Dodge has been brought more into the mainstream of the UK’s car market with the introduction of their Dodge Caliber into the mid-size C segment. The C-segment is one of the most popular and competitive segments in the market. Tapping into UK buyers from this segment may prove challenging.
The Caliber’s exterior styling is very unique. It borrows traits from several different makes of cars such as SUV’s, 4X4’s, and MPV’s. The car looks durable and strong and sports Dodge’s trademark grill. The car has an increased ride height and a squared off rear end.
The interior boasts some pretty dynamic changes as well. The ride height has been increased and is very noticeable, the dash is taller and the windows have been shrunken. There have been some nice features added too that increase the comfort of the cabin. The cabin design is practical and useful.
The car sports a 2.0 petrol-litre engine and a CVT transmission. The car is front-wheel drive, and has an air conditioned glove box and the front seat folds down and changes into a table for the driver’s convenience. The diesel engine option is the best choice for fuel economy and added efficiency.
The Dodge Caliber is reasonably priced and competitive with other cars in its segment. The diesel alternative makes the car even more cost effective and offers the same level of equipment as the competitors.
The Caliber has a spacious cabin and boot. Head and legroom is good for front passengers. Rear passengers will enjoy enough legroom but headroom may be limited for taller passengers. The boot is large and able to accommodate most packages.
The Caliber’s controls and buttons are large and simple facilitating ease of use. The controls are all practically placed and easy for the driver to find. The interior fixtures are also nice looking and do not come across as cheap; the car has green backlighting that accentuates the quality feel of the cabin.
The Caliber provides a smooth, decent ride while providing good levels of cabin comfort. The seats are firm and supportive but not too firm. Engine and road noises are well concealed at low speeds but tend to increase at higher speeds. The car is not a performance car, it’s not designed for speed, but it is well constructed and the design tends to focus more on passenger comfort.
The car provides easy accessibility. The car is built up high enough that passengers are able to slide into the vehicle quite easily. The boot is extra accessible as well thanks to its small loading lip.
The Caliber can be parked with limited difficulty. The car is small enough and the driver sits up high enough that parking doesn’t pose much of a problem. However, limited rear visibility can complicate things, and the cars longer bonnet can make it difficult to judge distance.
The Caliber is not an exciting or thrilling car to drive. The diesel version offers good acceleration but the car is geared more toward delivering a comfortable ride, and it does that quite well.
The Caliber would make a very practical family car. It is spacious and reliable. The large boot could accommodate the rigors of family life, and it would not be too difficult to load and unload groceries with such a small loading lip.
This car has great appeal for first time drivers. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase, has reasonable running costs and insurance should be affordable as well. It is easy to handle and delivers a smooth ride. It makes perfect sense for a new driver.
The Caliber is not the highest quality vehicle but its not the lowest either. The materials and parts used to build the Caliber are good and adequate but not top-of-the-line. The cost for value is good though. The unique exterior design gives the car an attractive appeal and the car’s American brand name helps to boost that image.
Security and Safety
Due to the attractive and unique exterior of the Caliber it will definitely draw attention. The car comes standard with remote central locking, an engine immobilizer, and an alarm system. Some buyers may choose to use a visual deterrent as well.
The car comes complete with the usual safety features including twin front airbags and ABS.
The car comes with a basic stereo CD player. There are many attractive options available though such as a six disc CD changer, and the MusicGate Power System that comes with two speakers mounted in the boot that can fold down when listening to music outdoors.
The Caliber looks good sporting a bright red color. Red helps to accentuate the cars unique style and makes the Dodge even more eye catching. The interior is comprised of mostly dark colors, but has an occasional splash of metal.
The Caliber is unique in the way that it looks and scores exceptionally high marks in the style category. For comfort and quality build the car is average. For driving the car is also average, and unfortunately the car is also average when it comes to safety. For a car whose exterior design promises something different, the car itself is very average in most regards.