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2010 Dodge Nitro

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2010 Dodge Nitro Review

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According to Dodge, the Nitro marked the automaker's first foray into the mid-size SUV segment. Just like its Durango big brother, however, the 2010 Dodge Nitro straddles a line between two segments, competing on some levels with vehicles from both the compact and mid-size SUV categories. It even somewhat threatens to cannibalize sales from the recently introduced Journey, although the Nitro can't match the Journey's fuel economy or seating capacity numbers. The Nitro's niche in the marketplace isn't defined by its measurements, though, but by its bold, unique styling.

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While the 2010 Dodge Nitro derives much of its appeal from its bold exterior styling, it still offers all the versatility of a typical compact/mid-size SUV. Generous rear-seat legroom and a handy slide-out cargo floor help sweeten the deal.

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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 far from impressive.

What's New for 2010

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.

Driving the Nitro

Driving Impressions Because the 2010 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 in ride and handling, especially when compared to the newer generation of crossover SUVs like the Dodge Journey. Opt for the 260-horsepower V6, five-speed automatic transmission and tighter suspension available on the SXT, 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.

Uconnect GPS
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 comes 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.

2010 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). The Nitro offers an exceptionally durable and stain-resistant seat fabric dubbed "Stain Repel", or on SXT trim, the option of leather seating. 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 2010 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 SXT model is distinguished in part by a body-color grille and available 20-inch chrome wheels, while the base SE touts 16-inch steel wheels and chrome accents on the grille and interior trim.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base Dodge Nitro SE comes equipped with a 3.7-liter V6, four-speed automatic 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, stain resistant cloth seats, 16-inch styled-steel wheels, Load 'N Go slide out cargo floor and heated side mirrors. Standard safety equipment includes front and front-side airbags, plus an electronic stability control system that includes rollover mitigation. The SXT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, overhead console, cruise control, auto-dimming rear view mirror and steering wheel mounted audio controls.

Optional Equipment

The highlight of the Nitro's optional equipment list is the comprehensive Uconnect gps 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 Infiniti speakers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, ParkSense Rear Park Assist, sunroof, heated leather seating, four-wheel drive, 20-inch chrome wheels and remote start.

Under the Hood

While most Nitros feature a 3.7-liter V6 matched with a four-speed automatic transmission, the SXT can be equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 and five-speed Auto Stick transmission. Each combination is available in rear- or full-time four-wheel drive. 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), 15/21 (4WD)

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

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2010 Dodge Nitro Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 381 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

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."

3 people out of 3 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)"

5 people out of 9 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!"

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

my first suv and I liked it a lot

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Other then one tire continuously going low on pressure I like this car I felt safe in it. I did change the wide truck tires and a smaller touring car type tire and found the handling and the ride became much better"

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Feels like a jeep - love it!

By on Sunday, January 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "See review"

Cons: "See review"

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

"Immediately loved driving this Nitro. Strong engine, handles excellent in the snow or ice, ride high (which I like). I get compliments on it everywhere I go. I've probably sold several just by the way I brag on it! Negatives I've noted: Bad visibility with outside mirrors - close to the window frame, so you don't see cars coming at some angles.Only gets 12-15 miles per gallon. Gas pedal is right next to engine "hump". On long trip, having my ankle at a bent angle begins to add strain to that right ankle. Gas pedal should be a few more inches away from the hump. Seems like a small item, but if you're behind the wheel for any length of time, it gets very uncomfortable."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

love my nitro

By on Sunday, December 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "very sporty looks"

Cons: "none"

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

"Searched for awhile for my 2007 Nitro R/T i only wanted a orange one . i found one with 49k miles i love everything about this car . 4.0 engine and auto trans has plenty of power for colorado mountains."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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