2007 to 2012: Dodge Caliber
Introduced for 2007, the compact Dodge Caliber is the result of a joint development venture with Mitsubishi. Its platform is shared with several models, including the Mitsubishi Lancer and Jeep Patriot.
The Dodge Caliber has the look of a tall wagon or a five-door hatchback. Its front end features an oversized cross-hair grille and large headlamp assemblies. A narrow lower grille opening is hemmed in by housings for the available fog lamps.
This model projects an athletic stance with a sculpted hood, pronounced wheel wells and strong shoulders. All models are marked by a receding roofline and multiple profile and character lines, which are accented by available alloy wheels. An available liftgate spoiler is at the rear, as well as large combination lamps and body sculpting.
Inside, the Caliber features front bucket seats and a split-folding rear seat. The front passenger seat folds flat and cloth or leather upholstery is available.
When it launched, the base 2007 Caliber did not offer many standard features. However, more standard equipment was added during its model run, and eventually all Caliber models came with features like keyless entry, power windows and door locks and a USB port.
Upon its 2007 release, the Dodge Caliber offered a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 148 horsepower, which is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Two other engine choices were available, including a 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter engine comes with a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the larger engine is paired exclusively with the CVT.
An SRT4 edition was released for 2008, which is powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 285 horsepower. This front-wheel drive model comes with a six-speed manual transmission.
In 2009, Dodge rolled out updated hard-drive based audio and navigation systems, while all-wheel drive was removed from the options list. The following year Dodge shuffled the Caliber product line, upgraded the interior and discontinued the SRT4 edition.
For 2011, Dodge tweaked the Caliber’s steering system, made stability control standard for most trims and improved the navigation system. In its last year of production, the Caliber’s CVT was modified for improved operation and efficiency.
Competing models include the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Golf. The Caliber can also be considered alongside compact cars like the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte and Honda Civic.