2007 Dodge Nitro First Drive Giving SUVs a little Grrrrrr
Dodge Nitro – 2007 First Drive: You know the commercial: Some sad sack guy in a non-descript car gets a jump – literally – from a shiny red Dodge Nitro. Hmmm...not sure how it is that the 260-horsepower engine in the Nitro R/T blows a car off its tires, but hey, that's creative license for ya, a liberty Dodge designers also took when penning the Nitro's blocky look and robust fender flares. We only wish they had managed to work in more power as well. Based on the Jeep Liberty and showcasing some new features, the Nitro has powerful, over-the-top looks and a very livable interior, if only for five and for those willing to pay for the more expensive models.
As the first compact SUV in the Dodge lineup since the 1990 Raider, the Nitro is based on the Jeep Liberty. Call it a Liberty that's been liberated. Sure, the Nitro is built on the same platform and in the same Toledo, Ohio, plant as the Jeep Liberty, and boasts some of the features we'll see in the 2008 Liberty model. But this is a significantly different design, plus a reworking of the suspension and powertrain. Should the Liberty come out with the Nitro's 4.0-liter V6 engine and some of its interior upgrades, it will be much improved. Here's hoping that parent company Chrysler sees fit to equip both with its new six-speed automatic transmission.
Typical of most Dodge vehicles, the Nitro comes in three flavors, starting with the base SXT ($19,885), SLT ($23,295) and R/T ($25,970). All prices include $660 destination; four-wheel drive is $1,510 extra. Significant option prices include $1,700 for MyGIG, Chrysler's new 20-gig personal infotainment system, $1,200 for a rear-seat DVD player and $730 for R/T special leather seats.
Seven Pages w/pictures
2007 Dodge Nitro First Drive
Nitro Year: 2007 (1 of 91,815 sold in 07)
Nitro Model: R/T 4X4 Stone White
CAT-BACK Exhaust, CAI, Projector Head Lamps
Fully-Equipped w/all factory options