Rarely has a car attracted so much attention as the Dodge Nitro.
The 60:40 split rear seats fold flat increasing the luggage carrying capacity from 389 litres to a useful 1,994 litres and with the tall and wide boot aperture the Nitro can easily convert into a mini-van. Dodge have thoughtful thought of left and right handed people as the hatchback has left and right handles.
Strangely for some reason the pull over luggage cover did not fully cover the cargo area. The rear windows from the ‘B’ pillar back are security tinted, which does give some degree of privacy for your your cargo.
There are isofix child seat fittings for the two outside rear seats, with top tether points and our BeBe Vonfort child seat fitted in easily and securely.
It was disappointing in this price range not to have auto-on headlights and automatic rain sensitive wipers, although you can manually adjust the speed of the intermittent wipers. You do get cruise control, heated front seats and power fold in mirrors (that automatically unfold) as standard.
The standard 6-disc audio system was pretty good with a large sub-woofer in the side of the boot and there is a line-in for an mp3 player or iPod.
The Dodge Nitro is loaded with safety equipment including front, side and curtain airbags which run the full length of the front and rear passenger cell. ABS brakes, ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and Traction Control are also standard, plus as SUV’s (4x4's) have a higher risk of rolling over Dodge have fitted Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM): An extension of the Electronic Stability Program, ERM uses input from the ESP sensors to anticipate if the vehicle is at risk of entering a potential roll situation, then reacts immediately, applying the brakes individually and modulating throttle position as needed to attempt to avoid the roll situation.
The build quality was quite high although the interior plastics and some of the trim felt a little low rent.
Rarely has a car attracted so much attention as the Dodge Nitro, on a number of occasions passing motorists slowed down for a better look and some even wound down their windows wanting to know more. On the motorway a police car even slowed down for a closer look!
If it was my money and I was considering an American SUV then I would probably buy a Jeep Cherokee for its better driving manners and more attractive styling. But if you dare to be different then the Dodge Nitro might just be the SUV for you, it certainly was a lot of fun cruising around in it and it certainly received a lot of attention everywhere we went.15 January 2008
Dodge Nitro Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Dodge Nitro 2.8 CRD SXT|
|Colour||Bright Silver Metallic Clearcoat|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||113 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||23.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 15/01/08)||£23,590|