The Dodge Caliber production ends on November 23rd
While Dodge has sold a fair number of Calibers over the past 4 years, the 5-door compact failed to gain anywhere near the popularity of the Dodge Neon that it replaced. Even with the addition of all wheel drive to select models, the Caliber was never embraced by the sport compact crowd who so-loved the Neon and due to lackluster fuel economy ratings, the general public had a hard time picking it over the competition. Even though the C Segment in which the Caliber fit is among the bestselling group in the US market and other companies were able to offer 5-door models that sold well over the past few years – the Caliber proved to be one of those models that just missed the mark.
The replacement for the Dodge Caliber is expected to be unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Hall and although very little official information has been offered, we can expect the new Dodge C Segment vehicle to be a sedan based on the underpinnings of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta – with the dimensions enlarged slightly to fit the US market. A similar enlargement was performed for the Fiat 500 as it made its conversion from Europe to the USA and with any luck, the Caliber replacement will hopefully sport some of the Italian fit and finish similar to that found in the new Fiat 500. One of the key complaints of the Caliber was that the interior was uncomfortable and generally unpleasant but having spent time in all of the 2011/2012 Dodge models – I expect a far more impressive interior from the new Dodge C Segment sedan when it drops in January.
There hasn’t been any indication as to what the new Dodge C Segment sedan based on Alfa Romeo architecture will be called – whether they will stick with the Caliber name or go a different direction. Perhaps they will have an all-new name but with the preferences by Chrysler to call upon old names there are all sorts of interesting possibilities…albeit farfetched possibilities. In the past, Dodge has used names for their compact models like Dart, Aries, Omni which are all long-shots at best but consider this – could Dodge introduce this new compact sedan as the new Neon, with a hope of reliving the success of that popular model? Only time will tell.