- Dodge Caliber
Dodge Caliber Manufacturer DaimlerChrysler (2007)
Chrysler LLC (2008–2009)
Chrysler Group (2010–2012)
Production August 2006 - December 23, 2011 Model years 2007-2012 Assembly Belvidere Assembly (Belvidere, Illinois, United States)
Valencia (Carabobo, Venezuela)
Predecessor Dodge Neon Class Compact Body style 5-door hatchback Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive Platform Chrysler PM/MK platform Engine 1.8 L GEMA I4
2.0 L GEMA I4
2.0 L Volkswagen diesel I4
2.4 L GEMA I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
Jatco CVT2 CVT
Wheelbase 103.7 in (2,630 mm) Length 173.8 in (4,410 mm) Width 68.8 in (1,750 mm) Height 60.4 in (1,530 mm)
SRT-4: 59.7 in (1,520 mm)
Curb weight 3,052 lb (1,384 kg) Related Mitsubishi Lancer
Mitsubishi RVR/Outlander Sport
The Dodge Caliber is a compact car produced by the Dodge division of Chrysler. It replaced the Neon, and went on sale in the spring of 2006 as a 2007 model year vehicle. The Caliber has a five-door hatchback body, but because of its bulkier appearance, can also be considered both a station wagon or a crossover.
The Caliber concept was revealed at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show and featured styling elements derivative of larger Dodge vehicles, such as a crosshair grille, rough border angles and flared fenders. The pre-production version debuted on January 10, 2006 at the North American International Auto Show, before it went on sale in March of that year.
Following the Caliber's success in North America in 2007, it became the first Dodge car to be sold to European, Asian, and Australasian markets since the discontinuation of Dodge Colt in 1994. Currently, it is the smallest and the least expensive vehicle of the brand in the United States and Canada.
The Dodge Caliber offers a continuously variable transmission (dubbed CVT2 by Dodge) sourced from Jatco (a Nissan subsidiary), the second DaimlerChrysler model to employ this technology after the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. It uses a four-cylinder 1.8-2.4 L GEMA gasoline engine, designed jointly by Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai.
The car also features an optional electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system with variable torque at speeds of 25 to 65 mph (40 to 105 km/h) for optimal handling.
The Caliber rides on a heavily modified GS platform, co-designed with Mitsubishi Motors. The modified GS platform is now called the JS platform by Chrysler for mid-size cars and PM/MK for compact cars. It shares a portion of the platform with the Mitsubishi Lancer, but is most similar to the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. The Caliber has wheels that feature a 5-hole pattern with a 114.3 mm bolt circle.
The Caliber is an important vehicle for Chrysler in its quest to expand globally. The Caliber was one of Dodge's first modern offerings in Europe. Dodge also introduced the Caliber as part of its launch lineup in Asian markets such as Japan and Singapore, as it established new distribution channels there. It was introduced in China in 2008 as Dodge's second modern vehicle offering in that market. Dodge vehicles were last officially sold in China during the World War II era. The introduction of the Caliber has also marked the return of the Dodge brand to Australia, for the first time since the early 1970s.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Caliber an overall Good score in frontal crash testing. The Dodge Caliber comes standard with side curtain airbags but torso side airbags are optional. The IIHS scored the Caliber Marginal overall in their side impact test. However that Caliber was not equipped with the optional torso side airbag.
Three models were available at the Caliber's launch, with a fourth available in mid-2006.
The base SE model features front-wheel drive and a 1.8 L 148 hp (110 kW) GEMA I4 attached to a Magna Drivetrain T355 5-speed manual transmission. A 2.0 L 158 hp (118 kW) version of the engine paired with the CVT2 transmission is available as an option.
The standard configuration for the SE lacks air conditioning, and does not have power windows, door locks, or mirrors. The grille surround is body-colored, while that of all other models is chromed(US models) Canadian SXT and R/T feature body color grilles. There is no tachometer, and no assist handles. 15 in (38 cm) steel wheels with wheel covers are standard. Some options are not available on the SE.
