We continue our 1990s-then-2000s series today, following up the last post that featured compact American two-doors from 1998. By the late 2000s, the Escort, Neon, and Cavalier were all dead. In their place were the Focus, Caliber, and Cobalt, and not all of those had a two-door variant. That means we focus on four-doors today. Let’s go.
I’ve had a 2009 Dodge Caliber SRT4 for a few years and it’s coming up to its first all-around brake job at 50,000 miles / 80,000 km (I drive like a granny). I work at a dealership (different brand) but can get parts at a bit of a discount. Still, OEM brakes + pads on this thing are $980+tax Canadian. From what I’ve seen I can get aftermarket ones for a quarter of that. One of the mechanics here suggests I put on OEM pads and aftermarket discs.
You’d think with an owner by the name of Fiat, Chrysler would be knee-deep in small cars. Just the opposite is true. The Freep complains:
“Chrysler, for all of its recent improvements, is missing out on one of the biggest opportunities of the year: a chance to grab a larger slice of the small-car segment while Japanese automakers try to rebuild their car supplies after the March earthquake and tsunami that disrupted operations.”
The AP [via Google] reports that NHTSA’s investigation of the pedals manufactured by CTS that were behind Toyota’s recent unintended acceleration recall has widened to include 2007 model-year Dodge Calibers. Dodge built 161,000 Calibers in the 2007 model-year, but according to Chrysler Group complaints of sticking accelerators only cover about 10,000 vehicles built between March and April of 2006… even though all 2007 model-year vehicles were built with CTS pedals. So what’s the difference between vehicles made in that five-week period and the rest of the 2007 model-year? According to Chrysler spokesfolks:
We have data that is telling us that there were a certain amount of complaints during that time period
For a moment, turn away from the uncertain prospects of Chrysler’s Fiat-directed future and consider the subject of this review as nothing other than one entry in the popular five-door hatchback segment of the North American compact car market.
That’s what I had to do, anyway, in order to rationalize driving and writing about a vehicle that a lot of folks would justifiably consider to be a loser car from a loser car company. The question is, is it really?