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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all....I've been captivated by the Caliber.

I currently drive a Jeep Liberty 3.7, 5 spd. With gas prices getting high, the 15mpg that my leadfoot averages...I'm getting tired of filling up 2x/week at about 50 bucks a pop. She's 1.5 years old, still owe 17k on it.

Going through divorce..so in my downsizing..was looking at getting something that can still have some cargo hauling for my job (I'm a computer network engineer/consultant for business networks..so need to haul workstations, servers, monitors, routers, etc etc), that can also have some great highway performance (I'm a leadfoot...hover a bit above 80 on the highway), and yet get my mileage up in the mid-20's. I live in New England..so love 4wd for the winter...hence looking at the R/T model.

So the Caliber appeared to catch my eye. Looks good, had some neat cargo hauling abilities, the R/T model covered having four sneakers for traction, and going by the ads on TV...performance seemed to be a point.

Stopped at the dealership last weekend...they had an SXT I think that had just rolled off the delivery truck. 2.0 with that CVT tranny. I took her for a test drive. I've always owned manually trannies. Sure I've driven lots of automatics. First time driving a CVT though...was...odd. Reminded me of my jetboat..hit the gas, engine goes to redline...and you feel as if you were being pulled by a bungee cord.

I have to say though...disappointed by the acceleration..but this was the 2.0. The dealership wasn't having an R/T scheduled in for a while..they appeared to be focused on having mostly SXT/SXTsports delivered. So my question is...has anyone here, who's had an eye towards performance, compared the 2.0 vs the 2.4?

In looking online...I can't find much for performance out there...only a few articles that seem to hint that the R/T tested between 10-11 seconds 0-60....which seems quite slow for 170 something horse with this weight...then people mention the CVT trannies improve performance as they break in.

Or maybe hold out for the SRT4....but that may sort of shoot a hole in my logic for downsizing...mileage, and overall cost (including insurance). And from what I've read so far, I'm under the impression that model will be FWD only.
 

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Your Jeep, with its V6 delivers 235 lb-ft of torque. The Caliber with the 2.4 delivers 165 lb-ft. Torque is what delivers low end performance.

I doubt you will be satisfied with the acceleration of the Caliber if you are accustomed to driving your Jeep with a lead foot so deep that it delivers only about 15 mpg.

Furthermore, I'll bet your Jeep is worth only about $15K for a trade in, and with gas prices where they are, you won't get much of a discount on a Caliber. The difference in sales tax alone would be about $800, which is about how much per year you would save in gas.

If I were you, I'd keep the Jeep, make sure its tires are properly inflated, use synthetic lube for the engine and trans, and learn to drive less agressively.:p
 

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The caliber is not a rocket ship at any displacement level, but I've been happy with it's performance. The only time it feels slow is from a dead stop, otherwise it's got plenty of power, and read the many posts about the AutoStick. If you want AWD then your ONLY option is to buy the currently built R/T model, future manual trannies will be FWD at any trim level, R/T and SRT. Just a side note, if you purachse the R/T there are already mopar performance parts for it...cold air intake, catback exhaust, header...
 

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clockmaker said:
The caliber is not a rocket ship at any displacement level, but I've been happy with it's performance. The only time it feels slow is from a dead stop, otherwise it's got plenty of power, and read the many posts about the AutoStick. If you want AWD then your ONLY option is to buy the currently built R/T model, future manual trannies will be FWD at any trim level, R/T and SRT. Just a side note, if you purachse the R/T there are already mopar performance parts for it...cold air intake, catback exhaust, header...
Where are the prices on the cold air intake, the catback and the headers? I have not seen these yet and want to take a good look @ em:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
clockmaker said:
If you want AWD then your ONLY option is to buy the currently built R/T model, future manual trannies will be FWD at any trim level, R/T and SRT.
Interesting....although I've been 1/2 thinking about the CVT...I'm getting older, and those times when a tractor trailer decides to jackknife and backup the highway for several hours...that creep an inch per minute gets tiring with a clutch. :mad: Was brutal in my old Jeeps...not to mention the rather comfy Liberty.

Trade in value..heck I wish it was 15K...I think I'd have to fight tooth and nail to get 14k...his initial response was 13,500. I have 24k miles, leather seats, sunroof, towing package, sidesteps, front brush guard, chrome wheels...it's in clean shape.
 

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YeOldeStonecat said:
Interesting....although I've been 1/2 thinking about the CVT...I'm getting older, and those times when a tractor trailer decides to jackknife and backup the highway for several hours...that creep an inch per minute gets tiring with a clutch. :mad: Was brutal in my old Jeeps...not to mention the rather comfy Liberty.

Trade in value..heck I wish it was 15K...I think I'd have to fight tooth and nail to get 14k...his initial response was 13,500. I have 24k miles, leather seats, sunroof, towing package, sidesteps, front brush guard, chrome wheels...it's in clean shape.
I have the AWD R/T and it is a ball to drive. I traded down from a 2005 Ford Escape that no matter how I drove it got 17 mpg. I was more worried about the room and ride than power, but my R/T so far seems to ride better. smoother and better on corners. The power is fine and I drive in Las Vegas, both Highway and non Highway. The CVT is a ball if your in the mood too play and if not in Auto mode it works better than any trans I have ever had, once again much smoother. So far my MPG is 26 +- .5 and I now have 1001 miles on this baby. The room thing so far has not been an issue, but once someone sits in the backseat it may be, they look a little tight but for the improvement in MPG, and it really is more fun to drive, I can live with my few times a year at most backseat issues.

Just my humble opinion, Flaps
 

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YeOldeStonecat said:
Interesting....although I've been 1/2 thinking about the CVT...I'm getting older, and those times when a tractor trailer decides to jackknife and backup the highway for several hours...that creep an inch per minute gets tiring with a clutch. :mad: Was brutal in my old Jeeps...not to mention the rather comfy Liberty.

