The little engine that couldn’t, the last of the Detroit Three’s previous generation of duds—the Dodge Caliber—is no more. Chrysler, Dodge’s parent company, is ending production of the ironically named Caliber, which never quite measured up to the competition in terms of refinement, capability or even basic execution.
Developed during an era of sub-par American production cars that fell well short of the quality, performance, and efficiency of German, Japanese and most recently Korean autos, the Caliber represented the false notion that economical cars require an economy of thought and development. Chrysler’s domestic competition has since repented and developed cars that are being well received: the 2012 Ford Fiesta and 2012 Chevy Cruze rank number one and four, respectively, in U.S. News and World Report‘s annual rankings for affordable small cars. Ford’s Focus, and Chevy’s Sonic have also merited attention and represent a shift in philosophy.
Not to be outdone, Dodge will unveil the Caliber’s replacement, the 2013 Dodge Dart, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. The Dart is expected to be a far better car than the one it replaces, although to be fair, simply being better than the Caliber is about as low as bars go.
Source: Detroit News