I purchased after test driving the Scion XD, Nissan versa, Nissan Cube, KIA Soul, Chevrolet HHR. The Caliber is a far more substantial car, not "tiny" feeling at all. I got the 1.8 engine with the 5 speed manual transmission. What an outstanding combination. The car feels wonderful, corners really flat with great handling. Just took it out yesterday to the coast on a really windy hilly road. Great passing ability, pulls up just fine on hills. (Also 35+ MPG). It hit 111 yesterday, the AC works just great no problem at all keeping up with that heat on next to the lowest setting on the AC.
Great AC! Great handling, solid feeling, very comfortable on the road. 35.8 MPG! Controls and stick shift very handy, lots of room, very well equipped for very little $$$.