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Dodge Nitro Reviews - Dodge Nitro Observations

29297 Views 53 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  sammy57
I'm starting to get used to my blue Nitro. Boy, that electric blue really stands out. Since all the other black and chrome exterior pieces on the SLT are the same color on the R/T, I would think the R/T version would look too blue. The blend of black and chrome on the SLT w/ the blue body I think looks better. Can't beat the stronger engine and bigger wheels on the R/T though. Don't you notice that the electric blue, sunburst orange and inferno red colors look nicer in the shade than in the sun. That's just me.

I'm looking for positive/negative things to report back to my company so they can hopefully improve the vehicle. Here are some things I want to mention.

1. I really like the front seat side bolsters as it really hugs your body. I wish I could lower the drivers seat some more. Being 5"6', my head is a only about 3-4 inches from the roof. A taller person would probably be touching the roof.
2. The maximum setting on the heated seats is just the right temp. On my Liberty, the heated seats feel too hot after a while.
3. Lots of good knee space in the 2nd row. Even if the driver and passenger seat is set way back. The 2nd seat comfort is average.
4. The headrests are not functional. They lean forward too much and don't provide any comfort to the head whatsoever.
5. The seat leather feels good for a low end SUV.

1. I keep on accidentally pressing the A/C when reaching to adjust the blower. They should increase the resistance on that button so there's less chance of pushing it by mistake. Or like in the Honda CRV, don't make the whole face a button. Maybe just the lower half of it.
2. I also accidentally press the ESP button (turning it off) when reaching down for the heated seat button. Maybe they should move the ESP away from the heated seats button. You normally use heated seats in winter. You wouldn't want to turn off ESP accidentally in slick conditions.
3. I like the ventilation control knobs. The feel and look is very nice. I've seen these kinds on the Honda CRV. The '07 Chrysler Sebring also has these controls. They should make it the standard for most Chrysler vehicles.
4. I like the REQ radio (not MyGig). FYI - REQ is the sales code. The buttons have a good feel and are well grouped together. The two dial buttons on each side have a nice feel when you turn them. They don't feel too loose or too hard when being turn. They also have a nice surface that gives your fingers good traction on the dial. It feels like dials on a more expensive radio.
5. Leather steering wheel is thick which is a good size and feel for most hands. Still getting used to the buttons on the steering wheel spokes that control the vehicle information center display. I really like the 'RESET ALL' option which saves you from having to reset each veh. info center seperately. I do this everytime I fill up with gas.
6. I like the gauges and they way they illuminate in daytime. Sometimes I forget to turn on my headlights at night because I see the gauges lit up when I start the car.

1. The locking/unlocking of all door locks is noisy. They all go down and up with a loud 'CLANG'. First time I've experienced this in all the Chrysler vehicles I've driven.
2. I like the 115V auxiliary power outlet in the 2nd row. I haven't used it yet but I know this will come in handy for a laptop or mini-dvd player.
3. Most of the plastic like on the dashboard and doors feel cheap (just like they do on the Jeep Compass). I guess you can't expect much from a lower end SUV.
4. Rear cargo space is excellent. Much better than the Liberty. It's odd they don't provide a cargo cover standard on the SLT. I think it should be.
5. The plastic on the back side of the 2nd row seats scratch easily.
6. Why are only the speakers in the cargo area tagged with 'Infinity Sound System'? IMO, if you got the upgraded sound system, all the door speakers should be labeled as such.

1. Fuel economy is the same as my Liberty. No surprises here.
2. Engine is sluggish. Especially in overtaking situations. You really have to floor it to make it jump. Liberty is more peppier. It'll probably be dog when the A/C is turned on. The cruise control computer has to work extra hard to keep this baby on the same speed. LOL. Too bad they don't offer the 4.0L on the SLT.

1. Love those chrome wheels. Easier to clean. Looks good w/ the electric blue body color.
2. The satellite radio antenna on the rear part of the roof looks sporty. A lot of cars are going this way. I really like it. I wonder if these are safe in car washes. I don't want to take a chance so I take it off everytime I enter the carwash. It's a hassle. 2/2/07 update: I ran through the car wash with the antenna on and it didn't get damaged.

1. Overall a better ride than the Liberty. The suspension handles bumps firmly but comfortably (note: the R/T has stiffer suspension). Not much body roll on fast turns - a good thing. Also, a much quieter ride than the Liberty.

