting for this car for over 4 weeks and have had some problems with the dealership re: (mis)communication. As a result, they are going to pay for part of a dealership-installed navus navigation system (the one that is $724 on the Mopar website) My question is - do the dealerships pay MSRP on the Mopar navigation systems? That's what I was told by the sales manager when we were talking about price, and it seemed strange to me so I'm checking on here to see if anyone knows the real deal. ANY help would be greatly appreciated so that I can go into the final paperwork "in the know". Thanks in advance all! By the way, in case anyone wants to know price, I am paying $20,000 for the R/T AWD with leather interior group, heated seats, stereo w/6 CD changer, Musicgate,aluminum chrome wheels, sunroof,engine block heater, tonneau cover. I think that's it (steel blue metallic color)-any thoughts on what I paid? thanks!!
  • holy crap!! Considering the RT starts at almost $20,000 you are getting a great deal on that. Where exactly are getting your car from? I might just have to cancel my order and get one from your dealer.
  • maryr22maryr22 Posts: 7
    hi grendel cave, I live in Massachusetts and bought my Caliber R/T at Ira Dodge in Medford, MA. Overall, the experience was very good except for the last few days where the communication dropped off. Part of the reason I got such a great deal was that the car had a few hundred miles on it before I bought it. A woman bought the car brand new, fully loaded, and returned it TWO days later because she had had her heart set on a Charger. So technically it was a used car, but with only 200 miles on it! took quite a while to get the title from the registry. yes, I did the TMV thing here on and the invoice for the R/T with above options came to over 21,000, and the TMV was 23,079, so I think I'm getting a good deal. Best of luck to you!! and thanks for the feedback.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    As you may have noticed, new discussions are popping up all over the forums. We're trying to move away from the huge, everything in one big pile type of discussions towards smaller, more focused discussions.

    So here in the Dodge Caliber Group, you'll notice new discussions like:

    New Caliber Owners - Give Us Your Report!
    Dodge Caliber Test Drive - What Did You Think?
    Dodge Caliber Safety & Crash Test Results
    Caliber Audio/Entertainment Questions
    Dodge Caliber: Care & Maintenance
    Dodge Caliber: MPG-Real World Numbers
    Caliber Accessories & Modifications

    I'm still in the process of moving posts from this main dicussion to new homes, so this is a work in progress. ;)

    Please be sure to check the discussion list for the appropriate discussion before you post. If you have an issue or problem with the Caliber that doesn't appear to have a home, feel free to start up a discussion or contact me with the suggestion and we can get one going. The idea is to make it easier for folks to find information without having to wade through thousands of posts in a huge discussion.

    I'm sure thre will be a bit of learning new habits for all of us, but I appreciate your help and understanding as the furniture gets moved around a bit!

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • lexan1965lexan1965 Posts: 118
    I just went over 13K miles on my Caliber...would I buy one again? Yes...if it got better gas mileage. I knew going in that it would only get under 30 mpg at best. The thing that caught my eye when looking for a new car was the styling, the caliber had it. It drives like a mini SUV and has the versatility to haul things ( I've had a full mower deck and lumber in 8' sections hauled in mine). The only thing that I don't like is hard armrests and center console.
    You think DCX could've put some padding in those areas. The coin tray and cup holder area is difficult as far as reaching change or grabbing a smaller drink/bottle. Although these minor things bug me a little I still love the car. You won't find another car with ABS, front/knee/side airbags in this price range. The CVT w 2.0 is very smooth also, I love how fast it takes off and won't stop until u reach your speed. Anyway...u need to decide what best suits your needs and go from there but that's my opinion. Good car hunting! :shades:
  • Twice now my Caliber would not shift out if park. Dispite pressing the brake pedal, starting and turning off repeatedly, moving the steering wheel back and forth I can not get the car into reverse, drive or any gear at all. Both times by the next day it works again. The dealer can't do a thing without getting it in while it has the problem. I called to have it towed but they sent a regular tow truck, not a flat bed, and could not move it if they can't get it into neutral. They tried to drive it as well and had the same problem.
    Anyone else having this problem?
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    I have seen this complaint once before on one of the
    Caliber forums,however it turned out(I believe) that
    the car was being parked on a hill and the weight of
    the car was binding the parking pawl.
    It was suggested that before you put it in park that
    it should be 1.-put in neutral,2.-set the hand brake
    and then placed in park.
    Good luck!
  • I had a Saturn that did this a few years ago. It turned out that the switch above the brake pedal was not installed properly in its holder. All automatics have a brake/park interlock so if teh car thinks the brakes are not applied, it will not let you shift out of park. This switch, or its exact position in relation to the brake pedal, is the comon point of problems with this system.

