The Dodge Caliber is classified as a compact car and was produced by the Dodge division of Chrysler for models that ranged from 2007-2012. This vehicle effectively replaced the Neon, which was discontinued in 2005. Sales of the Caliber started in March of 2006 and it was first launched onto the market as a 5-door hatchback, though many viewed it more as a station wagon or crossover because of the body’s design. At the time of its release, the Caliber was the smallest and least expensive vehicle Dodge’s lineup, that is until the 2013 Dodge Dart.
This vehicle was constructed at the Belvidere Assembly plant in Illinois, which is also where its predecessor was built. The Caliber was initially developed and sold only as a 5-door hatchback for its run. The Caliber was a turning point for Chrysler as it looked to expand on a global level and is one of the first modern Dodge vehicle to be made available in Europe as well as various Asian market, including Singapore and Japan. This car was introduced in China in 2008 as Dodge’s second modern vehicle to be offered in this market. The last time Dodge’s vehicles were sold in China was during the 1930s and 40s during World War II.
There are many different features that the Dodge Caliber has to offer, including a continuously variable transmission which is sourced from Jatco. This vehicle uses a 4-cylinder 1.8-2.4 liter World gasoline engine which was designed by Chrysler, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi. The Caliber also features an optional electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system with variable torque speeds that range from 25-65 mph. This car was built using the GS platform, which was co-designed with Mitsubishi Motors. The modified version of the GS platform is not referred to as the JS platform for Chrysler’s mid-size cars, and the PM/MK name is used for their compact vehicles.
When it comes to matters of safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Caliber a “good” score in frontal crash testing. This vehicle comes with standard side curtain airbags, though the torso side airbags were an optional feature. The IIHS scored the Caliber only “marginal” when it came to the side impact test, though it did not come with an optional torso side airbag. There were three different models available upon the initial launch of this vehicle, and a fourth was made available in the middle of 2006.
The SE Caliber model includes front-wheel drive as well as a 1.8 liter 148 horsepower World I4 which uses a Magna T355 5-speed manual transmission. There was also the 2.0 liter 158 horsepower version of this engine which was paired with the CVT2 transmission as an option only. This vehicle has a configuration which lacks air conditioning as well as door locks, mirrors, and power windows. The grille surround on the original Caliber was body-colored, while all of the other available models are chromed.
The SXT model Caliber offers the exact same engine options as the SE, but there are more features that are available as standard with it. Air conditioning was one feature which came standard that did not with this vehicle’s predecessor, as well as the Chill Zone beverage cooler in the front lower glove compartment. The more recent 2011 model of this vehicle came with six new paint schemes as well as standard stability control, with the exception of the Express models, and Sirius traffic which was tied in with the navigation system. The 2012 Caliber models were renamed the SE, SXT, and SXT Plus. All in all, the Caliber has experienced great success in a number of markets around the world.