SXT 4dr Front-wheel Drive Hatchback
2009 Dodge Caliber

2009 Caliber Photos
The Dodge Caliber is classed as a compact car. A five-passenger, five-door vehicle, the Caliber isn't easily categorized, combining elements from hatchback, wagon and minivan designs. Though very popular in Europe, hatchbacks, especially five-door hatchbacks, have not caught on with American buyers. The five-door hatch is a practical design, but most Americans prefer the styling of a traditional sedan with a separate trunk. Maybe that's changing, however. We certainly like hatchbacks.

With availability depending upon the individual Caliber model, there are four different four-cylinder engines, with manual transmissions or a continuously-variable automatic. Relatively affordable, the Caliber is also fairly fuel-efficient, being EPA-rated at 24/30 City/Highway miles per gallon in its most frugal form.

At the other end of the scale, the SRT4 version has a turbocharged engine generating 285 horsepower. With a starting price of $24,840, it is a performance bargain.

The front seats are comfortable, with lots of head room, and there's a large amount of cargo space. Packaging is functional, with folding rear seats that have an optional reclining adjustment and an optional fold-flat front passenger seat to make room for a ladder or lumber. A couple of innovative options, especially for a car in this price class, are an air conditioned compartment in the glove box to chill water bottles or sodas and a swing-down stereo speaker panel attached to the liftgate that converts the back end to a sound stage for beach parties or tailgating.

For 2009 there are only minimal changes. There are four new colors, a few feature changes -- anti-lock brakes are now standard on the SXT trim level and there have been improvements in reducing interior noise levels -- and the 1.8-liter engine now achieves 30 mpg on the EPA highway cycle. In addition, there are changes to some of the options and packages. Finally, all-wheel drive, which was available on the R/T model, is no longer offered.
Full Review

The Dodge Caliber is classed as a compact car. A five-passenger, five-door vehicle, the Caliber isn't easily categorized, combining elements from hatchback, wagon and minivan designs. Though very popular in Europe, hatchbacks, especially five-door hatchbacks, have not caught on with American buyers. The five-door hatch is a practical design, but most Americans prefer the styling of a traditional sedan with a separate trunk. Maybe that's changing, however. We certainly like hatchbacks.

With availability depending upon the individual Caliber model, there are four different four-cylinder engines, with manual transmissions or a continuously-variable automatic. Relatively affordable, the Caliber is also fairly fuel-efficient, being EPA-rated at 24/30 City/Highway miles per gallon in its most frugal form.

At the other end of the scale, the SRT4 version has a turbocharged engine generating 285 horsepower. With a starting price of $24,840, it is a performance bargain.

The front seats are comfortable, with lots of head room, and there's a large amount of cargo space. Packaging is functional, with folding rear seats that have an optional reclining adjustment and an optional fold-flat front passenger seat to make room for a ladder or lumber. A couple of innovative options, especially for a car in this price class, are an air conditioned compartment in the glove box to chill water bottles or sodas and a swing-down stereo speaker panel attached to the liftgate that converts the back end to a sound stage for beach parties or tailgating.

For 2009 there are only minimal changes. There are four new colors, a few feature changes -- anti-lock brakes are now standard on the SXT trim level and there have been improvements in reducing interior noise levels -- and the 1.8-liter engine now achieves 30 mpg on the EPA highway cycle. In addition, there are changes to some of the options and packages. Finally, all-wheel drive, which was available on the R/T model, is no longer offered.
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Retail Price

$17,850 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

NA Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 1.8LI-4
MPG 24 City / 30 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 5-spd man w/OD
Power 148 @ 6500 rpm
Drivetrain front-wheel
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