Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
2/23/09 12:00 a.m.

The Caliber SRT4 boasts huge power levels and a lot of performance-oriented features. With 285 horsepower, the car offers more grunt than the Subaru WRX, Mazdaspeed 3, and Mitsubishi Evolution by a significant margin. Thanks to its huge intercooler, big brakes, and SRT-specific suspension components, this car is a world away from the economy-minded Calibers.

Even with these features, however, the car doesn't quite match the outright sporting performance of some of its competitors. The high curb weight and center of gravity demand a lot from the tires, and without a limited slip differential it can be hard to extract all of that performance—unless you're in a burnout contest, that is. There's a downside to having 285 horsepower on tap, too. The SRT4 suffers from a greater torque steer effect than any car in recent memory.

If you've got the wherewithal, there are some great bargains to be found for the SRT4; we've seen brand-new 2008s and 2009s listed well under $20k. A savvy shopper could be very happy with the SRT4.

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