2008 Dodge Caliber
There are 36 user reviews for the SE trim shown below
- Looks cute, nice sound system, has been dependable
- Fuel economy stinks, squeaks and rattles, manual trans is very rough
Purchased As New
I've had my 2008 Caliber SE (very basic model - manual transmission, no power...just A/C and radio) for nearly 3 years now and have put 80,000 miles on it. I bought this car when I got hired at my current job because the commute is 60 miles one way so I'd be putting about 500 miles/week on it at the very least - at the time I was driving a Honda CR-V which only got about 24 miles/gallon and I wanted something with better fuel economy and this Caliber was stickered at 30mpg highway. It's cute enough on the outside and even though the model I have is "stripped down" (which I did on purpose, for fuel economy and for the basic fact that I'd be putting so many miles on it so fast, it would depreciate a ton), it's still comfortable to sit in for longer road trips, and the trunk space is just huge. It was also super cheap, which was a bonus, I think I got it for just over $12K. However, I'm very disappointed with the MPG's. 30 MPG, is what the window sticker read, but there is no way. I have never even gotten close to that! I drive a very flat, all-highway drive every day where the speed limit is 70 and I typically get about 25-26MPG if I drive exactly the speed limit. Even 5mph faster makes that number go way down, there have been times where the gas light has come on at only 245 miles (with a 13 gallon tank!)..that is only about 19 mpg! Road noise is loud (better now with upgraded tires)...I have the manual trans., and when it's cold outside, it bucks like a bronco til it warms up. Doors are squeaky, front passenger seat is squeaky, brakes are squeaky (multiple inspections say they are fine and don't need to be replaced) and the horn has (for no apparent reason) stopped working TWICE now, and there is no fuse for it, it has to be taken in to get fixed. Had to have all spark plugs replaced and fuel system cleaned for $500 after just one year of ownership b/c it started acting like it was going to die every time I stopped at a red light. If you put the rear window down while driving, it sounds like a helicopter is hovering above you! Blind spots are huge, which wasn't too much of a problem before, but I've had a second child since I bought this car and now that his "big boy" rear-facing car seat is installed, forget it, I can't see anything!
Overall I am disappointed, esp in the gas mileage, had I known it was going to be so low I would have stuck with my CR-V which got similar gas mileage but was also all power and had a lot more room. Now that I have two kids I am ready to get rid of it and go for one of the newer, more fuel-sipping crossovers (GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox, etc). The Caliber has served its purpose and overall been dependable, though...no major mechanical issues.
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