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2006 Dodge Caliber


Remember the Chrysler PT Cruiser? The small car that looked big? A 1930s-style US slopeback sedan that turned out to be not much bigger than a Mazda 626?

Well, Chrysler subsidiary Dodge, the US outfit’s world car brand, is pulling much the same trick with the Caliber – a five-door hatchback which has ingested a fair number of Dodge Ram pick-up genes and repackaged them in a compact sedan size.

Daimler Chrysler has just put the Dodge Caliber on to the New Zealand market at prices that start from $29,990.

The Dodge crosshair grille and frontal styling that draws on the Ram and the new rear-drive Charger sedan combine with prominent wheelarches and
17 or 18-inch wheels to give the Caliber an aggressive, punching above its weight look.

It’s a shade bigger than the average five-door, 2.0-litre class, hatchback at
4415mm long and 1800mm wide.

Standard equipment includes cruise control, air-conditioning, remote-control central door-locking with anti-theft car alarm, power windows and power/heated door mirrors, CD/radio sound system with MP3 compatibility and 458-Watt Boston Acoustics speakers on SXT models.

There is a refrigerated area in the glovebox to chill four cans or bottles, a pair of audio speakers that swing down from the opened tailgate (SXT models only), a removable ceiling light that doubles as a rechargeable flashlight, rear seats that recline to provide more comfort on long journeys, and a sliding centre console that lifts up to reveal a storage holder for an MP3 player or mobile phone.

Safety features include front airbags, side curtain airbags, a strong safety cell
structure and in-door intrusion bars.

Suspension is all-independent, MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear.
The four-wheel disc brake system is boosted by ABS. 

Auto Trader New Zealand