2011 Dodge Caliber Heat
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According to The Detroit News, the Dodge Caliber has finally stumbled out of production.

When the Caliber first rolled onto the scene for the 2007 model year, we didn't quite know what to make of it. Replacing the long-serving Neon, the Caliber sported polarizing styling, available all-wheel drive and a taller-than-average ride height. To some, it looked like an aggressively styled tonic to the frankly outdated and somewhat cutesy Neon, while others remained suspect of the car's quasi-SUV aesthetic and intrinsic goodness.

It didn't take long for the reviewers to pile on, however. Pundits argued that the Dodge delivered a lackluster driving experience thanks to an unsorted chassis co-developed with Mitsubishi, an unlovable Jatco-sourced CVT and a coarse interior that was later freshened but never truly fixed. In the end, the doubters appear to have won out, as the Belvidere, Illinois-built compact garnered little critical or popular praise. While the Caliber opened to reasonably strong sales traffic, yearly totals quickly collapsed despite steep discounting and the introduction of a powerful SRT-4 performance variant.

As part of its arrangement with new parent company Fiat, Chrysler has developed the Alfa-Romeo-based Dart as the Caliber's replacement, and expectations are running high ahead of its Detroit Auto Show debut next month. The Dart will need to be excellent, as it faces a veritable murderers' row of competitors, ranging from strong new models like the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra to well-sorted mainstays like the Mazda3 – not to mention perennial sales darlings including the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 75 Comments
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      A huge party should be thrown for this car's demise. It stood for everything wrong with the Diamler/Chrysler years.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only people I've known to actually own them are people who downgraded from a large SUV but still wanted some space but didnt want a truck or one of the new CUV's. To me it was a niche car and should of been promoted as such. "Don't want your SUV anymore but still want some space and a decent chunk of MPG well try out the Caliber!". Something like that if you will. It won't be missed.
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      When you think of it, the Dart's mission in life is daunting. It's entering what is arguably, the most competitive segment there is. Even if it's just near the top of the class, it will be held against it. I hope it's on point!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Cooperaaaron
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a good looking vehicle, but they could have done more.... Time to move on to better things !
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      Begone unwanted step-child! You were the answer to a question nobody asked!
      jinsei888
      • 3 Years Ago
      Euthanized? It should have never been conceived.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Karl T
        • 3 Years Ago
        The great humor in Captain Obvious' post is that the Caliber was built on a version of the Mitsubishi GS platform, and was conceived, designed and engineered while under the control of of Mercedes. Caliber sales justified production for 6 years. How long did the current Civic make it before Honda announced a redesign? Maybe 6 months?
          Bruce Lee
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Karl T
          I don't think the slowness to redesign can really be argued to be a positive aspect, if anything I like it when car companies refresh models a lot more frequently and even though I dislike the new Civic's ridiculously terrible interior (it really was a step back) at least Honda is admitting that they're idiots.
        sirjaysmith
        • 3 Years Ago
        Are you still stuck in 2008? It would obviously seem so. Detroit has come back with a vengence, and the asains are having to sweat finally. Have you not seen what happened to honda and the new civic? The mountain of recalls on various toyota models? (Not refering to anything UA related). The game is changing so fast, apparently you can't keep up. This car dying is chrysler trying to clean itself up, did you even bother to read the article? The replacement dart will make the civic and corolla look obsolete boredem, and the koreans are already doing just that at the same time. I feel a little silly for saying this due to past notions, but Go Big 3!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sirjaysmith
          [blocked]
          Bruce Lee
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sirjaysmith
          The Cruze is definitely competitive at least. I had several people riding in a Cruze LTZ I rented and they all thought it was a "Toyota or Honda" (their words, not mine when I asked them what car they thought it was). Pretty funny. It's ridiculously better than the Cobalt was (I still can't believe how horribly cheap the Cobalt interior was and how bad the mortality rate was in car accidents), ridiculously better than the HHR, the Impala, etc. But you can't trash Toyota just because they have recalls, everyone has recalls and to be honest recalls don't mean a car company has something lousy it just means that they're owning up to something being lousy. To be honest I wish car companies would do more recalls in general because there's "known issues" with just about every model out there but since they aren't safety issues 99% of the time nothing happens. Anyways, the Cruze