This is all I have for now. I'll probably add some more as time goes on.
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Thanks for your report and please up-date. Those of us that have not ordered yet (R/T for me) or waiting for their Nitros to come in, find this type of message interesting. Don't see any reason here not to order with your review! Has Chrysler sent you a Survey or contacted you or other owners yet? Remember back in 95 we bought two vehicles from them and we complained that on both vehicles we could not play the CD player in a car wash, since the automatic antenna would go up! Next year you couldn't purchase the electric antenna. Not the way I would have solved the issue, but think we may have helped solved that issue. I would recommend that anyone that is asked to complete ant Survey on their new purchase do so. May not correct anything you see wrong on your Nitro, but may for others buying in the next model year!

Again thanks for taking the time to report in about your Nitro!
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2007 Dodge Nitro SLT 4x4 Bright Silver
1. I really like the front seat side bolsters as it really hugs your body. I wish I could lower the drivers seat some more. Being 6'0", my head is to close to the top.
2. Love the rear seats. Lots of leg room in the 2nd row. Even if the driver and passenger seat is set way back.
3. The Headrest should be redesigned so that they can be moved to fit the driver.

1. The dash layout is good and I haven't had any issues with anything as of yet.
2. I'd prefer an actual shift knob for the 4 wheel drive to the 'button'. it just seems kinda goofy the way its set up now.
3. The temp control knobs are great and they're easy to reach and read.
4. The digital readouts are great and easy to read and understand. Having the controls on the streering wheel just adds to the great ergonomics.

1. The 115V auxillary outlet is great. My wife and kids have used their DVD player and laptop from it and it seems to work really well.
2. I LOVE the look of the interior colors and the 'Hummer' and 'Cooper' layout of the door knobs and switches. The grey/black material is very functional and stain proof.
3. Interior space is very adequate and can handle most of the duty that me, my wife and three boys can dish out. Basically the same as our Cherokee Sport.

1. Fuel economy is a little better than our Cherokee which is nice.
2. Engine is sluggish. The 4.0 would have been a nice addition.
3. Engine purrs like a kitten at cruising speeds.

1. Dodge needs to offer a better 4x4 package. The 'gangsta' wheels and low profile tires are better left to the city slickers.
2. The profile of the vehicle is great and lends itself well to rugged 4x4 look.

1. one word.....Smooth. Much better on pavement than my Cherokee.
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Excellent post, and very well balanced. My own observations are pretty much in line with what you've mentioned already, but I can certainly add a few more:

Under the hood
1. While poking around the TIPM (fuse box) I noticed that they included a storage location for the fuse puller. It's not that likely that I will be pulling fuses all that often, but that's a nice touch. I always had to fish that puller out of the glove box in my Wrangler. On the downside, the engraved list of fuses on the inside of the cover is very difficult to read, and just about as hard to map to the actual fuse locations quickly.

2. Even though it's becoming less common due to cost-savings, an underhood lamp would be welcomed.

1. I also really like the always-illuminated gauages.

2. There's no Random button on the REQ radio. That's great that I can burn 1000+ songs to a DVD, but I would NEVER listen to them sequentially. I saw a Random selection when trying out the rear-seat video screen and headphones, and got excited for a second, until I selected it and was informed that that feature wasn't supported.

3. I like the lane-change feature of the turn signal where it will flash the turn signals three times by just pressing down on the stalk and releasing it before the first flash completes.

4. The electronic ignition is nice. I don't have to hold they key in the start position until the vehicle starts, and there's no risk of damaging the starter by turning the key to start when the engine is running.

5. Please allow me to turn of ESP completely, even if that means a flashing warning lamp.

6. The non-dimming indicator lamps for both the fog lights and high beams are very annoying when the rest of the console is dimmed to the lower levels. I understand making them a little brighter so that you remember that they're on, but if I have them on and the dash dimmed it means I'm trying to concentrate on the road. The glare from the lamps makes this task more difficult. If they were kept a notch or two above the dimming level of the rest of the dash it would be fine.

7. The electronic throttle control has an unimportant, but nonetheless strange side effect with the cruise control: The accelerator pedal no longer moves back and forth during cruise operation. I'm so used to engaging cruise control, and having the pedal depress slightly on its own. Same with deactivating it. I'm used to feeling the pressure against my foot. In both cases, that subtle change would be my primary indication that I've activated/deactivated cruise control correctly. Now I have to pay attention to a change in the speedometer.

8. There's no Random button on the REQ radio. I'm stating this again for good measure.

1.The headliner is VERY prone to getting dirty and potentially staining because of the color and material. I've got some water marks already on mine from attempting to clean it. Haven't had a chance to go back and attempt to remove those yet.

