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Posted: 8/4/2009 2:11:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2009 3:24:26 AM EST by daemon734]
looking to take advantage of this rebate nonsense and get my wife a new vehicle...were looking at the dodge caliber as they have some sort of additional rebate program for another $4000 on top of the $4500. $8500 off cant be beat.

we got one as a rental a while back while her car was in the shop and she liked it, I thought it was a little small and sluggish but then again its for her.


any info on them? any comparable deals out there for anything else? It pretty much has to have the same MPG in a new vehicle to qualify, and jeep/chrysler/dodge are the only ones I know of that are offering an additional $3500 rebate plus $500 military discount right now on top of the gov rebate.


[EDIT] we have decided that the dodge rep hasnt been so great so far, and that ford has a decent incentive program right now as well, so we will be checking out the ford focus SE sedan. I would rather buy from ford anyway. anyone have any thoughts on this vehicle?
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 3:52:30 PM EST
thread edited, new questions
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 3:54:34 PM EST
My girlfriend was looking at one. It was between the Caliber, and the Jeep Patriot.

They have the same engine, and she liked the look, ride height, and overall design of the Patriot better.

I agree with her and I thought the Patriot rode a helluva lot better than the Caliber.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 3:56:27 PM EST
I was thoroughly underwhelmed with almost every Dodge I've driven at work. The Rams are decent...everything else kinda sucks. I'd go with a Jeep, too.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 3:57:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Impavido:
My girlfriend was looking at one. It was between the Caliber, and the Jeep Patriot.

They have the same engine, and she liked the look, ride height, and overall design of the Patriot better.

I agree with her and I thought the Patriot rode a helluva lot better than the Caliber.


I looked at the patriot as well, didnt know they were the same engine though. we barely slid by being qualified for the MPG with her 2004 grand caravan, and the patriot was 1 or 2 MPG less, didnt think I would make it.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 3:59:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 4:01:23 PM EST by modus]
Great car lots of room, very practicle. I don't like the stealth fighter looks but that's personnel.

PS my daughter and I drove both caliber and focus for her CFC...I preferred the caliber but it was her choice I was just along for the checkbook.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:07:33 PM EST
I drive a caliber. I got it because of the mileage and the room. I'm a liquor salesman, and there are times when I need to cram some cases of booze into my car. The Caliber easily fits 35 or so cases of my booze, plus me, my briefcase and at least one piece of luggage.

Pros - Comfortable, great gas mileage.

Cons - A little sluggish, not at all sexy.

All in all, I will drive this car until the wheels fall off.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:18:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 8:36:38 PM EST by anekrel]
I had one as a rental car while my truck was in the shop and I hated it. I hope this was just a fluke, but the car I had felt horribly underpowered and I think was suffering from some kind of transmission issue because it would lag and was jerky when shifting. I took it to LA that weekend and it had a hard time going up the Grapevine.

The suspension was awful. My Escort with worn struts was a smoother ride. Either it stuffers from a tiny fuel tank, but I it seemed as though sucked down fuel more than my Escort does.

As far as ergonomics, I found it hard to see out of. The cab was a nice set up, though. If I'd had the manual, the shifter would have been in the perfect position. The rest of the inside and trunk were spacious.

I wound up trading it in for another rental (Nissan Sentra) though because I got tired of having to really stomp on it to get it to go with any kind of sense of urgency.

Like I said though, it was just a rental car, and I think the car was either not maintained properly, or it was just a lemon in their fleet. It happens.

Best of luck in your car search
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:20:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:25:52 PM EST
If it is to last over 100K, don't even look at the dodges. A head gasket or a transmission rebuild should not be routine maintenance! I am a Ford fan, but if your looking at a front wheel drive, look at the Chevys. Dodges always used the cheapest ABS for cabin components. They are noisy when cold and they give me a headache when the heat is on. That could have changed since I was in one or made the parts for them.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:36:29 PM EST
From edmunds.com

In road tests, our editors have found the Dodge Caliber to be an adequate daily driver, though not much more than that. The ride is comfortable without feeling too soft, but our impressions of the Caliber were colored by the overall lack of quality and class in the interior, not to mention the ho-hum driving dynamics. Moreover, the CVT isn't properly programmed to match the 2.0-liter engine's power band. The front-wheel-drive Caliber R/T with the manual gearbox is likely the pick of the litter, unless the high-performance SRT4 edition appeals. For those attracted to the turbocharged Caliber, we've 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.


Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:47:00 PM EST
Not very refined, not super reliable, sort of ugly. Then again, I'm a Ford guy.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:50:38 PM EST
Best caliber for a dodge? Why, 50bmg of course!

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:55:41 PM EST
Best way for dodge to pick up speed is to push it down a mine shaft.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:30:34 PM EST
If it's a Chrysler, get the Patriot.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:31:35 PM EST
.45 - beats 9mm!
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:31:58 PM EST
i am pretty sure the rebate that matches the gov one ends either tonight at 1200AM or tomorrow night at 1200AM
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:37:31 PM EST
Absolute turd.

I work for a car rental company and everone hates these things.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:58:11 PM EST
Well, my wife owns one. Hers is a 2007 so they may have addressed any issues I've had with it since then but here are the major things off the top of my head.

Positives:
- you can fit a lot of crap in it, including dish washers and stoves.
- The R/T with AWD handles quite nicely in bad weather.
- Price is very good for what you get if you want a utilitarian vehicle that can haul much more than almost any other vehicle in it's class.
- 55k miles on it right now with no mechanical troubles whatsoever.

