Dodge Nitro Side View

Dodge Nitro Review

Dodge Nitro ReviewDodge Nitro Road Test

Dodge Nitro Review

Dodge Nitro There is some lag from the turbo charged diesel engine; overall performance is reasonable for this class of SUV.

15 January 2008 Melanie Carter

There is some lag from the turbo charged diesel engine; overall performance is reasonable for this class of SUV.

The part-time 4x4 system has a single-speed transfer case and is capable of transferring up to half of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels – delivering a maximum 50/50 per cent front/rear torque split. In normal conditions the Nitro remains in 2 wheel drive, moving only to 4 wheel drive when the conditions dictate, such as ice or muddy surfaces, although you can lock the transmission into permanent 4 wheel drive for towing, etc.

The Dodge Nitro SXT rides on 245/50 R20 tyres, the 20” wheels (space saver spare) certainly look the part, giving the Nitro an aggressive stance. The ride is very soft, boarding on jelly-like on our poor road surfaces and the handling could not really be described as dynamic - the word woolly comes to mind. We noticed that on wet roads the traction control intervened more than we expected. The Nitro seemed more suited to cruising along the motorway or sweeping ‘A’ roads than blasting down country ‘B’ roads.

The seating position was not particularly ideal especially for those of us with short legs, even with the power adjusted seats, it was difficult to get comfortable and fully reach the pedals. The seat seemed too high. The driver’s seat is powered, but strangely the seat recline isn’t powered nor is there a seat position memory function.

The windscreen and windows are small resulting in reasonable all round vision and depending on your height/sitting position you may find the wing mirrors get in the way of your line of vision. We did not find parking too hard and there are rear parking sensors to help you. You do have to watch the turning circle at 36.4 feet, although the power steering makes relativity light work of manoeuvring.

Once in the Nitro the headroom is good, but we did occasionally bang our heads getting in due to the low roof line. Some front seat passengers commented on sitting too near to the dashboard. When driving we found that our left leg did touch the transmission tunnel which was a little annoying but you do get used to it.

The LOAD ’N GO cargo floor standard on the Dodge Nitro SXT, is a very useful addition, when the tailgate is open, the boot floor panel can slide out 457mm (18 inches) for easy, convenient loading and unloading of packages and other items, and can support up to 181kg (400 lb) whilst extended.

Dodge Nitro Review | Part Three
Dodge Nitro ReviewDodge Nitro Road Test
Dodge Nitro Road Test Data
Model ReviewedDodge Nitro 2.8 CRD SXT
Body TypeSUV
ColourBright Silver Metallic Clearcoat
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph10.5 Seconds
Top Speed 113 mph
Transmission5-Speed Automatic
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban36.2 mpg
Extra Urban23.2 mpg
Combined30.1 mpg
Insurance Group14
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty
Price (when tested on the 15/01/08)£23,590

The information contained within this Dodge Nitro review may have changed since publication on the 15 January 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Dodge dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2015