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Caliber Refresh Caliber and Re-introduce

Discussion in 'Compacts: Renegade, Patriot, Compass, Caliber' started by chuckt, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    If you're talking about anything like a Toyota Matrix or Prius C. or Mazda 3 hatchback, then...YES. They are also fugly.
     
    floridaman2013 and Jerry Simcik like this.
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    It's been suggested by a friend that I should replace my daily driver Dakota R/T with "something like a Caliber" for better economy and to still have room to haul my dog (60 lb Golden puppy and 115 lb Shepherd). I don't like SUVs and CUVs, but if there had been a traditional automatic, I might consider a used Caliber.
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    I have been driving dad's PT the past couple of weeks. With the rear seats unlatched and removed from the floor, the rear cargo room is very spacious (especially floor to ceiling).
    I do miss the CVT while driving the PT's 41TE. It seems like there should be ratios between 2-3 and 3-4.
    It did take me awhile to warm up to the Caliber, but once acclimated to the differences I do like the car.
     
  4. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I miss my 08 Caliber. I loved that vehicle and the CVT did take some getting used to. BUT, with the 2.0 I got right around 30mpg on a regular basis and plenty of space to haul whatever I needed. Would it win a beauty contest for styling? No way, but for functionality, I give them 2 thumbs up. If I had the money to buy another used one, I'd do that. My wife hated it and I loved it, so, we now have the 200 that we both love.
     
  5. chuckt

    chuckt Well-Known Member

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    4 Bucks a gallon and probably staying that way for a long while. This is the right sized vehicle. GMC has the Terrain but it is still a might big and comes with an even bigger price tag (esp if you want the V-6). Chrysler introduced the minivan which created (not filled) a new market because the Caravan was such a friendly, utilitarian vehicle. The Datsun B210, long ago, became popular for the same reasons; a friendly vehicle which caught the attention then the hearts of the owners. This is what the Caliber could be.
     
  6. chuckt

    chuckt Well-Known Member

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    Dang! Maybe it is the uniqueness of the western Chicago burbs but I see so many Calibers running around that I find it hard to believe that it was not a good seller. Maybe I keep seeing the same ones over and over? Already took that into account.
     
  7. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    2007 was the best sales year for Caliber, then things came apart quickly. The money for any quality improvements just dried up with the Cerberus money freeze and Bankruptcy events. With limited cash, it made more sense to put the money into the 300, Grand Cherokee and Ram (and other high profit) models than the Caliber.
    See model year sales numbers in the Caliber wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Caliber
    The PM, MK and JS chassis closely resembled the Mitsubishi Galant on which it came from. The Galant came with plenty of inherent quality issues of its own.
    There was no real advertising for Caliber. It was the 'value-leader' at the dealer and had both the very young and very old interested in an economical and inexpensive wagon.
    The Lifetime Powertrain Warranty may have brought in a handful of buyers, but these were basically slow times.
    2007-2008 was at a time when its sibling Compass wasn't doing well either. Actually the later (2009+) Calibers had nicer interiors and possibly better quality control. Patriot did a bit better.
    Lately the Compass and Patriot seem to have been selling quite well.
     
  8. jon e scorr

    jon e scorr New Member

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    From a european view i think the caliber was ahead of its time but poorly executed ( the interior, which i like!), in england now the big sellar are the nissan qashqai and juke as family cars, if chrysler had sold the 2009 version from the start they maybe could have moved thousands more in europe/uk. I think the cvt is well matched to the 2.0 for performance/economy and while i was searching for my caliber i found quite a few cvt versions with anything from 70-120k miles so i don't think the belt has any long term problems, chuckt have a test drive and you will be surprised how good they drive! good "commanding" driving position, ride quality on good surfaces is outstanding, bit noisy on rough roads but the car handles well for something which sits high on it big wheels, i've taken 40limit corners at 60 and the car doesn't seem to notice so can't understand why people say it doesn't handle well? as with all front drive, don't corner on a closed throttle, set your corner speed early and power through the turn. What is astounding to me that this big car is better on petrol than my wifes old a160 merc which did 36 on a long run, yesterday i got 37.8 cruising at 75mph on a long day of 140miles, so the cvt must be doing something right! sorry but i had to laugh when i read you pay 4 bucks a gallon, it costs me £55 to fill the tank ( $95)

    ps mine has done 48 k and just one control arm changed on the rear suspension.

    jon
     
  9. chuckt

    chuckt Well-Known Member

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    Well, I had my hands on a silver Caliber, two days ago. I was walking in the grocery store parking lot and spied a guy trying to push his and guide it simultaneously. So, I helped him push the dead vehicle into a parking spot. He claimed it was a failed alternator (I was skeptical since an alternator failure usually discharges the battery slowly versus abruptly). He had about 67,000 miles on it.
    Regarding the CVT, Subaru is having may customer complaints and the transmission is being panned by auto critics because it tends tolurch at low speeds; there is no feathering of the pedal. I was also next to a new Nissan and the vehicle sounded like a wind up toy once the guy hit the accelerator pedal. Like a spring loaded toy. No, keep your CVT and for a loss of 1-2 mpg's, I will stay with gears.
     
