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2010 Dodge Caliber

Overview
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2010 Dodge Caliber Review

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As fuel costs continue to fluctuate, small cars are increasingly required to be more than just frugal commuters. Few vehicles better epitomize this trend than the 2010 Dodge Caliber, a combination hatchback, wagon and SUV. Dodge's most affordable offering, the Caliber is no bargain-basement car. Models range from a fuel-efficient commuter car to a well-equipped model featuring such unique items as a flip-down rear speaker bar, built-in iPod holder and a refrigerated beverage cooler, features you won't find on the Volkswagen Golf or MAZDA3. Then again, despite a modest upgrade this year, the plastics used to form the interior are not as sophisticated or handsome as those inside the VW and Mazda, an important issue for many savvy young buyers.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you're looking to get some versatility with your economy or some economy with your versatility, the 2010 Dodge Caliber throws in a little attitude as well.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Dodge Caliber's base sticker price is hard to beat, its interior plastics are still not up to the standards set by Volkswagen and Mazda. Interior sound levels and engine noise is also a bit on the loud side.

What's New for 2010

For 2010, Dodge offers just one trim, the SXT, but with five lifestyle-inspired variants: Express, Mainstreet, Uptown, Heat and Rush. All Caliber models receive a new interior with soft touch plastics on the doors and armrest, a new center console design and front seat active head restraints. A five speed manual transmission is standard on most trims, with two different CVT automatics are available.

Driving the Caliber

Driving Impressions While the Caliber's mission in life is decidedly more utilitarian than performance oriented, we managed to have some fun in sportiest model, the Rush. With its 172-horsepower engine, sportier suspension...

and five-speed manual transmission, the Rush is the model we'd choose to take camping – especially if the campgrounds were at the end of a curvy canyon road. While the five-speed manual is not the smoothest we've tested, it works well enough to make the drive somewhat sporting. Most consumers will probably choose the available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that offers an Auto Stick "manual-mode," which allows the driver to select any one of six "ratios" and thus hold onto that gearing step if necessary or desired. As for the more modestly-motivated Calibers, we found them as competent around town and on the highway as most of the competition.

MusicGate Speakers
As part of the 458-watt Boston Acoustics premium audio system, the Caliber's rearmost speakers flip down from the open liftgate to project outward for tailgate parties, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Auto Stick
While the idea of engineering artificial gearing into the Caliber's "gearless" CVT might seem counterproductive, the ability to control the transmission with ultra-responsive manual shifts is very useful.

2010 Dodge Caliber Details
2010 Dodge Caliber photo Interior

The 2010 Dodge Caliber is pleasantly roomy and functional, especially for a vehicle with such a modest price tag. With a fold-flat rear seat and available fold-flat front passenger seat, Caliber's hatchback design accommodates a variety of cargo and passenger configurations. Standard cloth seating can be upgraded to leather (Uptown), while all trims receive more soft touch padding on the door armrest, center armrest and dash. Overall, the newly upgraded interior is nicely designed and offers a variety of clever features, such as the standard Chill Zone cooling glove box and available flip-out rear speaker bar.

Exterior
2010 Dodge Caliber photo

With unique proportions, sharp-curve styling and Dodge's signature crosshair grille, the Caliber is perhaps the most distinctive five-door/crossover/wagon offered in the sub-$20,000 arena. It's bigger than the MAZDA3 and Volkswagen Rabbit, but not as streamlined as the Toyota Matrix and has none of the retro vibe of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chevrolet HHR. Up-level Calibers are distinguished by chrome side moldings and grille, fog lights and bigger, aluminum wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Along with a 2.0-liter engine and five-speed manual transmission, a base Dodge Caliber SXT Express features front and rear side-curtain airbags, inflatable knee blocker, UConnect Phone (Bluetooth), iPod Control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power windows, mirrors and locks, cruise control, keyless entry, 115-volt outlet, air conditioning and four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS). The top-of-the-line Uptown trim adds an automatic transmission, leather seating, heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system, power driver's seat and steering wheel audio controls. The sporty Rush and Heat models add larger wheel and tire packages, sport suspensions and upgraded interiors, while the Rush alone adds a more powerful 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine.

Optional Equipment

Most of the 2010 Dodge Caliber's equipment is bundled into one of its five available trims. The few available features includes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and the Security Package, which adds remote start, security alarm, front side-impact airbags and Hill Start Assist (in manual transmission-equipped cars).