is a massive improvement and competitive enough that I'd actually strongly consider it if I was shopping for a compact. It does get dinged in a few places though-the much more adequate turbo motor worries me in terms of reliability since all turbo motors are much more of a headache down the line than their NA counterparts, and Chevy really needs to improve the feel in the EPS since it's totally and utterly numb compared to older Chevy vehicles. And the suspension is actually fairly responsive but on lousy roads it gets a lot rougher than a Civic/Corolla/Elantra does. Still, the car impressed me since I basically went into it expect the kind of "quality" that had plagued cars like the HHR. If they can come out with a reliable NA motor for the Cruze I think resale would do a lot better since it's a rather slow car with the non-turbo motor but the turbo motor is likely to require a lot more maintenance and work after the miles pile on.
        Frank
        • 3 Years Ago
        "[American cars] are simply not good any more, except for maybe trucks and SUVs. They are inferior to the Asian competition in reliability, build quality, and interior material quality..." My dear Captain - DO YOU NOT REALIZE THE CALIBER IS MADE FROM A MITSUBISHI PLATFORM?! And last time I checked, they were Asian. Your stupidity is breathtaking!
        Sixspeed
        • 3 Years Ago
        Umm buddy, while you like to talk out of your ass about the Corolla and Civic having superior quality, have you seen New Toyota's...they are not the standard anymore, in fact they have gone way back! Just look at this- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQfuGHBPYBw
          Karl T
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sixspeed
          Brother and his wife test drove a RAV4; couldn't believe how much of a POS the interior was. They picked a CR-V, which is much better quality. Not great, but better. I drove one each of the past two generations of Camry and they were both just as shxtty as my '05 Mazda6.
        tagg8019
        • 3 Years Ago
        You do realize its one car, from one manufacturer? I put the th e Cruze and Focus up against ANY Asian import especially the homely Civic and Fred Flintstones Corolla. Does Nissan even make a compact car? Oh yeah, the Sentra, the optitomy of subpar autos. The Elantra is good but not much if any better than the Focus and Cruze. If you think the UAW shills on this site you are truly delusional. The UAW doesn't give a damn what the public thinks. Evidence? They said they buit the best vehicles the world in the 1980s and 1990s which is blatantly false. Troll on you sociopath fanboy!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tagg8019
          [blocked]
          Dean
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tagg8019
          The Cruze, and Focus, aren't my thing, but I do have to admit that Ford & GM got their act together when it came to putting out a small, competitive car. I can't say the Focus looks bad, especially the fully loaded 5 door version. I'd definitely put both those cars on my list if I were to look for a car in that market.
      Travisty
      • 3 Years Ago
      By the way, anyone else see the potential for massive fail in the upcoming Dodge Dart? I mean, American design, Italian reliability? /joke
      Johnson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Rented this car in 2008 for a week in the Rocky Mountains and it was easily the worst car I've driven since the Ford Tempo in 1990. Just turning a corner at a moderate speed was an adventure. Woefully underpowered with uncertain handling at best.
      4RR4Y
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honey, I Shrunk the Grand Caravan.
      phillip
      • 3 Years Ago
      Driving my dads 2012 caliber heat today and its not as bad as journalists will make you believe. The packaging is convenient and the handling is buttoned up. Everything feels like it was made to last. I don't see where anyone has room to complain about the interior? It's not bad at all. The cvt is not bad and in most cases it helps acceleration rather then hurt it the computer programming is "almost there". Tho it's not perfectly tuned sometimes its not sure weather it wants to go for the quickest acceleration or the most fuel efficient acceleration and there is no kickdown it raises rpms over a few seconds before giving you full power. Also starting rolling from a dead stop is not very smooth kinds jerks but ever so softly. The steering is just overly heavy and sometimes it requires too much effort like in low speed and then sometimes the steering is way too light and quick. Other then these few quibbles its overall not a bad car. Not a car for enthusiasts but its still nice. If someone liked a Honda crv but maybe wanted something more compact then this is a good recommendation. I am sad to see this go but excited to see the new dart. This car is defiantly evidence of Chrysler's bankruptcy in that in it's recovery they never got around to perfecting this car and its good but not great the price however reflects that. After driving the new ram the new durango and the new charger I can say that once again I'm very excited for moose and can not wait to see what's next for them
        artandcolour2010
        • 3 Years Ago
        @phillip
        glad to hear. I always appreciate actual experiences to rumors and opinions on the web. I hope his Caliber gives him nothing but the same smooth sailing in the future! It might be the color, or wheel choice, or series, but sometimes I see a Caliber that's pretty hot to look at in an early 21st century way.
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