Anyone know about any Dodge Caliber issues?
Find out what other Caliber owners are saying at Edmunds Town Hall site.
In the annual auto issue of Consumer Reports, the Dodge Caliber (and its Jeep Compass twin) was included in the list of “Most Disappointing New Cars”.
“These new wagon-like models scored worse in our testing than the Chrysler PT Cruiser, which hasn’t been redesigned in 5 years. They share a platform, engine and transmission, as well as multiple faults. Both have sluggish acceleration, lots of engine and road noise, and hampered visibility. Their poorly finished interiors reflect an unfortunate trend we’ve seen in other recent Chrysler vehicles.”
IMHO, if you’re interested in vehicles in that size and price category, you would be far better off with a Toyota RAV-4, a Honda CR-V, a Subaru Forester, or a Hyundai Tucson.
I would give it a few years. Dodge cars start out(first year) quite buggy in general and then they figure them out typically. It has a some bleeding edge tech for Dodge like a CVT transmission.
My experience with one (for a week as a rental car) convinced me I wouldn’t buy one if it was the last vehicle available on the planet.
You cannot see out of the Caliber in ANY direction. The visibility is HORRIBLE, especially to the side and rear. The rear window is the size of a mail slot. The high dashboard and Freightliner front end design make judging the location of the front fenders difficult.
The interior plastic is hard and looks cheap. After a week with a Caliber, I’m still trying to figure out how they manage to sell them to anyone other than rental car companies.
SteveF has a good suggestion in looking at Edmunds. As for simple drivability issues, go drive one! There is so much opinion built in to a question like that, you’re never going to get an objective view of the car.
As for Consumer Reports, their vehicle research and “reports” seem to be grossly unreliable and biased. There are so many better resources (read: the freakin’ internet) out there, save CR for the bird cage.
“There are so many better resources (read: the freakin’ internet)”
Luckily, the internet is devoid of any biased, unreliable or inaccurate information. Yup–You can believe EVERYTHING that you read on the internet!
Consumer Reports is one publication which people seem to treat as the end-all, be-all of knowledge when it comes to automobiles. As I said, there are so many better resources. Edmunds comes to mind. Dodge forums. Other general repair forums. Alldata. Take your pick.
I’m sorry that I was not specific enough in my reply and that you interpreted it as me suggesting that someone should type Caliber in to Google and treat the first result as gospel. I will be sure to be waaaay more specific in the future.
Oh! You didn’t say camera! Where do they find the cameras that Consumer Reports tests? At least the car types can be found where we all shop. I didn’t like one of the vacuum cleaners either. It doesn’t sound too unusual to get crummy ratings on some Chrysler products, but read the whole report as well as the gas mileage ratings and the seemingly meaningless small details about interiors and latch anchors and storage space. I trust the fit and finish comments completely.
Like some of the posters, I also rented a Caliber and found it a garish and thoroughly diappointing car. The glitzy dash with all the plastic silver will scratch easily, and look well worn after one year. Storage was inadequate, and fuel mileage (I travel 370 miles twice a month in rented cars, so comparison is easy) was very disappointing for such a small on the inside car. The Chevyy HHR, for instance has more useful room and used a lot less fuel and even the PT Cruiser did better. In short the Caliber is a kid’s tailgate party car, and maybe that is what Chrysler had in mind with the swing out speakers.
A car that proved a pleasant surprise was the Chrysler Sebring; the ride was quiet, handling OK and the 4 cylinder gave fairly good mileage. The interior was tastefully done and the seats very comfortable. If the repair record was better, I would not mind owning one.
You’ll just have to search many areas, read the comments, and separate the wheat from the chaff as to which are legitimate gripes and which are things that people notice after a few weeks of everyday driving; things that did not irritate them on a 2 mile test drive now means it’s the end of the world.
I would be nervous about buying any 1st or 2nd year vehicle that is new to the market as there are always bugs to be worked out and the general buying public is the laboratory guinea pig.
A near and dear relative of mine just went and bought a new Caliber 2 days ago in spite of a dozen recommendations to hold off for a while; and he got absolutely ripped price-wise while doing it. An MSRP on an '07 of near 30 GRAND! I don’t think so.
I expect in the future to hear some CVT complaints or whatnot. The brakes are already under recall to the tune of 3 bulletins.
Consumer Reports expresses their non-scientific opinion based on what the car owners report, which may or may not be correct, is often biased, and definitely not scientific. The people CR listens to are the same ones who post on the net, so…
Consumer Reports, in my opinion, is a good place to start, but I don’t accept it as the final word for my purchase. For instance, pick-up trucks and minivans are often criticized for being “truck like” instead of “car like”. I would rather have my truck or minivan “truck-like”. Last year, I read my issues of Consumer Reports when I bought a minivan and chose the one at the bottom of the list–the Chevrolet Uplander. After checking out the minivans, this one best fit my needs. For my torso, the Chevrolet Uplander was the most comfortable. I noted Consumer Reports’ comments as I shopped. My suggestion is to note Consumer Reports’ comments on the Dodge Caliber and then check it out with these comments in mind to see if this car meets your needs.