Considering Caliber SRT-4

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Hey guys I found a steal on a left over 08 SRT-4. I'm going to look at it tomorrow. What do you guys think of the new 2.4l world engine? What about the car in general? I know it's no where near the best in class, but it's a deal!
 
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"Nowhere near the best in class" is a very generous way to put it. The Caliber is one of the worst small cars on the market. It's not particularly cheap, not particularly well designed, not well built at all, and not even particularly small. It has just enough height to make it dynamically useless, but not even enough to delude soccer moms into thinking they bought a crossover. The SRT-4 version is even more mind numbing, IMO. Why a car company would think a car like the Caliber should have 285hp is utterly beyond me. I can see a child thinking that, but not an adult. I'm not going to tell you to steer clear of the car just because it's a leftover and is cheap. There are definitely some gems to be found that way. But trust me, a Caliber ain't one of them. Now, if you were looking at a Neon-based SRT-4, that would be different. That was a very good car for what it was. If you want a domestic econobox with way too much power, that's the one (although you'll need some luck to find one in good shape).
 
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I would jump on it.. Chrysler has always produced some of the best Turbo cars on the market period! They have underrated the engine on these, FWD performance has dynoed them stock 280 WHP and 300 ft-lbs, with stage 1 and 3" downpipe 307 WHP 338 WTQ. What more could you ask for?? Of course it doesnt suprise me, my PT GT was rated 215 crank HP and 240 TQ and it put 227 WHP and 254WTQ, chysler always underates for insurance purposes while others have to inflate their numbers. TO some the Caliber may not be their cup of tea but I know people who own the plain jane ones and they love them. From people at Turbo-mopar.com who have them, they love the ride and performance wise they are very good, they trap 102.5 mph out of the box and most will run 13.80 stock and get 33-35 mpg highway. They are also a blast on road course. People including Cindy and James at FWD Performance who have owned GLHS, Neon SRT4 and now the Caliber like them and are developing parts for them. They are a great civilized car, another great job from the SRT group. Some poeple have bought hem for like 16K for a new 08 left over. Go here and ask questions to people who actually own them.. http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=90
 
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The auto mags cited poor (top heavy) handling, oceans of torque steer and cheap interior materials. If you can live with those dings, I think you'll enjoy the car. I've never liked the looks of non-SRT Calibers, but the SRT wheels, grounds effects, lowered ride height and aggressive fascias really snap up the styling IMO. Cargo space would be handy too. Is it orange?
 
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 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
The auto mags cited poor (top heavy) handling, oceans of torque steer and cheap interior materials. If you can live with those dings, I think you'll enjoy the car. I've never liked the looks of non-SRT Calibers, but the SRT wheels, grounds effects, lowered ride height and aggressive fascias really snap up the styling IMO. Cargo space would be handy too. Is it orange?
They cited that type of [censored] on the Neon SRT4, PT GT and all the former 80's Shelby Turbo Dodges too, but guess what, people who own them love them and wave by by to all the slower but more civil imports LOL People didnt think too much of OMNI GLH Turbos but now they are considered colectibles.
 
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I thought a LOT of them...wanted a Shelby GLH BADLY, but I was only 15 when they came out. Great car for a newly licensed driver! NOT.
 
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My first new car was a 89 Daytona ES Turbo. Great car for the money. Now there are so many good parts and people doing calibrations for them it is fairly easy if you have some cash to improve them. I have 86 Turbo Z with some tweaks and hope to start my next project a 90 Daytona ES Turbo. Have Konis, Spearco cooler, T3/T4 hybrid with 50 trim, 568 Getrag with quaiffe, 3 Bar Map, Cal and +40 injetors, 11" brakes all around etc
 
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I drove a regular Caliber rental car, seemed fine to me, handled well for street driving. If I had a choice I'd get the Neon SRT-4 over it but if your not on the track then it probably doesn't matter. Also $400 in sway bars and alignment can make a big difference in how a car handles if thats an issue for you. $400 gets you about 2-5hp when trying to increase power for most NA cars. Its far cheaper to improve handling than power... Ian
 
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 Originally Posted By: d00df00d
The Caliber is one of the worst small cars on the market. It's not particularly cheap, not particularly well designed, not well built at all, and not even particularly small. It has just enough height to make it dynamically useless, but not even enough to delude soccer moms into thinking they bought a crossover.
I always have to chuckle at people who read reviews then regurgitate the information as though they're "experts". I've had a Caliber for more than 2 years and it's a decent vehicle. Mine is an STX with the 2.0 and CVT. I consistently get 30 MPG (higher when conditions are right), I've had virtually no problems (just 2 TSB's performed) and I can haul a surprising amount of cargo. It's roomier and more comfortable than the 2000 Jeep Cherokee it replaced. At 6'3" most smaller vehicles are not comfortable, but the Caliber is comfortable even on longer drives. The interior is simple and fairly spartan-exactly what I wanted. I didn't want a sports car, nor did I want a luxury car. But for an inexpensive commuter/grocery getter it's been a great car and completely dependable. You could take the advice of the "experts" who have never driven one, or you could make up your own mind after a test drive. After all, it's your decision, not the "experts".
 

