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2011 Dodge Nitro

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2011 Dodge Nitro Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're shopping for a crossover in the mid-$20K range, but find most of the offerings a bit bland, check out the 2011 Dodge Nitro. The Dodge Nitro's five-passenger seating, roomy rear seat and clever slide-out cargo floor should help cement the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Dodge Nitro isn't as refined or smooth riding as many of its car-based CUV competitors. And, because there is no diesel or four-cylinder engine choice, fuel economy from the Nitro's two V6 engine offerings is mediocre at best.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Dodge Nitro receives some minor styling changes, including the addition of 20-inch wheels and a monochromatic interior on all trims. The top-of-the-line Dodge Nitro Shock receives standard leather seats and a sunroof. The Dodge Nitro Heat trim can now be equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine and is called the Dodge Nitro Heat 4.0.

Driving the Nitro

Driving Impressions When we look at all of the 2011 Dodge Nitro's versatile features, compelling styling and cutting-edge electronics, it makes us wish Dodge had built this one from scratch. Instead, all...

these good ideas ride atop the borrowed Jeep Liberty platform, which we feel compromises the Nitro's ride and handling. It is much more truck-like than it need be. Still, when equipped with the 260-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6, five-speed automatic transmission and sport suspension (not to mention the 20-inch tires), the Dodge Nitro's rough riding shortcomings can be partially overlooked. For the record, we'd avoid the base Heat trim. Its 3.7-liter V6 and four-speed automatic left us wishing for either more power or a better transmission.

Uconnect GPS
This optional 30GB hard drive-based system includes navigation with Sirius Travel Link offering real-time traffic information, CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio, a high-speed USB 2.0 port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback, and Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity.

Sliding Cargo Floor
For easier loading and unloading, the Dodge 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.

2011 Dodge Nitro Details
Interior

The 2011 Dodge Nitro offers seating for five, a roomy cargo hold and a commanding view of the road. Among its more notable features is the cargo floor that slides out over the rear bumper allowing for easier loading and unloading. For maximum cargo hauling, there is an available flat-folding front passenger seat. Rear seat passengers enjoy generous legroom and reclining seatbacks. The Dodge Nitro Heat, Nitro Heat 4.0 and Nitro Detonator trims features durable fabric covered seats, while the Nitro Shock, the highest trim level, has leather seats with color accent stitching. The Dodge Nitro's dash and door panel design matches the vehicle's bold exterior, but the plastics are hard to the touch and lack any sense of color or contrast.

Exterior

There's little doubt the 2011 Dodge Nitro's biggest asset is its bold, upright exterior styling. Further distinguishing features include a clamshell-style hood, color-keyed crosshair grille and decorative side vents. All models ride on 20-inch polished aluminum wheels surrounded by all-season tires, and feature deep-tinted privacy glass and front fog lamps. Bright paint colors such as Detonator Yellow, Inferno Red and Blackberry Pearl further help Nitro owners create a custom feel.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2011 Dodge Nitro Heat comes equipped with a 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter, V6 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard audio is a AM/FM/CD sound system with an auxiliary input jack and a one-year subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. Other standards include power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, rear-window wiper/washer, rear defroster, 20-inch polished alloy wheels, slide-out cargo floor and heated side mirrors. The Nitro Heat 4.0, Nitro Detonator and Nitro Shock all feature a 260-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 engine coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission, as well as Bluetooth streaming audio, eight Infinity speakers plus a powered subwoofer, and Uconnect with voice command.

Optional Equipment

The highlight of the Dodge Nitro's optional equipment list is the comprehensive Uconnect GPS navigation, entertainment and communication system (see Favorite Features). Other key options include CD/DVD/HDD radio with 6.5-inch touch screen and 30 gig hard drive, Sirius Satellite Radio with Travel Link, ParkSense Rear Park Assist, a power sunroof, heated leather seating, four-wheel drive, and remote start.

Under the Hood

Only the base Dodge Nitro Heat is burdened with the 3.7-liter V6 matched with a four-speed automatic transmission. All other trim levels are powered by a 4.0-liter V6 attached to a 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), 16/21 (4WD)

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2011 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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