Ask Patrick Carr, a 25-year-old Warren engineer, which feature he likes most about his new Dodge Caliber and you’ll get an interesting answer.

"Lighted cup holders," Carr said without hesitation. "That was very cool. I couldn’t wait until it got dark so I could actually see them."

He went on and on about those cup holders, said his wife, Jesse Carr, a 24-year-old veterinarian technician.

While lighted cup holders may seem insignificant, DaimlerChrysler AG, the maker of the Caliber, and a host of other automakers are packing everything they can in their compact cars to increase the "cool factor" and attract young buyers like the Carrs.

Honda Motor Co. won 2006 North American Car of the Year honors with the redesigned Civic, which offers safety, style and performance in a car that starts at $14,560.

General Motors Corp. has a hit with the retro-styled Chevrolet HHR, which starts at $15,890. And Toyota Motor Co. offers extensive customization with its Scion line, which starts at $13,320 and allows buyers to choose everything from side-panel graphics to glowing interior foot-wells.

Dodge enters the fray this month with the launch of the Caliber, which starts at $13,985. A gadget-packed hatchback, the Caliber offers an iPod holder in the armrest, rear speakers that flip out when the tailgate is opened, a chilled storage bin in the glove compartment and a rear cargo light that pops out to serve as a rechargeable flashlight.

Source: Bradenton Herald

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  (6023) posted on 08.2.2006

hey man what up how u been

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