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Caliber potential caliber purchase in the near future

Discussion in 'Compacts: Renegade, Patriot, Compass, Caliber' started by VillageIdiot, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. VillageIdiot

    VillageIdiot Member

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    So I'm looking to buy a car in a week or 2 and today I looked at a 2007 Caliber 2.4 with autostick. I don't know the exact trim level but I believe it's an R/T due to the color-matching seat trim, the chrome door handles and exhaust tip, and the autostick. Would this be a front-wheel drive or AWD? This car also has the Musicgate system which works great. Anyway, enough about that. This is the first CVT-equipped car I've ever drove. Around town, it's quite responsive and smooth. The suspension seems to absorb bumps well. I tried playing with the Autostick and I'm not overly thrilled with it. It does change 'gears' very quickly but in my limited test drive it didn't seem to affect overall performance that much. Perhaps on a related note, I found this particular car was a little slow on hills. I floored the gas, the rpm's went up to around 3800 but it didn't seem like it was gaining any speed. I suppose if I had floored it past the economy detent, which I didn't know about when I was driving it, it may have sped up. The car has 143000 kms (appro. 89000 miles) and is in overall good shape. The dealer is selling it for $3500. I like the car, but the CVT makes me a bit uneasy. Are they reliable transmissions? I keep reading horror stories of people and their CVT Calibers going into limp mode and being almost stranded, or the CVT's just failing altogether. I don't want that happening to me. With that out of the way, what kind of fuel mileage do you people here get from your Calibers? The EPA only rates them at 21city/25highway/23average which seems rather low for a car that weighs 3000 or so pounds. What is your day-to-day life like with them? What are they like in the winter? When the time comes to buy a car, I'll go back and give it a closer more detailed look. Here's a link to the ad for the car:


    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/...le/1026871314?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    All I can tell you is the R/T was offered both as FWD and RWD.
    I would not mind a Caliber either but the CVT worries me - right or wrong I don't know.
     
  3. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I had an 08 Caliber with the 2.0 engine and CVT. I had 65,000 trouble free miles on mine when I got hit head on and the Caliber was totaled. At first, I didn't much care for the way the CVT shifted, but after getting used to it, I liked it okay. There are a lot of people with the CVT that never have any problems. You usually don't hear about them, just the naysayers that have had problems. If you really want to get as much info as you can on the Caliber, go to caliberforumz.com. I'm a member there too. My user name there is Flyinghigh. Just tell them I sent you. The guru there is a guy named Brad that has the user name of Prop1. He's very knowledgeable about Calibers.
     
  4. VillageIdiot

    VillageIdiot Member

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    I posted this over at caliberforumz too, and the feeling I get from Prop1 is that I should steer clear of the first year Caliber because of all the recalls and related problems they have
     
  5. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    My daughter had an '08 Caliber with the 2.0L/CVT. The CVT took some getting use to. I drove it a few times. I found the Caliber to be a decent vehicle for what it is though the execution of the interior was much to be desired though it wasn't entirely bad. I think she averaged about 25 mpg (more or less) in everyday driving and could get around 30 mpg hwy.

    I will say this much, it did a good job of protecting her, her boyfriend, and daughter when she lost control in snowy/ice conditions and she flipped it.

    They literally walked away from this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. VillageIdiot

    VillageIdiot Member

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    I read that whole thread from start to finish. That Cali sure held up well. I found the interior of this Caliber a bit garish, but kinda funky and attractive at the same time. I could easily live with 25 mpg average, my current 2001 Taurus gets almost the same mileage even having 20 less horsepower. If I do decide to get the Caliber (pretty high on my list right now) I'll try and get one of those aftermarket warranties that covers the engine and transmission
     
  7. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Be careful with aftermarket warranties. They usually tell you what they don't cover. If you're able to try to get a Chrysler MaxCare or AddCare factory warranty. Chrysler warranties specifically tell you what is covered. All the SW has to do is punch in the VIN and it'll tell him what is covered (assuming you purchase a Chrysler warranty).
     
