2007 Dodge Caliber R/T review and pictures

Posted on Tuesday, 9 May 2006 , 18:05:20 byEmil

Filed under Dodge

Dodge Caliber R/T

Dodge is taking a new slant on the global compact car market, introducing the 2007 Dodge Caliber at a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $13,985 (including a $560 destination charge), $410 below the outgoing Dodge Neon.
Dodge Caliber redefines the entry-level vehicle by combining high value with bold styling and a flexible interior. It is designed to appeal to buyers around the world who want Dodge attitude packaged with the capability and versatility of a sport-utility vehicle and the affordability and fuel-efficiency of an entry-level compact car.

Dodge Caliber will appeal to up-and-coming buyers looking for a compact car that stands out from the crowd and gives them the flexibility to do more in terms of seating friends and storing gear. Caliber has the versatility and flexibility to accommodate their lifestyle.

"Dodge Caliber is not your typical small car," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President - Global Marketing. "The all-new Dodge Caliber redefines the compact car by combining crossover styling with space-efficient packaging, interior flexibility, innovative features and affordable performance. Caliber allows owners around the globe to be active, do more and stand out - to live life to the fullest, and do so at a very competitive price," Murphy added.

The 2007 Dodge Caliber will be available in U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2006 and in global volume markets in the second quarter of 2006.

Room to Grow
In North America, Dodge Caliber will draw from the compact and mid-size car segments and appeal to first-time new car purchasers, including those whose first car may have been used. It also will draw from the small and mid-size sport-tourer segments. The compact car segment has held at a steady 10- to 12-percent share of the U.S. car market for the past few years, with approximately 1.9 million units sold annually. The sport-tourer segment is growing, with more than 800,000 units sold each year. Small sport-tourer sales account for 40 percent of the total sport-tourer segment and also continue to grow.

With the all-new Caliber, Dodge is targeting 20-something first-time new car buyers who earn a median income of $45,000. Thirty-five percent are college graduates. Dodge Caliber is also designed to appeal to forty-something parents buying a car for their children. These parents demand safety and consider the cost of ownership before buying a vehicle.

Outside North America, Caliber will spearhead the Dodge brand's expansion into Europe and other global volume markets as a boldly styled, affordable entry into the competitive C-segment.

'Pure Dodge' Design
Dodge Caliber is a five-door vehicle that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV. Caliber's sheer surface treatment commands attention and evokes attributes that define the Dodge brand: bold, powerful, capable and street smart.

"With its bold styling and clever packaging, Caliber is pure Dodge," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President - Design, Chrysler Group. "The Dodge Caliber brings emotion to the competitive compact car segment," Creed added.

There is no mistaking Caliber. The all-new compact car has Dodge's imprint stamped into its DNA from the grille to the tailpipe. The signature crosshair grille gives Caliber the distinct face of Dodge and defines its strong, muscular front view.

Strong, sculpted fender forms, broad shoulders and a distinctive hood give Caliber its proud, powerful stance. Large, crystal headlamps and available fog lamps complement the Dodge grille and create an integrated look that completes Caliber's sporty appearance.

A black graphic design accent, which runs the length of the roof, melds into an integrated rear-roof spoiler, creating a coupe-like visual quality from the side view. New and unique glass-to-body proportions give the Dodge Caliber a tough, protective presence, and the forward sweep of the tailgate further emphasizes Caliber's sporty profile.

The rear view of the Dodge Caliber is as distinctive and powerful as the front. The black roof spoiler with integrated center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) and large modular crystal taillamps fill Caliber's rear corners and provide distinct focal points of the Caliber's rear-view design. Dodge's "do more" philosophy is evident in Caliber's rear liftgate, which provides easy access to the vehicle's spacious interior.

Fun Features and Flexibility
Customer demand for a compact vehicle with a lot of interior flexibility and utility had a big influence on Dodge Caliber's interior, which provides comfortable seating for the driver and up to four passengers, plus room for gear.

"Dodge Caliber's spacious interior also is very versatile," said Matt Liddane, Chief Engineer - Dodge Caliber. "We combined style and comfort with innovative features and clever packaging to create a vehicle that gives new meaning to functionality in the compact car market."

"Circling the globe for best practices enabled our engineers to develop an entirely new front- and all-wheel-drive platform in the very competitive global compact car segment," said Larry Lyons, Vice President - Front-wheel Drive Product Team. "We targeted things consumers want most and developed a vehicle with an all-new global powertrain that addresses these priorities by providing excellent fuel economy, reliability, performance and value."

Dodge Caliber's powertrain and drive systems offer many Chrysler Group firsts in the compact car market. Dodge Caliber is the first Chrysler Group vehicle to offer the full range of World Engines and a second-generation Continuously Variable Transaxle (CVT2). A 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine is available in markets outside North America. Dodge Caliber also is Chrysler Group's first compact car to offer all-wheel-drive capability and electronic ESP with traction control (late availability).

Three World Engine offerings (1.8-, 2.0- and 2.4-liter) provide class-leading horsepower (148 hp, 158 hp and 172 hp, respectively). Chrysler Group engineers met aggressive performance and fuel economy targets through advanced cylinder head port and intake manifold design. Technologies in the Chrysler Group World Engine include dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and intake manifold design with flow control valves, firsts for a Chrysler Group compact car. Combined, these features produce more power, better fuel economy and smoother, quieter operation than engines without them.