    However, I while trying to figure everything out, I was always able to "fool" the system and drive the car anyway...

    First look under the dash and you should be able to find the switch in question fairly easily. It should be activated when the brake pedal is depressed. Also of note, if your brake lights don't come on when you press the pedal, this switch is definitely a problem. It might take two people to check for this. If the switch looks loose in its mount, you can often re-install it by twisting it and taking out and putting it back in with no tools.

    Now to defeat the problem: Put the key in and turn it to the the position that unlocks the steering wheel. This should allow you to shift into Neutral. In neutral, you can start the car and then shift to D or R...

    Sounds like your switch is loose to me, because that's how mine was when it was an intermittent problem. No parts were required to fix it - just intelligence......... :P
  • arcturusarcturus Posts: 4
    In response to questions regarding the reliability of the new Dodge Caliber, I can offer my past experience with Chrysler products and my impression of the Caliber, which I have test driven.
    I've owned 7 Chrysler products and all of them were very trouble-free vehicles. My 1990 Dodge Omni went an incredible 240,000 miles with the only required repairs being two timing belts and two brake jobs. The car still ran perfectly and used no oil when I sold it in 1999. The CV joints were just beginning to make a little noise at that point. My most recent Dodge was a 2001 Dakota which was perfect and never had a second's trouble up until January of 2006, when it was totalled in an accident.
    My only negative experience with Dodge has been refusal of Chrysler to honor the warranty. My brother and I both bought new Dodges in 1988 and we both had minor problems with them within weeks of buying them. The manager of the dealership from which we purchased the cars told us (and I'm quoting his exact words to me) "We're not going to fix it and there's nothing you can do". My problem was a warped brake rotor (a common complaint on Chrysler products). I opted to pay a private garage to replace the rotors and I kept the car (a Daytona) another 90,000 miles with not a hint of a problem. My brother, after being totally ignored by both the dealership and Chrysler's arbitration board, opted to trade his Dodge (an Aries) in on a Chevrolet. He never purchased another Chrysler product. I am always concerned about any manufacturer's refusal to honor a warranty, but I've had so little trouble with Chrysler products that I'm willing to accept not having a warranty. The warped rotor problem is the ONLY problem I have ever had with a Chrysler product, and that is VERY minor. I am also sure that there are some good Dodge dealerships out there who DO care about keeping their customers happy. Dealerships are only as good as their management.
    As for the Caliber, I have driven two of them and love them. I found them to be comfortable, smooth, and well appointed for the price. The acceleration with the 2.0 and the CVT transmission was acceptable, though not stunning. I would not count on getting the advertised 30mpg. None of the advertised mileage figures on any car are very realistic. I'd deduct about 15% from the advertised figure. I WILL NOT be buying a 2007 Caliber because I have a firm policy of never buying a first year model of ANY car. There are ALWAYS minor (and in some cases MAJOR) problems that show up on new models. Considering my less than stellar experience with Chrysler's lack of warranty service I will not risk getting stuck with a problem that I'll have to pay a private garage to fix. I will definitely consider buying a Caliber next year, when most of the bugs are (hopefully) worked out. It is a beautifully styled car at a very good price.
  • I`m having the same problem Polarbearsx4,,sometimes it does it , then it`s fine...I dont get it!!! seems to do it more often when it hot out and she sits in the sun.... and I`m not parked on a hill... this week I have to drop her off at the dealer, see what they can do, and to get the recall done...We bought the car the end of March, and had no problems till this..she only has 2800 miles...I`ll let you know what my dealer says...
  • mazda6iguymazda6iguy Posts: 365
    I'm interested in hearing from people who have read the CR review and own a caliber--as to what they think about it.