  8. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I THINK that I posted pictures of my wreck on here somewhere, but don't remember for sure. My son and I walked away with minor injuries. He had to have a knee surgery and I had physical therapy for my neck and back. All of the airbags deployed as they were designed to do. If we'd been in my old Horizon, we'd have most likely both been killed.
     
  9. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    The CVT worries me long term. I think I'd go to one of two extremes if I decide to buy a Caliber:
    1) A nice certified pre-owned with low miles and add the MaxCare warranty.
    2) Buy cheap enough that if the CVT goes after a couple years that it's not a big loss to scrap the car.
     
  10. jon e scorr

    jon e scorr New Member

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    If you search on youtube there is a couple of cvt calibers with around 180k miles on ( search" dodge caliber on ebay motors" to see one car dealer road test one of these) and another with 528,000 miles (!)(?). Try the 2.0 if you want better mpg, doesnt seem much difference in performance, mine is the 07 and has just gone through its yearly MOT test (in england its like a goverment safety check) with flying colours, no advisories at all. I do most of my own servicing and its well thought out and easy to work on, nothing has gone wrong apart from the screen washer jets blocked up. In uk gals i get 29 city, 36 motorway, the best thing is the attension here as nobody knows what it is!!! jon
     
  11. Denzien

    Denzien Member

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    I bought an '07 Caliber R/T AWD new, sold it at 125k miles. Aside from the cheap interior, the slowness and the poor fuel economy, it was quite a good little car. R/T dropped the AWD around model year '09 or '10...can't remember. The AWD version weighed ~3300lbs because of the extra hardware to drive the rear wheels and I once managed to average 27mpg highway on a long road trip.

    In my 5 years of ownership, aside from regular maintenance I had to replace the alternator at 80k miles (you have to unbolt and relocate the A/C compressor...ugh), the driveshaft at 124k miles and one or both fuel pumps were failing (because of the driveshaft, the gasoline tank had two partitions and therefore two pumps), which resulted in hard starts in hot weather. So for me, it was a very reliable and hassle-free car.

    Things that were wrong about it that I simply ignored: leaks during torrential down-pours. Dripping onto my go faster foot, and from the front overhead lights. Lights kept working and the water dried, so I never really bothered. Especially because the Dodge dealers I took it to weren't interested in finding the problem until the warranty expired. The "Cool-Zone" was a good idea, but poorly and cheaply executed.

    Things I liked: the sunburst orange pearl paint was simply gorgeous. The oranges on later models (~'09 or '10) seemed way too light for my tastes. The media area bezel was a matching orange and the seat inserts were also orange, so the interior wasn't boring. Though most of the plastics used were pathetic (some were quite good, but used sparingly).

    CVT: Nothing wrong with the CVT. However, I never got the reflash everyone raved about...I balked at dealerships charging money for a software update and it didn't really bother me much, so I just said "forget it". Perhaps this update would have changed my mind about the vehicle's performance - it would not really rev past 4000rpm unless you made it past the detent in accelerator. Then it would peg out. No fine control over the vehicle's speed. The R/T, thankfully, was equipped with the auto-stick so you could actually control the engine speed by shifting through 6 simulated "gears". This really let you wake the car up and it became much more fun and responsive.

    Also, I felt that the R/T model handled really well. This is important for slow cars, because you don't want to have to speed up again.
     
  12. Denzien

    Denzien Member

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    Oh - and the musicgate latch broke, because it was just a thin piece of injection-molded plastic. We never used it, but closing the trunk over 5 years caused enough stress on it that it would no longer stay in place. However, perhaps by design or by sheer luck, the opened Music Gate speakers clear the bumper and latch area - so you can close the tailgate without a problem as long as there isn't any cargo toward the back to interfere.
     
  13. browens1534

    browens1534 Active Member

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    I have an 09 Patriot, it's all in all the same as the Caliber. I love the Boston Acoustics system, never used the music gate, but it's worth it for the quality of the sound. I was afraid of the CVT to start with, I liked how it drove.. And about a month in my CVT failed... If the dealer hadn't stood behind it, it woulda been $3500 out of pocket.. I've had it 7 months and put on almost 10k miles. I love it! I say if everything checks out and the money is right (that's a hell of a deal!) go for it!
     
