New standard features include the addition of the Decel Fuel Shut Off system (which improves mileage by cutting fuel during deceleration), front row active head restraints and an air filtration system. SE and SXT trims receive a six-speaker audio system, heated side mirrors and stain resistant seat fabric, while the SXT offers leather seating, a new body-colored grille and front air dam and an express up front passenger window. The R/T trim has been dropped.
Improvements to the Nitro's suspension include stiffer rear axle shafts, as well as retuned shocks, springs and anti-roll bars. New standard features include floor mats, Auto Unlock at exit and a rear dome lamp. The six-speed manual is no longer offered.
The 2011 Dodge Nitro has a split personality. On one side, the Dodge Nitro is like any mid-size crossover offering seating for five, available all-wheel drive and an affordable sticker price. Then there is the Nitro's more extreme side, which displays bold and boxy styling, vivid color choices and massive 20-inch wheels. Placed side-by-side with a Honda CR-V or Chevrolet Equinox, the untrained observers would probably be hard pressed to place the Nitro in the same league. And, although the Nitro threatens to cannibalize sales from family members Jeep Liberty and Dodge Journey, Dodge isn't worried, saying the Nitro has its own unique niche defined by its artful blend of size, styling and features.