Boasting the handling of a Chrysler sedan and the utilitarian capabilities of a small Chrysler SUV, the 2010 Dodge Caliber combines the best of both crappy worlds for a truly sub-par product. Scheduled to debut in the flesh at the Frankfurt Motor Show, exterior revisions to the new Caliber are few and the only noticeable change appears to be the 18″ aluminum wheels, optionally available with the Sport Appearance Package. Apparently, the bulk of the buzz is supposed to be generated inside the vehicle, which Chrysler claims is “chock full of interior features rarely found on entry-level compact vehicles…”
Skinning the PR verbiage from the list of accessories, the segment-leading features include: a makeshift cooler where the glove compartment would usually sit, a 115-volt outlet, a rechargeable LED flashlight, rear speakers, glow-in-the-dark cup holders, and shiny AC vents. For the safety-minded, it also comes with airbags.
Powertrain options include two of Chrysler’s World Engines, a 158-horsepower 2.0L and a 172-hp 2.4L, mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional automatic. Pricing is expected to fall somewhere in the $17k range, which doesn’t include the estimated $5k you’ll spend immediately after the warranty expires.