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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's sad. You know I've owned nothing but American cars since I started driving in 1984. Out of the 8 cars I've owned so far, 5 have been Chyryslers. I've always been loyal to American cars....never even looked at imports when buying a car. Chryslers have been awesome in reliability for me, especially my Intrepid. Sad to say, my next car will probably be an import. Why? Because there are no American cars that fit what I am looking for next, mainly fuel efficient with some utility, namely a smaller, but space efficient, multi-purpose vehicle. Gas prices have been rising now for the better part of a couple of years....and how did U.S. auto makers respond? Well....lets just keep building gas guzzler SUV's, Hemi's, and pickups. What did the Japanese and europeans do? Lets build smaller but good quality cars and Hybrids. Now it's come around to bite the U.S. in the ass. U.S. car maker's profits are down, Imports are up. Toyota is making a killing with the Prius hybrid. The U.S. has one. An Explorer hybrid that costs 30k plus. Honda is about to make a killing on a car called the Fit. I couldn't even test drive one because everyone that has hit the shores is sold right away. In fact, they are being bought without the buyer even taking a test drive. There is a waiting list of about 2 months now. What does Chrysler have that is similar? The Caliber.....which has a lousy interior and lousy gas mileage. With the weakest engine (1.8) and transmission option (manual) it gets 32 mpg on the highway. Upgrade to the big 2.0 and it gets the same mileage as my 2.7 Intrepid. And these are called "world engines" give me a break. I test drove the new 2007 Hyundai Accent SE. Great little car. Totally different from the previous Accents. Comes loaded for around 15-16k. Plus a 10 year warranty. Only option is a sunroof and 200 watt stereo. Chrysler warranty...3 year warranty. What's up with that? Guess they don't trust thier own products. We have fallen behind sadly. Ford just announced it shut down it's SUV plants because of lack of sales. So who pays for the upper managements lack of vision? The workers. They lose thier jobs, but the big wigs won't lose thiers I bet. How nice. The little guy gets screwed again. It's too bad. I really want to stay with American cars. I know our car makers can make a good car if only they would get thier heads out of thier behinds and make what people are looking for. What happened to Chrysler? They were leading the U.S. for fresh thinking when the 2nd gen Intrepids and Stratus appeared, not to mention the minivans. Seems the think tank became stagnant when it merged with Mercedes. Well, if the big 3 don't come up with something quick, they might go the way of AMC and EVERY future car will be an import. :icon_eek:
 

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I happen to really love the Caliber. The interior is very nice, and the exterior is great IMO as well. I HATED the drivetrain on the two I test drove though, I think it was because of the CVT. With a manual, I think it'd be a great car for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it had a better interior and better gas mileage, I'd buy it. I just don't think 2 mpg more than my Intrepid is enough to justify one. Plus my Intrepid has more power and a better ride. If they would've made it lighter with a little aerodynamics, they could have acheived better gas mileage. The Scion XB, and Honda Fit have more room and better gas mileage in comparison and that's why they're selling those like crazy. I don't understand why they replaced the Neon, which got good gas mileage with the Caliber. The PT cruiser already fits the need for a small truck looking car with storage space. Chrysler really needs a small economical car to compete with the imports. The Caliber falls short in many ways unfortunately.

read this: http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/10925/15000-cheap-skates.html
 

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Both GM and Chrysler did a pretty good job with small cars. Cobalt and Caliber may not be as good as Civic and Corolla, but they are pretty good small cars.

But take a look at Ford Focus. Is Ford trying to kill with Focus or something? I mean, Europe gets better models, but we get just minor updates. Or Fiesta, great little car in Europe.

Another thing is small truck, Ranger. Asia recently got awesome new Ranger, but we get same Ranger we had for the past 13 years.
 

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My sisters husband used to be all gung ho american cars man too... Yesterday he bought a new Camry.
 

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The Caliber's problem is that it's too heavy. Lighten the load, and it'll get better mileage. But it seems to be selling pretty well (3 shifts of production). Better interior it does need though.

Chrysler hasn't really lost it's way. The LX series is a world of difference from LH...very solid cars. The trucks are outstanding with their platforms, with a Hybrid SUV on it's way in 08, co developed by BMW, GM, and DCX. The new Sebring and Avenger (yes it's going to be Avenger) will be in showrooms soon. Only thing that really DCX needs is a small car, which if sources are right the Hornet will be built. Plus the new RT series vans to be shown soon, the future isn't that dim.
 

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dakotaquadsport said:
... Only thing that really DCX needs is a small car...
Yeah agreed, just like in the 80s, but i hope this wont be the answer this time

I love the quote on the bottom right corner...Thats right "America's not going to be pushed around anymore"...haha

edit: Sorry any K-car lovers out there
 

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We made a compromise getting a vehicle for my wife. We are in our 20s, no kids. She wanted a crossover SUV type vehicle, with good mileage. We tried the Saturn Vue and that was the biggest piece of **** in the world. 4 cyl FWD manual, 22 mpg city or highway, didn't matter. It saw the dealer 5 times in 25k miles and we traded it in for our current ride, the Pontiac Vibe.