Negatives:
- Massive blind spot on the driver side when you need to look left for a lane change. I have literally lost semi's in that blind spot no matter how hard I craned my neck.
- Sluggish, because it runs a CVT transmission to aid in mileage. The R/T negates this some by having a more powerful engine but the CVT just always takes a little time to catch up. The R/T does have a manual shift mode with pre-set points which you can use if you want to accelerate faster. However, remember that it is an economy car and not really a sports car (except for the SRT4) and it has plenty of acceleration to merge on the interstate and pass.

Oh and BTW, the Jeep Compass is the Jeep version. I tend to think it looks beter and has push button AWD which would be a nice feature.

All that said I will never buy a chrysler or GM product again because of the Government bailout so they can FOAD., even though I also own a RAM and really wanted a Challenger.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 6:24:40 PM EST
TJ has talked about his over in the survival section if you want to run some searches on it.

He was impressed with the engine it came with, the engine is in many different vehicles and well proven. I think a 4 cyclinder.

He got a stickshift.

He got a sport package or something that actually increased ground clearance and offered some other good points he made and I totally forget.

I considered one but wanted to keep with just one vehicle instead of winding up with 2 vehicles at that time so I did not get very far in looking at them.

Basically his setup gets decent mileage and acceptable performance. I can understand if your wife might not like the stickshift but I think the sport package probably added larger brakes and rubber to the vehicle and I am a fan of big brakes and more rubber on the road.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 6:43:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By daemon734:
looking to take advantage of this rebate nonsense and get my wife a new vehicle...were looking at the dodge caliber as they have some sort of additional rebate program for another $4000 on top of the $4500. $8500 off cant be beat.

we got one as a rental a while back while her car was in the shop and she liked it, I thought it was a little small and sluggish but then again its for her.


any info on them? any comparable deals out there for anything else? It pretty much has to have the same MPG in a new vehicle to qualify, and jeep/chrysler/dodge are the only ones I know of that are offering an additional $3500 rebate plus $500 military discount right now on top of the gov rebate.


Got one as a rental last time I flew home to KY. I hated it! Aside from the fact that it was gutless, everytime I got in the damned thing the upper door sill is the wrong height or a weird shape. I must have cracked my skull a half dozen times just trying to sit in the damned thing, and I'm only 5-10.

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 7:07:00 PM EST


Piece of crap. Sorry, you asked.

Drove one for 2 weeks as a rental while my Dodge Dakota R/T was in the shop. The interior felt beyond cheap. Like Chinese Airsoft knock off cheap. The plastic was hard, thin, and so easily scratched that the inside of the relatively new rental looked like it had been abused for years. The blind spots on the car was beyond belief. In Dallas traffic, it was a complete pain in the ass to drive. NO POWER, NONE! Granted, I was use to a 5.9L V8 in a Dakota, but my wife's 4cyc CRV would have smoked that sucker also.

About the only thing I found enjoyable about the car was discovered by accident. I went to removed my G19 from the console after one long road trip and discovered I had quite possibly the coldest GLOCK in Texas. Seems I had placed it in the refrigerated beverage cooler compartment and was rewarded with sticking an ice cube for a CHL piece in my waistband.

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 7:08:25 PM EST
Had one as a rental for three weeks...


Gutless piece of shit....
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 7:18:14 PM EST


This is a dodge transmission.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 8:11:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By daemon734:
looking to take advantage of this rebate nonsense and get my wife a new vehicle...


Your wife changes vehicles more often than I change socks!

IIRC, first it was a Cherokee, then a Sport Trac, then a Focus(?)...What have I left out?

Link Posted: 8/4/2009 8:23:56 PM EST
The Caliber is supposed to be the domestic competitor to the Honda Fit, the Nissan Versa and the Toyota Yaris. Out of the four, it's definitely the biggest, and does have a bigger engine, but in the few comparisons I read back in 07, the Caliber was the last in almost every category. I had a Fit for a few months during the time I moved from my apartment to my house, and GOOD GOD could you fit a LOT of shit in that little car! With the rear seats folded down, it has a TON of space! It's deceptive for it's size.

I don't have any direct input on the Caliber. I don't like it much at all, but that's all I'll say.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 8:32:12 PM EST
I don't know how much you are willing to spend but the new Chevy Equinox looks pretty good. It might run you a few thousand more, but the 4-cylinder engine is fairly nice and it's not to shabby on fuel economy.
Link Posted: 8/5/2009 1:25:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By daemon734:
looking to take advantage of this rebate nonsense and get my wife a new vehicle...


Your wife changes vehicles more often than I change socks!

IIRC, first it was a Cherokee, then a Sport Trac, then a Focus(?)...What have I left out?



damn, good memory! we had the cherokee for four years, the sport trac was mine, but I sold it when I joined the military. she had the focus at the same time, but it was a piece of shit (individual car issues), so we sold it at the same time and got her the van. I just drove a beater dodge neon until I deployed and bought my jeep when I got back.

weve had the van for about 4 years and are about done with it, and im deploying again soon, so shes going to dump it and get herself a little 4cyl car now and when I back we will get a truck and ill keep the jeep as an offroad toy.

I actually saw that ford has a $3000 rebate now counting mili discount, so we may look at the focus.
Link Posted: 8/5/2009 1:31:00 AM EST
i have the patriot, decent little SUV but has absolutely no balls what so ever. I needed something to fit the dog in so the patriot got the nod. Mine has the CVT and is a 4x4. I actually get better mileage than what the window sticker suggested. Average 27 mpg, which is nice after having a truck that averaged around 13 mpg.

In either the caliber, patriot, or compass you are not going to get a ride like a lexus or tahoe or the creature comforts but they get the job done.
Link Posted: 8/5/2009 3:25:12 AM EST
ok, shitcanning the caliber, looking at the ford focus now. it seems my thoughts of the caliber feeling cheap and underpowered were pretty valid.
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