Mazda3 vs Caliber - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Mazda3 vs Caliber

I just got my brochure on the new Dodge Caliber and I personally like it. How do yall think it stacks up against the 3? I think it's a hell of a car with some pretty cool features. I have not gotten behind the wheel of one just yet, but I was wondering if anyone has if they can compare it to the Mazda3 and let us know where the Caliber succeeds and fails.

I wish I had a scanner to scan some of the brochure pics (put the site pics to shame), but here's what I like about the car:

1) Style - looks chizzled, mean, and sporty
2) Features - spot for cell phone/mp3 player in armrest, aux jack, musicgate 458 watt sound system with flip speakers on the liftgate, mini fridge in glovebox, and plenty of options
3) Engines - Rival the Duratecs for power and fuel efficiency (1.8 = 148 hp, 28/32 & 2.0 = 158 hp, 26/30)
4) AWD - Available all wheel drive, which the 3 does not offer
5) Versatility - Can boast up to 48 cubic feet of cargo capacity compared to the 3's 31.2 cu. ft.
6) Instrumentation - I like the instruments in the Caliber. Very clear and organized dash and centerstack. Well layed out. On par with the 3.

Dislikes:

1) Rear Drums - Braking is not going to be as good as Mazda
2) Handling - I've heard it's above average, but still body roll because of the taller roofline (3 inches taller, but you get more headroom)
3) CVT - Could be a plus or a minus depending on how you feel about CVTs. Reliable, but with quirks. I'd rather have the 5 speed auto from Mazda.
4) Grille - Truck grille looks a little out of place and derails the rest of the cars sexy exterior. Atleast it's not as obscenely big as a Ram or Durango


I can't wait to get behind the wheel of one. There's a lot to like about the Caliber, but how does it truly compare to the 3?
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post #2 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 07:43 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

I saw in one and touched around..

I have to say the interior materials are better than I would have expected, but not Mazda3... better than Kia, FOcus os Cobalt though.

I would drive one before giving any judgement, because I saw some design decisions (such the hood) that might provide hellish roadnoise... but then again they might not.

Overall, the Caliber sounds like a good contender.. a good move form Dodge to combine the practical body of Vibe and more powerful engines and some advanced options (AWD, CVT etc) in one car...

I would wait for 2007 to come out to see whether they messed up something internally, and drive one extensively before buying one, but on the paper there is not much on the paper disqualifying it..

BTW the fueleconomy and power numbers are deceiving untill you drive one.. as a bigger car it most robably weights a little more, and will need extra ponies to move as swiftly as the 3 would... but again.. never rove one

The local dealer has only one.. in which I sat etc.. and I too have the brochure.. but they hahave none at this point to drive... unless I would buy the one off of the shoroom floor...But I personally am not excited about the design, although I like the options packaging.. I thing Dodge will do well with the car..

Igor

Ladybug is for sale :'( 2004 Mazda3s sedan 5SPEED / loaded in Austin!! .. See HERE
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post #3 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 07:50 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

I test drove one. Its not good. I drove the 2.0 FWD SXT. it was as slow as a 87 caravan. weighs 3000+ pounds and has 150hp. It wasnt sporty at all. I compare driving it to driving a lowered caravan. The RT looked better since it had more power and AWD but it weighs more than 3300 pounds. Its pound to hp ratio was worse than the 150hp model.

interior was ok, not sporty and not cockpit like. plus you sit high - like a caravan. get my point, its a slightly smaller caravan.

If you want a utilicar i guess its ok but dont expect it to compare to the 3.

plus the front end looks like a 87 caravan and it has goofy plastic trim that goes from the windshield to the end of the car.
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post #4 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 08:00 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

[size=20pt]Fugly =[/size]

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post #5 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 08:02 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

i saw one for the first time today. it's a lot smaller than it looks in pictures. freakin tiny! and ugly as fuck! yech. what a complete POS.

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post #6 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 10:28 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

I think this was intended as a thread for people to provide more deailed comparisons than just calling the Cliber Fugly and POS...


I think there is time for us to actually provide useful information on this car on this Forum... some members might be considering, or even loving the car, and I know reactions like those above will not help them be happy about it...

Whadaya say we grow up for this one thread and let be a mature evaualtion of driving dynamics, comfort etc... I would like ot see it happen.

Igor

Ladybug is for sale :'( 2004 Mazda3s sedan 5SPEED / loaded in Austin!! .. See HERE
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post #7 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 10:43 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

I was a good boy wasnt I ?








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post #8 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 10:55 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

[quote author=igor2 link=topic=42891.msg632544#msg632544 date=1143257331]
I think this was intended as a thread for people to provide more deailed comparisons than just calling the Cliber Fugly and POS...


I think there is time for us to actually provide useful information on this car on this Forum... some members might be considering, or even loving the car, and I know reactions like those above will not help them be happy about it...

Whadaya say we grow up for this one thread and let be a mature evaualtion of driving dynamics, comfort etc... I would like ot see it happen.

Igor
[/quote]


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post #9 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 10:58 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

The weight was my main concern as well.

Mazda 3 Sport
2885 lbs
160 hp
0.0555 power to weight ratio

Dodge Caliber
3308 lbs (423 lbs heavier HOLY CR*P)
173hp
0.0523 power to weight ratio

But it won't just be the power that will suffer. The Caliber will definitely not be as nimble and probably will feel more like a minivan because of its weight.

I just bought my 3 Sport and saw the Caliber release a few days later. I priced one out and thought damn, I could have had a 300hp SRT-4 Caliber for the same $$$ as my Mazda 3. Then I realized that they don't have the SRT-4 on the 'Build and Price' and that I had priced out the 173hp model. Well, for that money I am much happier with the 3. I would assume the SRT-4 version will probably be another $5k.

And on another note, my wife drives a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan. It is nice and roomy but the build quality is no where near that of my Mazda. It also handles like crap. It seems that a lot of the domestics, especially Dodge, rely on muscle to sell their vehicles. Other than that I don't understand how Dodge thinks they can price there vehicles in the same range as Mazda/Honda/Toyota when there vehicles are not even in the same class. People must be buying them though - I see them on the road (or should I say the side of the road j/k).

2006 Mazda 3 Sport GT - Velocity Red - Luxury Package and Moonroof
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post #10 of 100 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 11:01 PM
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Re: Mazda3 vs Caliber

seriously, chop that front end off and stick it on a caravan.. same thing






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