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2007 Dodge Caliber Play Edition Road Test

2007 Dodge Caliber Play Edition Road Test
Sep 21, 2007
2007 Dodge Caliber Play Edition Road Test
by Michel Deslauriers ,
A good start

Mission accomplished for the Caliber. After a year on the market, they're everywhere. This little Dodge attracted a lot of buyers despite its only body style.

Recently, Chrysler handed us a special edition of the car based on the SXT Sport, which they launched this spring and called 'Play'. Let's see what it offers the consumer.

For 2007, the SXT version comes equipped with a body-coloured grill.

Still that distinctive look

You either like or don't like, but nobody can say that the Caliber blends in with the compact crowd. Civic, Corolla, Sentra... they all look alike. But the Caliber stands out of the pack like spotting Tiger Woods on a mini-putt course.

The Dodge seems to have been designed with a T-square ruler; there are sharp creases and angles everywhere in the sheetmetal. The fat fenders add muscle and house 17-inch wheels. By the way, big wheels may look really cool, but when the time will come to replace those P215/60R17 tires, the tab might be pretty hefty, something that should always be considered when buying a new car these days.

I've noted a small change compared to last year. The SXT Sport model gets a chromeless grille (like the SE), although the one we tested last summer had a chrome-trimmed schnoz. It's a small detail, and I prefer the monochrome treatment of the Sport model anyhow.

I really like the exterior design of the Caliber. What's distinctive, bizarre actually, is the intention of making the car look jacked up. Ground clearance is greater than a Corolla, for instance, but not as much as we would think; once sitting in the car, we realize how deep the floors are and the door sills are high.

However, some small details reveal cost-cutting measures: tapping the rocker panels sounds like hitting an empty coffee can; the doors close with the same sound as on the 1982 Dodge Diplomat; the antenna is a good old metal rod screwed on the front right fender.

The quality of materials is somewhat unsatisfactory.

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