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Dodge Caliber

Broadcast date : 11th June 2006

Dodge cars havenít been seen in South Africa since Pa fell off the boot of a Valiant. But Chrysler products are a-coming in our increasingly diverse market.

Thereís a vaguely familiar look to the Caliber interior, especially in the switchgear. One has to keeping mind itís from the same stable as the Chrysler PT Cruiser, and there are echoes of the Cruiser in the trim and some of the generic Chrysler mechanicals.

Useful cross-over design will make the price tag even more appealing on the entry level model. As for engines and transmissions, Dodge has weighed in with workaday Chrysler Corporation offerings, which are okay as long as you donít expect the high-revving sophistication of the best European and Japanese offerings.

Given a 105km/h US blanket speed limit, American engines , especially the diesels, tend to go more for torque than smoothness. But thereís a special performance version, the SRT, in the pipeline.

Itís a good-looking car. Nothing Dodgy about this Dodge, and nothing retro either. The cross-over format should go down a treat in SA.

With the rain in Spain falling mainly on Ibiza, David and Dodge set sail.

The only aspect David complained about was a blind-spot on the windscreen pillar in some situations.

The chunky down-home looks of the Dodge, not to mention bang-for-your-buck in terms of size, should see a car of this, uhh, Caliber, succeed. Practical it certainly is. Almost as practical as an umbrella on Ibiza.

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