Both petrol engines have plenty of horsepower, but are short on pulling muscle. In a big, heavy car like the Caliber, this equates to slow performance. The Volkswagen-sourced diesel engine, however, performs well. It gives the best acceleration, the best refinement, and with a figure of 34.9mpg, the best fuel economy.
Dodge Caliber 4x4 ride & handling
The driving experience is very similar to that of a 4x4, except without the extra four-wheel-drive grip. The Caliber is softly sprung, so rides well over bumps, but the handling isn't good. There is far too much body roll in corners, and the driven front wheels struggle for grip. In terms of driving pleasure, it's way off the pace.
Dodge Caliber 4x4 refinement
Wind- and road noise are both audible in the cabin, but aren't offensive. With a soft and comfortable ride, refinement would be pretty good, if it weren't for the petrol engines. Both sound coarse, and the 2.0-litre is even worse because of its continuously variable automatic transmission. The diesel version is fine though.