California Autos Examiner

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dodge Caliber, Another Take: A Success?

A few days ago I wrote up an article about the Caliber not fairing well in comparison tests. Today I want to present the other side. Firstly, news broke that Chrysler has told dealers to stop granting employee-level pricing on the Caliber to all but the immediate family of workers and retirees. The move is widely interpreted to mean that the Caliber is doing better than expected and that Chrysler wants to maximize its profits. Chrysler reported sales of more than 6,500 Calibers in March, and April sales are on track for a higher total.

Next up in the Caliber's corner was its warm reception by Detroit News' 2006 Automotive Consumer Panel. Ten out of ten panelists said they would recommend the Caliber to family and friends, while six said they would buy it themselves. Hits? The cooled beverage storage bin that can hold four 20-ounce bottles, blue-green illuminated front cupholders and hatchback versatility. Misses? The price of the fully equipped R/T that stickered at more than $23,000 and the lack of the power in the 158hp Caliber SXT. Oddly, the article didn't mention anything about the Caliber's rather cheap interior bits.

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