Dodge Caliber's CVT2 is a second-generation CVT that Chrysler Group engineers have calibrated for pleasing engine response, precise ratio control and an AutoStick® feature that allows for manual control with the simulation of six stepped gears. CVT2 contributes to a fuel economy improvement of 6-8 percent compared with a traditional 4-speed automatic.

Dodge Caliber is the Chrysler Group's first compact car with available electromagnetically controlled all-wheel drive with variable torque output, which gives customers year-round assurance, added performance and seamless, automatic operation.

Built for Global Appeal
Dodge Caliber will be available in close to 100 countries outside North America, which led designers and engineers to consider global market demands when developing this all-new compact car.

In addition to its global powertrain, Dodge Caliber meets safety, feature and convenience standards in markets around the world. To ensure its success in global volume markets, Caliber will launch outside North America with both right- and left-hand drive models and an available turbo diesel engine. Dodge Caliber also meets and complies with all regulatory requirements, as well as off-set crash tests in Europe and Australia and front-impact compliance for Japan and Australia. Dodge Caliber's manual and automatic transaxle shifters are packaged in the center stack instead of the floor console, which is more common in Japanese and European markets. The Caliber's transaxle also has been upgraded to provide excellent shift quality and shift effort that is as smooth as any compact car on the road today.

A High-Caliber Line-up
Dodge Caliber enters the U.S. market priced $410 below the outgoing Dodge Neon with more content, including standard side-curtain air bags. The newest compact car on the market is available in Caliber SE, Caliber SXT and Caliber R/T models.

At a U.S. MSRP of $13,985 (including $560 destination charge), the Dodge Caliber SE includes a standard 148 horsepower 1.8-liter World Engine coupled with a five-speed manual transaxle. Other standard equipment not typically found in compact cars at this price includes; standard side-curtain air bags, a vinyl load floor, auxiliary radio input jack, electrically lit front cup holders, 12-volt power outlet, a center console sliding armrest that moves forward 3 inches to accommodate shorter drivers. The armrest lid features a unique flip pocket for storing a cell phone or an MP3 player. Additional standard features include body color grille and fascias and black door handles, flexible 60/40 split-fold rear seats, manual windows and locks, fabric seats, tilt steering wheel, dome and cargo lights and 15-inch wheels and tires.

Optional features on the Dodge Caliber SE include a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter World Engine coupled with the second-generation CVT2 (which includes standard anti-lock brakes), six-disc radio with cassette and MP3 CD play capability, Power Group (which includes driver one-touch power window, power locks, remote keyless entry and power mirrors), body color liftgate applique, air conditioning, Chill Zone® (which is an integrated instrument panel beverage cooler included with air conditioning), integrated instrument panel beverage cooler, speed control, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Uconnect™ hands-free communication system, trailer tow group, floor mats and MusicGate Power (a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with subwoofer that includes two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate. When the liftgate is open, the speakers can swing down from the trim panel to face rearward for tailgating and other activities).

Dodge Caliber SXT features a standard 148 horsepower 1.8-liter World Engine coupled with a five-speed manual transaxle. In addition to the many standard features included on the SE model, the SXT adds 60/40 rear seats that both fold flat and recline, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a dual-purpose re-chargeable/removable interior lamp, map light, air conditioning, Chill Zone® tachometer, power windows, mirrors and door locks, remote keyless entry, 110-volt electrical outlet in the center console, manual seat height adjuster, floor mats, bright silver IP bezels and switches. The Dodge Caliber SXT's exterior features standard black dual power mirrors, body-color body-side molding, chrome grille and 17-inch wheels and wheel covers.

Available options on the Dodge Caliber SXT beyond those offered on the SE model include a 2.0-liter World Engine coupled with the CVT2, leather steering wheel with radio control options, heated seats, power sunroof, fog lamps, 17-inch aluminum wheels, a Security Group (which includes tonneau cover, alarm and air filtration system) and a Driver Convenience Group (which includes compass and temperature gauge, universal garage door opener, electrochromic mirror and tire pressure monitor) and a Leather Interior Group (which includes leather seats, heated front seats and manual lumbar adjuster).

A Sport Package also is available on the SXT model and includes fog lamps, 17-inch aluminum wheels and a Sport Appearance Package (which includes cloth seats with colored inserts, color-keyed PRNDL and instrument panel bezels).

The Dodge Caliber R/T with all-wheel drive features a standard 172-horsepower 2.4-liter World Engine with dual VVT coupled with CVT2, anti-lock brakes, AutoStick, a sport-suspension, performance steering and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

In addition to the standard features on the SE and SXT models, standard features on the Dodge Caliber R/T include leather steering wheel with radio controls, tonneau cover, premium fabric seats, silver bezels on the instrument panel and chrome interior door handles.

The Dodge Caliber R/T's exterior features a chrome grille, body-color lower fascias, body-color sill moldings, chrome plated body-side moldings, body-color door handles and fog lamps.

An optional feature on the Dodge Caliber R/T models equipped with all-wheel drive, beyond those offered on the SXT, include 18-inch chrome wheels.

All 2007 Dodge Caliber models will be available in Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Solar Yellow Clear Coat, Sunburst Orange Pearl Coat, Marine Blue Pearl Coat, Steel Blue Metallic Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black Clear Coat and Stone White Clear Coat.

All models feature a two-tone interior color theme of dark and lighter shades of Pastel Slate Gray or Pastel Pebble Beige. An optional Sport Appearance Package includes Pastel Slate Gray with red, yellow, orange or blue seat inserts that coordinate with the exterior color, center stack and shifter bezels.