Dodge Caliber Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.05/5 Average
634 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

A replacement for the original Dodge Neon, the Dodge Caliber certainly had promise when it was introduced, boasting an innovative, space-efficient hatchback body and unique features like flip-down tailgate speakers and a dedicated iPod holder. Unfortunately, those good ideas were spoiled by sloppy execution.

Compared to rival economy cars, the Dodge Caliber was down on quality, refinement and appeal. Even with an interior update halfway through its life, the Caliber was simply not competitive with other compact sedans and hatchbacks. If you're shopping for a used hatchback or wagon, models such as the Mazda 3, Scion xB or Volkswagen Golf would be much better choices overall.

Most Recent Dodge Caliber
Built on a global platform also used for the Jeep Compass SUV and midsize Dodge Avenger sedan, the tall-bodied Dodge Caliber was produced from 2007-'12. It came only as a compact hatchback/wagon.

The rear seats folded in a 60/40 split, increasing cargo space to a maximum of 48 cubic feet. The front passenger seat also folded forward to make room for longer items. The Caliber had decent headroom and legroom in the front and back, but it was still a small car built to a price, so it came without luxurious accommodations.

Initially, there were three regular trim levels available: base SE, SXT and R/T. In 2010 and '11, there were a wider variety of interestingly named trims available (Express, Mainstreet, Uptown, Heat and Rush), but the available feature content was mostly the same. For 2012, the SE and SXT trim levels returned along with SXT Plus.

The base SE wasn't as bare-bones as you'd think, boasting air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, a USB audio jack and satellite radio. The SXT added bigger wheels, a power driver seat and a reclining rear seat, while the SXT Plus was a sport-tuned model with suspension, brakes and wheel upgrades. It should be noted that stability control was not offered on the SE (standard on other trims), and the antilock brakes feature rear drums on the SE and SXT. Discs were optional on the SXT and standard on the SXT Plus.

At the bottom of the Caliber's engine lineup was a 148-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder, which came standard on the base Caliber and the SXT. It was only available with a five-speed manual transmission, and was discontinued for 2010.

Those seeking more power and an automatic transmission should look for a Caliber with the 158-hp 2.0-liter four, which was equipped exclusively with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). There was also the R/T model (and later Rush) that was equipped with a 174-hp 2.4-liter inline-4, though Dodge discontinued it for 2012. All-wheel drive was available on the R/T model until 2009.

There was also a high-performance Caliber SRT4 produced for 2008 and '09. It boasted a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 285 hp and 265 pound-feet of torque, with a six-speed manual as the only available transmission. Aside from its big engine, it got 19-inch wheels, lowered suspension, upgraded brakes, a performance trip computer and sport seats. This may sound impressive, but it really wasn't. We found it underwhelming and overpriced compared to other affordable, high-horsepower hatchbacks, as well as burdened by excessive weight and an abundance of torque steer.

In road tests, our editors found the Dodge Caliber to be an adequate daily driver, though not much more than that. Its ride and handling just weren't as refined as its many competitors. None of the Caliber's available engines were ideal; all sounded coarse under load. We'd avoid the 1.8 given its mediocre power; the 2.0 will get you the same fuel economy. The best choice for power is the 2.4, though with either engine the optional CVT just exacerbated that coarse nature.

While any Caliber will offer respectable hatchback versatility, shoppers should note that models produced prior to 2010 had deplorable interior quality. These earlier models had hard interior surfaces, unappealingly textured plastic and questionable build quality. Compared to the accommodations in vehicles like the Mazda 3, the Caliber's furnishings were several steps behind. A notable Caliber change was for '09 when it received its available hard-drive-based music and navigation systems.

The Caliber's interior was greatly improved for 2011. The design was more appealing and materials were better, including soft-touch materials in areas frequently encountered by elbows. Still, the cabin quality was far from class-leading.

User Reviews:

Showing 41 through 50 of 634.00
  • Brake & frt suspension issues - 2007 Dodge Caliber
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    Bought this car in fall of 2010 for my wife who liked the style an size with approx. 38,000 miles. At 51,000 + I noticed the frt tires starting to wear abnormally and took it to the tire shop I use only to find the tire rods/ball joints were shot. Had those replaced & 2 tires. Brakes have for a long time squeal when going backing out the driveway and especially if they are wet. Then the decorative black trim around the outside door posts started to peel and come peal off. Dodge has said these are not under warranty so I would have to pay to fix the decorative trim & they could replace the brake pads but do not think this will stop the issues with squeaking.

