The Dodge Nitro is a compact SUV from the Dodge division of Chrysler and was first manufactured in 2007. This vehicle shared a platform with the second generation Jeep Liberty and was assembled at the Toledo North Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio. The Nitro first appeared to the public at the Chicago Auto Show in 2005 a concept car which featured an aluminum-themed interior. There were aluminum-trimmed vents inside the vehicle behind the front fenders as well as the door handles and rear hatch which were also made of this material.
The Nitro was the very first compact SUV ever to be produced by Dodge since the Raider which was discontinued in 1990. This vehicle was also the first automobile to have the Dodge nameplate to be sold in Europe since it was first introduced back in 2007. In the United States, the Nitro began being produced in August of 2006 and sales began September of the next year. All of these vehicles came with a rear-wheel drive design as well as part-time four-wheel drive only as an option. The Nitro was Dodge’s entry-level SUV until the Dodge Journey crossover SUV came to showrooms in 2009. Overall, the Nitro is much longer, lower, and wider than the Jeep Liberty, though they do still share the same platform.
Initially the Nitro came with a 5,000 pound towing capacity along with a variety of safety features, including traction control, side curtain airbags, electronic roll mitigation, and a sliding cargo floor which was marketed as “Load ‘N Go”. The floor of this vehicle can be extended all the way through the rear hatch by 18” for easy and convenient loading, which is a feature similar to that of the Saab 9-5 station wagon.
When the Dodge Nitro debuted in 2007, it came with two-wheel drive as well as four-wheel drive with the choice of either a 3.7 liter V6 or a 4.0 liter V6. The different trim levels available for this vehicle include SCT, SLT, and R/T. The three different types of upholstery that were available for this vehicle include basic cloth, stain-repellant cloth, and perforated leather. Some of the basic safety features that this vehicle comes with include front and rear side airbags, electric roll mitigation, electronic stability program with traction control, and a tire-pressure monitor. The 4-cylinder version of the Nitro was sold only in Europe.
Three new models became available in 2009 for the Nitro, including the Heat, Detonator, and Shock. There were 4×2 and 4×4 versions of this compact SUV made available to the public, and each of them came with their own set of features. The Heat came with a 210 horsepower 3.7 liter V6 engine as well as a four-speed automatic transmission. The Detonator comes with a 260 horsepower 4.0 liter V6 engine as well as a five-speed automatic transmission. The Heat has a number of different features, including power mirrors, door locks, and windows as well as remote keyless entry and satellite radio. The Detonator has remote start system, cruise control, overhead console with trip computer, and a number of other features.
The premium Shock version of the Nitro has heated seats, a power sunroof, and leather trim interior. There are all kinds of safety features with this vehicle as well, including front airbags, active head restraints, side curtain airbags, traction and stability control with roll-over mitigation, a tire-pressure monitor, and brake assist. The Load ‘N Go sliding trunk floor feature was discontinued for all of these trim levels. The Dodge Nitro definitely has a lot to offer and is an incredibly versatile compact SUV with all of the bells and whistles available in a variety of trims.