The Caliber is available in either front- or all-wheel drive and in base SE, SXT, sport-themed R/T, and high-performance SRT4 trim levels.
Four different powertrains are offered. The standard engine is a 1.8-liter, 148-horsepower four-cylinder engine; a larger, more powerful 2.0-liter, 158-horsepower available as a step-up option. R/T versions come with a 2.4-liter, 174-horsepower four-cylinder engine, sport-tuned suspension and other upgrades. The SE, SXT, and R/T Calibers offer either a standard five-speed manual or CVT with AutoStick manual control (R/T models).
The high-performance SRT4 has a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 2.4-liter engine with a six-speed manual gearbox, limited-slip axle and other performance upgrades. It is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than six seconds, making it one of the most powerful cars in its class.
All versions get side-curtain airbags, an inflatable knee-blocker protection system for the driver, an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary audio input jack, 15-inch wheels and rear wiper.
Options include a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with subwoofer that includes two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate. When the liftgate is open, the speakers can swing down and face out to provide the tunes for an outside party.
Two new colors, Surf Blue and Brilliant Black are available for 2008. Various equipment packages have been tweaked, and the Caliber’s cabin has been updated with a new color offering, Dark Slate Gray. All Calibers get new chrome-like trim on their lock stems, interior door handles, HVAC knobs, and instrument frames.
Model by model, the SXT adds standard 17-inch aluminum wheels, a tonneau cover, YES Essentials seat fabric, floor mats, cruise control, and cabin air filters. The SXT Sport gets standard fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and Sirius satellite radio. The R/T, meanwhile, adds Sirius, heated front seats, the MusicGate speaker system and floor mats.