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.
According to Dodge, the Nitro is the automaker's first midsize SUV. Just like its Durango big brother, however, the 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.