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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I test drove an SXT 2.0L last night. From a stop I found accelleration to be extremely poor. About on par with a Toyota Prius Hybrid. I was not able to drive it on the interstate as rush hour had it packed. Was able to drive city streets up to about 50mph.

What I worry about is how it does for accelleration when passing. It just seemed very very sluggish.

I also worry about how it will do up mountain grades. Most of the opinions I've read are coming from people that live in rather flat states with only small hills. I live where 6% interstate grades are common.
 

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Well, I have an SE 2.0. What I have noticed is the 0-20ish range is REALLY slow. But after that, it seems just to climb and climb. It may not climb fast, but it's consistant. It doesn't accellerate any slower from 40-50 as it would 70-80. I passed someone the other day, and I was suprised I went from 75 to 90 in about 7 or 8 seconds. (I didn't time it by any means) But I passed him with no problems.

You'll be happy.
 

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I also heard that as the engine "breaks in", your accelaration greatly increases.
 

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katiescaliber said:
I also heard that as the engine "breaks in", your accelaration greatly increases.
Katie is absolutely right; this has been mentioned in various threads here.

I test-drove mine on a route that is a combination of 4-lane limited-access "bypass" and some side roads, and considered it at least adequate for my driving needs. Initial roll-off wasn't real impressive, but I didn't expect to be, either - but it really has some "zip" after that, and the CVT transmission can really make you think that you are accelerating and traveling slower that you really are.

I bought it as sufficient for my overall needs and able to handle various traffic concerns encountered in a popular tourist area (common local traffic, congested tourist routes, open limited-access highways).

However, at around 500-600 miles on the odometer, it had EXTREMELY NOTICEABLE performance improvement as far as starting and otherwise-driving acceleration - and has progressively improved since. I'm just over 1,200 miles now, and it's completely different than when I test-drive and bought it.

Gas mileage also improves in similar manner with proper break-in, as also mentioned in various threads on this board.

I can't comment on the mountain grades, however; where I live and have traveled so far is extremely flat.

I should note that mine is also an SXT (Sport) with the 2.0L engine.
 

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Huff said:
I test drove an SXT 2.0L last night. From a stop I found accelleration to be extremely poor. About on par with a Toyota Prius Hybrid. I was not able to drive it on the interstate as rush hour had it packed. Was able to drive city streets up to about 50mph.

What I worry about is how it does for accelleration when passing. It just seemed very very sluggish.

I also worry about how it will do up mountain grades. Most of the opinions I've read are coming from people that live in rather flat states with only small hills. I live where 6% interstate grades are common.
I have test driven several 2.0 CVTs, and while they feel slow to accelrate, when you look down at the speedo, you are going considerably faster than you thought you were...I attributed this to the lack of shifting with the CVT. I prefer the manual, but have not yet found one to test drive in the Cleveland Area
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The test reports I have seen show 0-60 times of about 10.4 which is slow. I don't need a sports car but want something that can pass quickly on highways when needed as well as hold a decent speed up long steep mountain grades.
 

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Huff said:
The test reports I have seen show 0-60 times of about 10.4 which is slow. I don't need a sports car but want something that can pass quickly on highways when needed as well as hold a decent speed up long steep mountain grades.
I dont see what a 0 to 60 time has to do with passing a car on the highway. Once your moving the car is plenty capable of passing on the interstates, even on hills. Your not going to break any speed records but it will get the job done.
 

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Huff said:
The test reports I have seen show 0-60 times of about 10.4 which is slow. I don't need a sports car but want something that can pass quickly on highways when needed as well as hold a decent speed up long steep mountain grades.
I do agree with PAJeep, and see the 0-60 as more vital when driving conditions would usually require entering/merging into traffic on limited-access highways or similar acceleration needs from a stopped or slow speed in order to effectively and safely join a particular flow of traffic.

I am interested to hear of mountain grade and similar-condition capabilities of the Caliber, however, as I will likely make at least one longer trip in mine (to Pennsylvania) in a few months.
 

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Off the line the Caliber is not the fastest there is, but it certainly isn't slow. When you get past 10mph the thing takes off! Passing at freeway speeds is also great, the thing takes off at high speeds (I find that I have to really watch it because you'll be doing 20mph over the speed limit before you know it).

I did the stopwatch time with my SXT/2.0L and hit 0-60 in 8 seconds. That's great for a 3000lb car with a 2.0L 4-banger. The power to weight ratio is 19lbs/hp, and that the same for the R/T with the 2.4 (the 4x4 R/T is heavier).
 

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Last weekend I travelled across the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Ohio to the Harrisburg area in my Caliber SXT 2.0, CVT. I'm not sure there are any 6% grades, but there are several steep uphill climbs crossing the Allegheny Mountains. My car had no problem with the climbs or in passing other traffic. On the trip out traffic was pretty heavy and I did not use speed control. I varied the speed a bit, but mainly drove 65 to 75. On the trip back I used the speed control and had no trouble. Averaged nearly 28mpg.
 

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The only issue with acceleration I've had is from a full stop, like at a traffic light. But I've had no problems with interstate merging or passing.
I previously drove a six cylinder 200+ hp car, so I notice the Caliber is slower off the line. But there is no hesitation/delay as there would be on a standard automatic tranny when it changes gears. I figure you make up quickly what you may lack off the line.
 

