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bucketmouth64

caliber/focus?

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I've been sorta looking at possibly getting a car and have liked the Dodge Caliber SXT and Ford Focus SES models. Anyone wish to share their opinions about these? I like the roominess and still have the small car feel and good mpg. I'm open to other models that are somewhat similar to these if you have some recommendations. I want to stay with American made. Biggest selling feature is the amount of interior room so I don't feel crammed in.

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I can only speak about the Focus on the fact that they have some cool features, and they arent in the shop getting worked on alot, and to me that is a big selling point!

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Best thing is to drive them both and see what you feel.

Now, the Caliber is going to have a cooler/comfort feel to it. It is one major thing Dodge has going for them. But what I have heard is the Caliber has not had that many issues with it (with out having dug deep into it's back ground). A good car and it would get a vote for me.

Now, the Focus has proven it's self and also would get a vote from also.

Tough decision.

Are you Dodge guy or Ford guy is what it will come down to, that or the test drive, price, warr. and perks the dealer/manu have to offer. grin

Good luck!

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I have both brands and have had good luck with each of them. I learned some information about the focus that was interesting. The engine is a mazda engine. It is quite possible that the focus is one of the mazda models with a different body shape. Apparently, one of the other ford models is the mazda 3 or mazda 6. Dodge salesman told me that the engine in the caliber is from bmw. Thought this was all interesting information.

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My kid just totaled a Focus. (100% somebody else's) fault. He and his wife walked away. $9,000 damage to the car. Ins. co gave him $2,000 less than he paid for it 4 years ago. Excellent resale. Had been a very good car with just the usual maint. ie: timing belt, brakes etc. There are a couple different engines in the Focus, don't know if any of them are Mazda related or not. Daimler-Chrysler product with a BMW engine? You can trust me I'm a car salesman.....

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I am a Ford tech. I think they are very dependable. My wife has an 01 wagon and loves it. Tires, front brake, and oil changes in 100,000 miles. 28-32mpg and she is not lite on the throttle. The newer ones are more comfortable and a better ride I think. Good luck with your choice, drive them both and go from there.

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FYI ~ Mazda and Ford share engines, components, platforms, etc...(Ford owns a stake in Mazda) Mazda usually tweaks them for their cars to get a little more performance (the whole zoom zoom thing), but generally they are the same, other than the styling.

I am pretty sure that is not a BMW designed/made engine. My memory is foggy, but I believe that was designed in cooperation with Mitsubishi, when they still shared parts. BMW works with Fiat on their small engines. Buying a BMW engine would be cost prohibitive for that price point, plus that car was designed when they were still merged with Mercedes, and I doubt highly they would be too keen on using a competitor's engine when they could sell one of their own to Dodge.

I would look up some of the comparison articles on the car mag websites. The big ones have all done comparisons between all of those models. I believe they just reworked/refreshed the focus and upgraded it somewhat until the new one comes out in two years.

Good Luck!

CJH

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Haven't run into any of the Calibers yet but I can tell you that focuses have a couple of issues. Wheel bearings for one, front and rear. Overall a pretty good little car.

Another vehicle to consider may be the Pontiac Vibe? About the same size, same price, and is another domestic vehicle with overseas influence.

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I would also recommend a Vibe/Matrix, yes pop the hood and it will say toyota but without the toyota price. So in the eyes of Consumer Reports it is great just for that! Everyone we have sold a Vibe to has loved them. They have been great MPG's and the reliability has been good. The fit and finish is head and shoulders above the Caliber. Went to the Vibe ride and drive and they blew everything away has more cargo room, bigger engine, better fuel economy, stabiltrak,Traction control and ABS standard on the vibes. Sorry about the commercial but it is really a nice car for the cars you are already looking at.

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I have never ridden in a caliber before so I can recommend those, however, I'd give the focus a thumbs up. I have a few friends that own them and they have all been very rock solid cars. Consumer reports always ranks them very high.

Now, as for the caliber...if you are looking at those, I'll also chime in and say to look at the Vibe/Matrix. Last time my wife and I went looking at cars, only two things she did not want in a vehicle....bright red and a hatchback. After getting a rave review on a vibe from my father, I had to really coax her into test driving one. Sure enough, as soon as she sat down....it was the car she wanted and she got her bright red Vibe.

Very zippy cars that are fun to drive. My wife has the AWD model and it does well in the winter time also.

Only known problem that I am aware of on the vibe is the guage cluster needs to be reset when you hit 300,000 miles...(it only goes to 299,999) grin

Steve

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I was also gonna suggest the Pontiac Vibe but he said..... I want to stay with American made.

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"Manufactured" in the USA. I have no problem with "foreign" cars, in fact It's all I own. Some people have issues with buying imports or anything not MADE in the USA. I'm not trying to stir the pot or hijack this post. Just giving my opinion. grin

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The Dodge Caliber ahs some really cool features, and no its not a bmw engine. It is a world class engine and before they came out in 07 they tested the engine about 16 million miles. Its a vvt Variable times Transmission that will be able to get you 30 mpg with the sxt standard engine. lifetime warranty on dodge Caliber is a huge plus, and the calibers will list out at around 17K. Not bad, along with a little rebate to go with that.

Five star front, side impact with standard side air bags.

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Thanks for all the advice. Glad the Vibe came into the conversation because I was wondering about them since they looked similar in size to what I am looking for. I will be checking out the used car market to see what is out there. Now I will have to decide who to eliminate during my process. Could be a long process. Glad I am not in a hurry. Do I dare ask about Chevy cars?

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