Should You Take the Dodge Caliber Off Road?
The Dodge Caliber is a compact wagon that offers the utility of an SUV, allowing it to withstand mild off-roading with ease.The Dodge Caliber isn’t the most ideal off-road vehicle, but if you’re looking for a compact car with tons of added utility, the Caliber’s 7.7-inch ground clearance will be plenty for gravel roads and campsites. While it only offers the power of a compact car, the Dodge Caliber is much more able than many of its competitors to tackle bumpy roads. However, its front-wheel drive setup is not optimal for slippery or exceptionally rugged conditions. Taking your hatchback to the cabin for the first time and not sure how it’ll fare on sketchier roads? Jerry, the car insurance comparison super app, is here with the Dodge Caliber off-road rating. Read on to learn more about this sport wagon’s specs. Can the Dodge Caliber go off road? A Dodge Caliber won’t offer the power or durability you need for off-roading, but it excels on bumpy roads and gravel streets with its higher-than-average ground clearance. The whole idea of roads is to provide a comfortable surface for cars to drive on. When removed from the pavement, serious damage may occur unless the car is sufficiently equipped. Let’s take a look at what the Dodge Caliber does and doesn’t have going for it in terms of off-road ability. Ground clearance If it weren’t for its minimum ground clearance of 7.7 inches, the Dodge Caliber would be a decisively terrible vehicle to take off road. But you can do a lot with this extra ground clearance! A minimum of 8.8 inches of ground clearance is recommended by experts for off-roading—so the Caliber falls just shy. Either way, since it’s so small, it excels at rolling over uneven terrain without high-centering itself. Torque Now for the bad news… the Dodge Caliber maxes out its torque with 141 pound-feet at 5,000 rpm. This is simply not enough low-end muscle to push over large obstacles or power through muddy terrain. Solid low-end torque is key to off-roading success. Because vehicles may need to climb steep surfaces from a near standstill, lots of power is required at very low RPMs. Tires Your tires are the other end of the traction equation, transferring power from the wheels to the ground. They can only do so if they can grip the surface you’re driving on adequately. A 2012 Dodge Caliber was available with 15, 17, or 18-inch wheels. While a used Caliber likely won’t have its original tires, its stock tires were P205/70R15. For off-roading, you would optimally want a set of all-terrain tires. But note that this type of tread wears out faster and requires replacement sooner than more standard all-season tires. Drivetrain All-wheel drive or four-wheel drive are pretty much mandatory off road to reduce slip and aid in difficult handling scenarios. The Caliber was only offered with front-wheel drive, though. Additionally, the 2.0-liter inline-four engine gets only 158 horsepower. Let this be a reminder that the Caliber is a compact hatchback—not a compact SUV. However, if you only need to tackle mildly rough terrain—like dirt or gravel roads—you’ll be just fine. The Dodge Caliber offers fantastic fuel efficiency for a 2012 vehicle, with the five-speed manual transmission version getting 24/32 mpg city/highway and the continuously variable transmission getting 23/27 mpg. Off-road rating: In a Pinch Now we have all we need to provide you with the Dodge Caliber’s off-road rating according to Jerry’s proprietary DIRT classification system.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Nov 03, 2022