This V6 makes respectable power (260 hp), but it's not shy to tell you about it, either. Runs to 60 mph in about 8 seconds and ours earned about 17 mpg in real-world driving.
Beneath the bodywork this is a Jeep, and a body-on-frame SUV with a solid rear axle will never ride like a carlike crossover or handle like a sports car, and the Nitro doesn't. Generally low limits and ponderous road dynamics.
Body-on-frame truck will always suffer from refinement issues and adding sports-car-type big wheels with short-sidewall tires just makes freeway ride worse.
Wind noise is dispersed, but noticeable at freeway speeds. Road noise is evident on many surfaces. The engine is rather coarse and the exhaust note could grow tiresome.
There's an honesty to Nitro's interior that makes (nearly) everything self-evident and logical to find and operate. The exception being the optional touchscreen navigation system that follows Garmin logic rather than convention.
Typical C-pillar blind spots and adequate mirrors. Rear parking sonar is standard, but a camera is not available.
Seat Access & Space
While the specs suggest ample space, both the front and rear seats lack sufficient contour and support. Also, the step-in height (especially over the optional side steps that seem unnecessary) is likely to be problematic for some.
Cargo & Storage
The fold-flat cargo area is quite large (75.6 cu-ft) and at a reasonable height (33-in). Interior storage nooks and bins, however, are scarce or small.
Our test vehicle (with 2,500 miles on the odometer) had numerous squeaks and rattles.
Our Nitro had a maximum rating of 5,000 pounds.
Eight inches of ground clearance, part-time 4WD with 50/50 front/rear power distribution and very short front and rear overhangs give the Nitro a decent amount of capability when the road ends.
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