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Dodge Caliber



  • Hey Everyone, I am going to be graduating college in a month and looking for a new car. The Caliber right now is at the top of my list. I just had a question on how comfortable this car is to drive. As far as head room and leg room for the driver. I don't usually have many passengers, so only really worried bout my own comfort. I am only 6' tall, but tall enough that most cars are a little to small for me to be comfortable while I drive. I was just wondering if anyone else who is the same height as me or taller, has had any problems being comfortable while driving the Caliber. I am definitely liking this car. It looks a LOT more stylish than the Vibe and Matrix. The Caliber looks a lil more something like a guy could drive. The vibe and matrix are a little to girly. Anyways, if your taller than 6' and have a Caliber, please let me know how comfortable the Caliber is to drive. Thanks.
  • I test drove an SXT about 3 weeks ago. It had leather heated seats. Not just have to find the right one. ;)
  • New kid on the block-I have read many of the previous postings about "Who would buy this car?" I became interested in it when I spotted it on (I'm mid-50's, middle class, married-no kids). Since then I have been hounding the local dealer. They have received only 4 cars (one at a time) and have sold 3 immediately. The fourth one just arrived and every time I try to test drive it, someone else already is. I believe it is going to appeal to a lot of folks across markets. I currently own a 2001 Stratus 2.7 (which I have enjoyed very much, thank you). Before that a 1995 (1994) Neon which I loved and a 2000 Neon which I positively hated. I would like to hear from anyone owning an R/T with CVT and AWD which is what I plan to order.
  • trav3491trav3491 Posts: 11
    i am 6 1 i have no headroom trouble but getting in and out i ussualy hit the door gaurd and mark it up
  • I decided that my Steel Blue SXT would look much better with a black antenna since all of the other trim on that part of the car is black. Of course, parts are not yet available... but I checked and it is the standard Chrysler mast antenna, the same length as on our 2002 Caravan. You also need to buy a black "shroud" to complete the look. This piece of black plastic hides the chrome locknut that still shows after putting on the mast. Both parts came to $22 including tax at my local Dodge parts dept. I put a drop of silicone sealant on the underside of the shroud to help hold it down, but that was probably unnecessary. The black antenna appears to be coated with some sort of plastic or rubber, so you need to be careful when using the wrench to install it, so that you do not crack the coating. LOOKS GREAT NOW. ;) Maybe the black antenna is standard on the SXT Sport models, I do not know.

    While at the dealer they took a look at my wipers, which work great but appeared to rest a bit high on the windshield. There are black "sideways T" marks on the windshield where the wipers are supposed to rest when not in use. Minor adjustment. :)

    They also said that several Caliber owners have asked about the sometimes loud tapping or ticking when the exhaust is cooling down. At this point DCX is saying that this is normal operation. Sometimes, I can hear this tapping when at red lights, too, so I'll turn up the radio for the time being. :surprise:

    So far so good... :)
  • I finally saw a caliber in person. The dealer here in my town finally got one in. I was happy to finally see one, I have been looking at the caliber for the last month and have been very interested. Now after finally seeing one in person it is still the car I want. Still need to test drive one, but for under 20k, and avg 27-28 mpg, and is versatile and stylish and easy to get around in. This is the car for me. It is so much more stylish than the matrix and vibe. Those two cars can't lay a finger on the caliber, in the style category anyways. And being a male those two are a lil too girly, but the caliber with its beefy grill is anything but cute. Just like the commercials say. I like it and can't wait to get in one. I am planning on custom ordering a SXT, silver, with slate gray interior, with the pimped out 9 speaker stereo, fog lights, 17" aluminum wheels. i really like the fold down speakers, they'll be perfect for tailgating.

    Does anyone know how long it takes to get the car if you special order one? Also if there are any extra fees or anything for having it customized?
  • I noticed in your profile that you are in the midwest. With these cars coming out of Illinois, it should not take that long, especially if you want a 2.0 liter SXT with the CVT, which is the most common drivetrain. Also the options you mentioned are common as well.
    You might want to re-consider ordering alloy wheels, though. In my opinion, they don't look that much better than the steel wheels with the covers on the SXT and they are much more expensive to replace if you hit curb or something like that. The SXT, however, does NOT have cruise as standard, and I'm sure this is something you would also want.

