Another One Bites the Dust: Caliber Being Phased Out At the End of the Year
Dodge had hoped the Caliber would prove to be a straight shot at the heart of the compact car market. Instead, it was a classic automotive misfire. Doomed from the beginning, it was supposed to take the place of the popular Dodge Neon. But the Caliber never had the allure of its predecessor, and now rumor has it that the plug will finally be pulled on the unpopular compact on November 23 opting for a new compact car that will be introduced sometime next year. Since its introduction into Dodge's lineup in 2006 as a 2007 model the Caliber has struggled to find customers outside of rental fleets. The Caliber was hard to classify for starters, with some calling it a compact car, a station wagon, or even a crossover. Dodge hoped the Caliber's truck-like styling would emerge as a class-favorite, but instead it became a liability when SUV sales went into a tailspin as gas prices rose. A multitude of problems ranging from a weak engine to a less-than-desirable interior stunted the Caliber's growth from its launch. Fuel economy and acceleration were both weaker than what was found on the Neon. It wasn't all bad though, as fuel economy was comparable to an automatic-equipped Neon, and the Caliber boasted generous interior space for the class. With Chrysler putting the Caliber out to pasture there's a huge hole at the bottom of its product lineup. Expect a replacement to show up sometime next year. While details are still very limited, we hear the new Dodge will offer a turbocharged Fiat 1.4 liter engine, the current 2.0 liter four cylinder engine, and a 2.4 liter four cylinder engine. These engines will have the option of being mated to a manual, automatic, or Fiat's automated-manual transmission. How would you classify the Caliber? Do you think losing the Caliber for a small car is the right move for Dodge? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: Allpar.com
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