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2008 Dodge Nitro

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2008 Dodge Nitro Review

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According to Dodge, the Nitro is the automaker's first midsize SUV. Just like its Durango big brother, however, the 2008 Dodge Nitro straddles a line between two segments, competing on some levels with vehicles from both the compact and midsize SUV categories. The Nitro's niche in the marketplace isn't defined by its measurements, though, but by its bold, unique styling.

You'll Like This Car If...

While the 2008 Dodge Nitro derives much of its appeal from its bold exterior styling, it still offers all the versatility of a typical compact/midsize SUV. Generous rear-seat legroom and a handy slide-out cargo floor help sweeten the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Compared to its car-based crossover competitors, the Nitro's more truck-like roots involve ride and handling compromises. There is no four-cylinder or diesel engine in the lineup and fuel economy with the two available V6 engines is only marginal.

What's New for 2008

New features for 2008 include an optional Trailer Sway Control System and Dodge's ParkSense Rear Park Assist.

Driving the Nitro
Driving Impressions

Because the 2008 Dodge Nitro looks so good, is versatile and offers a compelling array of interior features, we found ourselves wishing it had been built from scratch. As it...

... is, the Nitro's Jeep Liberty-derived architecture brings compromises that result in sacrifices in ride and handling. Opt for the 260-horsepower V6, five-speed automatic transmission and tighter suspension of the R/T model, though, and it's easier to overlook those shortcomings. In models equipped with the smaller V6 and four-speed automatic, we often found ourselves wishing for either more power or another gear or two.

MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment
This optional hard drive-based system includes navigation with real-time traffic information, MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading, a high-speed USB 2.0 port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback and Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity.

LOAD 'N GO Cargo Floor
For easier loading and unloading, the Nitro is available with a cargo floor that slides out 18 inches over the rear bumper and can hold up to 400 pounds. Beneath it is a four-inch deep storage bin good for storing jumper cables or hiding a laptop.

2008 Dodge Nitro Details
Interior

The Nitro's most novel interior feature is the available LOAD 'N GO cargo floor that slides out over the bumper for easier loading and unloading. Other features include reclining rear seatbacks and an available fold-flat passenger seat that makes it easier to haul longer cargo or work on a laptop computer (while parked, of course). In between the base cloth and available leather seating, Nitro offers an exceptionally durable and stain-resistant seat fabric dubbed YES Essentials. The interior styling is in line with that of recent Dodge vehicles and includes a perceptible amount of average-grade plastics.

Exterior

Without question, the 2008 Dodge Nitro's calling card is its distinctive, squared-off exterior styling. Included in the design is the familiar Dodge crosshair grille, a clamshell-style hood and decorative side vents. The top-level R/T model is distinguished in part by a body-color grille and standard 20-inch chrome wheels, while base SXT models get dark, unpainted bumper fascias, moldings and fender flares.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base Dodge Nitro comes equipped with a 3.7-liter V6, six-speed manual transmission, AM/FM/CD sound system with an auxiliary input jack, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, 115-volt power outlet, rear-window wiper/washer, cloth seats and 16-inch styled-steel wheels. Standard safety equipment includes front and front-side airbags, plus an electronic stability control system that includes rollover mitigation.

Optional Equipment

The highlight of the Nitro's optional equipment list is the comprehensive MyGIG navigation, entertainment and communication system (see Favorite Features). Other key options include a six-disc CD/DVD-Audio sound system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, premium speakers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, ParkSense Rear Park Assist, sunroof, heated leather seating, 20-inch chrome wheels, premium cloth seating and an outward-sliding cargo floor.

Under the Hood

Under the hood]
{While most Nitros feature a 3.7-liter V6 matched with either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, the R/T gets an exclusive powertrain consisting of a 4.0-liter V6 and five-speed Auto Stick transmission. Each combination is available in rear- or four-wheel drive, with automatic-equipped vehicles featuring a full-time four-wheel-drive system and manual models getting a part-time four-wheel-drive system. While its nature-loving Jeep Liberty cousin offers a low-range transfer case, the Nitro features an available "performance" suspension. Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

3.7-liter V6
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (RWD, manual), 16/22 (4WD, manual), 16/22 (RWD, automatic), 15/21 (4WD, automatic)

4.0-liter V6
260 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 (RWD), 15/20 (4WD)

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2008 Dodge Nitro Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 384 Ratings for the 2007 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

very good condition, low milage tires good cond

By on Monday, March 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "great look, easy to drive"

Cons: "tall people have problem getting in hitting head"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"just put running boards on. Paint in good shape. Have used synthetic oil in since i bought it at 10K"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

The best car I have owned so far...#1 of 10

By on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 202,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "a very versitile."

Cons: "Stop making this model."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have over 200K on the same tranny and engine. I am the only owner. Using only premium gas has saved me a lot of heartache and headache. I keep the oil changed and the engine serviced on a regular maintenance schedule. I love the metal looking plastic bumpers and fenders that snap off and can be put back without the dealer intervention...parts are readily available so far...on it's way to being a classic beauty. In the snow we run like a jeep and in the warm months we enjoy a luxurious stylish black with the chrome extras everywhere look. My fun car."

12 people out of 13 found this review helpful

I love my Dodge Nitro

By on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,549

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Ok on pickup accrelation, design, comfortable ride"

Cons: "Better gas mileage, bigger gas tank."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought this vehicle new from Thompson Dodge in Dundalk Md, it was comforable ride, I love the design and look of it. Performance its kind of slow on encline or going up a bridge. Gas wise it eats up gas alot and with a very small gas tank. I haven't used the 4 WD yet. But overall its a cool SUV. Here are my current problems with the vechile, a noise coming from the rear driving axle or back wheels and noise coming from one of the front wheels."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I love my Nitro

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,207

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The seats are high enough to see out well. I have really enjoyed owning this vehicle. There is plenty of room and it's very comfortable."

13 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Fun to drive/people's heads turn to look

By on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Gas Guzzler"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Gas Guzzler!!! I drive nothing but City & get an average of 14mpg IF I'm lucky. Always getting comments from folks about the cool look/design that it has though :o)"

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

best vehicle ever

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I love everything about it"

Cons: "no cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My first new vehicle purchase...so glad I chose it. I absolutely love it. It will hopefully be the last vehicle I have to buy for a very long time. Runs & drives great!"

16 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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