    Personally, I did not care for the silver, because of all the black trim around the roof and the big silver wheels. That said, the grey interior is a must. The tan interior still gets the silver console, white gauges, chrome shifter, and black-face radio. To me this looks really mis-matched. Both Silver and Steel Blue are available only with the grey interior, and I think maybe White too...

    A SXT CVT with fogs, cruise, and Musicgate has a total MSRP of $17,820 - I think. The wheels would be about $450 on top of that. The cruise is $250, fogs $85, and the super deal is the $400 for the upgraded stereo package. You probably could not buy speakers for that price.

    Sometimes a dealer can modify the orders they have already placed within certain limits. This way, you can get what you want without starting over from "square zero."

    I'd call your local Dodge dealer first thing Monday morning and see what they have on order already and go from there.

    If they know you are a serious buyer, they may get the car for you sooner than you might think possible, and you can get a good deal too. I suggested MSRP-$1000-rebate to others, and I still think those numbers are "fair" for the Caliber.

    Your certainty about the car will get you a good deal. What dealer wouldn't love to order a car, knowing it was already sold? All he has to do is 1) call you when its in, 2) prep it for delivery, 3) and take your money. I'm thinking he'll do alot to get to step three as quickly as possible.
  • are the steel wheel covers you mentioned really what we know as hubcabs or are they actual wheels. I like that they are cheaper to replace and everything. But I would pay $400 more to not have hubcaps. So are those covers, hubcaps or actual solid steel wheels? Thanks nonnemacher, i've read a lot of postings and it seems you have provided the most useful information for anyone. I especially like the one about installing a black antenna instead of the regular metal one. A black antenna would look lot better. Thanks
  • anyone know what the insurance runs per 6 months for one of these babies? I am a 22 yr old male, but I would probably have it listed under my dad's name until i'm 25. I was just wondering what basic insurance costs has been running people on these. They seem like they have some really good saftey features. If your okay with saying please let me know. Thanks
  • 1. The steel wheels do have plastic covers - but I think they look real good for plastic...

    2. I traded a 2004 Saturn Ion for my Caliber SXT and the insurance cost was almost identical. I guess the added safety features offset the increase in the value of the car. With the CVT you get 4 wheel-ABS included and all Calibers have the head curatin airbags, as well as the new generation front bags.

    I'm older, married and live in Ohio, which generally has reasonable auto insurance rates. My insurance company does a monthly draw from my checking account, which is really quite convenient. You may not be able to do this being on you father's policy - I don't know.

    That said, I'm paying $43 per month for full coverage on my new Caliber, which includes $300K liability and a $500 deduct on collision and comprehensive. We also have a 2002 Grand Caravan Sport (with ABS and front bags) and the exact same coverage. The minivan costs us $36 per month to insure, so the Caliber seems reasonable to me - its five years newer, more fun to drive, and only $7 per month more.
  • If any younger drivers out there are amazed at the numbers I just posted, I can console you with this... You can buy life insurance a lot cheaper than I can... Age has its advantages, but so does youth. ;)
  • It will be a month before I order my caliber. I graduate college May 19th. So it is going to be my graduation present for myself. My parents told me to get a cheaper car, but like I told my mom I need a reason to work. I also am currently driving a '98 Explorer V8. Talk about a bad investment, getting an avg of 14 mpg. The difference in gas mileage alone will be saving me $100 bucks a month atleast. I also could not afford to leave town with the explorer, with the Caliber road trips will be a little more enjoyable. I can't stand cars and can't afford the gas mileage of a full-size SUV, so the Caliber is exactly what I need. I hope to test drive one soon, and maybe I can talk a dealer into some sort of student discount or something like that. I also have a job lined up at a bank, so I will wait til I start that job to order my Caliber. See if I can't get an attractive finance option through them. Thanks for the info macher.
  • haha, that is funny macher. Those damn insurance companies always figure out how to get theirs. Sure we'll give you cheap car insurance, but we'll get ya with higher health and life. Maybe I should go into insurance, if only I was a better salesman. Although I know no poor insurance agents, so I think I could learn to sell. lata
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    I too live in Ohio like nonnemacher. I just sold the 2002 Town & Country basically same as his 02 Caravan. We are about the same age for insurance 40(ish).

