What We Drove
Why We Drove It
Fun to Drive
Price of Test Vehicle: $23,885
Engine Size and Type: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Engine Horsepower: 172 at 6,000 rpm
Engine Torque: 165 lb.-ft. 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Continuously-variable automatic
EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway): 23/26 mpg
Competitors: Chevrolet HHR, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Ford Focus Wagon
Honda Element, Honda Fit, Hyundai Elantra GT, Jeep Compass, Kia Spectra5, Mazda 3 5-door, Nissan Versa, Pontiac Vibe, Scion xB, Subaru Impreza Wagon, Toyota Matrix, Volkswagen Rabbit
2nd Opinion -- Chee
As much as there is to like about the 2007 Caliber, there is more to dislike. The cooler section in the glovebox is very useful, and the flip out cell iPod holder is a nice idea. The hard and rough plastics, however, aren’t up to the job of executing these great ideas. On the road, weight of the all-wheel-drive system and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that chokes whatever power is there makes for a sluggish driving experience. You may also want to forget about the R/T, and move on down to the SXT. Trust me, there’s no need to buy up for luxury OR power.
2nd Opinion -- Perry
Everything inside the Caliber is hard plastic, the excessive use of which cheapens the look and feel of the Caliber and our model, the R/T AWD, had a sticker just south of $24,000. Making matters worse is the lack of reasonable power. I constantly had my foot mated to the floorboard trying to pull one last horsepower, no doubt reducing the fuel economy two-fold. There are some redeeming qualities like the glovebox for keeping things cold in the dash and the fold-down speakers in the tailgate, but they don’t override the negative aspects of the Caliber.
2nd Opinion -- Wardlaw
Our fully loaded Caliber R/T AWD, with a sticker price of nearly $24,000, did not strike me as a good value. I don’t like the poor visibility, tight rear leg room, excessive hard plastic, road noise, droning CVT and four-cylinder engine, and body roll. I like the tall seating position, excellent ergonomics, handsome gauge cluster, five-door hatchback utility, all-wheel-drive system, unique storage solutions. Clearly, I’m not overwhelmed by this new car from Dodge. At a lower price, perhaps it makes a better case for itself. At this price, it doesn’t.
Photos by Ron Perry