Dodge Nitro Origins
Like the Liberty, the Dodge Nitro has a retro-inspired unibody design with a boxy silhouette, flared fenders, and a truck-like front end. However, the Nitro offers distinguishing features such as performance suspension, a longer body, and a Ram-inspired grille.
Early Nitro models come in SXT, SLT, and R/T trim levels. The SXT and SLT come equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine, while the R/T boasts a 4.0-liter V-6. The SXT comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. The SLT comes standard with the four-speed automatic, while the R/T offers a standard five-speed automatic gearbox.
By 2011, Dodge replaced the previous trims with Heat, Detonator, and Shock trim levels. The Heat offers the 3.7-liter V-6, while the Detonator contains the same 4.0-liter V-6 powering the retired R/T trim. All later Nitro models come standard with automatic transmissions.About the Dodge Nitro
The Dodge Nitro is best known for its muscular styling and available four-wheel-drive system.
The Nitro owes its boxy shape and stance to the Jeep Liberty, with which it shares a chassis. However, the Nitro offers a more rugged, truck-like appearance and an extended body. Similar midsize SUVs include the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra.
An available part-time four-wheel-drive system and a powerful V-6 engine make the vehicle suitable for light off-road recreation. When properly equipped, the Nitro can tow up to 5,000 pounds. In exchange for its abilities, however, the Nitro suffers from below-average EPA ratings of 16/21 mpg city/highway with rear drive and 15/21 mpg city/highway with four-wheel drive.Dodge Nitro Features
Chrysler ceased production of the Dodge Nitro after 2011. The 2011 Dodge Nitro comes in Heat, Detonator, and Shock trim levels. The base Heat contains a 3.7-liter, 210 horsepower V-6 engine, while the Detonator and Shock trims come standard with a 4.0-liter V-6 that produces 260 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission comes standard on the base trim, while the Detonator and Shock offer a standard five-speed automatic gearbox. All models have rear drive and offer a part-time four-wheel-drive system.
Standard exterior equipment on the base rear-drive Heat includes 20-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, roof rails, fog lights, heated exterior mirrors, a body-color grille, deep-tinted privacy windows, and a rear window wiper. Interior features include cloth seats, a fold-flat passenger seat, reclining rear seats, a split-folding rear seatback, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, air-conditioning, an air filtration system, satellite radio availability, and a six-speaker audio system with in-dash CD player and MP3 playback.
Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, front and rear head airbags, a whiplash protection system, child seat anchors, a rear-center three-point seat belt, stability and traction control, a post-collision notification system, and tire pressure monitoring.
A Popular Equipment Group package adds a compass, cruise control, and an outside temperature gauge. The Heat 4.0 package upgrades the 3.7-liter V-6 to the 4.0-liter V-6 and tacks on Bluetooth and a premium nine-speaker sound system.
The Detonator trim adds the Popular Equipment Group package, 20-inch wheels, unique trim, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, remote start, rear parking sensors, and a nine-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer. The Shock trim includes unique 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated seats, and a sunroof. The sunroof is also optional on the lower two trims.
The Dodge Nitro measures 178.9 inches in length, 70.5 inches in height, and 73.1 inches in width. It has a 108.8-inch wheelbase and a ground clearance of 8.1 inches. Inside the vehicle, front passengers receive 40.6 inches of headroom, 40.8 inches of legroom, and 56.8 inches of hip room, while rear passengers have 40.8 inches of headroom, 37.7 inches of legroom, and 47.4 inches of hip room.Dodge Nitro Evolution
The Dodge Nitro debuted in 2007 as a rear-drive midsize SUV with optional four-wheel drive. Early Nitro models featured 3.7-liter V-6 and 4.0-liter V-6 engines.
In 2008, Dodge added an anti-roll system and available rear parking sensors. New options for 2008 included body-color trim on the SXT model and available orange, red, and blue two-tone seats for the R/T trim.
In 2009, engineers added a new suspension and brakes in an attempt to improve the Nitro’s handling, which sometimes faced criticism for being unrefined. Dodge also eliminated the once-standard six-speed manual transmission. Future Nitro SE and SXT models included a standard four-speed automatic transmission, while R/T models featured a five-speed automatic.
The Dodge Nitro received a remodel in 2010 with the Heat, Detonator, and Shock trim options. Dodge eliminated a sliding trunk floor feature, upgraded the base audio system to include six speakers, and made power-heated mirrors standard.