Marketed by Dodge between 2007 and 2012, the Dodge Caliber has singularly replaced the Neon as well as the Chrysler PT cruiser. The front-wheel drive, front-engine, five-door hatchback was one of 2006's most popular vehicles. In March 2006, it was sold as a crossover station wagon.
While discontinued, the Dodge Caliber is frequently replaced by the Dodge Dart, which carries similar features and capabilities. All used Dodge Calibers pack incredible spatiality while being accessible for families and solo drivers.
Debuted at the Geneva Motor Show's 2005 attendance, the Dodge Caliber's pre-production version revealed exciting changes from its initial concept. The Caliber was officially released in 2006 in the North American Auto Show, and on the market in April 2007.
The Dodge Caliber was manufactured and rolled out from the Belvidere Assembly plant, where its predecessors were created. One of Dodge's first modern vehicles hitting Asian and European markets, the Caliber became well-known in China.
The Caliber's tech history features several small revamps. The Caliber's 2010 unveiling revealed an eight-way power driver's seat addition, automatic climate control, and heated mirrors. The 1.8-liter engine was included too.
Between 2011 and 2012, the Dodge Caliber benefited from not just exterior touches like new paint schemes and 18-inch aluminum wheels, but a six-way power adjustable driver seat and Sirius traffic control.
While most consider the Caliber to be rugged in design, its small engine, high-power acceleration, and handling permit a smooth drive. Tricky terrain shouldn't be underestimated, however, as the Caliber's maneuverability may suffer in tight spaces.
From the 2007 release, the Dodge Caliber SXT trim is perhaps the smoothest drive, achieving a tight turning radius and stable handling. The optional 16-valve, 2.0-liter VVT drives well too, utilizing a 158-horsepower engine to accelerate quickly but safely.
The Caliber's box-like exterior may feel aggressive for some, particularly when paired with Dodge's signature crosshair grill and sharp liftgate outline. The Caliber, in most cases, handles closer to a crossover wagon than a crossover SUV.
Performance-wise, the Caliber aligns with much of Dodge's style, precision, and power choices. It packs large wheels for its size and class, rolling on fifteen-inch steel installations - which are standard on the SE trim. The Dodge Caliber SXT, meanwhile, enhances durability with 17-inch aluminum wheels.
The Caliber continues the Neon's space-efficient and innovative body, offering a flip-down tailgate, integrated interior technology, and several trim levels. The base SE, SXT, and R/T became popular in 2010 because of their performance enhancements, engine upgrades, and wheel upgrades. Stability control certainly offers performance benefits, but it isn't offered in earlier SE editions. For high performance and a sleeker design, drivers are urged to seek out a Caliber model with a 159-hp, 2.0-liter engine, which is paired with the Caliber's variable transmission.
The Dodge Caliber is available in the following four-cylinder engines, which produce variable amounts of horsepower:
The small, medium, and large engines offer estimated city and highway fuel economies of 28-30 mpg, 26-30 mpg, and 23-26 mpg. While variable upon location, each fuel economy is relatively stable as a Caliber ages. Caliber engines are incredibly modern - even in 2007 versions. Utilizing an all-aluminum build, flow-control valves, and variable valve timing, each engine ensures clean combustion at all speeds.
Despite the Caliber's ruggedness, it sits a little higher than the common compact car. Its rear end, particularly at the taillights, seems to be an adoption from the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. Good and modern, the Caliber's body styling meshes with its interior in any year, which offers:
Overall, the Caliber's interior balances functionality with entertainment. While a little rough for some, it sports ample space.