2008 Dodge Caliber

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22 CITY / 27 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • New 2.4-liter turbocharged, intercooled 4-cylinder engine with aluminum block and heads

  • SRT-4 performance model with 300-hp engine

  • New Getrag 6-speed manual transmission

  • Anti-lock brakes (ABS) standard on SRT-4

  • Heavily bolstered seats

  • New leather-wrapped steering wheel

  • Silver trim on IP and shift bezel

  • New turbo boost gauge

  • New sway bars and heavy-duty suspension knuckles on SRT-4
The 2008 Dodge Caliber, a 4-door, 5-passenger wagon, is basically a carryover from 2007, but does feature some interior refinements, and an all-new 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine. The high-performance SRT-4 model (the SRT stands for Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology) replaces the Neon-based SRT-4. With its 285-hp, 2.4-liter turbocharged and intercooled V-8 engine, it's basically a pocket rocket in an economy car, capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in the low 6-second range, according to SRT. SRT-4 competition includes the MazdaSPEED3, Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru WRX STI. Non SRT-4 Caliber competitors include the Chevrolet HHR, Toyota Matrix, Scion xB, and Mazda3 Grand Touring, according to the automaker.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Dodge Caliber model lineup includes SE, SXT, SXT Sport, R/T, and the high-performance SRT-4. Only the R/T is available in all-wheel drive; the others are all front-wheel drive hatchbacks. Standard equipment on SE includes a tire-pressure-monitoring system; electroluminescent instrumentation; halogen headlamps; silver bezel on the instrument panel; body-color grille and front and rear bumper; black rear spoiler; front air dam; front bucket seats, and 15-inch steel wheels. SXT adds keyless entry; floor console; ChillZone cooled glovebox; retractable soft tonneau cover; luxury floor mats; SXT badge; tachometer; and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The SXT Sport has cloth seats with color-keyed inserts; body-color bodyside molding; fog lamps; and body-color instrument panel bezels.

The R/T features 4-wheel ABS, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls on a leather-wrapped wheel. Step up to the R/T AWD and add chrome body-side molding and body-color door handles; performance steering; sport suspension; sport appearance interior group; heated front seats; AutoStick automatic transmission; and red seat inserts. Options on the 2008 Caliber include: a continuously variable transaxle; engine oil cooler; engine block heater; air filtering; cigar lighter; trailer tow prep group (SXT, SXT Sport, R/T); popular equipment group (SXT, SXT Sport, R/T); premium sound group (SXT, SXT Sport, R/T); driver's convenience group (SXT, SXT Sport); vehicle information center (SXT, SXT Sport, R/T); Electronic Stability Program (ESP), available in SXT, SXT Sport and RXT; 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (XST, XST Sport); and 18-inch aluminum chrome cast wheels (R/T).

The Caliber SRT-4 has standard ABS; heavily bolstered sport seats; silver trim on the SRT race-inspired instrument panel and shift bezel; new leather-wrapped steering wheel; turbo boost gauge; 19-inch cast aluminum wheels; 225/45R19 Goodyear 4-season tires; Electronic Stability Program (ESP); front fascia with functional brake cooling ducts; larger grille opening; new hood with functional air scoop; and an integrated spoiler above the rear glass.

SRT-4 options are few and include a reconfigurable display; power sunroof; upgraded audio system; unique performance tuning; 19-inch polished cast aluminum wheels; and 225/45R19 W-rated Goodyear F1 Supercar 3-season tires.

There are three engines available for the 2008 Dodge Caliber family (except for SRT-4, which gets its own high-performance engine). Standard on SE, SXT and SXT Sport models is the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine with dual variable valve timing (VVT) that generates 148 hp at 6500 rpm and 125 lb.-ft. of torque at 5200 rpm. Power is transferred through a 5-speed manual transmission. An optional 2.0-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine with dual VVT is available on the SE, SXT and SXT Sport, and delivers 158 hp at 6400 rpm and 141 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm, with power transferred through a 5-speed manual transmission. Both R/T and R/T AWD have the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine with dual VVT that produces 172 hp at 6000 rpm and 165 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. R/T AWD has a standard AutoStick automatic transmission, while the R/T has a 5-speed manual transmission.

Powering the 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT-4 is the all-new turbocharged and intercooled 2.4-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with aluminum block and heads that generates 300 hp at 6000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque between 2000-6000 rpm. The engine has an 8.6:1 compression ratio, dual counter-rotating balance shafts, and variable valve timing. Power is put through the front wheels courtesy of a dual-mass flywheel to the new Getrag 6-speed manual transmission, through a brake lock differential, and on to the 19-inch front wheels and optional Goodyear F1 Supercar tires. The SRT-4 adds MacPherson struts up front, and has a coil-spring, multilink independent rear setup, along with specifically tuned dampers and stiffer springs than a regular Caliber.

EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the 2008 Caliber or SRT-4.

The 2008 Dodge Caliber comes equipped with several standard or available safety features including: advanced multi-stage air bags; supplemental side curtain air bags (and optional seat-mounted air bags); inflatable knee blocker and knee bolsters; all-speed traction control; anti-lock brakes; belt-alert; brake assist; constant force retractors for seat belts; height-adjustable seat belts and seat belt pre-tensioners; energy-absorbing steering column; crumple zones; enhanced accident response system; LATCH child restraint anchors and tethers; remote keyless entry; tire-pressure-monitoring system and SentryKey engine immobilizer. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Dodge Caliber SRT-4 was not rated; however, the 2008 Caliber 4-door model received perfect 5-star ratings for driver and passenger frontal-impact protection, and front- and rear-seat side crash tests. In rollover testing, Caliber received a 4-star rating for 2- and 4-wheel drive.

The 2008 Dodge Caliber offers an optional MOPAR rear-seat video system (dealer installed); AM/FM stereo with in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 player; DVD-based GPS navigation system with 6-CD/MP3 changer; AM/FM stereo with CD player and auxiliary input jack; Boston Acoustics 8-speaker system with sub-woofer and MusicSuite; and U-Connect hands-free connection with Bluetooth cell phone-compatible connectivity. The SRT-4 features an optional Reconfigurable Display with exclusive \"performance pages\" that display such gearhead information as lateral and longitudinal G-force, quarter-mile and 1/8-mile time and speed, and 0-60 mph time and distance. Standard sound system is an AM/FM radio with multi-disc CD changer control, but an optional SRT-engineered Kicker high-performance sound system includes 13 speakers in 7 locations, and a 322-watt amplifier and 200-watt subwoofer. Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity are also available on the 2008 Caliber.

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