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Havent gotten to a dealer yet to look at one up close but am very interested. Im really an SUV guy, but I love the looks and price of this Caliber. One concern of mind and my wife's is if there is enough room inside for a family. Dont have kids yet but plan on having one in the next year or so.

So Id love to hear from some Caliber owners with young children about this.

Thanks
 

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rbm said:
Havent gotten to a dealer yet to look at one up close but am very interested. Im really an SUV guy, but I love the looks and price of this Caliber. One concern of mind and my wife's is if there is enough room inside for a family. Dont have kids yet but plan on having one in the next year or so.

So Id love to hear from some Caliber owners with young children about this.

Thanks
i have two boys 9 and 11 years old and i am 6.4 and there is plenty of space,Cheers Thomas
 

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Yep, lots of room for a family. You get the small car gas mileage with almost SUV type safety and driving clearance.

The Dodge Caliber really is nothing like the others that are said to be in the same class. It really stands out on it's own. :)
 

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I find the cargo area misleading in size. With its pyramid shape, packing stuff in it is like putting a jig-saw puzzle together with no picture to go by. Lots of floor space up to 6", after that it disappears rapidly. Either a hitch cargo basket, or a roof carrier is required for a long trip with more than two people.
 

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Prop1 said:
I find the cargo area misleading in size. With its pyramid shape, packing stuff in it is like putting a jig-saw puzzle together with no picture to go by. Lots of floor space up to 6", after that it disappears rapidly. Either a hitch cargo basket, or a roof carrier is required for a long trip with more than two people.
If you're traveling with 4 people then thats true. 2 or 3 people will allow at least one side of the rear seat to be folded flat (SXT or R/T I believe). That provides more than enough luggage room for 3 people. With 4 people theres still more room than most other small cars but probably have to pack light or use a roof top rack or hitch mounted rack.

It's just the 2 of us so we fold the rear seats down when traveling. We have 2 very large dogs that sleep in the back and we still have enough room for our luggage.
 

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Just got back from an 1800 mile round trip. 2 Adults, 2 kids, (10 and 8 year olds).
Had more than enought room for luggage, nintendo paraphernalia, books, and touristy purchases.
 

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Rear facing car seats eat up a LOT of the rear seat room. I have to scoot my seat forward almost to the point of being too uncomfortable with our daughter in her rear facing seat back there. Our son in a forward facing seat is fine and I can put the seat all the way back. I'm 6'5" though and always have the seat all the way back if possible.
 

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I think there is plenty of room in the Caliber. I'm single, so plenty of space for me. I've helped move a few people though, and I've been able to fit most, if not all of a small apartment into the car, with all but the driver's seat folded down. I've been known to sleep in the back from time to time if work is real slow.
 

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enough room for us as well we love it! just the other day we loaded up my mountian bike and my little boys bike in the back of it with the seats down. Also it helped us move as well. got a 6 ft x2ft bookcase in it as well. The reason we chose this vehicle is we went from a jeep grancherokee that had tons of room but only got 12 mpg on premium. we wanted something sim to what it had for cargo room and got good mileage.
 

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Also, with two child car seats in the back, there really isn't enough room for anyone else to sit comfortable back there. Personally, if your kids are older and out of car seats, it's a great car for a family of three or four. Anymore than two kids and it would be cramped in the back. As far as cargo room, my wife and I have no problems going on extended trips with the kids and not being able to take what we want. Just can't take our double stroller and luggage. A one week vacation for a family should be no problems, unless you have family members that like to pack more clothes than they need.
 

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I noticed in your original post you said you were an SUV guy. So am I, so I suggest you see if you can try a Caliber out for a weekend before you decide to buy. We had a Mitsubishi Endeavor and an Isuzu Rodeo, but have downsized to a Dodge Caliber and a Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata has more interior room than the Caliber does, and gets comparable gas mileage. I used my Rodeo for everything, but when gas prices got out of hand, we had to get rid of it(14 mpg). I miss it all the time because I find myself borrowing my Dad's truck for bigger projects. If you use the SUV alot for hauling stuff, you may want to experiment with the size of the Caliber before buying it. Example, this weekend we bought 10 bags of mulch. I could barely fit 9 bags in the rear of the Caliber, and one in the back floorboard. Last year, in my Rodeo, I had carried 16 bags easily, with room left over for some landscaping bricks. This is with the back seats up, since we have a child seat in the rear.