  14. Rickorino

    Rickorino Well-Known Member

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    I would not buy a Caliber. My employer had two and had nothing but problems with them. One had an early death after a bearing went out in the CVT transmission, destroying it. Another "stupid" problem was a cheaply built gear box/ stepper motor which activated the throttle body. The nylon gears would strip out leaving you stranded with an engine which would only idle. The engine was decent.
     
  15. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Our family has had good service from both our 2007's. Outside of front end parts (ball joints/tie-rod ends), they have just been basically 'scheduled maintenance'.
    The CVT (continuously variable transaxle) and ETC (electronic throttle control - no cable) are serviced as assemblies. There is little to no repair outside of replacement. JATCO makes the CVT and Bosch makes the ETC.
    Some early ETCs did fail, even on the Hemis.
    The CVT, compared to other Chrysler transaxles (like the 62TE) is actually among the most reliable, but it can't be serviced outside of fluid and both filters and miscellaneous bits and pieces. Basically 'the old one comes out and the new one goes in'. I don't even know if 'remans' are available. No dealer level rebuilds. That was a stipulation of the supply contract with JATCO for using their transaxle.
    Our Calibers overall have been good cars, but not great cars. They got better towards the end (2010-up).
    2007 was a very dark time for Chrysler in general. They sunk what money and resources (R&D) they had into making the better sellers 'better', the Caliber was pushed off to the side. Rams are the biggest money-maker.
     
    luciann likes this.
  16. KKees

    KKees Member

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    2007 SE 5 speed owner. My husband calls it stripped edition because it has manual windows no AC. I thought getting that model would keep him out of it but no he likes the 31 mpg. I rented many cars for cross state business meetings and one was a 2010 Caliber but with the auto tranny. I was sold its roomy enough to haul our dogs hit the feedstore for grain and supplies or just take a weekend drive. Im only sad they dont make them anymore so Ill have to replace with a used one.
     
  17. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    For a little while longer you can still buy the "cousins" of the Dodge Caliber, the Jeep Compass and Patriot new. They aren't quite the same but you might like them.
     
  18. ImperialCrown

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    Mom no longer drives, so I 'inherited' the 2007 SXT. It is the 2.0L/CVT.
    Your SE must be the base 1.8L with the 5-speed.
    I packed it up for a week-long vacation in Letchworth park and was pleased with how much it holds inside with the seat down and the big doors. It's like a baby Durango.
    There have been no large repair bills since the initial 'disappointment'. It is now my daily driver. The 17" wheels give it a nice stance, good ground clearance and the tires now wear well with a tight and aligned front end.
    As a snow car, it has better manners than the previous Neon. It is also about 600 lbs heavier than the Neon according to the registered weight. With more robust structure and multiple airbags, it is also a couple of generations safer.
    The higher seating position is more comfortable as well.
    I get about 25 mpg around town and have a highway peak of 38 mpg @ steady 55mph.
    The Dart is no replacement for the Caliber. The Journey might be the next size up, but is larger than I need.
    The new Cherokee and Renegade can be had in FWD and would be a closer replacement for the Caliber mission.
    The Compass is the PM body (same as the Caliber). The Patriot is a little more serious 4WD and is designated as the MK body. I have seen FWD versions of both Jeeps.
    http://www.allpar.com/cars/dodge/caliber.html
     
  19. Rickorino

    Rickorino Well-Known Member

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    I remember a pair of 2008 Calibers (2.0/ CVT) my employer had. They were both very problematic. One had issues with the transmission, that cheap,gear driven throttle body assembly and interior body hardware/power windows. The other had a bearing in the transmission go bad, causing a bad vibration and sending metal debris thru the transmission. Myself, I wouldn't go near one of these. Sorry, I didn't realize I commented on this a while ago.
     
  20. AvengerGuy

    AvengerGuy Active Member

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    You have to remember that when released, this was the smallest and most affordable Dodge. So unless you find a loaded one, it may seem as rather basic transportation. I didn't care for them much at the time but they've kinda grown on me to where I think they're OK. I'd be more inclined to find one with a manual transmission.
     

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