    Although I don't own one, I did sit inside the one at the auto show and one at a dealer. Two things that Consumer Reports did mention in their review that I thought of the moment I sat inside the Caliber. (1) Cheap looking dash materials and (2) poor rearward visability.

    My 2 cents.
  • dryrumdryrum Posts: 2
    The same thing happened to me and I was parked on a slight hill. Eventually after turning it on and off I got it to go into reverse. In my Caliber there is a plug on the passenger sid of the shifter housing that releases the shifter into neutral if your battery is dead. I have never tried it but I think you can use this for towing if you cant get into neutral on your own. :shades: :confuse:
  • "I hear people say things like the interior looks cheap but I don't really understand. Exactly how does it look cheap?

    And no one will prefer this piece of crap to a Magnum or Charger or even a Neon.

    I predict the Caliber will never meet any sales goals."

    I've only started reading this forum and am on post number 129 so I don't know if dialm4speed has been back to post how he enjoyed eating his words yet. Has he/she? Reports say that dealers can't get enough of them, and that as of the middle of July, it is the best "days on lot" number that Dodge has ever had for the period from 2 months into launch (apparently where they start measuring) until now.

    And as far as meeting their sales goals, my information tells me that the only reason the Caliber is not blowing the sales goals out of the water is that production can't keep up with demand, and now they are cutting back on Caliber production to increase the Compass production to get the Jeeps out in good numbers at the start.

    dialm4speed.... where are you? I'll keep reading and see if you've found out that the Caliber is as good as the 300, the Magnum and the Charger, and will probably outsell every one of those.

    Greg :)
  • k3lli3k3lli3 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input!!!

    I drive a 92 Toyota Previa (yes...a mini van w/ over 370,000kms) right now - so I am sure the Calibre will be better on gas!
    I am also happy to comprimise the best possible gas mileage in a car for something that I can 'throw' my mtn bike/snowboard/dog etc into with (relative) ease.

    I love the exterior styling of the Calbre ... and like you was slightly dissappointed with the interior. Could they not have had a lock on the adjustable arm rest???? But all the added 'extra's' in the Calibre are VERY appealing.

    I also am a 'standard' kinda girl and wish the 2.0 came with this option ...... but maybe the 2.0 Calibre will convert me into an automatic fan!

    Ive narrowed my choices to a Calbre or a Impreza 2.5 SportsWagon .....agh, decisions! :confuse:

    Thanks again :D
  • I'm now up to post 195.


    "And I am glad to see the automatic is a Nissan CVT (with steel "push belts"), which should be MUCH more reliable than those marginal Eastern European CVT's that were making it over here in Saturns and giving CVT's a bad name. (Ford did a joint venture with the same Eastern European company, I believe, which explains some of Ford's teething problems with CVT's as well.)"

    A Nissan salesman (take this for what it's worth, however it seems logical) says that the CVT in the Caliber is NOT a Nissan CVT. It is a DaimlerChrysler design that is MANUFACTURED by JATCO, which is owned by Nissan. He stresses that the Nissan designed CVT is a better and more reliable design and that they wouldn't just let DCX use their CVT in direct competition with Nissan.

    FWIW! :D

  • Quote:

    "I am glad that DaimlerChrysler is using the CVT system that Nissan is using, one that has a very good track record of reliability in Nissan JDM models. That same CVT unit will be used on the Nissan Versa and next-generation Nissan Sentra models, too."

    See what I said above about it NOT being "Nissan's CVT", FWIW.
  • Check out message #883 for more information on the Jatco CVT Transmission.
  • Just a follow-up to my last post...I took my car to the dealer yesterday about this problem, they had to order a new shift assembly, they will let me know when it comes in this week, hopefully thats the end of that, also told them about the washer pump in the rear leaking, but they couldn`t find anything,,if anyone has solved this problem let me know..I`ll pass it on.....
  • Hi!

