The original Dodge Caliber offered headroom and legroom in the front and rear of the vehicle. It was rated as a small car structured to meet a defined price-oriented market. In this initial version, three regular trim levels were offered.
Did the Dodge Caliber Meet its Driving Promise?
The Dodge Caliber served as a replacement for the Dodge Neon, and when it was launched into an expectant market it offered a certain degree of promise to the driving public. It offered innovation in the form of a spacious and efficient hatchback structure, with original features such as with the tailgate, speakers and a specified iPod holder.
However, in the arena of serious market competition, the Dodge Caliber was seen as not providing the quality, class and consumer-related appeal needed to make that all crucial impact on buyers. The interior of the vehicle was given an update during its life-term but even this cosmetic attempt achieved little in making the Caliber competitive with other compact sedans and hatchbacks.
The Caliber was constructed on an international platform that also served the Jeep Compass SUV as well as the Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan. Produced between 2007 and 2012 the higher-bodied Dodge Caliber was only offered as a compact hatchback-wagon. It did provide some interesting features, however, for example, the rear seats folding in a 60/40 split, which increased the cargo space. In addition, the front passenger seat could be folded to the front thus making space for longer items.
Power and Performance With the Dodge Caliber
The base engine for the Dodge Caliber was the standard 1.8L, 148 horsepower 4-cylinder, which was also the base engine for the SXT version. In both instances, it was only linked to a 5-speed manual transmission. This engine was discontinued for the 2010 model year. For the motorist demanding extra power, and the ease of an automatic transmission, the 2L, 158 horsepower, 4-cylinder unit equipped with an exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) was the answer. Adding to the packages was the R/T model which provided a 2.4 L, 174 horsepower, inline 4-cylinder engine, which, however, was discontinued by Dodge for the 2012 model year. The R/T version Dodge Caliber also offered All-Wheel Drive up to the 2009 model year.
The high-performing Dodge Caliber model SRT4 was produced for the 2008-2009 model year with the incentive of a turbocharged 2.4L, 285 horsepower, 4-cylinder engine with a 265 lb-ft of torque. Adding to it was a standard 6-speed manual transmission, with no options. Apart from this impressive engine, the vehicle was fitted with 18-inch wheels, a lowered suspension and upgraded brakes.
Whether the Dodge Caliber left its mark in motoring history is debatable, but for some, it provided a versatile, interesting experience!