The SXT has the same engine choices as the SE but many more features are available as standard. Air conditioning is standard equipment at this level, including the Chill Zone beverage cooler inside the front lower glove compartment. The gauge cluster gains a tachometer and an (optional) trip computer. The driver's seat adds height adjustment, the passenger seat folds flat for load-carrying, and the rear seats recline. Power windows, locks, mirrors, and remote keyless entry are included. The grille surround is chromed and 17 in (43 cm) steel wheels are standard, with 17 in (43 cm) aluminum wheels as an option. The cargo area light includes a removable and rechargeable flashlight while the front dome light incorporates two reading lamps.
Some Dodge publications mention a SXT Sport Wagon model, while others (e.g. the Dodge website) list a SXT "E" package with identical features. This consists of 17 in (43 cm) aluminum wheels, color-keyed cloth seat inserts, color-matched instrument panel trim, and fog lamps.
The UK SXT Sports model gets 18 in (46 cm) alloy wheels, color-keyed cloth seats and instrument panel, and a 9-speaker audio system as standard; early UK models do not have the chrome grille. The UK SXT Sport is also available with a Volkswagen 2.0 L diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
The R/T model has a 2.4 L 172 hp (128 kW) version of the GEMA engine, equipped with the CVT2 transmission, and programmed with an 'AutoStick' feature giving six simulated fixed ratios in a clutchless manual mode in addition to the standard CVT 'Drive' mode. All-wheel-drive was an option on the R/T model until 2009, but with automatic transmission only. 18 in (46 cm) aluminum wheels are standard, while chromed are an option. At launch, the CVT2 with all-wheel drive was the only powertrain combination available for the R/T. A front-wheel drive variant with the T355 5-speed manual transmission commenced production in late summer 2006. ABS is standard, and the suspension and steering are tuned for performance.
Externally, the R/T is distinguishable by body-color/chrome door handles (replacing black on other models), a chrome side molding, chromed exhaust tip, and front fog lights as standard, as well as R/T badging.
Internally, the car comes as standard with color-keyed fabric seat inserts, leather seats being an option as on the SXT. Color-keyed instrument panel trim is also standard, as is a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and speed control, and a cargo area cover (all options on the SXT).
The SRT4 model, introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006, is a replacement for the original Neon-based SRT-4 produced by Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology group. It is a hatchback set to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen GTI and the Mazdaspeed3. It features a 2.4 L DOHC 16V turbocharged I4 with dual variable valve timing (DVVT). It produces 285 hp (213 kW) at 6,400 rpm, and 265 lb·ft (359 N·m) of torque at 5,600 rpm using the Mitsubishi TD04HL4S-20 turbo. Edmunds tested one on a chassis dynamometer and obtained 281 hp (210 kW) and 261 lb·ft (354 N·m) of torque at the wheels. Edmunds called the manufacturer's rating conservative; putting more power to the road than cars costing twice as much. The engine is mated to a Getrag six-speed manual transmission, and utilizes a front-wheel drive drivetrain. The Caliber SRT4 utilizes a MacPherson strut front suspension, and a multilink rear suspension. The SRT4 uses large 13.4 in (34 cm) vented front disc brakes (from the Dodge Charger Police Pack version) with dual-piston calipers and 11.9 in (30 cm) rear single-piston disc brakes. It features four-wheel ABS, with electronic assistance. The wheels are 19 in (48 cm), five-spoke, SRT-stamped, painted aluminum. The car features Goodyear RSA 225/45R19 tires. Package options include polished aluminum wheels, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, SIRIUS satellite radio with Kicker SRT livin' loud audio, EVIC with performance pages, Security alarm, and optional paint colors.
