2012 Dodge Caliber vs. Its Competition

2011 Dodge Caliber
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

There are many more good hatchback entries on the market today than when the Caliber first launched five years ago.

The Volkswagen Golf and Mazda3 have a little less passenger space, but they're more exciting to drive and better in most other respects.

The 2012 Mazda3 can now also be had with new SkyActiv powertrains that allow up to 40 mpg.

Another alternative is the new Ford Focus, which is offered in a four-door hatchback and is very stylish inside and out, as well as appointed with breakthrough features such as MyFord Touch.

The Toyota Matrix is a taller hatchback alternative, and while it offers a lot of versatility and cargo-friendliness, its back seat space is tight.

Finally, one other all-new model, and one that's perhaps closest to the Caliber in concept, is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport; like the Caliber, the Outlander Sport has a roomy interior, gas mileage that's unremarkable, and a CVT that's not an ideal companion; however, the Mitsubishi has somewhat more impressive interior materials and handles a bit better.

2011 Dodge Caliber2012 Dodge CaliberBrowse Used Listings2012 Ford Focus2012 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2WD 4-door CVT SE Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mitsubishi Outlander SportBrowse Used Listings2011 Toyota Matrix2012 Toyota MatrixBrowse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Golf 4-door HB Auto Angular Front Exterior View2012 Volkswagen GolfBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
6.4
The 2012 Dodge Caliber offers a good deal in terms of space, versatility, and features for the money, but you might not find much else to like.
8.8
With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.
8.2
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
7.6
If you do most of your driving in the city, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a pleasant, nimble runabout that offers strong value for the money.
7.4
The 2012 Toyota Matrix combines the frugality of the best-selling Corolla with a little more sportiness and versatility--but it still comes up a bit short in features.
7.8
The 2012 Volkswagen Golf feels like a premium vehicle, and it's priced like one too, especially its fuel-efficient TDI edition.
MSRP From     
$17,380$16,500$15,200$18,795$18,845$17,995
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I5
EPA Class     
Small Station WagonCompactCompact2WD Sport Utility VehicleSmall Station WagonCompact
Style Name     
4-Door HB SE4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan Manual i SV2WD 4-Door Manual ES5-Door Wagon Manual L FWD (SE)2-Door HB Manual
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style     
Hatchback4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSport Utility5 Door Wagon2 Door HB
Transmission     
ManualManualManualManualManualManual