Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
Go

2010 Dodge Caliber

Overview
Share this page
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 Review

By

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.
Favorite Features

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 670 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    7.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.0/10
    Performance
    7.5/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

love! needed to be 4wd though!

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "only fwd rather than 4wd"

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

my baby

"I had some issues with the front control arms...got to love those low profiles! But all around Great car."

my baby

Great performance/Acceleration/Dependable/29mpg

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Economy"

Cons: "I am 6' tall and its somewhat awkward getting into"

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

"Bought this a year ago. Runs great. 29mph all the time, I actually got 31mph driving to Illinois at a constant 65/70mph. It has the 2.4 with CVT transmission. The roof could be taller because its a little awkward getting in and out of."

Poorly designed and poorly built vehicle.

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "good engine transmission"

Cons: "poor design, mechanical problems"

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

"This is a poorly designed and poorly built vehicle. I drive it very conservatively, but it has had several suspension problems and other mechanical problems with under 60k miles on the vehicle. It is uncomfortable, noisey, and does not ride well. The engine and transmission have not had any issues, but for a small car I expected to get 30 mpg and do not. I like the look of the car, but it is very basic transportation at best."

Poorly designed and poorly built vehicle.

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "good engine transmission"

Cons: "poor design, mechanical problems"

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

"This is a poorly designed and poorly built vehicle. I drive it very conservatively, but it has had several suspension problems and other mechanical problems with under 60k miles on the vehicle. It is uncomfortable, noisey, and does not ride well. The engine and transmission have not had any issues, but for a small car I expected to get 30 mpg and do not. I like the look of the car, but it is very basic transportation at best."

Car has no redeeming qualities...not even a decent

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "better than walking"

Cons: "no radio, no floor mats no pick up stals at traff"

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

"Do not buy this car,,, has no redeeming qualities not even a decent radio. Bought it after having no sleep and payed more than kbb value for it. The only thing about this vehicle is that it is better than walking."

Awesome everything!

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, ok price, amazing sound, fast"

Cons: "none I can think of"

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

The day I drove it off the lot

"I've had this car for two years now and I love it. It's fast, with good gas mileage, awesome sound system, and looks great. The only thing I would change is my driving record after purchasing this car."

The day I drove it off the lot

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?