    1. We have $1000 deduct. No points. No tickets.

    2. We have a bit higher limits.

    3. We paid $221 for the T&C for 6 months, now paying $226 for the R/T for six months! $5 dollar difference.

    4. The payments only went up $12 per month.

    5. The gas mileage went from 20.2 to right now 26.6 avg.

    6. I am happy we are saving a couple of bucks a year.

    7. Estimated fuel use for 15,000 miles per year

    02 T&C 15000 / 20.2avg =742 x 2.75 per gal = $2040
    07 Caliber 15000 / 26.6avg =564 x 2.75 per gal = $1551

    2040-1551=489 5 x 12=60 (diff ins per year)

    489-60= $ 429. in savings. So I save two car pmts per year!!!! I hope mileage goes to 28 avg save another $80

    Please note these are REAL mileage figures, I use recpts and verify with several different fillups to be sure!!

    Just to remind We have the larger motor 2.4 R/T, SXT will be better on gas!
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    My dh and I are 27 and our monthly cost is apx $100 per month, we do have about 5 points on our record combined but other than that a good insurance score.

    We are saving $32 per month from what we pay now for our Mustang GT so the rate doesn't seem bad but would love to have a rate half that price!
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    My husband is 6'4" and didn't have a comfort problem when test driving the Caliber. The seats are adjustable up and down, he just put them on the lowest setting.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    We ordered the 1.8 5 speed 3 weeks and 2 days ago, can you tell I am counting the days?! And it was assigned a VIN number earlier this week which means it's in production. We expect to receive it with 4 weeks tops. I'll report back though.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    I was told 6-8 weeks for delivery, no extra charges. It has been 3 1/2 weeks and our car is now in production, we expect it to be no more than 4 more weeks.
  • 79customd79customd Posts: 87
    Your right about saving money of fuel but how much capability did you sacrifice from the TC to the Caliber. I was reading several reviews on the Caliber and it seems the suggestions to improve it was to add a V6, widen the cargo area, and reposition the cup holders. What do you say on the topic of likes/dislikes about your car.

    Be sure to read: Dodge Neon vs Dodge Caliber
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    Please let the rest of us know is the 1.8 performs well. I am contemplating adding another Caliber to our stable for gas mileage purposes. My 02 neon gets 35ish.

    I will probably get the SRT in a year or so when it comes out, but I may stay with the mileage car.
  • I originally thought I would buy that combo, but ended up getting the 2.0 CVT. Several reasons... 1) only 2 MPG better estimates for 1.8/5speed 2) 5 speed not available 3) my wife likes automatics better 4) The 1.8 engine does not have balance shafts, ...

    I'd also like to know about the performance and economy of the 1.8 5 speed. If its as nice to drive as the 2.0 CVT and gets 35 MPG, I'd also consider downsizing to another Caliber and letting my wife drive the one I have now, but I don't see that as likely.

    PS: Our 2002 Grand Caravan Sport just turned 29,000 miles the other day. She really drives it hard, LOL
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    I would NOT want the Caliber to be any different, especially not bigger!!! Let the Compass have that glory. I got rid of a Van to NOT have a van! We know what we did in space comprising! I also drive a Neon and know the siz limits in those.

    Why would they add a V6 to this thing? Lets go right back into no mileage land! Why not put one in the PT then!
  • in a couple of hours i am going to go check out the following caliber.
    my price with discount is $18850 (+ dmv of about $220)

    what do you all think? is this an ok deal. it includes 7 year 100k ml warranty with raod side assist at no charge.
    thanks for input!

