Brand new for 2007, the Dodge Caliber is a compact, four-door hatchback that was introduced as a replacement for the Dodge Neon. As the most affordable vehicle in Dodge’s 2007 lineup, the Caliber is available solely as a hatchback/wagon with no option for a sedan version. The Caliber was apparently introduced to cater to drivers’ ever-increasing concerns over fuel economy and thus offers drivers a choice of three fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines.
Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder; 2.0-liter four-cylinder; 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, CVT
Models: Dodge Caliber SE, Dodge Caliber SXT, Dodge Caliber R/T
The 2007 Dodge Caliber is a brand new compact four-door hatchback. The model offers good interior versatility, a choice of several fuel-efficient engines, and distinct styling influenced by Dodge trucks.
A compact four-door hatchback, the 2007 Dodge Caliber boasts distinctive styling that resembles a Dodge Ram truck. This is especially true up front, with the oversize headlights, a crosshair grille, and muscular fender flares. Choosing the optional 18-inch wheels gives the Caliber an even beefier look.
The base model SE is affordably-priced and equipped with standard 15-inch wheels. Optional features include power mirrors. Stepping up to the midrange SXT model gets you 17-inch wheels and keyless entry. SXT customers can also upgrade to alloy wheels. The line-topping R/T trim level is basically the same as the SXT, except that it features 18-inch alloys, a sport-tuned suspension, a sport-tuned steering rack, and sportier exterior trim.
Capable of seating up to five passengers, the 2007 Dodge Caliber is a versatile hatchback that’s ideally suited for most routine tasks. Cargo space can be expanded up to 48 cubic feet by lowering the rear seats. The rear portion of the cargo area is made from vinyl, which allows for easy cleaning. Most models also feature front seating that folds forward. One of the Caliber’s most distinct features is the ChillZone, a cooled box for storing beverages.
Other interior features include a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, an iPod holder, illuminated rings for front cup holders, and optional stereo speakers mounted in the liftgate.
The base model SE is equipped with standard features that include a stereo with a CD player, and auxiliary input jack. Optional features include air-conditioning and power windows. Stepping up to the midrange SXT model gets you all of those options along with 60/40-split rear seats that recline and fold, fold-flat front passenger seats, and a 115-volt power outlet. Additional upgrades for the SXT model include a sunroof, leather seating, front seat heating, color-keyed instrument panel, Bluetooth connectivity, and cruise control. Available audio upgrades for the 2007 Dodge Caliber include a six-CD changer, a MusicGate speaker package and satellite radio.
Performance & Handling
The 2007 Dodge Caliber delivers a smooth ride for city driving. The fuel-efficient CVT transmission featured on some models is generally pretty good and hard to distinguish from a regular automatic, aside from a lack of distinct upshift when you really step on the gas. As far as drivability goes, the front-wheel-drive R/T model is best in terms of entertainment value.
Front-wheel-drive versions of the SE and SXT come equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. The optional two-liter four-cylinder is rated at 158 horsepower and produces 141 lb-ft of torque. The top-of-the-line R/T version sports a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 172 horse and capable of producing 165 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is also available for the R/T.
Both the 1.8-liter SE and SXT models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission. Front-wheel-drive versions of the R/T also come with five-speed manuals. However, the two-liter version and the AWD R/T feature a continuously variable transmission.
Both SE and SXT models come with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. However, both models can be upgraded to feature an anti-lock braking system that comes with brake assist and is bundled with a two-liter engine and CVT. The R/T model comes standard with four-wheel disc brakes and ABS. Head-protecting side curtain airbags for outboard passengers are standard for all models as are driver’s side knee-blocker airbags. Optional safety features include front-seat-mounted side airbags, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and stability control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Caliber 1.8-liter four-cylinder: 24/29 mpg city/highway
Dodge Caliber 2.0-liter four-cylinder: 26/30 mpg city/highway
Dodge Caliber 2.4-liter four-cylinder: 21/25 mpg city/highway
- Available all-wheel drive
- Array of fuel-efficient powertrain options
- Interior versatility
You Won't Like
- Poor acceleration
- Safety features that come standard on many models are optional
The 2007 Dodge Caliber is a versatile, compact hatchback that offers reasonably good value.
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