Funky Dodge Caliber

Charl Wilken

I guess the Americans have by now mastered the art of making powerful first impressions.

This is proved by the number of cars coming from the US.

Then, of course, Dodge has always been a car that sets some new standards in car design. If it is not different, then it isn't a Dodge.

Our used test car for the week was a 2007 Dodge Caliber CRD, which I believe is the best buy in its range.

Looking at the latest model from Dodge, the Nitro, you can see that Dodge makes cars for people who want to be recognised as individuals. An individual was just what I felt like when I drove the Caliber.

From the outside you can see it has very bulky looks and even the wheel arches look intimidating.

On the inside, the strong outer design is repeated with clear lines and a neatly finished interior.

The Caliber has a funky feel and though this isn't a typical C-segment car, most people looking for a car in that segment will also look at the Caliber.

It has better ground clearance than its rivals, with the result that you feel you can go anywhere. This better ground clearance helps when looking for parking outside a parking bay.

Some of the nice-to-have features in the Caliber that you won't find in competing cars include an air conditioner-linked storage compartment ahead of the front passenger.

The sun visors can also be placed in different positions and has a rail from where it can move to where it suits you best.

The four-cylinder, 2,0-litre turbo diesel engine is very powerful and great fun to drive.

With 103kW and 320Nm you will be running up and down the hills with no sweat.

A beautiful short-shift, six-speed manual gearbox delivers power to the front wheels.

It is great to overtake with this car because it has huge torque. The Caliber can reach speeds way beyond the 200 kmh mark.

The car has an excellent sound system with CD-MP3 front loader. Other luxuries include electric windows, climate control, power steering and adjustable steering. It has front and side air bags as well as potent ABS brakes.

If you want to make that statement, this is just the car.

Contact Schalk from McCarthy Call-a-Car Menlyn at 012-369-5324.