Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ford needs a Caliber fighter

I've been looking at my options for a new car, and right now, I'm thinking of a Dodge Caliber. The first time I would have purchased a Chrysler product in 16 years, and that was a used Police car I bought for shits and giggles. And as much as I love Ford, there is no head to head competitor for the new Caliber. Prices start at $13,500 and raise into the mid $20k range. But for just over $19,000 I can get every option that I consider essential and some unique features I wouldn't have looked for. So what could Ford do to steal thunder from Chrysler's Dodge Caliber?
The Faction, the 2003 concept shown here. Smaller than an Escape or Edge, based on Fiesta chassis, could be available with front or all wheel drive, with either a 1.4 or 1.6 petrol or Diesel engines. Ford desperately needs something in the lower end of the range besides the Focus. The current Focus, which I won't buy for several reasons ( it's boring and I know there's a better Focus Ford is keeping from me) is just barely price competative and not as usefull.

Ford needs to have some new more interesting models. The "Way Forward" should not kill innovative thinking.


Anonymous said...

interesting post.. but I think the post 2 down from this one has the answer... Ford will not have any killer products for a while.. the B segments are coming out in Fall of 2008 (or was it 2007?)

The Focus should not see much improvement until about 2009

There is a lot of work left, an it seems Ford is content with losing anoter 3 or so % of market share in the process... one of the execs let himself be heard earlier this year hat the vision is of a leaner Ford NA .. with smaller numbers and higher profits. I believe 15% share was mentioned as a sort of a "good level"


ThatDudeMike said...

I loved the Faction when is made it's show debut. It looks great, and if I remember correctly, had a real IRS [not a twist beam, etc].

I'll take one in silver with a Zetec 2.0L ASM Auto/Manual box and AWD. I can put my own turbo kit on it... HeHe...

Anonymous said...

Make sure you drive test drive one carefully. Car and Driver didn't give very high marks to the Caliber, and I personally think it is ugly. My personal choice would be a manual Fusion instead, and in a couple of years, they will be coming out with an AWD Fusion.

The Auto Prophet said...

What about the HHR? If you don't mind retro, that is a nice package.

Big Ford Fan said...

Igor, thanks for the input, I for one am looking forward to see what Ford does finally bring to market in the B Segment.

Mike, maybe Ford will read your comments and grant your wish. I know that the Faction is better than some concepts Ford has shown, like that God awfull Synus. Whoever created that safe on a roller skate needs to be fired.

Anon, I always test drive anything I buy carefully, and I take magazine reviews with a grain of salt. I did read the MotorTrend comparison and the Caliber didn't fair well.

AutoProphet, I didn't consider the HHR, although I like the Cobalt, I'm not a fan of the HHR. It's ugly and prices out higher than the Caliber. Retro is fine with me, I like the PT Cruiser, but again that prices out higher with Leather and Moonroof.