Gilitar

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I feel that the car got bad reviews because the car isn't clearly in one class. This way the reviewer compares it to something it's not and gives it a bad review. Also, styling is funky, so the reviewer probably never likes the car from first sight.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gilitar
I feel that the car got bad reviews because the car isn't clearly in one class. This way the reviewer compares it to something it's not and gives it a bad review. Also, styling is funky, so the reviewer probably never likes the car from first sight.
You have to understand that any mags, like CR etc are going to SHyt on any Chrysler product. To get the true scoop you need to go on a mopar board and people will tell you what is good and bad. My father has 07 SXT. It is nice car for the money. People complain about the interior in the Caliber but my MIL just bought a 09 Corrolla and the POS interior in that car is nothing to brag about either. My wife even noted that but I guess she is used to the leather heated seats in her PT GT and Grand Cherokee. Note the SRT4 has nicer seats with leather option etc. The SRT's basically an upgraded Caliber with a beefy Getrag gear set, huge brakes, nice tuned suspension and a good beefy engine. Not everyones choice but if you want a performance car you will probably like it from people I have talked to on TM.com.
 
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 Originally Posted By: d00df00d
"Nowhere near the best in class" is a very generous way to put it. The Caliber is one of the worst small cars on the market. It's not particularly cheap, not particularly well designed, not well built at all, and not even particularly small.
I rented one a couple of months ago from Enterprise..It was the worst car if ever rented in my entire life..The seats were way 2 low,horrible riding and handling and it was terrible on fuel..I brought it back the next day to get something else..That was the first time I brought back a rental cause I hated it so much.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gilitar
Hey guys I found a steal on a left over 08 SRT-4. I'm going to look at it tomorrow. What do you guys think of the new 2.4l world engine? What about the car in general? I know it's no where near the best in class, but it's a deal!
Engines are very reliable... I would buy it! \:\!
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
I always have to chuckle at people who read reviews then regurgitate the information as though they're "experts".
I always have to chuckle at people who read a post and think they know everything about the poster's motivations and experience. ;\) A friend of mine has one. I'm going on material experience in addition to the reviews. I appreciate your skepticism, though.
 
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 Originally Posted By: CROWNVIC4LIFE
I rented one a couple of months ago from Enterprise..It was the worst car if ever rented in my entire life..The seats were way 2 low,horrible riding and handling and it was terrible on fuel..I brought it back the next day to get something else..That was the first time I brought back a rental cause I hated it so much.
I did the same thing with a Buick LaCrosse. Drove away with a Chevy Cobalt knowing I would never see a penny of the price difference, and was happy as a clam for a week. Anyway, sorry for the threadjack.
 
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 Originally Posted By: CROWNVIC4LIFE
 Originally Posted By: d00df00d
"Nowhere near the best in class" is a very generous way to put it. The Caliber is one of the worst small cars on the market. It's not particularly cheap, not particularly well designed, not well built at all, and not even particularly small.
I rented one a couple of months ago from Enterprise..It was the worst car if ever rented in my entire life..The seats were way 2 low,horrible riding and handling and it was terrible on fuel..I brought it back the next day to get something else..That was the first time I brought back a rental cause I hated it so much.
Doubt you rented the SRT4 version
 
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I would agree in general that Dodge seems to be able to do the 'Turbo FWD' thing very well. I don't mind the styling of the Calibre; but for a pure performance car, I think its too 'upright' and 'crossover-ish' to be a serious performance car. BUT, as a daily driver for zipping in and out of traffic, and for the occassional highway high-speed run, it should be a good car. My buddy bought a 260HP Cobalt SS last year. Among the cars he tested was the Calibre SRT-4. Like I said above, it was too 'upright' for him, but he did say it is a very, very quick car. If its a good deal, I'd go for it!
 
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 Originally Posted By: VNTS
 Originally Posted By: CROWNVIC4LIFE
 Originally Posted By: d00df00d
"Nowhere near the best in class" is a very generous way to put it. The Caliber is one of the worst small cars on the market. It's not particularly cheap, not particularly well designed, not well built at all, and not even particularly small.
I rented one a couple of months ago from Enterprise..It was the worst car if ever rented in my entire life..The seats were way 2 low,horrible riding and handling and it was terrible on fuel..I brought it back the next day to get something else..That was the first time I brought back a rental cause I hated it so much.
Doubt you rented the SRT4 version
It wasn't the SRT4 now that I think about it.
 
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I work at a GM dealer, and for the right price, I'd consider it. I think the 2.4 is a good engine, and they know a lot about turbos. Does that setup get the lifetime powertrain warr? I know the Cummins and the Viper don't.
 
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I've been trying to formulate a response to the people who say the SRT-4 should be good because the Caliber is decent. I didn't want to bother but I think I have a point worth making. Why are we satisfied with "decent" when there is 285 horsepower under the hood? The base car barely handled well enough to keep up with 150 horsepower. You can't expect it to be okay with 285 just because it has a few extra bits bolted on. That's like if you were rolling down a hill in a shopping cart, and you just made the hill steeper. The car shouldn't be decent. It should be good. Violent torque steer and an under-damped suspension are not good. Posh seats and a body kit do not make it good. If the engine is fast, the chassis should be a lot faster. Look at the other cars in the class: Honda Civic Si, VW Golf GTI, Mini Cooper S, Mazdaspeed 3, and Chevrolet Cobalt SS. The Caliber SRT-4 is the most powerful car of the bunch, and by far the worst reviewed. That should say something.
 
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