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2007 Dodge Nitro

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2007 Dodge Nitro Review

Certainly one head turner of an SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2007 Dodge Nitro is a compact SUV that comes standard with rear drive, but offers the choice of four-wheel drive. More aggressively styled than the average compact SUV, the Nitro is likely to get noticed on the road.

Despite its macho, tough guy image, the 2007 Nitro comes up a bit short in terms of actual performance. The Nitro’s ride quality and handling are simply not on par with the more car-like performance offered by many competing models. Additionally, the Nitro’s V-6 engines simply aren’t as smooth or efficient as the smaller engines utilized by competing models. On the plus side, the Dodge Nitro does boast a cabin that’s spacious and comfortable.

The 2007 Dodge Nitro is available in two trim levels: SXT and SLT. The base model SXT features standard equipment such as 16-inch steel wheels, a roof rack, air-conditioning, a 115-volt power outlet, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, and an audio system equipped with six speakers and a CD player. The more upmarket SLT features 17-inch alloy wheels, body-color external trim, power driver seat, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a slide-out cargo floor. There is also an R/T package available for the SLT that sees the addition of a larger engine, 20-inch chrome wheels, a firmed-up suspension, improved exterior trim, two-tone cloth upholstery, and satellite radio.

Additional available options for the 2007 Dodge Nitro include leather upholstery, a sunroof, an improved audio system, a rear entertainment system, and the MyGIG multimedia system, which includes navigation, MP3 storage and playback, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

The Range

Body Styles: compact SUV
Engines: 3.7-liter V-6, 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Nitro SXT, Dodge Nitro SLT

What's New

The Dodge Nitro is an all-new compact SUV model that was introduced for 2007.

Exterior

The 2007 Dodge Nitro is a compact SUV that features attractive and distinct styling. With a unibody design, it foregoes the soft curves of many other compact SUVs in favor of a more macho design inspired by a Dodge Ram truck. With a bold grille, exaggerated fender flares, and oversize tires, the Nitro is a formidable-looking compact SUV with a high beltline and short glass area that are reminiscent of a Hummer.

Interior

The 2007 Dodge Nitro’s interior is spacious and insulated to allow in only a minimum of wind, road, and engine noise. However, the vehicle’s cabin has an industrial feel to it despite a few faux aluminum accents here and there. While there are some low-grade plastics, material quality is about average for a vehicle in the Nitro’s class. Visibility is excellent, thanks to an upright seating position. Seats are comfortable and well-cushioned, and legroom is ample in the back and front. Behind the rear seat are 32.1 cubic feet of storage space. That capacity can be increased to 75.6 cubic feet by lowering the rear seats and front passenger seat. While the lift-over height could be regarded as high for a compact SUV, the slide-out cargo tray that comes with SLT and R/T models makes it easier to load and unload luggage, groceries, or whatever else.

Performance & Handling

Models equipped with the base model 3.7-liter V-6 provide adequate acceleration. However, stepping up to the four-liter V-6 improves this drastically. An R/T model equipped with the four-liter can make zero-to-60-mph in just 7.7 seconds, which is not bad for an SUV. On the highway, the 2007 Nitro delivers a quiet, comfortable ride, although its soft suspension provides for a bit too much motion when taking bumps. On the downside, the 2007 Nitro takes corners poorly for such a small SUV. Even the R/T model has slow steering and too much body roll. There is also a stability control system that’s quick to react during aggressive turns and impossible to disengage. The brakes have a vague feel to them, and the pedal seems to have to travel a long distance. But despite this, stopping distances are respectable enough.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2007 Dodge Nitro include anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, a tire-pressure monitor, and full-length side curtain airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Nitro 3.7-liter V-6: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Dodge Nitro 4.0-liter V-6: 16/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Striking to look at
  • Cabin offers good functionality
  • Plenty of interior storage
  • Visibility is excellent
  • Quiet ride

You Won't Like

  • Steering is slow
  • Gas mileage could be better
  • Cabin utilizes some low-grade materials
  • On-road drivability could be better

Sum Up

Certainly one head turner of an SUV.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mazda CX-7
  • Toyota RAV4
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