2. Storage and cubbies are everywhere up front!

3. I love the hidden storage under the Load N Go on my SLT. The only complaint is that the rear-half of it is inaccessable due to the load floor. I wouldn't mind that center divider being move rearward a bit to allow access to a portion of the space under the load floor, even if that means having to reach under the floor to get to the space.

4. The rear-seat monitor includes a place to store the remote control. This is so much better than our '06 Grand Caravan, where the remote doesn't have its own storage location, and therefore is always 'lost.' Now, if they could also find a place to store the headphones..

5. Please include at least a passenger side assist handle!

1. The side vents really need some holes in them to at least look functional. Offer it as an upgrade or something.

2. I like that the gas door has a little lip on it to hang the gas cap tether over. The minivan, again, lacks this, and as a result, the gas cap is starting to scratch up the paint under the filler.

3. Would have liked the reverse warning system to have been a factory installed option, rather than a dealer-installed accessory. (No, I don't have it.) I wouldn't doubt if this is already planned to show up in a year or two anyway though.

1. The cloth holder for the users manual is much nicer than the vinyl they used to use, and should hold up for a very long time.

2. I found it neat that there's a transparent film or something over the VIN plate on the driver's side windshield that says Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler if looked at from the right angles. Tamper protection, I assume?

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
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Good observations, KansasNitro and bch. I will check out some of the things you mentioned that I haven't explored yet.

The Nitro really looks great from the front. I'm not crazy about the rear end. My wife calls it the macho Liberty. They're both built at the Toledo North Assembly plant in Ohio.
I igree on all of these finding. A few more thing to add..
for a large person, the center consel could have been less wider, that would have giving the seat more room.
Should have included the auto light. Day running light.
Gas milage is not the greates.
The A/C clutch engage automaticly..
2007 Dodge Nitro SLT Inferno Red
Grey YES Seats

1. I would love the driver seat to lower. I'm round 6'2" and still fit, but I lay the seat back quite a lot. It just "seems" very high.
2. I like the seat material so far. We've had a couple of spills and it cleans up easily. The anti-static is nice too.
3. The "laser beam" high beam indicator is painfully bright. I will do something about this.
4. The removable tray in the center console is kind of cheesy. Other vehicles deal with this much more elegantly.
5. I'm lovin' the Sirius radio! I just wish the "info" button was on the steering wheel.
6. Same comments on the head rests.....not very useful.
7. I'm not too sure how useful the pull-out loading platform is in the back, but it's fun to show off. Things like groceries and tools slide around a lot back there. I'll be looking into some type of net, straps or cross-bars to help out.

1. I've noticed a couple of tiny chips in the paint where the rear flares contact the doors. Maybe too much movement there.
2. The cool little antenna dissapeared after 1,500 miles. Theft, fell off?? A new one was procured from Dodge for $14.
3. I love the looks, fit and finish for this price range!

1. The ride is quite a lot stiffer than the Intrepid we left at the dealer. It really tosses you around crossing train tracks on an angle or hitting driveway approaches at an angle. The price you pay for little body roll and keeping the pretty side up. It's a nice ride on smooth pavement and quieter than than the 2000 Intrepid.

1. Seems adequate, but the 4.0 should be much more fun.

This is the wife's vehicle. She just gets in and drives, no complaints from her!:D
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Here's an observation for ya...This SUV rox! Here's the scene: We bought our Nitro (InfRed SXT) on 12/29...about 10am...then hopped in it and drove from Tampa, FL to Knoxville, TN...starting at about 5:30pm, same day. Talk about breaking it in? Oh yeah.

Well, we drove this pup all around the Smoky Mountains...steep inclines, switchback curves (some "with" inclines...woo-hoo!), and all the close calls you could imagine on a curvy mountain road, with ice. It handled like a car...yes, a car. It was the smoothest ride, the nicest response from the controls...I think the majority of my vacation was spent just driving that thing...I love it. Time to take another vacation somewhere soon...and I'm driving.
Here's an observation for ya...This SUV rox! Here's the scene: We bought our Nitro (InfRed SXT) on 12/29...about 10am...then hopped in it and drove from Tampa, FL to Knoxville, TN...starting at about 5:30pm, same day. Talk about breaking it in? Oh yeah.

