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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the UK over here it seams that a lot of you Americans have given up on the big block, big cars now and are more complacent with the compacts.

Is it for the rise in fuel prices, the low maintenance or the initial affordability to buy from new that attracts you to the Caliber.

Over here in the UK we have always had relatively small family cars and Caliber fits in quite nicely, whereas in the States you have always had big cruisers.
 

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Heck, it's not just big cars.... it's supersize meals and McMansions* too.
It's conspicuous consumption because they can.

I think things are starting to downsize not necessarily because of fuel prices but because MAYBE *hopefully* people are realizing you cannot live on credit. Credit begets even more credit, low cash flow, and no savings. With layoffs and offshoring of jobs, you just can't live like that any more.
Eternal optimism (either that, or denial) must be what's behind the new generation of V8 pony cars.


**For our non-US friends, "McMansions" refers to the huge houses out in the suburbs that all look alike and get built within months. Each new development seems to be bigger and more luxurious than the last. What is sad is some really bad mortgage practices (i.e. bad ideas financially) have developed to help people pay for these monsters. Like ARM's, 0% down, or interest only. Also sad is that when the development goes into Phase 3, there are houses in Phase 1 up for sale already.
 

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From talking to people the smaller cars in the USA seem mostly because of gas prices. This same thing happened in the 70's with the OPEC embargo. Lots of small cars then. Sales of large pickup trucks (rare ine the UK) are still very strong in the USA. That indicates people buy them because they need a truck for work or to tow a recreational vehicle. Those people don't care about the gas prices. They need the big rig.

I prefer to drive a larger car than the Caliber but the $85 fillups in my truck were getting rough. I also have a 2004 Hemi Durango I tow a trailer with. Didn't need two gas guzzlers.
 

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I hope its a trend to downsize, better for the country and better overall, if we can ever get honest government that cares about the country again, then maybe things will improve even more when it comes to encouraging alternative fuels and better fuel economy.
 

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ejfb said:
I hope its a trend to downsize, better for the country and better overall, if we can ever get honest government that cares about the country again, then maybe things will improve even more when it comes to encouraging alternative fuels and better fuel economy.
Second that!!
 

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Honest goverment? I don't think we've had one of those since the late 1700s. I wouldn't hold your breath that it will happen again anytime soon until We The People stop being lazy armchair quarterbacks and actually do something about it. If you want a clean environment, buy a clean burning fuel car. It shouldn't be the goverment's responsibility (or their right) to force us to buy or not buy things. This is a capitalistic and democratic country the last time I checked, and if you can afford a big gas guzzling ozone kiling vehicle, I say go for it. A free country only works when the people in it have enough common sense and respect for themselves, others, and the world to make intelligent choices on their own. The more we expect the government to do these things for us, the less actual freedom we have, which of course only causes us to complain about it.

I'm just saying this so the next time you want to b*tch about the government, president, etc., remember they work for YOU and ME, and we choose by voting (or not voting) who ends up there.
 

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RadioDude said:
I'm just saying this so the next time you want to b*tch about the government, president, etc., remember they work for YOU and ME, and we choose by voting (or not voting) who ends up there.
Got to agree with you, well put.

Only thing is half of us voted for someone else but wound up with the other guy.
 

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Huff said:
Sales of large pickup trucks (rare ine the UK) are still very strong in the USA. That indicates people buy them because they need a truck for work or to tow a recreational vehicle. Those people don't care about the gas prices. They need the big rig.
Yes. People also move a lot more in the USA than in Europe and we always have lots of crap to move around.

Trucks count for over half of the sales from Ford, GM and DCX in the USA.

The high fuel cost are partially to blame on the gluttonous spending behaviors of US consumers. We throw money around like it's going out of style. So everyone wants a piece of that action from big-business to world governments... and now they are getting it with abandon.
 