Trade in value..heck I wish it was 15K...I think I'd have to fight tooth and nail to get 14k...his initial response was 13,500. I have 24k miles, leather seats, sunroof, towing package, sidesteps, front brush guard, chrome wheels...it's in clean shape.
So you're $3K under water on your Jeep and you want a new car to get better mileage???? :eek:

I guess I'm too rational. Isn't the answer obvious?:)
 

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Like the others have stated. I doubt if you are going to save any money getting a Caliber. We own an R/T and get 25 +/- .5 avg (just like above).

The Caliber will NOT perform like a Liberty, nor was it meant to. If you really want to go the mileage route then look for something 30+ to the gallon to have any hope at all!!!! Do the math, it may still be more expensive! My opinion only. Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vision67 said:
So you're $3K under water on your Jeep and you want a new car to get better mileage???? :eek:

I guess I'm too rational. Isn't the answer obvious?:)
It's not so much the overall immediate yearly savings..it's the point of...gas is over 3 bucks a gallon right now, this summer it's likely to nudge 4 bucks a gallon. I fill up 2-3 times a week as it is..right now it's usually 48-49 bucks per refill. Granted I wash my gas receipts through the company...so it's not really the cost of gas out of my pocket...I guess my main point is...I'm tired of a gas guzzler, I'm not tree hugger but I'd 1/2 like to do my part in making the more to something even partially more miserly on gas.

Ah well, N/M, was just a thought...I kinda liked the car.
 

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You all sure help the Caliber along....
 

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YeOldeStonecat said:
It's not so much the overall immediate yearly savings..it's the point of...gas is over 3 bucks a gallon right now, this summer it's likely to nudge 4 bucks a gallon. I fill up 2-3 times a week as it is..right now it's usually 48-49 bucks per refill. Granted I wash my gas receipts through the company...so it's not really the cost of gas out of my pocket...I guess my main point is...I'm tired of a gas guzzler, I'm not tree hugger but I'd 1/2 like to do my part in making the more to something even partially more miserly on gas.

Ah well, N/M, was just a thought...I kinda liked the car.
Since I am an old guy, I remember the original gas crisis in 1973. I was in Graduate School finishing my MSEE. The Government-imposed rationing led (predictibly) to long lines at gas stations. People were dumping their 10 mpg gas hogs to buy anything that could deliver good mileage.

One of the guys in my office bought a 1 year old Cadillac for $2K. Its 512 cube V8 delivered about 9 mpg. But you could buy a lot of gas for the difference in cost. :rolleyes:

Back then, as now, people thought that gas would keep going up and up and up.....

But people who don't understand economics, e.g. liberal college profs, could not forsee that high prices bring on more supply. In fact, so much was brought on that gas prices eventually collapsed to a new all time low in real dollars.

Just watch as this country stumbles all over itself to bring on new supply.

I predict that if you now trade your Jeep for the Caliber, you'll never break even.:D
 

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You might want to look at the Kia Rio 5. I drove one last week and might have bought it if it wasn't the horrible orange color. It was a ball to drive and is a few thousand less than the Caliber. The mileage and the warranty are better. No speed control though. I am also currently driving a Liberty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So back to my original question...not about my logic of economics, but was seeking if anyone had driven both the 2.0 and the 2.4 ....and noticed a performance difference "off the line"....as in, the 2.4 was quite a bit quicker. Realizing the AWD adds resistance, friction, and weight...so some of the increased "oomph" of the 2.4 is lost....

Around my parts...I'm not able to find an R/T at a dealership to drive...not even to look at and drool over.
 

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YeOldeStonecat said:
So back to my original question...not about my logic of economics, but was seeking if anyone had driven both the 2.0 and the 2.4 ....and noticed a performance difference "off the line"....as in, the 2.4 was quite a bit quicker. Realizing the AWD adds resistance, friction, and weight...so some of the increased "oomph" of the 2.4 is lost....

Around my parts...I'm not able to find an R/T at a dealership to drive...not even to look at and drool over.
No preformance difference in the R/T or SVT. RT only has like 14 more HP. I dont how much more torque it has but the only other thing I could see over the SVT is that the R/T was AWD and came with chrome 18's. But I couldnt tell the difference and neithe could my wife.
 

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lukeinva said:
No preformance difference in the R/T or SVT. RT only has like 14 more HP. I dont how much more torque it has but the only other thing I could see over the SVT is that the R/T was AWD and came with chrome 18's. But I couldnt tell the difference and neithe could my wife.
I think the big performance difference is the auto stick that comes with the R/T.

It made a huge difference in the performance that I could see between the SXT and the R/T
 

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I think there are other reasons to trade down from Gas Guzzlers if you do not need them size wise.

1. Reduce need for oil. I bet if all Americans tried we could shock these big oil companies and anyone else involved in screwing us over on oil prices.

I traded my Escape and will save gas use there, I also will drive a little less, not so many trips to Walmart, save up and go once a week.

2. I also think there is a fun factor in driving sometimes. Maybe the original post fella, is tired of the Jeep or just does not like it and digs the Caliber.

More later, Flaps
 

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Exactly! :D
 

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caliber4whoosh said:
That is exactly what I am thinking. I am going from a 1500 Dodge Ram 4x4 to a Caliber R/T. I know that it will be like night and day driving and I cannot wait for it. Plus the gas mileage increase is gonna be great:D (I am getting around 8 or 9 a gallon right now)

Also, is there a noticable difference between the R/T and the SXT when the Autostick is used? I drove a SXT and was not impressed with the acceleration. How much better is the R/T Autostick than the SXT?
 
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