Vibe is the Toyota Matrix with an American name & Pontiac body. Interior is identical except for the airbag module decal. It has a Corolla 1.8 & 4 spd auto, and is a bit pokey getting up to highway speed, but we average about 31 mpg, city + hwy mix. Real world hwy mileage is about 33 fully loaded with 2 people and going 75-80 with the a/c on the whole time. We have never gotten worse than 29 in the city. We didn't want an import name, so this is what we settled on. I'm sure it will last us a long time.
 

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dakotaquadsport said:
Only thing that really DCX needs is a small car, which if sources are right the Hornet will be built.
OOohhh, rrrrrreally???
thats awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got to see the Hornet concept at Carlisle, i sure as hell hope they build it because i love the thing!
 

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tstone said:
We made a compromise getting a vehicle for my wife. We are in our 20s, no kids. She wanted a crossover SUV type vehicle, with good mileage. We tried the Saturn Vue and that was the biggest piece of **** in the world. 4 cyl FWD manual, 22 mpg city or highway, didn't matter. It saw the dealer 5 times in 25k miles and we traded it in for our current ride, the Pontiac Vibe.

Vibe is the Toyota Matrix with an American name & Pontiac body. Interior is identical except for the airbag module decal. It has a Corolla 1.8 & 4 spd auto, and is a bit pokey getting up to highway speed, but we average about 31 mpg, city + hwy mix. Real world hwy mileage is about 33 fully loaded with 2 people and going 75-80 with the a/c on the whole time. We have never gotten worse than 29 in the city. We didn't want an import name, so this is what we settled on. I'm sure it will last us a long time.
That's not really a big jump over the 3.3 that I had. The Concorde would get around 26 city and 34 hwy. This is what the OTIS said I never actually calculated it. The Cadillac right now is getting 23 mpg but that's and average of 50mph everywhere and it doesn't really drain my bank account because I don't drive it anywhere but to work and back or to the grocery store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What I am getting at is that right now, small multi-purpose vehicles are becoming very popular. Also hatchbacks are making a comeback. Sure the Matrix/Vibe falls into this catagory, but the drawback is price. About 20k. Where as the Honda Fit and Scion XB are around 15-16k and get over 35 mpg. The Caliber.... well if you want to get the best milage (32 mpg) you have to go with the 1.8 and you can only get it with manual, no automatic. If you want an automatic, you have to go up to the 2.0, but then the mileage drops down to 32 mpg. As far as the Ford Focus..... the reliability on those has been crap. The Chevy Cobolt/Pontiac G5 (yes, GM has yet again rebadged an existing car and called it new) isn't bad looking in the 2 door form (even though it looks like an old Cavalier design), but again, loaded, they are about 20k and they don't have the utility aspect. That Honda Fit is going to be a best seller, watch. Probably be Motor Trend car of the year. I know Americans can build the same kinds of cars...I just question why we haven't?
 

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micholob said:
Yeah agreed, just like in the 80s, but i hope this wont be the answer this time

I love the quote on the bottom right corner...Thats right "America's not going to be pushed around anymore"...haha

edit: Sorry any K-car lovers out there
WTF? I so hate you right now :(
 

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smc1377 said:
No they can't. If they could, they would so that they could stop the bleeding.
Theres a difference in wanting to and doing so. Ford would be a prime example of that, compare their Euro Models to the US models....world of difference over there....
 

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Avenger said:
WTF? I so hate you right now :(
ha jk about that... But yeah DC needs to do something to get in with the market. I looked at a Caliber upclose yesterday and like everybody has been saying, the interior looks cheap as hell. All plastic door panels with no styling at all. How I miss the old school cloth and woodgrain look. (although that wouldnt really fit the style) For my money the Honda Civics are pretty nice cars for the money. If your looking for something small but still with some room inside and a decent price tag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting American cars down. Just the stupidity of the management to make the decisions to make cars that are marketable. Like I said, that's all I've owned. I think the Intrepid is awesome. My 2001 with the 2.7 gets 30 mpg on the highway without cruise as long as I keep the speed down. The only thing I don't like is the small trunk opening. I bought a new t.v. and had to take it out of the box in the parking lot and put it in the back seat. Of course a Thule roof rack would be an answer. Right now, small fuel efficient cars with lots of room, hatchbacks and hybrids are becoming the rage and the U.S. car companies are not responding fast enough. They got caught with thier pants down. Thier answer: lay off more workers. Why don't they lay off the fatheads that made the bad decisions and get some people with some new ideas? The Caliber could've been a great car. I like the styling....except for that crosshair grill. A few things they could've done better: (1) Grey interiors look cheap on any car in my opinion. They should've made it black or charcoal. (2) lose some weight.... it's too heavy for the engine choices, at least the 1.8 and 2.0 (non turbo). (3) better aerodynamics.... a little less boxy in front would've done wonders for the highway mileage. Dodge could've had a great selling car. I was going to buy one until I started comparing it to others in it's class. Instead it falls short of the competition between the bad gas mileage and the high cost (it's about $2000) more than the Honda fit.
 
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