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STYLING | 6 out of 10
Large, simple audio and climate controls are within easy reach
Do yourself a favor and spring for the Sport Appearance package
Car and Driver
Tricks the eye into seeing a lower, sleeker shape
high center of gravity, high beltline, and generally clunky styling make it seems more like an SUV than the company's only product that could conceivably carry the "small car" banner
At the time that the Caliber first came out, Dodge might have been at the leading edge of a new small-car styling movement; alas, the Caliber's bold, upright style never quite caught on, and that leaves the 2012 Dodge Caliber looking like an outsider today. Upgraded for the 2010 model year, the interior is pleasant but far less distinctive.
With sheetmetal that's a little overwrought, and a chunky, gawky, slab-sided look from the front or back--combined with a taller-than-typical, almost-crossover profile, the Caliber simply now has trouble fitting in with anything else on the market.On the inside, the look is more ordinary, with the chunky, angular look that Dodge was trying to imbue in all its products before casting its trucks outward as Ram products and softening its cars and crossovers a bit. While the Caliber's dash and door designs haven't changed much, the instrument panel, center console and storage bin, and door panel trims were resurfaces with higher-quality plastics--some of them soft-touch--back in 2010. Cup holders are even illuminated by LED lighting, and Dodge is proud of the "bright accents" throughout the interior, including chromed surrounds for the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning vents, the shift bezel, and the instrument cluster rings. We'd hardly call the Caliber top-notch inside, but it's pretty well coordinated.
The 2012 Dodge Caliber looks gawky and dated on the outside, but inside its chunky, upright look still has some design appeal.