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#40

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,191 - $13,136
Original MSRP: $17,380 - $18,765
MPG: 24 City / 32 Hwy
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2012 Dodge Caliber Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

When you separate it from the competition, there’s nothing wrong with the 2012 Dodge Caliber’s interior. The front seats are roomy, and the back seats can fit two adults comfortably. The cargo area is also large enough to meet most shoppers’ needs. However, the Caliber falls short of the space and interior quality seen in small cars like the Honda Fit and the Ford Focus.

  • "Caliber's interior is class-competitive for materials quality and fit and finish. Surfaces are padded where they count, and most plastics are nicely grained." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Despite a makeover two years ago that added some soft-touch materials in key areas, the Caliber's interior is still made up of large swaths of hard plastic that's subpar for even this segment of inexpensive compacts." -- Edmunds

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Seating

Reviewers are divided on the 2012 Dodge Caliber's front seats. Some like the space and support that they find up front, while others counter that the elevated driving position feels odd in an affordable small car. Still, those high, chair-like seats make entry and exit easy. One drawback, however, is that the Caliber doesn’t come with a telescopic steering wheel, which means some drivers may have difficulty finding a comfortable position. In the back, most test drivers agree that the Caliber has room that’s average for the class, but they like the reclining rear seatbacks that are available on upper trims.

  • "Legroom is decent, but headroom gets cramped beneath the housing of the optional sunroof." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Head- and legroom are fine up front, but the high, SUV-style seating position feels somewhat unnatural to us in a small car." -- Edmunds 
  • "The good news is that there's room for four adults inside the cabin." -- Autoblog 

Interior Features

The 2012 Caliber’s standard features are good for the class. Besides basics such as air conditioning and an audio system, the Caliber comes standard with a 12-volt power outlet, an auxiliary input jack, the Uconnect hands-free calling system, iPod control and a climate-controlled glove compartment.

However, reviewers aren’t impressed with the Caliber’s interior quality. While they agree that its gauges and controls are easy to use, the Caliber is still awash in hard plastic trim panels that don’t look up to par.

  • "The large gauges are easy to read. Simple climate and audio controls are within easy reach. The available fold-down speakers in the tailgate are a picnic plus." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The layout of the driving controls and gauges is good. Practical features like the convenient beverage cooler built into the glovebox and the handy rechargeable flashlight in the cargo area are nice touches not available elsewhere." -- Edmunds 
  • "While the dash is all hard plastic, the center stack is trimmed with a bias toward the driver's side and controls for the climate system and stereo are easy to access." -- Autoblog 

Cargo

The 2012 Dodge Caliber has a respectable amount of cargo space. With five passengers, the Caliber can hold 18.4 cubic feet of luggage or groceries, and with the rear seats folded, that number increases to 47.4. However, the Caliber’s space is easily surpassed by small cars like the Honda Fit, which offers 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up and 57.3 cubic feet with the seats folded. Reviewers agree that while the Dodge Caliber is utilitarian, it’s easily outdone when stacked against the competition.

  • "Caliber's cargo room is larger than that of a typical hatchback, but smaller than some compact wagons." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Cargo room is decent enough, with 18.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Fold those seatbacks down and cargo capacity grows to 47.4 cubic feet. This is pretty good, but other hatchbacks hold much more, especially the cavernous Honda Fit." -- Edmunds 
  • "Unfortunately, the cubby located just north of the shifter gate isn't as deep or large as we'd like. Storing a phone and a music player or a phone and sunglasses is an exercise in figuring out which accessory gets to ride in the cup holder." -- Autoblog

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