2008 Dodge Caliber
There are 36 user reviews for the SE trim shown below
- Good Fuel Economy, Reliable and Sporty
- Be careful with blind spots
Purchased As New
This is a great car for the money; albeit sticker price is a little high. Gas mileage is great, but stick to highway speed limits; anything over 65 MPH will really begin to degrade your fuel mileage. Sticking to highway speeds you end up with 28-30 MPG easy. It's a nice car with a rather nice design and the interior is actually very nice for being all plastic, but what isn't anymore? The 2.0 liter 4 cyl. engline and CVT2 transmission are nice as well but you won't get the instant "get-up-and-go" you get with a 6 cyl. The transmission is really nice and smooth with shifting but if you need to step on the pedal and go, you will wait a second for the computer to find a gear ratio and interpret how much pressure you're putting on the pedal since it is an electronic throttle. The stereo is nice, but nothing like the 8 speaker Boston acoustics you get with the R/T and if you get the optional Cool Zone in the glove compartment you'll actually keep your drinks cold!
I've owned the car for one year now and after 30,000 miles I cannot complain. Road noise is not that bad, actually it was an improvement for me over my 1997 Dodge Stratus. It is also nice that it sits higher than most sedans too. I had to replace the tires at 20,000 miles as the Dunlop tires that came stocked were horrible on that car, despite the good safety ratings they received. A new set of tires and the car runs excellent! There is plenty of cargo storage with the rear seats up and when they are folded down, you have a ton of space.
Do be careful with the blind spots, though. I bought some convex mirrors to stick onto my side mirrors (placed the convex mirrors on the outside edge of the mirror, not the inside bottom corner) to get a better view, which was a great $2 fix. You still have the problem with other blind spots, but if you're a good driver, your head should be moving around when changing lanes, etc., to make sure you have enough room to complete that lane change or park the car. After all, that is what they taught in driving school.
Overall a great car to own and drive! Don't go speeding down the road with it though or fuel economy will suffer but the car will do 70-75 MPH without too much of a problem. My only other complaint is about the CVT2 transmission - it does struggle going up long, steep hills as the computer has a hard time finding a good gear ratio. To overcome this, you can either try to find a speed to maintain that won't cause the transmission to shift a lot, or shift the transmission into 'L' (Low) to stay in "first gear" only. If you're going down a road and come to a big hill at a highway speed (45 MPH or better) you won't have a problem.
My car was on one long car trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Ocean City, MD and it was great driving it the whole trip and got excellent gas mileage in the process.
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