If you’re looking for a compact car that offers a bit more space with acceptable fuel economy, the 2012 Dodge Caliber is a worthy target. The hatchback design is versatile, while the cooling storage compartment, removable flashlight (rechargeable) and the folding rear speaker bar add a bit more interest to the interior features.
The Caliber features your choice of CVT or manual transmission, and offers an upgrade to 18-inch wheels on the SXT Plus or 17-inch on the SXT. With an available hands-free connectivity option, heated front seats and a 368-watt sound system in one package, or the Security Package that includes side airbags, security alarm, remote start a towing wiring harness and an engine oil cooler, there are plenty of options available for most drivers.
Changes for 2012
The most significant change for the 2012 Dodge Caliber was the addition of electronic stability control as a standard feature on all models. The SE trim also received additional standard equipment that makes it more intriguing for those who want more for their buck.
What We Like
For its size, the overall space inside the cabin coupled with the fuel economy and lower price point make this a viable compact option. With the availability of folding speakers for “tailgate” parties and the CVT2 Auto Stick transmission that allows for manual shifting, the Caliber offers just a bit more than others available in the class.
What Concerns Us
The rather small engine leaves a bit to be desired in the power department, especially when attempting to pass or merge. The interior could also be spruced up with some updates to keep it on par with other options in the class. The rear windshield is also on the small side, which limits visibility slightly.
The 2012 Dodge Caliber is available in the SE, SXT and SXT Plus models. However, while each model includes more features, each uses the same 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 158 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 141 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm. Both the SE and SXT Plus deliver 24/32 mpg city/highway fuel economy, while the hatchback SXT comes in at 23/27 mpg. It is also worth noting that the SE model is only available with a five-speed manual transmission.
There are no major recalls for the 2012 Dodge Caliber at this time.
There have been numerous reported issues with this vehicle. The most commonly reported ones are related to problems with the seatbelt and airbags, engine problems and drivetrain issues.