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I'll be going to upstate NY this weekend, so I'll be doing a combo of highway and mountainous local roads. I will be sure to report back on my experience. The 96 Neon I had totally sucked in acceleration onto highways, as well as on hills. Nevertheless, it always got me there and back. :D And my Caliber has way more pick up and power, so I'm not worried. Actually, I haven't really been concerned with initial acceleration, I've been trying to save gas by not being a lead-foot! But to me, it's been more than adequate. I'll be back Wednesday evening with the details!
 

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Huff said:
The test reports I have seen show 0-60 times of about 10.4 which is slow. I don't need a sports car but want something that can pass quickly on highways when needed as well as hold a decent speed up long steep mountain grades.

Unless you dirve nuts and love using up gas the Caliber does fine.

I took her on a drive the other night in the Spring Mountains here in Nevada and there was no issue with inital pickup speed or keeping it going in the Mountains 70 to 75 mph. Passing other once you are over 20mph is a breeze. I have 1700 miles on mine now, driving it way too much. My mpg on the last tank was 26.2, I have the AWD R/T

Plus if you want more speed in the 0 to 20 range use the shift feature, it does add more pickup but also eats more gas.

I traded from a 200hp V-6 to this and am completely happy with the pickup, seems just as fast a my old last vehicle.

Flaps
 

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I find the acceleration to be more then adequate, I have had civics and 1.8T golfs race me from a dead stop at a light and I've beaten them both. The gas pedal seems to have a wierd issue with acceleration if you don't hit it right.. for best accel it seems like you need steady even pressure to the floor to get a good start, stomping on the pedal seems to make it sluggish off the line. The greatest part is the lack of shifts... and this is where I think it beats other automatics.. while they loose rpm's while the tranny shifts your caliber keeps the rpm's up while you constantly accelerate.

As for mountainous roads I live in calgary ab, and the rocky mountains are a quick hour away and provide a great test for climbing hills. On the few trips I've done through there the largest grade I've climbed was 35% and the caliber took 4200 rpm to keep my speed at 120 km/h while going up the hill wich leaves plenty of power left for emergency manouvers. Passing on the highway or in traffic is a breeze with the car. On a side note I test drove a mazda 3 gt hatch the other day just to see how it compared to the caliber and in automatic mode I found my caliber to have alot more pickup then the mazda 3.
 

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Are you sure the 1.8T Golf was giving it all it had? I just checked on motor trend and they tested it running a sub 8 second 0-60. That car seems to light and has too much horsepower to be bested by a Caliber from a dead stop. Unless you are through the breakin period, you may have much better acceleration now. Also, your post made it sound like you were using an auto. What trim did you have, were you using the AutoStick? And way to whoop on the civics.

Fkn ricers :mad:
 

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i drive a 2.0 sxt...and i have to say...from the line it really does feel lacking. the lack of torque really hurts the car in terms of pick up and go from a dead stop...

as far as passing other cars...there are no problems whatsoever for me...i was weaving in out of traffic with ease.

i typically however stay below 60 as i am breaking in my engine still...
 

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I agree with every one as to off the line performace vs. on the road. The 30-60 mph throttle response with the CVT is perfect for the 2.0 engine. I drive 30 miles one way to work and most is highway driving. The gas peddle to traffic adjustment during heavy traffic makes the drive a lot easier. Learning the torque curve with the CVT was fairly simple. Just don't stomp it at every greenlight and its a fun car to drive.
 

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n1vek said:
Are you sure the 1.8T Golf was giving it all it had? I just checked on motor trend and they tested it running a sub 8 second 0-60. That car seems to light and has too much horsepower to be bested by a Caliber from a dead stop. Unless you are through the breakin period, you may have much better acceleration now. Also, your post made it sound like you were using an auto. What trim did you have, were you using the AutoStick? And way to whoop on the civics.

Fkn ricers :mad:
Not sure if he was giving it all but he sure wanted to go lol... gave me the looks and the rev at the light ;). I have 4500km's on the engine so I think she's in the late stages if not done the break in period. Trim is sxt sport with 2.0. As I noted tho, if you don't hit the gas pedal just right it seems to take off slowly for some reason.
 

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Well what is the correct way to hit the pedal so you get the best acceleration. I will have the AutoStick but I may want to launch using the automatic (I know, the AutoStick is also an auto. You know what I mean) so that I can take advantage of not losing time shifting gears.

Also, has anyone looked into shift points to get the best performance. I looked at the power curve in the booklet I have on the Caliber and I cannot really tell much from it. Sometimes the quickest time will come from shifting previous to redline and I am wondering if anyone has played with this. Thanks.
 

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well it's kinda hard to explain it's mostly a feel thing, but here goes.. push down moderately slow and even till you feel a little bit of resistance (around 1/4 of pedal travel). then speed up with constant pressure until the pedal reaches the floor. I found that works the best for me when it comes to launching. I have also found that on the 2.0 if you start in L and launch with that then slide into D at around 50-60km/h you can shave a lil time off your 0-60 time.. not sure that is the best thing for the tranny tho.

From the feedback I've read about the autostick the shifts are so smooth and quick you will hardly notice them. Hope that helps.
 
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