Well, we drove this pup all around the Smoky Mountains...steep inclines, switchback curves (some "with" inclines...woo-hoo!), and all the close calls you could imagine on a curvy mountain road, with ice. It handled like a car...yes, a car. It was the smoothest ride, the nicest response from the controls...I think the majority of my vacation was spent just driving that thing...I love it. Time to take another vacation somewhere soon...and I'm driving.
What he said... LoL! Seriously though I felt much the same way. The Nitro seems to handle much more like a sports car than a truck. But at the same time you have the advantage of sitting up high... and I love that! All my other SUV's were great on trips cruisin' on the freeway. So is the Nitro... but the Nitro is also fun to drive in town. You don't get that boaty feeling. It's all pep and go >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I LOVE the commute to and from work now. I used to have a Jeep Cherokee, lifted, big tires, the whole 9, and it was fun to drive. The gas was killing me though. Obviously it's night and day between my old XJ and the Nitro. It drives so smooth, and its very quiet! Oh yeah, and a year of Sirius for free kicks a s s!
I've got no problems with the driver's seat headroom. I'm 5'11" and have no problem with headroom - and that's including wearing my Stetson...

There should be a locking gas cap door (inside release)
Other than that, the outside is great

The engine compartment is very user friendly, all normal checkpoints are clearly marked
Although it seems to have plenty of power for our type of driving, you need to really mash the accelerator to get it to downshift for passing
Overall quieter engine than our 2000 Intrepid

The drivers seat feels a bit high for my 6 foot frame, but tilting the seat back slightly gives me plenty of head room (even with the sunroof and overhead dvd). The heated leather seats have been nice during our recent colder weather.
The window buttons have one touch automatic up or down (the sunroof buttons are touch and release also)
Love the leather steering wheel feel and the stereo/computer buttons on it
The radio controls are well laid out. Satellite radio is awesome, as is the jack for my often used mp3 player. The sound quality is excellent at any volume (I like mine loud). Can't say enough about the rear dvd/ audio system. Great sound quality through the wireless headphones. It's awesome that the boys can be in back playing their dvd or video games, and be totally separate from what we're listening to up front. With our state (along with many others) going to hands free phone use while driving, the u-connect is an awesome feature

Outside I wouldn't change a thing, although we are considering mud flaps
Inside only a couple thoughts:
The rear passengers should be able to control their dome light without me turning on all the interior lights (our sons flip the dvd screen down just for light when they need it)
There is no glove compartment light
A front passenger handle inside would greatly improve the entry and exiting

We love this suv, and would recommend it to anybody that is in the market for a safe and fun head turning ride...
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I agree with most comments. I've had this machine for 2 weeks now,and i am finding something new all the time. today i noticed the strap on the drivers console. The Bomb's negetives reflect my exactly.All things considerd this seems to be a nice all around car for the price.This was to be wifes car but I drive it mostly.Thinking of trading in my grand marquis and buying another nitro. this time a RT model.

I agree with above comments and would add afew on my base SLT.

First, I'm 6'am 2" and weigh 250 lbs and really aware of some of space issues. Also, went from a Grand Caravan to the Nitro and am still having some "van withdrawal".

I've also logged three electrical failures in less than 2500 miles.

In regards to seat height, I've found if you lower the drivers seat too much, those huge side mirrors make some awesome blind spots.

I like the very supportive seats and haven't missed the lumbar support.

It definitely needs a telescoping steering wheel. With the seat adjusted for comfort, the wheel is a reach. Tilting it all the way down helps some.

Needs night light for cup holder area.

High beltline (that looks so cool) is a pain at ATMs and drive-throughs.

Very impressed with RES radio features and the six speaker system, very good for a base system.

Mine stickered for just under 25k and there a are lot of goodies and features here for that money.

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What is this bright sun thing you speak of my SLT does not have one at least I have been unable to find it in the 2 1/2 months I've had it.:rolleyes:
In regards to the leather steering wheel, mine was hard as a rock, so I used Meguiars Leather treatment a couple of times and it really helped soften it.
This available in most chain auto parts stores

sports car? what kinda sports car are you driving? grand marquis? I drive an S2000 daily, and when I went for a test drive in the Nitro SXT I found it did NOT handle like a sports car....lots of front end dip in quick stops, rear end dip with quick starts, and the cornering was a little rolly(is that a word?). Not to say it's bad, it is a 3000lb truck after all...and I will be buying one, but just to put it in is NOTHING like a sports car. to be fair i have not driven the R/T though which I imagine is markedly improved over the SXT, SLT(without 20" rims)
Quick note, I'm 6'2" and I picked up the R/T with a sunroof, which shaves off another 1" off the roof. I still have a good 3.5" or so to go before my hair, which is short but spikey, touches the ceiling. Plenty of head room and no problems there.
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