Under the Hood

The Caliber's two engine choices each have four cylinders and 16 valves. The base engine displaces 2.0-liters and is good for 158 horsepower, while the Rush model gets a 2.4-liter engine rated at 172 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the Express, Rush and Heat trims, while the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is standard on the Mainstreet and Uptown trims. The Express can only be ordered with the manual transmission, while the CVT with Auto Stick manual shift mode is available only on the Heat and Rush trim.

2.0-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @6400 rpm
141 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 (manual), 23/27 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
172 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
165 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy: 23/29 (manual), 21/25 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Dodge Caliber Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.2
Out of 10

Based on 695 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    7.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.0/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

Best 2011 Dodge possible

By on Friday, October 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "great gas milage in city 22.5 MPG"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Dodge driven carefully by 2 senior. Mostly in Hemet. Oil and filter change every 6 months about every 1400 miles per 6 months. Always parked in our garage. Tires rotated at 8,000 miles. Polished every year. Spare tire never used."

Most Dependable Vehicle Ever! Great Value!

By on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Price, Reliability, Value"

Cons: "Compact....may feel cramped if you are over 220 lb"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has been nothing but reliable since day one! It starts every time and runs great at 80,000 miles. I've done a minimal amount of maintenance to it and it continues to purr like a kitten. The SXT 2.0 liter engine has plenty of acceleration when I need it and still gets 25mpg. This car has plenty of room inside for people or gear. I was skeptical about buying a Dodge, but am sold now. Overall, it's a great value for the dollar compared to other vehicles in its class."

This was a very good car. Lots of compliments.

By on Friday, October 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Cons: "glove compartment too small. No place to put trash"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"last year I had to get: new tires, new brakes and a battery. Also several problems with the front end. One problem was fixed while under warranty."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good car but many small issues that lead to bigger

By on Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 161,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "price, gas mileage"

Cons: "needed work, conveniences are not so convenient"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"*Alternator problems that should have been corrected by Dodge *Shocks should be warrantied *Space was good when the kids were little, teenagers and adults, a little tight *small items are breaking or need to be replaced due to age"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Dependable Car!

By on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "MPG, Reliability, Comfort, Fast"

Cons: "NO MAJOR CONS- Minor repairs when reached 80k"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my 07 Dodge Caliber SE when it was one year old and has 30,000 miles on it. I said $12,000 out the door for the vehicle. It was my first time having as car payment so it was a great deal for me. It now has 123,000 miles and is still going strong. I have driven it from Illinois to Florida and back with NO PROBLEMS! I have had to replace the struts, lower control arm. But for the $$ spent it was not that bad of a repair. I have driven this car hard, and have not kept up on the maintenance and it still drives good. The pick up is not as good as it used to be, and the bottom of the door is starting to rust. But overall I have loved this car and it always got me around safely. I am purchasing a new Dodge this week and decided to sell this car privately instead of taking the dealership's $1,000 offer because I believe she still has a lot of life left in her. I will be sad to see this car go."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love the Speed & Reaction but not for commuting

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive, lots of space"

Cons: "not a commuter car at ALL"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

Alki Beach!

"Well, I traded my 2007 Chevy Cobalt in for this car, initially went in to look at the Z's but ended up walking away with this because it still met everything I wanted for a great price but when it came to gas......I regret getting this car :( What I love about this car: 0-60 in 10 secs, the look, turbo, rims, GREAT sound system, so comfy, HUGE back that folds down (slept in this thing for 4 nights while on a road trip to Cali), when you want to go fast...you go fast in seconds! We went from 65 to 97 in 3 or 4 seconds I LOVE this car BUT i also have an hour and a half commute one way (only 30 miles one way) but still, sitting in stop and go traffic is not what this car is made for. If you live somewhere you can go fast or want a toy to take out on the town then this is your car but for commuting....NO WAY. I spend roughly 80-100 a week in gas :( But it has a plug in for auxiliary, the rear view mirror dims at night so it's not blinding you it like, goes greenish so helps your eyes. It's a manual which I do enjoy, but again in stop n go traffic every day it just is not pleasant, my knee is always killing me from shifting. Really, there's nothing bad at all about this car, I've had no mechanical issues with it at all, just keep up with everything and you're GOLDEN!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Alki Beach!

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?