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2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

4dr HB FWD

Starting at | Starting at 28 MPG City - 32 MPG Highway

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  • $13,850 original MSRP
Printable Version

2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

Benefits of Driving a 2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

The base Caliber costs $13,575, which is $225 cheaper than the last iteration of the Neon. It comes standard with a slew of air bags and a smattering of gadgets. This price point places it squarely in the middle of the entry-level market it's targeting, but with more cool-factor styling and available options than many of its rivals. Buyers who opt for higher horsepower, more speakers, and all-wheel drive can still spend less than $21,000.

What's new for 2007?

Dodge's replacement for the Neon keeps the low price and high mpg rating, but trades in the Neon's familiar design for a more aggressive-looking five-seat, five-door crossover hatchback.

Model Strengths

  • Economy pricing with personality
  • lots of gadgets for less money
  • AWD and CVT availability

Model Review

The Caliber is available in several trims, all of which include standard front and side curtain air bags, plus an auxiliary input jack, and flat-folding rear seats for extra cargo space.

Printable Version

2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

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2007 Dodge Caliber

Source: MSN Autos

Car-loving kids used to draw sleek sports cars when bored in classrooms decades ago. Some probably still do that, but others are likely these days to draw something resembling the new, aggressive-looking Dodge Caliber crossover vehicle, which combines car and SUV attributes.

The early 2007 Caliber is built at DaimlerChrysler's refurbished Belvidere, Ill., plant, where its predecessor—the 1994-05 Dodge Neon—was built. The compact, front-wheel-drive Neon had become dated, compared to newer Japanese and South Korean competitors. The 4-door Caliber looks and feels quite contemporary.

World Market
I first saw the Caliber at the 2005 Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland, where it was displayed to show Dodge's commitment to sell it in Europe—and in other markets outside North America. That's why it has a versatile hatchback design and comes with economical 4-cylinder engines.

Calibers sold here will have gasoline engines, but those offered in other countries will have right- and left-hand drive and be available with a 2.0-liter 134-horsepower turbocharged diesel 4-cylinder because nearly half the cars sold in Europe have diesels.

DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler group, which produces Dodges, Chryslers and Jeeps, says one Caliber market in America is occupied by "40-something parents who are buying a car for their children." But the Caliber will be the only vehicle for one-car families in less affluent countries, and consequently must be versatile, rugged and economical to operate.

The new Jeep Compass, which also will be built at the Belvidere facility, is based on the Caliber, and Jeeps are expected to be rugged.

Early Watch
However, early Caliber buyers should watch for quality control problems. For example, the rear hatch on my test Caliber repeatedly popped open no less than five times in a row after being slammed shut each time—thus causing a dashboard warning light to continually go on and interior lights to stay lit.

The Caliber starts as the $13,425 SE, and also is sold as the $15,425 SXT and $19,425 R/T. The SE and SXT trim levels have front-wheel drive, while the R/T comes only with all-wheel drive.

Caliber engines fit the car's international nature, being jointly developed by the Chrysler group, Hyundai and Mitsubishi.

Drivetrain Variety
The front-wheel-drive SE's 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine develops 148 horsepower, with an optional 2.0-liter 158-horsepower 4-cylinder offered. The 1.8 comes only with a 5-speed manual gearbox, while the 2.0-liter works with a CVT continuously variable automatic transmission, which is efficient but has a notchy shifter.

The front-wheel-drive SXT is offered with the 1.8-liter with the manual as standard and the 2.0-liter with the CVT automatic as optional.

The R/T comes only with all-wheel drive and is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 172 horsepower. The R/T is available only with the CVT, which adds a manual shift feature. (A regular manual gearbox will be offered later this year.) Sharper handling is provided by 18-inch (up from 17-inch) wheels.

Estimated fuel economy is decent: 23-27 mpg in the city and 26-32 on highways, depending on the engine, transmission and drive system.

Hot Upcoming Version
Performance car lovers are waiting for the front-wheel-drive Caliber SRT4. It arrives later this year with a 300-horsepower turbocharged version of the R/T engine, backed by a 6-speed manual transmission. It's said to do 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and have racier styling, a sportier interior and larger tires on fat 19-inch alloy wheels. Its estimated price is approximately $25,000.

I tested the Caliber R/T, which felt like a larger, heavier vehicle. However it provided decent, if not head-jerking acceleration with the most potent Caliber engine. The extra weight of its all-wheel-drive system probably caused the engine to sound as if working a little hard during brisk acceleration, but no Caliber engine is known to be especially quiet.

Overly Fast Steering
The R/T's "performance" steering was a little too fast for average driving. That caused the car to occasionally drift into an adjoining freeway lane when I let my attention wander on my way home after a hard day's work.

Handling was good, and the ride was supple over rough roads despite the R/T's firmer sport suspension. The brake pedal had a nice linear action for consistently smooth stops.

Chair-like Seating
The Caliber is a fraction shorter than the Neon, although it's slightly wider and 4.4 inches higher, which results in impressive head room. It's easy to park and maneuver in traffic, and its height allows upright, chair-like seating and comfortable room for four 6-footers.

The interior is generally quiet, with supportive front seats, and occupants sit higher than they would in most compact cars. One gets the feel of an SUV—or of a "crossover," if you will.

The height allows tall doors, which makes it a breeze to slide in or out. However, thick windshield posts partially block visibility when you're turning a corner, although overall visibility is pretty good.

Roomy Cargo Area
The roomy cargo area has a wide, fairly low opening. Reclining rear seatbacks on SXT and R/T trim levels flip forward and sit flat to significantly enlarge that area. Front seatbacks also can be flipped forward for even more cargo space.

Reflections in covers of the deeply set gauges can make them difficult to read under certain light conditions, but climate controls are large—as are most sound system controls. A deep console bin with a cover and large glove box provide room to temporarily stash smaller objects to discourage the smash-and-grab crowd.

The ignition switch on the steering column is hard to find, and front cupholders are set too low at the front of the console. Rear cupholders are behind the front console, but at floor level. It's always been a problem with smaller vehicles to find room to conveniently locate desired features.

Chill Zone
The Caliber has a good amount of standard safety and convenience equipment. Reasonably priced extras include a power sunroof, upscale sound system and Sirius satellite radio. A clever option is a "Chill Zone," which is a cooled beverage storage bin available with air conditioning. It can hold up to four 20-ounce bottles or cans.

The aggressively priced Caliber is better in some respects than many American nameplate compacts. It should be very competitive with Asian models.

Printable Version

2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 MilesDrivetrain: 3 Years/36,000 MilesCorrosion: 5 Years/100,000 MilesRoadside Assistance: 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Dodge Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2007 Dodge Caliber Hatchback

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