Out with the Caliber, in with the Dart

December 29, 2011 12:00 AM

Chrysler has announced the end of production for the frequently-criticized Dodge Caliber, a small car that never quite caught on with the public and was bashed by critics. The Caliber is being discontinued to make way for the new Dodge Dart, which will debut next year.

The Caliber is one of many small cars from American automakers that have failed over the years. Originally drawn up as a replacement for the Dodge Neon, the Caliber was by-and-large considered to be one of the worst cars on the market, and was placed in the bottom five for overall value in Consumer Reports' small car rankings.

The new Dart resurrects the name of the popular car from the 1970s, which is sure to boost sales somewhat. Even more encouraging is the fact that Chrysler's new owner, Fiat, is building the Dart on an Alfa Romeo platform, so the model will have compact car credentials that previous American efforts have largely lacked.

"I would be surprised if the Dart doesn't come close to tripling Caliber sales in the first year," analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics told The Detroit News.

Even if you're holding out for a new model, like the upcoming Dart, it still makes sense to invest in auto maintenance. A working car is much more valuable than one that needs lots of car repairs, and taking care of nagging issues now can help drivers score a better value for their trade-in.

Back to news