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Not to start a huge debate. Be careful not to blame the oil companies for the high fuel prices. While they may be making large profits, that's only because of large volumes of sales. The oil companies still have some of the lowest profit margins of any large scale company. Major oil companies are only making about $0.10 on every gallon of gas sold in the U.S. At $3.00 per gallon, that's a 3.33% profit margin. As a comparison, MCDonalds makes about 14.6% profit margin, IBM makes around 24.9%, Delta Airlines is about 24.4%.

Why are oil prices going up in the U.S.? It's because we can't check our own oil. We have oil in Alaska, Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico, but all of the dipsticks are in Washington D.C.
 

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back to the topic, yes i want a smaller yet still roomy car with good fuel economy, thats what the caliber offers me, enough room to be sufficient in all my daily task yet conservative on fuel (imho). im not looking for 40-50 mpg, im happy with high 20's low 30's in which the car is still usable for what i need it for, groceries, dogs, what not.
 

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I got this car because it was small enough to be easily maneuverable yet smart enough to hold a wide variety of different types of cargo, it was AWD and had 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS. It's got enough power to keep me happy but not enough to get me into a lot of trouble. Gas mileage is not a major concern of mine (and how I drive reflects that), I was just tired of driving a large vehicle.
 

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RadioDude said:
I'm just saying this so the next time you want to b*tch about the government, president, etc., remember they work for YOU and ME, and we choose by voting (or not voting) who ends up there.
No one in government, especially these days, works for YOU and ME, they work for themselves and lobbiests, and thats ALL they work for.
 

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i like the car because it looks bigger than it is inside and out. My other cars are a 94 chevy astro 4x4 and a 86 lincoln markVII with 351w :)
 

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xlr8 said:
From the UK over here it seams that a lot of you Americans have given up on the big block, big cars now and are more complacent with the compacts.

Is it for the rise in fuel prices, the low maintenance or the initial affordability to buy from new that attracts you to the Caliber.

Over here in the UK we have always had relatively small family cars and Caliber fits in quite nicely, whereas in the States you have always had big cruisers.
I don't thik it has to do as much with gas prices, as it does the current trend in cars and the "inport" scene with modding and racing the cars. We still have our big V-* cars. Just look at all the models of DC vehicles available with the Hemi being sold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the interesting responces !

I didn't intend to start any political rhetoric but I guess my questions sort of headed that way.

From what I can see from the posts I understand then that the Caliber basically offers American buyers something new and different, and its compactness and economy is not a real issue.

Also that you still love your big 'gas guzzlers' as many of you have several such big cars.

Over here in the UK fuel economy is a real issue, a big issue and compact cars are big time sellers. Our fuel is £4.50 per imperial gallon and as wages are not increasing pro rata, fuel it seams is rationed by price.

The Caliber is a nice looking car, its certainly different and its a pleasure to drive but behind that is the decent economy for such a car as this. Over here in the UK the waiting list for the SXT is now well past December.

The mixture of looks, economy and price have sold this car out.
 

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xlr8 said:
Thanks for all the interesting responces !

I didn't intend to start any political rhetoric but I guess my questions sort of headed that way.

"snip"

The mixture of looks, economy and price have sold this car out.
Looks like Dodge's "World Car" might be just that. Europeans have long complained North American cars were either impractical or unreliable (although having owned British cars in the past...they were not without their "issues"). Nice to hear the car is launching well in Europe and other foreign markets. The supply issue may disappoint many however.
 

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As the saying goes, there's no replacement for displacement. Looks like I'm in the minority in this thread though. Ain't nothing like a push rod V8 putting out 425HP/400TQ proves it.:D

Medic
 

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i got the caliber because i got rid of my mazda mpv,rarly used the rear bench but i got only 250km on a 60 liter tank in the city,the caliber has a lot of space for me ,wife and two kids and also has a lot of cargo room ,its great looking ,its a solid ride ,my kids thinks its the coolest car ever.My oldest on 10 allready told me that its going to be his in 6 years :p .so i guess i better start looking for a new ride in 6 years,(man i'am getting old:( ) and on top of it i get 550km out of a tank, i just love it.Cheers Thomas
 
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