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  10. floridaman2013

    floridaman2013 Active Member

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    I'm with Chuckt on this! I hate the way CVT's drive after driving my daughter's 2012 Jeep Compass with 2.0 and CVT. What a slug! If my Nissan Frontier had one or any of the Xterras we owned, we never would of purchased them. Some times new technology is not refined enough, and manufacturers use the public as test dummies.
     
  11. rkmdogs

    rkmdogs Member

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    There is an old saying -- opinions are like a--holes, everybodys' got one!
    We loved our '08 Orange Caliber SXT. --- until the drive-by-wire design got us!
    Cost me over $600 to diagnose and fix, and by then my wife would not trust it anymore. But we had put
    over 90,000 miles on it trouble-free! It was one of the best small car compromises for versatility and flexibility. It was one of only 2 cars where the second row seats would fold flat! The other was the HHR, which had other problems, including price!
    We hauled multiple dog crates in the back, along with 3 passengers many times. Long road trips gave us over 38mpg,
    cruising @ 75-80mph ! I will admit however we would have liked a little more space on the inside on those long trips,
    but never a worry until the end. I had mixed feeling about the CVT tranny, but I have to say when the Chrysler engineers
    reprogrammed it after taking it from Nissan, it was good with our 2.0L engine. Heard that the 2.4 was not so happy with it.
    Like GM who drops models after they became popular, Chrysler/ Fiat has done the same with the Caliber, although they
    rebadged it and called it a Jeep Compass --- with a $5000. price increase! Shame on you, Luigi, the 500 is butt ugly, and you
    must be smokin' that funny weed to think it can replace the Caliber, in any of its models.
    I'm off the soap box for now....
     
    #31 rkmdogs, Aug 3, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  12. jon e scorr

    jon e scorr New Member

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    Another point is All cars eventually go wrong and my experiance of chrysler/dodge is they are better than average, my sisters audi a3 water pump and radiator were shot at 100k miles and after that major electrical problems turned up ( requiring removal of the complete dash!), my wifes a160 merc the abs went wrong at 80k miles and the rear suspension bearings one side also. Diesels as well have some terrible problems, a friends peugeot detroyed its clutch at 40k miles ( this is common with there high torque output), also turbos fail at 70-80k miles if not given proper cool down period, another friend with a ford diesel had to scrap the car after injectors failed and the quotes to fix it were twice the value of the car!

    jon
     
  13. rkmdogs

    rkmdogs Member

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    Whoa ! All cars DO NOT eventually go wrong!
    With proper maintainence and preventive care, cars can last mega-years! You think not? Then answer
    me about the Pebble Beach show and Concours !
    The trick is preventative maintainance, which many of todays car culture have never been exposed to, due to the
    manufacturers bent on planned obsolescence for more sales, and bean-counters or accountants running the car companies,
    instead of car enthusiast, technologically educated managers!
    Cars today are treated like household appliances, to be thrown away when they stop working as expected.
    Ignorance of todays car owner is a rampant disease, that doesn't look like a cure will come soon.....
     
  14. jon e scorr

    jon e scorr New Member

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    hi RKM, i agree with you on that, i think we are both saying the same thing really! i meant they have a programmed lifespan and also i was just pointing out that the expensive german brands which everybody swoons over ( especially here in the uk, yawn!), are not foolproof and as well engineered as they try to make out( my friends vw golf engine failed at 100k miles!) . By the way i think your caliber was fantastic with just that $600 repair in 90 k miles, thats really good in my mind for a economy car, i wanted a orange one as well but there are very rare here but my black one polishes up nicely! hope to replace it in couple of years with the new challenger if my business takes off.............

    jon
     
  15. rkmdogs

    rkmdogs Member

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    I hope that you did not misunderstand me. That $600 repair cost was a one-time charge for the drive-by-wire problem. I spent a lot more than that during the time we owned this car, but it was for preventative maintainence, such as oil & filter changes, or replacement things like tires and brakes, which we had to do, but at very long mileage figures..! This was my wifes car mainly and she drove an average of 300 miles a week with it. We also made several 1200 + mile long trips, which is when we wished we had more room !(Luggage, dog crates, DOGS, coolers, etc.)
     
  16. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    PT with a six speed would be really nice as well...
     
  17. jon e scorr

    jon e scorr New Member

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    To me the overall styling of the caliber is great, at least it looks quite different to many mini- suv, if you look at the nissan juke everthing is out of proportion ie the side profile is badly thought out and looks like three cars glued together! and don't mention the gastly bug- eyed headlights...... by the way chuck i found another caliber cvt with 179k miles on youtube and the dealer test drives it and it seems to drive fine, thats pretty amazing milage for a entry leval car to do i think.............?!
     

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