2009 Dodge Caliber Review

The 2009 Dodge Caliber has lots of interior space and some innovative cargo features, but it ranks low in its class with an underpowered base engine and lower-than-average safety ratings.   

Pros & Cons

  • Heaps of cargo space
  • Roomy front and rear seats
  • Innovative cabin and cargo features
  • Below-average safety score
  • Uninspiring acceleration from all engines
  • Few standard safety features

New for 2009

  • Anti-lock brakes standard on SXT model
  • All-wheel drive no longer available




Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Dodge Caliber Overview

The 2009 Dodge Caliber's macho stance, accommodating cargo area, unique beverage cooler and comfortable seating make it look good on paper; however, lackluster performance, lower-than-average safety and a lukewarm reception from critics when it was new mean the Caliber just isn’t a standout used small car.

Although all three available engines have good horsepower ratings for the class, reviewers weren’t very impressed with the acceleration from any of them, including the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that comes with the performance-focused R/T model. Fuel economy from the base engine is about average for the class but drops when you upgrade to the bigger engines. The base 2009 Dodge Caliber comes with an AM/FM stereo that has a CD player and an auxiliary jack. You have to choose a higher trim to get electronic stability control, brake assist and anti-lock brakes.

See the full 2009 Dodge Caliber specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Caliber’s styling but want something that  is better all-around, consider the 2009 Scion xD. Reviewers liked its quirky exterior design, but they were also impressed with the number of standard tech and safety features it has. The xD isn’t a great performer, though it is an improvement over the Caliber. On the other hand, you’ll have to sacrifice some cargo space for practicality. The xD’s maximum cargo capacity is about 10 cubic feet less than the Caliber’s.

The 2009 Honda Fit is a class leader that has spacious front and rear seats and a huge, versatile cargo area. Test drivers called the Fit a fun-to-drive hatchback, and it also has good fuel economy ratings, considering it can hold as much gear as some compact SUVs. The Fit also stands out with a high safety score.

Compare the Caliber to the xD and Fit »

Best 2009 Compact Cars

  • #1

    2009 Scion xB

    $5,255 - $5,405 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2009 Scion tC

    $5,057 - $5,356 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #22

    2009 Dodge Caliber

    $3,354 - $7,292 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2009 Compact Cars rankings »

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Caliber Shoppers Should Also Consider...

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Scion tC 2009 2009 Scion tC

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Hyundai Elantra 2009 2009 Hyundai Elantra

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