    I'm now up to post 566:

    To caliberchic (and nonnemacher..... if this hasn't already been answered..... you asked about this)

    caliberchic wrote:

    "Oh, I got the driver convenience group solely for the temp display. I love knowing the temp. It's probably not really worth it but we added just about every other option so it made sense."

    I tried out what nonnemacher (sp?) was asking about earlier on in this forum, which was whether anyone else without the drive convenience package had the temp display in the right hand LCD area where the miles/PRNDL is.

    The car I tried did indeed have the TEMP DISPLAY when you pressed the button to go through Trip A, Trip B, Temp Display, and then back to the number of miles on the car.

    So, if anyone doesn't need the driver convenience package, but does want the Temp Display, it is there....... at least in the one I tried in the showroom.

  • My Caliber SXT CVT was purchased on 3/31/2006, so I have one of the very early production units. I curretnly have just over 6k on it. The two common noises have been resolved. The unusually loud exhaust cool down tapping was solved by replacing some exhaust parts, although I'm not exactly sure which ones they replaced. It has been over 2,000 miles since they did this and I have not had the problem again. The other common noise is engine pinging under acceleration, especially noticeable at lower speeds. After calling DCX, the dealer reflashed the computer (which I think means they reloaded certain programs and parameters) and the problem is gone. I have been driving for about a week since they did this and I can't get it to ping anymore. The car does seem to gear down and rev up a bit more than it did before, but not that much. This seems to lighten the load on the engine a bit.

    Folks still ask me about the car and nobody has said they did not like the size and style. :D
  • Just got back from my first oil change. The dealer test drove the car and heard the click....their diagnosis...the engine seems to have some issues with small misfires and the spark plug elements will be replaced on Wednesday. Also got my new better quality floor mats with the matching trim and dodge logo today. Look really nice inside.

    On a down note, my dealer mechanics seemed to have screwed up when they hoisted my car. I noticed a consistent line or bite marks along the bottom painted panel inside the door frame. Not the sill area but the bottom piece. Not a truly big deal as my buddy did not notice, but I will be letting them know Wednesday when the spark plug stuff is fixed.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Don't know if it's old or new news but I just saw it on the website!

    SE and SXT comes standard with 1.8L and manual trany. Optional CVT which comes with the 2.0L, right?

    What is the difference between the SE and SXT?

    I know with the SXT the air conditioning and chill zone is standard. SXT also comes with 17' tires and alloy wheels, while the SE comes with 15" tires and steel wheels. Also the SXT has a fold flat and reclining rear seat, right? The SE rear seats don't recline or fold flat, right? Options included with the SXT like the two toned seats and dash, right?

    Anyone has the 2.0L with CVT? How is the ride?

    I also noticed all trims comes standard with side curtain airbags. Was this added recently?
  • You wrote:

    "(As a sidebar, I have to admit it was with much trepidation, bordering on embarrassment, that we bought another PT Cruiser earlier this year; it is so "not masculine," but at the same time the PT is darn near the most practical small vehicle you can buy today, what with an enormous amount of rear seat legroom and decent trunk space for hauling a small family around. I really wanted the Caliber, which had just come out, but as a new car it was priced much higher than the long in the tooth PT Cruiser.)"

    I have to laugh when I hear people say "The Matrix is a chic's car. The PT cruiser is not masculine."

    Maybe where you are, but up here where I live (Winnipeg, Canada), we are men whatever we drive. We drive SMART!

    If the PT Cruiser is the right vehicle, then we drive it. If the Matrix is, we drive it.

    You'll see more men driving the PT and Matrix up here than women? Why? Because they are great vehicles!

    You're going to see the same thing with the Caliber. We pick the vehicle that does the job for us. If you need a certain vehicle to be masculine, than are you really masculine in the first place?

    I just thought it's funny since I hear this and see this from so many people.

    I guess that's why the 5-door subcompact doesn't do anywhere near as well in the States as it does in Canada. Perception.