  • Mixed review - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I bought my 2007 Caliber in March of 2006, one of the first ones in this area. I was initially worried because I had the stalling problem (sound familiar Caliber owners?) and I also lost the alternator at about 50k. That was an $$$ repair. I still own the car. It has 256,000 miles on it! I have had to replace the alternator again. Over the last six years, Ive replaced the tie rods (roads where I live--NE Ohio--are horrible) and one wheel bearing. I get 32 mpg on the highway (1.8 stick shift). The stalling issue just disappeared (did the computer self-adjust?). Car has the original exhaust system. So... two alternators, tie rods, a battery and 256k miles. Does this car owe me anything?

  • WORST CAR EVER MADE - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    Where do I start? I bought this piece of junk in 09 with 20k on it for 10k. Almost immediately I started to get problems with it. Now 2 years later with 55k, it keeps stopping in the midst of driving. 3 times in this past month, but only once did it start right back up. It left me stranded in the MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY once and in the MIDDLE OF AN INTERSECTION the other time. I took it to 2 shops..they dont know whats wrong with it because I have to take it there when it is not starting. One shop fixed what they "thought" could be the problem. Saying this often happens with Dodges so hopefully itll do the trick. Not at continued to stop. Crazy. AVOID DODGES AT ALL COST!!

  • SXT 2.0 Sell this car asap! - 2007 Dodge Caliber
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    Lets start with injectors that the dealer said was causing a hard start at 40000 miles, still doing it today at 78000 miles and has been ever since. Dealer woukd not back it. Lower control arms, oil pan leaking at 72000 miles. Then retuned it three times due to dealer in greenwood indiana tom ob had to do the alignment, three times. Niw the oil leak has returned at 78000 miles and the dealer is saying I have a new leak, frt eng cover even though the oil is coming from the exact place it did when they said oil pan. They blew it! JUNK!

  • Help me kill my car! - 2008 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I bought this car used in 2009 with 28k miles on it, I have replaced the alternator twice, replaced both thermostats and had to fix the A/C and now it has a bad oil leak (it currently has 81k miles on it). I dont know if this is typical of dodge cars but I do know that I will definitely research any car I buy from now on, especially if it’s from Dodge. The Caliber itself drives just fine, I have no complaints on its handling, but mechanically it’s been a nightmare.

  • Buy something else. - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    Went to have car inspected and it failed inspection due to tie rod ends. Car has only 68,000 miles. They said the front end is shot, plus it has ruined a $150. tire that has 6,000 miles on it. My ford truck has 183,000 miles and same tie rod ends and just pasted inspection at same place. My previous car a ford had 191,000 miles and never replaced tie rod ends. Back to FORD for me.

  • The Dodge Workhorse - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    Perhaps my favourite car Ive ever owned in my life (of 3 others). This car has been my old reliable. I take this guy camping, urban trekking, and across the state (Wis.) with no difficulties. It has had its fair share of problems, yes, but overall I love this car. It has the appearance of a sedan/SUV hybrid, but the performance of a sedan.

  • 2012 Caliber Review - 2012 Dodge Caliber
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    I have owned this car for about 2.5 weeks, and so far I think it is a great car. I have 2012 caliber SXT. the only complaint that I have is I AM ONLY GETTING 18 mpg not like I was told That I would get 24 city 34 hwy. I sure hope it gets better. But other than that this car is worth the money.

  • Best Car Ive Ever Owned - 2007 Dodge Caliber
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    I was worried. I usually only own a Toyota or a Honda, but this car has been better than any Ive owned. I bought the 07 in 09 with 37K, and now have 103K, and Ive had almost nothing to fix. Just took it in for a tuneup because I hear some kind of rattling on a cold start-up, but they dont see any problems. This car is wonderful, and I live in Buffalo, which means a lot when you own a car.

  • Hidden Gem - 2008 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I bought my Cali SXT with a 2.0 liter engine new in 2008. I read about pepole dogging the model, but let me tell you it handles great. Im a professional driver, and can attest to the cars nimble performance characteristics. I can routinely weave through 70 or 80 cars on a 23 mile early morning busy traffic run. The car is good off the line and mantains manuverability and tractionality at the 70 to 72 mile an hour range. Thats about as fast as anyone goes in traffic or highway crusing anyhow. The cabin is comfortable, the Sirius satellite radio sounds nice on the speakers, and you always feel in command.The doors make a nice thump sound when you close them. Well made for the money paid.

Dodge Caliber Reviews By Year:
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