    2007 MODEL YEAR
    Base Price: $ 15,425
    Exterior Color: Sunburst Orange Pearl Coat Paint
    Interior Color: Light Slate Gray
    Interior: Cloth Seats with Color-Keyed Insert
    Engine: 2.0L 4-Cyl DOHC 16V Dual VVT Engine
    Transmission: Continuously Variable Transaxle II
    Front Advanced Multistage Air Bags**
    Front and Rear Supplemental Side Curtain Air Bags**
    Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
    Solar-Control Glass
    Rear Window Defroster
    Rearview Day/Night Mirror
    Sentry Key(R) Theft Deterrent System
    Keyless Entry
    Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
    Sliding Sun Visors with Mirrors
    Power Accessory Delay
    Rear Window Wiper/Washer
    Power Mirrors
    Speed-Sensitive Power Locks
    Power Windows with Driver's One-Touch-Down Feature
    Passenger Assist Handles
    Power Rack-and-Pinion Steering
    Touring Suspension
    12-Volt Auxiliary Power Outlet
    Auxiliary 115-Volt Power Outlet
    Illuminated Entry
    Air Conditioning with Chill Zone(TM) Storage
    Illuminated Cupholders
    Tilt Steering Column
    AM/FM/CD, Chgr Ctrl, Aux Input Jack
    4 Speakers
    Sliding Armrest with Cell Phone/MP3 Holder
    Flexible Seating Group
    Driver's Seat with Height Adjuster
    Rear Fold-Flat-Forward Seat
    Rear 60/40 Split Recline Seat
    Fold Flat - Load Floor
    Interior Removable/Rechargeable Lamp
    Satin Silver Shifter Bezel
    Satin Silver Instrument Panel Bezel
    Front and Rear Floor Mats
    Liftgate Door with Fixed Glass

    Halogen Headlamps
    17" x 6.5" Steel Wheels
    P215/60R17 BSW All Season Touring Tires

    Sunburst Orange Pearl Coat Paint $ 150
    Sunburst Orange Seat Insert
    Customer Preferred Package 24E $ 645
    Sport Appearance Interior Group
    Color-Keyed Instrument Panel Bezel
    Cloth Seats with Color-Keyed Insert
    Color-Keyed PRNDL Bezel
    Fog Lamps
    17" x 6.5" Aluminum Wheels
    Driver Convenience Group $ 400
    Tire Pressure Monitoring Display
    Temperature and Compass Gauge
    Automatic-Dimming Rearview Mirror
    Universal Garage Door Opener
    Heated Front Seats $ 250
    Continuously Variable Transaxle II $ 1,000
    Anti-Lock Front Disc/Rr Drum Brakes
    2.0L 4-Cyl DOHC 16V Dual VVT Engine $ 100
    Power Sunroof $ 750
    Speed Control $ 250
    AM/FM Radio with Cass/CD/6-Disc/MP3 $ 420

    TOTAL PRICE:* $ 19,950
    my price with discount is $18850 (+ dmv of about $220)
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    That's pretty much the car we are getting minus the heated seats and the price is the apx the same. How did you manage a 7 year warranty though?! The standard warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles.
  • orangertorangert Posts: 41
    I think they are buying the extended warranty package. The price we paid on our R/T was 19500. I have seen some SXT cars go for more than an R/T, whats up with that? We got Sunroof and Orange paint too!
  • lester4lester4 Posts: 3
    I'm 6' and have driven a Caliber for quite awhile and find the headroom to be more than adequate. The seat height is very adjustable. I find them more comfortable to drive than a Neon and feels more like a mid-sized car. Overall, great car.
  • Thanks for the thoughts! i like knowing that i'm not getting taken.

    i ended up getting the aforementioned caliber! the dealer in this area (well, one of the 3) offers the old Dodge 7 yr/100k warranty free.

    I did end up getting the "Platinum Plan" warranty that covers EVERYTHING for about $1600, much less than the usual $2200, because the dealer already warrantys the basics so well.
    I also opted for the Xzilon interior and exterior coating that guarantees paint and carpet/vinyl/leather for 5 years. This includes a 1 day rental/replacement vehicle.

    all said and done, it came out to $21000, everything inclusive....

    and of course it's beautiful!
    anyone who's considering test driving this car..GO FOR IT! :D
  • kato1kato1 Posts: 64
    if you are getting 35 mpg with your neon, better stick with it. we are getting quite a few customers asking if something is wrong with their caliber because of poor fuel economy. its heavier, considerably, than the neon was, and not too aerodynamic.

    we sell chrysler/toyota. if they are hardcore about mileage ill steer them toward a corolla or , if they want more cargo carrying capability, the matrix. the caliber will make its name with its style and cargo room, but not with fuel efficiency. the pt cruiser suffers from the same shortcoming, thought the calibers numbers would almost have to be better than that car.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Now those are some great pictures of the Sunburst Orange! Did anyone else notice that 9 times out of 10 the Orange Caliber is the one shown in pictures?
This discussion has been closed.