As far as family room, we have a two year old, so that's one spot taken up in the back seat. Then, when you pack his bag and other stuff in the car, the backseat is filled up. I'm average size(5'11") and sometimes feel cramped in the Caliber. I drive the Sonata most of the time, so when I get in the Caliber, it definitely puts the squeeze on me.

Don't get me wrong, we like the Caliber, but I wanted to make sure that you were getting both sides of the story. Sometimes owners of the vehicle will sugarcoat the truth...
 

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Well I just took some pics of what the Cali looks like with car seats in it.







Double stroller in the back cargo area


I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Caliber. BUT I HATE HATE HATE that with a rear facing car seat it eats up all your space like that.
 

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For those that find the Caliber a bit too small in the rear for their needs, go with the JEEP Patriot. The gas mileage is GREAT for it's size and you can fill it with people 6' 5 front and back with enough knee room. It's like a baby Commander and has the new look of the new 2008 Jeep Liberty other than the headlights. Really a BIG hit right now, for GOOD reason. :cool:

It's GREAT building both of these vehicles and I'd serious consider getting one if I sold my Caliber.

I roll in the Caliber with a rear facing car seat too, but when my wife or I do it we put it in the front passenger seat thanks to the airbag on/off sensor.
 

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IBUILDCALIBERSUAW1268 said:
I roll in the Caliber with a rear facing car seat too, but when my wife or I do it we put it in the front passenger seat thanks to the airbag on/off sensor.

Is that even legal???? I thought if you had a full seat in the back that the baby has to be back there?
 

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The Caliber is not space efficient. First, the bulbous wheel fenders cause the Caliber to be wider while reducing interior space. Second, the overlong distance between the instrument panel facing & the firewall(bottom of the front windshield) is way too much. This distance should have been shortened in favor of more rearseat leg & foot room. Third, the rear styling of the Caliber causes the roof, sides & hatchback to intrude on what would have been a really roomy back seat & storage area. Fourth, the floor of the Caliber is designed to hold a drive shaft for a four wheel drive car. If you don't get the AWD R/T, you still will lose room. Many vehicles have sacrificed practical space efficiency for styling. The Caliber has sacrificed a lot.

A fairly space efficient car is the Nissan Versa. Altho it is nearly a foot shorter than Caliber, it has a roomier back seat. The overall size of the Versa is smaller than Caliber tho, & may not meet your needs either.
 

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litesong said:
Second, the overlong distance between the instrument panel facing & the firewall(bottom of the front windshield) is way too much. This distance should have been shortened in favor of more rearseat leg & foot room.
How does this affect rear leg room?? Please enlighten me?? The way the Caliber is laid out, or any car for that matter, there is no way to increase rear seat legroom without sacrificing either front seat leg room, or rear cargo space.
 

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The dash between the Compass or Patriot vs. the Caliber make a big difference for front seat leg room and rear seat leg room. The dash in the Caliber takes up more cabin space and therefore you must move your seats further back taking up leg room in the back.

In the JEEP Compass or Patriot you can sit 4 people 6" 5 at once where in the Caliber two people 6" 5 in front and two 5" in the rear would be more like it.
 

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I'm just saying, in order to get more legroom in the rear, you'd have to move the front seats forward taking away leg room from them. With me at 6'%", I already have to have the seat all the way back to be comfortable. Moving it up to give more legroom to the rear poassengers makes me uncomfortable. Unless they moved the whole firewall forward, you WILL sacrafice front seat legroom by moving the front seats forward no matter how big the dash is. The dash has nothing to do with leg room. Maybe instead of reclingin rear seats, you move them back a couple inches, and you have more legroom and don't sacrafice cargo are much at all since with reclined seats, that extra 2" is used up anyways.
 

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I'm 6' 4 myself. When another co-worker 6' 3 and I first tested leg room between the Caliber and JEEP Patriot it's clear to see the dash size makes a BIG difference. Yes, we could move the front seat forward and still be comfortable because the JEEPs smaller dash give that extra room. Of course, this also give more room for the rear seats and that's why I said above that 4 people 6' 5 would fit great in Patriot.

I myself drive with my seat fully back, to the floor and tilted so far back only a small child (no car seat) would fit behind me. My head is right next to the seatbelt retractor. My wife on the other hand is 5' 1 and sits with the seat all the way forward, pumped all the way up. :D
 
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