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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I'd start a thread dedicated to those who get loaner vehicles while their Calibers are in for service/repairs. Compare them against the Caliber here.

2005 Dodge Stratus SXT sedan -VS- 2006.5 Dodge Caliber SXT-sport
Stratus:
Pros: Good looking car, nice V6 motor with lots of power. Interior finish-&-fit is good. I like the black-out dash. I like the black-out B-pillar material (it's not the tape but some hard plastic insert/overlay thing).
Cons: The ride hight is terrible. After driving my Caliber for a couple of months, I forgot how low sedans are and alomost fell into it. Rear seat room is not that great. My two kids complained about it and exclaimed their love for the Caliber.

Caliber:
Pros: Great looks, design and interior layout. Body/frame seems to be a lot more solid. I don't think I'll ever go back to the ride hight of a sedan again. Love how easy it is getting in and out of the car. Decent acceleration (not like the V6 but good enough for me... I'm not trying to win Stop-Light-Grand-Prixs). Interior fit-&-finish is just as good or better than the Stratus (minus the sliding armrest and chillzone thing). Radio and climate controls seemed aranged better.
Cons: new-model-problems. B-pillar tape instead of the hard-plastic thing.

Verdict: Caliber wins... despite it's new-model-probs.:cool:
 

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I was thinking along the same lines! ha! I was going to start one about "what I missed the most". So I'll include that list at the end.

2006 Chevy Malibu LT sedan (from Enterprise; had it 4 days)

It was a 2.4L or 2.6L 4-cyl.

Believe it or not, it had an autostick-like feature! The shifter does not move side-to-side. Instead, there was a +/– toggle button on the shifter, right under your thumb. I searched high and low thru the owners' manual to figure out what that button was...! You had to move the shifter to L to activate the feature. (Not intuitive - so I'll consider this a negative.)

Pros:
  • Well equipped, power everything, came w/ a remote keyless (some rentals don't).
  • Nice deep trunk (deep front to back) - but this is probably countered by the cargo height in the Caliber.
  • Height adjustable steering column.
  • Vanity visors had pull-out panels to extend the visor length. Felt sturdier than Caliber's, where the entire visor pulls out - and wobbles on the plastic arm.
  • Key and remote were separate. Remote buttons don't press accidentally when putting in your pocket (as do Caliber's).
Cons:
  • Bland styling. My neighbor even commented on that.
  • Not a lot of rear leg room. I know what I can fit in the Caliber rear floor with the seat moved all the way back. In the Malibu, it didn't fit.
  • Lock button on remote - 1st press locked the doors, 2nd press sounded the horn and apparently activated the security system. Why 2 clicks?
  • Blind spots over the rear pillars when backing up
  • Steering wheel felt too wide for a smallish sedan. Felt like I was steering a school bus!
  • Interior cool/heat fan was kind of anemic. Took forever for the interior to feel comfortable. Caliber warms/cools much quicker.
What I missed the most about my Caliber:

Ride height
Audio controls on the steering wheel
Large rearview mirrors and minimal rear blind spots
 

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You two got cars??? NICE When mine went in (after only having it for 3 days because the climate control knob broke) they gave me a flippin' Dakota V8. I mean it was nice at first but then it began to flat out drain my wallet when I had to fill it up since they had trouble getting a part adn it took them a week. I put the waiver on there thinking "I wonder if this covers exsessive tire wear?" but paying for gas was horrible. I did have fun though doing burnouts...can't do them with the lil' magnum. It would be kinda fun if there was a V8 option for the caliber AWD. Have the displacement on demand so when you hammer down, it kicks you back into the seat and then only run on 4 while out driving on the hwy. We all can dream can't we?
 

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rcompart said:
You two got cars??? NICE When mine went in (after only having it for 3 days because the climate control knob broke) they gave me a flippin' Dakota V8....
When I bought, apparently they threw in an "alternate transportation" service contract. It's from DCX and is good for 24 months or 30K miles, whichever comes first. (I know I didn't pay for it, and it's not on my sales contract. The paperwork came in the mail a couple weeks after I had my Caliber.)

This plan provides a vehicle only if yours is (I've got it in front of me here...) "inoperable due to a mechanical failure of a covered component, or unless continued operation would cause further damage".
 

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My car isn't in for repairs, they are taking off the graphics and installing Lifetrak..

2006 PT Cruiser Convertible GT

So, pretty! I couldn't believe the sticker price when I found it in the glove compartment $32K!!! Good lord. I have never driven a convertible before, it was nice, pretty fast, but the blind spots were ridiculous! I could never own one as an every day car.....I can't wait to pick my car back up today though ;)
 

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I've had 2 loaner vehicles so far, both to have the "Smiley Face" paint defect (posted in a previous topic) corrected on my Caliber. In fact, I have the second loaner vehicle NOW.

First vehicle: 2006 Dodge Dakota Sport, white with blue trim. Refer to "rcompart"'s response above - it was a complete gas hog. Great power, acceleration, hauling capacity - all things I don't need. Looked good, though. Had it about a week, barely drove it.

Second vehicle: 2005 Dodge Durango SLT, all dark blue. Worse gas hog than the Dakota. Great power, acceleration, size, passenger capacity - all things I don't need. Had it 6 days now, used almost 3/4 tank of gas, yet barely driven.

Both were obtained through the Enterprise location closest to the dealership, which keeps a rather small inventory (the international airport location maintains the large inventory). The closer Enterprise office DID have some cars available, but the dealership will only provide Dodge or Chrysler vehicles as loaners, and the Dakota and Durango were the only ones available at the particular times.

The only good thing I can think of about having this Durango is that I can transport more folks to the viewing/services tonight and funeral tomorrow for my neighbor whom I was fortunate to have as a good friend for several years - Hooters Chairman Bob Brooks, who passed away at home Sunday. It would have also been rather nice to use the Caliber, however, as Bob had stated several time that he liked the Sunburst Orange color of mine because it was a "Hooters color".

I'll probably also use this Durango to go to the viewing and funeral for author Micky Spillane, another local and a casual acquaintance who passed away yesterday. I'll probably know the schedule for his services when I see someone from his Kingdom Hall later today.

Sorry to go off on a bit of a tangent here, but these were 2 guys who were larger than life, yet were extremely NONextravagant, lived very simple lives as much as possible, and were extremely personable. You could have run into either one out and about on your daily business - and not realized who they were because they both dressed in a way that I can best describe as "extremely casual" or "very relaxed" even in a formal/business setting, drove very ordinary vehicles (Spillane with his old beater pickup), shopped at Walmart/KMart/Target/etc, and ate anywhere that wasn't fancy (although Bob was rather partial to Hooters - but also often went to family and small places where he wouldn't be recognized).

But I couldn't imagine either one owning/driving a Caliber.

Too fancy...
 
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