5 Star Reviews for Dodge Caliber

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 1 through 10 of 634.00
  • Dodge Caliber 2009 - 2009 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    Great car no problems at all

  • Nice car, with a problem. - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    We got our caliber in March 2014, when we got it, it had a problem. Behind the driver seat there is a water leak on the floor each time it rains, in the other hand, the caliber is very spacious and comfortable, the floor on the cargo area is nice because it is made of plastic, so in case of like a spill, you can easily wipe it of. The seats are very comfortable, especially when it is cold and you turn on the heated seats. Legroom is nice too. The car is fun to drive, because of the engine on the R/T (2.4L I4)

  • If you find one you like, GET IT. - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    My sister, myself and a friend all have one. Mines a 2007 R/T without AWD & I LOVE IT. Ive had her for three years, & Ive had no major issues. Her alternator is starting to go, but thats 7 years of wear & tear. The car runs like a car, but feels more like an SUV. The Caliber has dependability that we all loved about Chrysler Group at one time or another, & the R/T has enough power to make driving fun. They handle well, and have a great turning radius. With window guards, the window noise when open at high speeds is practically gone. Bought mine with 99,000 miles, and she now has 128,000 miles. Great car, would definitely buy another.

  • Putting a lot of miles on it - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    2007 Caliber, 2.0 SXT, CVT. I got this vehicle when I was hired in another city and drive about 550 miles per week. I am getting around 27MPG and love the ride. The car now has over 123,000 miles and Im hoping to get another 80,000 or so before trading it in. I am 62" and fit in the vehicle well. While I do wish the mileage was a little better, I am happy with the vehicle.

  • Nice Vehicle - 2009 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I dont know why so many people are giving bad reviews. I drive the 09 SXT CVT 6 speed & automatic, sunroof, & it had 70,000 ml, ground effects, fog lamps, the seats can fold over & not to mention the cooler, & have driven it to for very long distances, up & down mountains. I only wish that I wouldve been on top of my game to actually take a look at the brakes, the inner wall of the tires, & strouts, this summer the 4 of us had a family reunion & we literally packed it up & headed up to Nashville, Tenn. & came back with extra stuff. Its a very handy vehicle, I can fit a huge brand new trash can without folding seats, guess it depends on how you drive your vehicle. Respect it.

  • I love my car so much its probably unhealthy - 2011 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I bought this car with 63 miles on it in December 2011. I love the orange color, how it looks like a transformer, and how the dash is set up. For what it is it is a great little car. I live in Colorado and have taken my little Caliber up Jeep trails without issue, so long as I have the clearance I have had no trouble. The manual transmission is really nice and makes it fun to drive. I love driving my car and it does decent in the snow. I have the most basic model you can get and it is comfortable on long trips. This is a fun little car but it is that, a little car. It is not a high performance sports car but it is fun to drive and has been totally reliable.

  • GREAT CAR! - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I have had this car now for three years and I absolutely love it! The design is innovative as well as comfortable. It drives great and I have never had any problems with it mechanically. I would recommend this car to anybody.

  • Most reliable car Ive ever owned. - 2007 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I felt compelled to write after reading some of the bad reviews. Im sure there are lemons in every bunch........I got my Caliber in April 2006, first one on the block so to speak. Right out of the Auto Show... Didnt see another for months. I drive a min of 80 miles a day, and still get 26 mpg. My original set of brakes lasted 85k miles. Original set of tires lasted 86k. (I drive all highway) I now have 153k on the car. Just put on the 2nd set of tires. I am putting on new struts as one has a slight leak and one ball joint. Other than a new battery, this car has just gotten the std oil changes/maint required. .

  • Dodge Caliber SXT (AT) is Worth the Purchase - 2012 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    Despite what you may have heard or read, I can only say, that the Dodge Caliber SXT is a vehicle you have try for yourself. Being the first to review here, and after 3 weeks of shopping and test driving other vehicles within the same price range, the Caliber SXT had me sold. Most impressive was its handling, 32mpg highway, quiet motor, and over all, a total “solid” feel of the vehicle while offering the most outstanding acoustic noise barrier. It feels rugged - like a jeep or truck, while at the same time, comfortable like a four door sedan. Ive always been a dodge owner from trucks to sedans, and Dodge spared no expense by simply bringing it all together in one small “hatchback”.

  • Love my lil Caliber - 2010 Dodge Caliber
    By -

    I just love my Caliber! I purchased it at Fifve Star Dodge in Macon, GA. After a lot of research, I decided on this model and have not been disappointed. Very roomy interior, great sound system, quiet and comfortable ride, and cute exterior design. I wanted the impossible and found it in this car. It is almost a wagon, almost an SUV and almost a sports car! Love it!

Dodge Caliber Reviews By Year:
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