Model Year Engine type Power Torque Notes SE, SXT 2007–2009 1.8 L GEMA I4 148 bhp (110 kW) 125 lb·ft (169 N·m) 5-Speed Manual, FWD 2007–present 2.0L GEMA I4 158 bhp (118 kW) 141 lb·ft (191 N·m) CVT2 (2007–present), 5-Speed Manual (2010–present), FWD Diesel 2007–present 2.0 L I4 turbo (from Volkswagen 170hp TDI) 138 bhp (103 kW) 229 lb·ft (310 N·m) Europe & Australia only, FWD R/T 2007–present 2.4 L GEMA I4 172 bhp (128 kW) 165 lb·ft (224 N·m) AWD: CVT2 (2007–2008), FWD: CVT2/5-Speed manual (2007–present) SRT-4 2008–2009 2.4 L GEMA I4 turbo ("Warhawk") 285 bhp (213 kW) 265 lb·ft (359 N·m) 6-Speed Getrag Manual, FWD
Total U.S. sales
Calendar Year Sales 2008 84,158 2009 36,098 2010 45,082
For the 2009 model year, the Caliber underwent a minor facelift. The plain plastic black-coloured door handles available on base models were replaced by painted car-coloured handles previously available only on R/T. In addition, the trunklid was reduced in weight and simplified in opening. In the interior, all panels were made black instead of grey. The "DODGE" badge that was on top of the Ram logo at the middle is shifted to the left, while "CALIBER" badge was moved to the right from the left, both equal in font size. The car model title, previously indicated on the right, was moved to the bottom right of the gate lid.
The 2010 model year vehicles were unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. They featured a refreshed interior design composed of metallic outlines and parts of glass to suppress the abundance of plastic materials on previous models, as well as the addition of an 8-way power drivers seat, heated mirrors, and an automatic climate control system previously available only on R/T. The dashboard also features the relocation of the glove box due to many customer complaints, which now occupies the spot over the radio panel and comprises a "push-open" lock instead of the previous "squeeze-and-pull" opening mechanism.
The 1.8 L engine is dropped from the SE and SXT models, and the SRT-4 model is discontinued. European market models receive a new 2.2 L diesel engine with 163 hp (122 kW) and 236-foot-pound-force (320 N·m) of torque that provides a combined city and highway fuel efficiency of 40.6 miles per US gallon (5.79 L/100 km; 48.8 mpg-imp).
For the North-American markets, the models were also renamed and rebranded, with SE becoming "Heat", SXT — "Mainstreet" and R/T — "Rush". Two more models became available for 2010: a luxury all-included variant "Uptown" and a base variant "Express" (for which the black plastic handles were returned). "Express" is now the only model not to feature the automatic climate control as an option, but both it and "Heat" now feature available speed control, anti-brake system and electronic stability control, which all were previously unavailable as options for SE. All models except "Express" now also feature 17 in. rims.
2011 brought six new paint schemes, standard stability control except on Express models, Sirius traffic when equipped with a navigation system, 18" chrome-clad wheels available on Uptown models (17" painted are standard), updated steering except on Express models, and new shocks and a thicker rear anti-roll bar on Rush and Heat models. As of 2011, the Caliber and the Nitro are the only two cars in the Dodge vehicle line-up to still feature the Ram logo on both fascia, rear and the steering wheel. In Nitro, it is also still featured on driver and passenger's floor mats (removed in Caliber with the 2009 model).
For the model year 2012 the models were renamed back to SE, SXT and SXT+. The rest were discontinued. SXT+ will offer an automatic moonroof (in limited quantity), for which Dodge currently plans a contest. Production is scheduled to end December 23, 2011, with the final run cars as 2012s.
Discontinuation and future
The 2010 Caliber was the last model sold in Europe. The 2011 model is expected to end production on November 23, 2011 in United States, with the remainder being sold as the 2012 model year Caliber in both US and Canada. A successor, whose name is yet to be revealed by Chrysler, based on Alfa Romeo Giulietta's platform, will go on sale starting July 2012 as the 2013 new compact Dodge vehicle (it is currently planned to be revealed at the 2012 New York Auto Show). According to Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne, the new model is also planned to feature a nine-speed automatic transmission.
As rumored, there is currently a strong possibility for the new Giulietta-based prototype to retain its "Caliber" nameplate, which would continue into 2013 on new models.
The Chrysler Group announced a marketing plan for the first year of the car's production. The plan included 20% of the budget going towards online marketing, a blitz of print ads and TV commercials.
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