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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Caliber Development Opportunities

My 24 year-old daughter drives a 2004 Mazda 3s 5-door hatchback, and I believe that car will be the prime competitor to Caliber. She would not even look at a picture of the Caliber. Many of her friends would react in the same manner.

One problem that Dodge must overcome, is that her peer group perceives Japanese cars as having superior reliability, much better resale value, and a certain "coolness" factor, or whatever word the young crowd uses these days for a product that is "in." Detroit cars are perceived to be "junk." Whether that is true or not, perception is reality, so this will take time to fix. Please don't sell a car that is not as reliable as its Japanese peer group. However, I am encouraged because Chrysler did successfully achieve "coolness" with the 300C, so the goal is not impossible to reach.

If I were in charge of further development on the Caliber, I'd focus on two easy opportunities to differentiate Caliber from the Mazda 3s:

1. Most young people now have their music on an i-Pod. Caliber does have an i-Pod holder, but a much better solution would be to offer a radio that loses the CD player, but adds a color display that simply repeats the display on i-Pod. Put the i-Pod controls on the steering wheel. For most young people, CDs are obsolete. If you don't do this, the aftermarket certainly will.

2. How about a roof rack? Mazda still doesn't have one and these young people need to haul their toys: Bicycles, Skis, Snowboards, Surfboards, etc. Hauling them inside uses up room and is unsafe in case of a collision. You could easily team up with Yakima or Thule to do the add-ons.

Comments?
 

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Hello,

The Caliber does have an IPOD holder, it is built into the armrest and can be seen on Dodge's website. I do like your idea of having it display on a larger screen though.

I think a roof rack may be an option in the future though.
 

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Vision67 said:
I'd focus on two easy opportunities to differentiate Caliber from the Mazda 3s:
Lucky for us they chose performance to "differentiate" the Caliber. 300+ HP is all the cool I need. I for one like the fact that dodge bucks the system, I say get away from all the focus group, lets appeal to everyone, so as to not upset anyone mentality. By doing so dodge could become the rebel manufacturer which would make it "cool" to many.
 

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Perhaps I can offer some insight considering I myself am 24 years old.

First of all, I like the look of the Caliber. I think it looks "manly" yet versatile with plenty of storage space. I also like the innovation that has gone into it. AS for other cars I'm looking at? Mainly the Ford Fusion,Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and a couple of others.

It is true that I perceive foreign cars to be better built. That said, I'm not sure if that is neccesarily the case these days... the problem is building back the reputation. If I could, I'd buy US to support my country, but that won't stop me from buying a better car that is from overseas. My top two choices right now are American brands, however.

As for losing the cd player.... no way! Not yet at least. Many of us still don't own ipods believe it or not. I'm more than happy to burn mp3s on to plastic disks that cost less than 50 cents to purchase ;)

I do like the roof rack idea. When I have the $$ someday, a kayak would be nice to tow around.

I'm not really a fan of power.. the 2.0L will probably suit me fine. Now make a hybrid model to get the mpg estimates up!

Aaron
 

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OUWxGuesser said:
I think it looks "manly"..........

I'm not really a fan of power.. the 2.0L will probably suit me fine. Now make a hybrid model to get the mpg estimates up!

Aaron
so as long as it looks "manly" it doesn't actually have to be manly?

Also do you want a hybrid to save money or to save the earth?
 

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I don't see why people think the Caliber looks ugly. I thought it looked awesome since the first time I saw it. At first I thought it was a little small-ish. I was thinking it was going to be the size of the Ford Edge or something similar. I was originially looking at a Matrix or a Vibe, but this seems to be a better vehicle for cheaper. Can't really beat that. PLUS the CVT, and as for the original poster, the stock stereo in the Caliber has a connector for your iPod or whatever music player you want. The problem with having an ipod-specific stereo, is that if someone has a Zen, or a Gigabeat or whatever, they're SOL. I think the Caliber absolutely hits the sweet spot of its segment. Price, utility, decent power, cool features, and, in my opinion, great looks.
 

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Hi all' consider the fact that a Toyota Matrix and a Mazda 3 5dr are 3,000$ more for the same equipement as the Caliber as to ofer my choice was really easy to make when i decided on a Dodge Caliber SXT ,
The Matrix does not have the look that the Caliber has.
The mazda does not have a fold down front seat either and these cars do not ofer a range of different engines.
So the CALIBER is a better car on its own .
 

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Actually if you look at the Mazda 3 hatch and other cars in it's class, the mazda is way overrated The fit and finish of the Mazda is much lower than the rest of the cars in it's class. but I do agree with you Dodge has to get around the "north america" stigma, even though many of the "rice racers are built right here!!

But performance wise, you'll get far better bang for your buck with the Dodge and factory support for a certain number of mods. can't say that for Mazda (that I know of!)

P
 

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Also do you want a hybrid to save money or to save the earth?
And Don't forget reducing our dependency from foreign oil ;)

Both... I've done the math.... on the Civic I would recoop the cost in less than two years considering the mileage I put in storm chasing every year.

Better mileage = better range = less time I have to spend filling gas = better for storm chasing

so as long as it looks "manly" it doesn't actually have to be manly?
Unlike many of you in here, I have no interest in SRT versions of any of the product or souping up my vehicle. Just not my thing. I've had enough speeding tickets in my 4cyl Saturn SL2 anyway ;) Perhaps if I'm ever loaded with cash I'll get a vehicle for power/speed but thats a few decades off :p

Aaron
 

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well the mazda actually is american it is owned by ford....No im kidding i like the mazda 3 but i think you should see the look on her face when she sees one driving down the street
 

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I never really got into the Vibe, nor have I driven one, the same could be said for the Matrix. The Caliber will be the top of its class and I think that it will be an excellent seller for DCX. It does have innovative features and hope they add more as the car matures. Dodge's quality/ reliability has gone up considerably in the past 5 years I would say. I just can't wait to drive one of these and possible own one in the next year or two.
 

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Mainly because it was roughly the same size and weight class, and seemed to feel sturdy enough for me to give the Caliber a closer look. The Caliber certainly drives better, though. :D
 

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OUWxGuesser said:
And Don't forget reducing our dependency from foreign oil ;)

Both... I've done the math.... on the Civic I would recoop the cost in less than two years considering the mileage I put in storm chasing every year.

Better mileage = better range = less time I have to spend filling gas = better for storm chasing

Unlike many of you in here, I have no interest in SRT versions of any of the product or souping up my vehicle. Just not my thing. I've had enough speeding tickets in my 4cyl Saturn SL2 anyway ;) Perhaps if I'm ever loaded with cash I'll get a vehicle for power/speed but thats a few decades off :p

Aaron
Well in the long run, hybrids are not gonna save us money. States get their money for road maintenance and construction from gas taxes. Less people buying gas, less taxes. Thats why California is proposing paying taxes according to the miles driven. They are losing money because of all the gas sipping hybrids, so they will get it from its citizens somehow.
 

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I prefer e-85. Hybrids cost more to make, and dont offer enought gas savings to make up the price. E-85 is ready now. Too bad the caliber isnt e-85 ready.
 
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