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Discussion Starter #1
In the April edition of Motor Trend magazine, the Caliber is given high praise. They like the utility, the handling and the general performance of the car, as well as the look of it. Those're some credentials Daimler-Chrysler can put in the bank, because as one of most respected American automobile magazines, the editors of Motor Trend aren't quick to give praise to half-assed efforts, and they've been borderline ecstatic about the Caliber. Oh, it's still not the car for me, but according to Motor Trend, it's a worthy and much improved successor to the Neon as a well thought out family/utility automobile. Why do I still not want to buy one? To quote Motor Trend's article: "As the Caliber is tall and rides higher than most conventional sedans do (it has an almost 7" ground clearance! LPW), you'd expect it to have a higher center of gravity, and it feels like it does." I guess you'd have to expect a car that shares its platform with the new Jeep Compass would ride high.

The Motor Trend article also gave a hint of the up and coming SRT-4 version of the Caliber, with talk about 300 hp and still only FWD. That's a lot of horse power for a suspension that's already been pegged as one that exhibits torque steer problems (see below).

Motor Trend closes its "First Drive" article on the Caliber by saying, "A job well, if not perfectly, done, as this market segment and its buyers don't tolerate excuses."

On the other hand, the "enthusiast" magazine, Car & Driver, although praising D/C for carving what they describe as a new niche in the compact car market with Caliber's "high riding, brawny-lad muscularity," were less enthusiastic when commenting on the new CVT transmission, and seemed downright bothered by what they describe as torque steer which "bordered upon (the) unruly at full throttle." That's a suspension trait that can be "tweaked" out as developement proceeds on the Caliber, which Car & Driver also says is "meant to be Daimler-Chrysler's new world car, to be sold in 98 countries around the planet."

Like any new car, it's got some teething problems. I'm sure D/C will have them worked out in time. Another good reason (for me) not to run right out and "be the first on your block" to own one!
 

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Lord Plye Wood said:
Another good reason (for me) not to run right out and "be the first on your block" to own one!
Where is the fun in that lol.
 

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After 1,500 miles, I've never once experienced torque steer with the CVT. Not once. I have no idea what the guys at C&D were doing to get it to do that...
 

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I can understand maybe a little torque steer because that is just the way FWD is but "bordered upon (the) unruly at full throttle." is just a little extreme. Silverfox I am sure you have floored it more than the one time in your video, so do you experience any amounts of torque steer?
 

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That's a negative, good buddy. :) I've had the throttle wide open more than once and have pushed the car over 100, and I've never experienced torque steer. If I have, it's not "unruly." :D
 

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That is what I was going to guess as well. I don't understand how they where able to come up with an unruly torque steer. Unless they added a turbo under the hood and proceeded not to tell us about it. On a side note you said you have had it over 100, how was the ride and how fast where you going?
 

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Pushed it to 105 on a deserted lake road. Less wind noise than the Neon and no buffeting. Seemed pretty smooth to me. :)
 

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105?? sounds like fun!!!
 

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So did it max at 105 or did you run out of road or into traffic ect???
 

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Thats good news to hear!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Silverfox said:
After 1,500 miles, I've never once experienced torque steer with the CVT. Not once. I have no idea what the guys at C&D were doing to get it to do that...
You should write them and ask them, Silverfox. I was just quoting the article directly.

Car and Driver's offices are located in Michigan. It's winter time and it's cold up there and the roads can be slick. Perhaps that had something to do with it. It's just a hunch.

Both of the articles I read and quoted praised the car in general. Motor Trend, a magazine catering to the automotive tastes of the broader motoring public, were less critical. Car and Driver, which is more of a hard core sporting motor enthusiasts magazine was more critical on a few points, mostly those which would matter only to the "more sports car, less plain transportation car" crowd. This crowd, understandably, would probably not give the CVT equipped cars a second thought. Daimler Chrysler knows this. which is why the up coming SRT version will have a six speed, manual transmission. However, I'm still perplexed at the decision not to offer AWD with a 300 hp engine. Targeted retail price, most probably.
 

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Lord Plye Wood said:
Targeted retail price, most probably.
That is it right there. They want to keep the price down, possible in the future they might offer an awd version but that is just a guess.
 

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Not a bad write-up by C&D. At least they were honest. :D Although I still don't understand the torque steer problem. :confused:
 

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Hey guys.

I think everyone agrees on the powertrain being good but not knocking socks off. (my review hits stands March 21).
I think MT and we agree on the greatness of the CVT. while it seems C&D does not.
I have no idea what interior MT was looking at though.

As for torque steer I don't remember that at all. BTW I think everyone tested them out in AZ like I did.

Oh and be prepared for our cover!
Dave
 

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mphmag said:
Hey guys.

I think everyone agrees on the powertrain being good but not knocking socks off. (my review hits stands March 21).
I think MT and we agree on the greatness of the CVT. while it seems C&D does not.
I have no idea what interior MT was looking at though.

As for torque steer I don't remember that at all. BTW I think everyone tested them out in AZ like I did.

Oh and be prepared for our cover!
Dave
I can't wait to see and read!!!
 

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Zero to 60 mph: 8.5–9.0 sec I hope it is more 8.5 then 9.0. I know it is no sports car by any means nor is it the srt-4 but that doesn't mean it has to be extremely slow. Are those times faster or slower then the out going neon?
 

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It's faster than the Neon.

Top speed is a little over 120. :D:D
 
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