The Dodge Caliber offers a solid 31 MPG on the highway and starts for less than $17,000. This compact hatchback is a very nice crossover model that offers many different features and options. There are 4 different trim models to choose from and each offers a variation of the same 4 cylinder DOHC 2.0 liter engine. You can opt for the 5 speed manual or the continuously variable automated transmission. The only complaints about the Caliber come in the low end material and design used on the vehicles interior. There have been some problems with the seats and other interior parts coming apart before their time. Another let down is that the high end SRT4 is no longer being sold, so you will only be able to choose from the standard motors.
For any buyer looking for a crossover model that looks great and is priced to move, the Dodge Caliber is an excellent deal and should be considered. If you are you are not trying to pinch pennies there are stronger crossovers out there.
Bodystyles: Four-door hatchback
Engines: 2.0L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: Express, Heat, Mainstreet, Rush, Uptown
For 2010, the Dodge Caliber receives a completely redesigned interior fitted with higher-quality materials. The Caliber’s door armrests and center console received extra attention and are made of padded soft-touch materials. Dodge also added a new automatic climate control system and chrome trim accents to provide a more refined look. Also new are the ‘lifestyle-oriented’ trim names.
Designed to look bigger than it is, the Dodge Caliber has slightly odd proportions due to its tall stance. Dodge’s crosshair grille doesn’t translate well for small vehicles and rear-end styling is slightly awkward.
The 2010 Caliber’s redesigned interior removes much of the ‘rental lot special’ look and feel. Maximum cargo space is 47.4 cubic-feet. Choice options include iPod integration, nine-speaker Boston Acoustics stereo and heated front seats.
The Caliber’s base 2.0-liter I-4 makes adequate power to the tune of 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. Those looking for a bit more go can upgrade to the 2.4-liter I-4 with 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet on tap. Fuel economy isn’t great regardless of powertrain choice, especially for models equipped with the CVT. Tall on-road stance means slightly top-heavy handling feel.
The Caliber comes standard with dual front, front side-impact and side-curtain airbags. Active head restraints for both front occupants are standard as well.
2.0L: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway (manual); 23 mpg city/27 mpg highway (CVT)
2.4L: 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway (manual); 21 mpg city/25 mpg highway (CVT)
- Hatchback flexibility
- Distinctive styling
- High seating position
- Poor fuel economy
Better on the inside
- Suzuki SX4 Sportback
- Volkswagen Golf