Purchased in summer of 2006, the 2007 Dodge caliber with 2.0L and CVT caught my eye, and I've had good luck with it for over 11 years. I like that it can go long hwy distances in the desert heat, and...
Purchased in summer of 2006, the 2007 Dodge caliber with 2.0L and CVT caught my eye, and I've had good luck with it for over 11 years. I like that it can go long hwy distances in the desert heat, and it's reliable if you respect it. I use it for my long drives, not a daily driver. And maintenance is low cost with the common items like tires, battery, air filters, lubercants and fluids. And, the AC never failed me, and is still going strong. I used a dealer for the first 3 years of maintenance, and DIY maintenance since. Thus, any recalls or problems had been taken care of by the dealer. After 11 years baking in the South West Desert heat, the black plastic trim started deteriorating, and the headlight covers started to fade and discolor. And the paint below the rear window is starting to fade. And that's about it for wear on the exterior.
I've seen a lot of reviews of the Caliber from people who bought used, and like any used car, they're sold for a reason. You can bet I'll sell my Caliber when major things like the engine, trans, and electrical system start to fail. According to Wikipedia, in 2007 Dodge sold more Calibers than all other years combined, and sold over 3x more than was sold the following year. Thus, if there are problems for Calibers, it would likely be seen as the 2007 model which has the bad reputation. I suspect that's why so few Calibers were sold in 2008 and the following years.
IME the Doge Caliber is a cool looking car that can last a long time with some luck and regular maintenance. It's not a full on SUV, and can't be treated as one, and it's not a sedan and will never drive like one. But, it's large enough for comfortable long distances on highways with great gas mileage (30+mpg). And small enough to have the maneuverability of a compact car, and the cargo area of some crossover SUVs. I would have recommended this car brand new back in 2006 and 2007 brand new. But I do not recommend it as a used vehicle. YMMV.