As with any model-line evolution, the Dodge Caliber will be competing for slightly higher end buyers. Actually higher end is a little misleading when the Caliber's predecessor, the Dodge Neon, went up against some bargain basement competition.
Instead, the 2007 Dodge Caliber will target second-time car buyers instead of the first-timers the Neon was priced to allure. According to Steven Landry, Dodge vice president of marketing and product planning, the "Caliber is bigger than your typical small car... it has a lot of standard features you typically wouldn't find on a small car."
We can vouch for that after seeing the rather large Caliber on the stand at Frankfurt. While the new car certainly isn't huge, it definitely eclipses the Neon in size and content. The Caliber is squarely aimed at the VW Golf in Europe, and we suspect many of the standard features a buyer would expect from VW will find their way into our U.S. spec Caliber.
We wonder if DaimlerChrysler should plan for a smaller, lower-end vehicle to place at the start of its line-up. Now that the Caliber is all 'grown-up', maybe Dodge has placed itself out of a potentially hot market, with consumers starting to look at more fuel efficient transportation.
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