    - Greg (no offense meant to those who won't drive a PT or a Matrix! It's all good!) :)
  • "Check out message #883 for more information on the Jatco CVT Transmission."


    While I don't always put a lot of stock in one person's car review, it does seem that the CVT is going to be a winner. And knowing that this reviewer likes it almost as much as the Murano CVT makes me that much more comfortable buying the Caliber. :)
  • Tuesday will be week 13 since I ordered my Silver R/T.I have a garage full of accessories but no car to put them on.Car has been in d-1 status since early June.My patience has worn thin.Anybody else out there waiting?
  • The one real downer to the SE is that it cannot be had with cruise control. The rear seats do fold down, but do not recline. The front passenger seat does not fold down at all and the driver seat does not have a height adjuster.

    The 2.0 CVT is a very nice combo, although I suspect the 1.8/manual is good too.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Whenever I tried building an SE online with the options I really wanted, I found the optioned SE darn close to an un-optioned SXT in pricing - basically the SXT already has all the good stuff, but no fat. For that matter, once you add the $1000 for aircon to the SE, you are already darn close to the pricing of the SXT.

    This makes the SE a loser trim line for me, since an optioned SE still lacks some of the extra features of the SXT, like the reclining rear and front passenger seats and larger, wider wheels and tires.

    The only problem in "real" life is that it is a lot easier to find optioned SE's on dealer lots that are close to what I want, than un-optioned SXT's. Most SXT's I have found on inventory searches have a LOT of stuff on them beyond the basic SXT "goodies." (On the other hand, even well-optioned SE's are often missing stuff now taken for granted, like power windows.)

    Of course if you decide to order, the SXT is a better place to start, rather than loading up an SE. And an SXT should hold its value better than an SE, since an SXT won't be born with a "bottom trim line" stigma.

    I WOULD like to see ABS thrown in on the SXT package so you get it even with a stick shift. Right now you get ABS on most SE's, since most SE's come with CVT's and the ABS is bundled with the CVT, but the minute you "upgrade" to an SXT without the CVT, you lose the ABS.

    Of course stick shift drivers are already being shortchanged, not only on ABS, but since you can't even get a stick shift with the better 2.0 engine (or with a 2.4). (Meanwhile, every Ford Focus has a 2.0, and every Cobalt has a 2.2.)*

    Dodge needs to come up with better packages - for example how about this:

    1. SE should remain simple so Dodge can advertise a low entry-level price and high gas mileage. Thus the small 1.8, the stick shift, no ABS, no power windows, locks, or mirrors. Even no aircon, although I think leaving out aircon in 2006 is a bit of a come-on. But at least everyone gets side curtain airbags, a great crash test series, and lives a little longer.

    2. The SXT has definitely GOT to be a "real" car - as in, no 1.8 (except on a "delete" option) even with the stick shift, and ABS in addition to the side curtain airbags. Then for "fans" make the 2.4 the optional engine, on both stick shift and CVT variants.

    3. The R/T line needs FWD sooner rather than later. The AWD drags down performance too much.

    4. Where are stability control and side torso airbags, at least as options?

    Dodge has all the ingredients to match the VW Rabbit. Why aren't they trying to get more enthusiast drivers?

    (*In anticipation that someone will comment that the 1.8 HP rating is better than the 2.0 Focus and matches the 2.2 Cobalt, keep in mind that the torque doesn't, and torque is what you need for everyday driving....)
  • Ordered it May 8th and picking it up today!!! Got the "D" package with 2.0L CVT with Aluminum Wheels, fog lights, bug shield, mudflaps, chrome door handles and fuel cap, window visors, custom chrome front liscense plate, black antenna,dodge custom floor mats all on my Steel Blue Caliber for a grand toal of $17,870...looking for just the right steering wheel wrap and may add chrome body molding shortly!! Runs great and MPG's will beat my Dakota by 12MPG's...making customized berber carpet mat for storage area to eliminate some plastic!! Dealer told me he will sell any Calibers he can get for OVER invoice from here on out. Live in Central Pa and the few that are on lots are either white or yellow...nothing else!!!!
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