The Dodge Nitro is a front-engine, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive compact SUV manufactured for the 2007-2012 model years. Initial release came with a choice of 3.7L or 4.0L V6 engines, with the models marked SXT, SLT, and R/T. Dodge manufactured the Nitro in Ohio's Toledo plant on the second-generation Jeep Liberty platform (Chrysler KA platform), producing the first Dodge compact SUV since the Raider in the 1980s. Due to diminishing sales, production ceased in 2012, with a total of 275,510 units built through the years.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated Nitro with the highest score of 'Good' in Moderate overlap front impact, 'Marginal' in Side-impact, 'Good' in Roof strength test, and the lowest score of 'Poor' in the head restraints and seat safety. Safety options include roll prevention system, traction control, front and side curtain airbags, and a tyre-pressure monitor.
Basic equipment included 3x3 point rear seat belts, ABS, alarm, alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, CD, cloth seat trim, driver and passenger's airbag, folding rear seats, front power windows, heated mirrors, height-adjustable driver's seat, head airbags, Isofix child seat anchor points, power mirrors, rear parking distance control, remote locking, roof rails, space-saver spare wheel, steering wheel rake adjustment, and traction control.
The SXT trim level added power mirrors, windows and door locks with remote keyless entry, satellite radio, air conditioning, cruise control, front fog lights, parking sensors
The SLT and R/T trim levels added the following on top of the SXT: alloy wheels, power driver's seat, Load 'N Go retractable cargo floor, an overhead console, compass, and optional sports seats.
In 2009, the SE package replaced the SXT, and in 2010, new trim levels became available, namely, Heat, Detonator, and Shock. The features of these trim levels correlate to the older models with minimal changes, such as the addition of power sunroof and the discontinuation of the Load 'N Go retractable cargo floor.
Nitro came with ventilated discs in the front and standard discs in the back. The suspension system was a coil spring, hydraulic double acting shock absorber, with five links in the rear. Power was carried through 245x20 R20 tyres. The overall vehicle dimensions are 1755mm in height, 4584mm in length, 1856mm in width, 2763mm wheelbase length, and 210mm ground clearance. Its kerb weight is 1875kg, with an impressive 3000kg towing capacity.
Australia received two powertrain options, viz.:
- 2.8L VM Motori inline-four diesel engine producing 130kW and 460Nm of torque, paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 3.7L PowerTech V6 petrol engine producing 151kW and 314Nm of torque, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission
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Author: Luka Kusic