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Dodge has killed the once-promising but lately unloved Neon small car and replaced it with something quite different.

The replacement, Caliber, is a four-door hatchback along the lines of Toyota Matrix. It's built at the same Belvidere, Ill., factory that made Neon.
Dodge's parent, DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, spent $419 million revamping Belvidere and installing 780 new assembly robots with flexible-manufacturing capability — meaning they also can build the Jeep Compass and Patriot, coming later this year.

The Caliber's base model, SE, is pretty barren to keep the starting price around $14,000. It has no air conditioning or power windows, for example.
The Caliber test car was a pre-production R/T model that would be priced in the low-$20,000 range. It had most options, plus a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine rated 172 horsepower, coupled to a CVT, or continuously variable transmission.

It's a belt-drive rig able to vary the diameters of its pulleys to keep the engine speed where it needs to be for best performance and fuel economy. So the theory goes. Dodge also built in six individual ratios to provide a manual-shift mode for enthusiasts.

Fuel economy is one place the CVT scores, in the view of Larry Lyons, Chrysler Group's vice president in charge of front-drive models (and, in this case, front-drivers that also offer all-wheel drive). He says it's up 4% to 6% vs. a four-speed automatic transmission. "We can completely shut off the fuel" when the car decelerates, he says, not just cut back fuel flow as in cars with conventional transmissions. The belt drive and ever-changing ratio between those pulleys make a smooth coast-down.

Click the link below to read the rest of the article!

Source: USA Today
 

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Quoting the article "Designers didn't think it looked great to have all the horizontal lines match up perfectly."

What kind of crap is that??? Unless I am reading this wrong, did they say that they don't like how all the lines match up perfectly? That seems like they are just trying to find something wrong with the interior.
 

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I just dont like the rims to much and there looks to be about 2 inches of room between the wheel and the body but atleast it is even on both sides
 

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Fuzz 40 said:
Quoting the article "Designers didn't think it looked great to have all the horizontal lines match up perfectly."

What kind of crap is that??? Unless I am reading this wrong, did they say that they don't like how all the lines match up perfectly? That seems like they are just trying to find something wrong with the interior.
I think you have it backwards, they said the designers didn't think it looked great to have the lines match up, i.e. they don't match up, by design, and the reviewers dislike that they do not match up.
 

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I wonder how the Caliber will be compared to the Cobalt. In terms of fit/finish at least. I think the Caliber will be a much better car, due to the options and available drivetrains, but it so far has gotten luke-warm "it's not bad" reviews, hardly ringing endorsements, but no terribly bad reviews either.

If they can avoid getting a bad reputation at first like the Neon did, they can continously improve the car and have a real winner in a few years. The Neon turned out to be a pretty good car, after '97, but by then the damage had been done...
 

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heyyyy.. i liked my 95 neon better that my current 98 neon [same generation tho.. i just liked the feel of my other one better]
 

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I have an '05 Neon, and it has been flawless, and fun to drive. With the 5 speed I get 42 MPG at 75 MPH on my trips to South Carolina from Ohio
 

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srt4evah said:
I wonder how the Caliber will be compared to the Cobalt. In terms of fit/finish at least. I think the Caliber will be a much better car, due to the options and available drivetrains, but it so far has gotten luke-warm "it's not bad" reviews, hardly ringing endorsements, but no terribly bad reviews either.

If they can avoid getting a bad reputation at first like the Neon did, they can continously improve the car and have a real winner in a few years. The Neon turned out to be a pretty good car, after '97, but by then the damage had been done...
i dont think at all it is completely different
 

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I went to the Cleveland Auto Show yesterday...the Dodge Exhibit was PACKED. I had to wait in a huge line to get to any of the Calibers. Upon sitting in it, I found it to be pleasant and well laid out, however, the seat seem too soft...I would prefer a little stiffer...I'll have to drive it to see if I like it better than my Neon, but at this point, it's up in the air. On the other hand...the Civic was just about abandoned, no one looking at it :D
makes you feel all warm inside LOL
 

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Glad to hear that the Civic wasn't getting any people looking at it. I really hope people are starting to see that domestic car builders are capable of making quality vehicles as well.
 

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Ramsport47 said:
I went to the Cleveland Auto Show yesterday...the Dodge Exhibit was PACKED. I had to wait in a huge line to get to any of the Calibers. Upon sitting in it, I found it to be pleasant and well laid out, however, the seat seem too soft...I would prefer a little stiffer...I'll have to drive it to see if I like it better than my Neon, but at this point, it's up in the air. On the other hand...the Civic was just about abandoned, no one looking at it :D
makes you feel all warm inside LOL
I don't mind the Civic for '06. Probably because the '06 Civic has been out for like 4-5 months already (or longer) or was it an '07 model displayed?? or even the Civic Sedan Si, which doesn't seem to be that bad of a car!?!?
 

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Xtreme Thunder said:
I don't mind the Civic for '06. Probably because the '06 Civic has been out for like 4-5 months already (or longer) or was it an '07 model displayed?? or even the Civic Sedan Si, which doesn't seem to be that bad of a car!?!?
HUH does that mean you like it or dont?
 

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Ramsport47 said:
I went to the Cleveland Auto Show yesterday...the Dodge Exhibit was PACKED. I had to wait in a huge line to get to any of the Calibers. Upon sitting in it, I found it to be pleasant and well laid out, however, the seat seem too soft...I would prefer a little stiffer...I'll have to drive it to see if I like it better than my Neon, but at this point, it's up in the air. On the other hand...the Civic was just about abandoned, no one looking at it :D
makes you feel all warm inside LOL
Actually, This was EXACTLY the same in Toronto. Chrysler Dodge Jeep's Section was LOADED while toyota and honda were dead. Infact the only three brands that were packed was Chrysler, GM and Nissan. The other brands just seemed slow. I just can't wait till i get that caliber sxt...
 

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Civics blow.


Speed kills so drive a Honda and live forever.
Think of it this way..

A 2 liter bottle of pop is bigger than most Civic enignes... is it just me or is that just stupid.. :D
 

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True...


Honda still sucks though. :D
 

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Ok, OK, you guys got me....:eek:
 
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