I got my wife a 2011 nitro heat 3.7 with 55k miles about a year ago because we needed a little more room but didn't want to break the bank. She likes the smaller suv's and I've always liked the Tonka truck look of the nitro. My experience with dodge so far has been very good so decided to stick with it. The nitro is an old fashioned old school suv that feels like a truck, drives like a truck, and is tough like a truck. There's nothing fancy about this rig but it has it where it counts. We take it all over and have put on 20k miles in year without a single issue. What did surprise me was what the nitro could actually do.
We're big out doors people and own a 4k+ pound 21+ ft travel trailer we take out a few times a year that we thought we were going to have to park for a while since I no longer have a truck to pull it with. Unbeknownst to me was the heavy duty 5 link suspension, heavy duty chasis, transmission cooler and 5k pound towing capacity of the nitro. Once I discovered that I quickly installed a hitch and brake controller ,due to our nitro not being equipped with the tow package, and we were ready for action.
Well we recently took a week long trip where we towed our trailer from az to camp on beach in San diego and the nitro preformed flawlessly never even heating up anywhere, mountains include, along the way.
We were looking for a small/mid affordable suv with unique looks and got a helluva lot more than we bargained for. It's not the suv for everyone as it has a stiff ride and modest mpg at best, but if you're looking for something that takes you back to the pick up truck feel of a few years ago, has unique styling and can tow mountains above its useless crossover counterparts, than the nitro might just be what you've been looking for.
I bought my Nitro late in the year (Nov). Enjoyed the ride and handling. Reminded me of my 2000 Pathfinder that I miss tremendously. I put over 200k miles on that car in 7 years and never had any issues at all. So far with the Nitro I have 43k in 16 months (I drive 30k a year) and the check engine light comes on occassionally. Not sure why. A/C blower went out right at 36,500 when the warranty ran out. Fortunately the dealership I bought it at fixed it w/o question. At 14k the head gasket blew and was leaking oil like a faucet. Still under warranty the dealership fixed it. I'm still undecided whether I like the car or not. Of course, the engine light is on again.
the ride, the handling.
The seats are fairly comfortable.
I like the looks.
There needs to be an air vent for the back seat.
You have to turn the a/c on high and the people in the front seat freeze while the passangers in the back are sweating.
Changing the spark plugs is not an easy task.
I like doing some of the minor maintenance, but the plugs are covered with a plastic piece that has to be unscrewed to access the plugs.
I'm sure that was designed to make a trip to the shop more desireable than doing it yourself.
Could have added an additional power outlet for the rear passangers.
Excellent value for mid-size SUV. I love my Bright Silver Nitro. It's stands out on the road. Comfortable vehicle. Plenty of room for my needs. Fun to drive.
Styling, Fog Lights, 20 inch Chrome Wheels, Auto dim rear view mirror, heated mirrors, park assist, Audio system.
People may be turned off by the hard plastic inside the cabin. I don't mind it, since I didn't buy this car for a pretty interior. Got it for it's rugged good looks and because it's fun to drive as well.
I recently rented a 2011 Dodge Nitro in a 10 day trip from Las Vegas and up into the mountains of Utah. The good - the car did not overheat, it was reasonbaly comfortable and roomy. Gas mileage was about what is rated. The bad includes the following: Under the load of two adults, two kids and two suitcases, the engine stuggled each time the air conditioning was turned on. The temperature conditions were between 70 - 100 F.
Each time the AC unit was turned on under any load you would get a studdering similar to an alternator going out.
I found thid quite annoying and would try the larger engine model before buying this.
Try before you buy!
Good turning radius.
Good visibility front, side and back.
Better power delivery with AC on - engine studders when under load in hot temps.
Head room a bit low on entry.
I am only 5'10"" tall and I had to lean down each time.
Adjustable lumbar support in all models.