2007 Dodge Nitro Review

Pros & Cons

  • Striking exterior style, functional cabin with lots of storage, good visibility, quiet ride.
  • Slow steering, unimpressive road manners, subpar fuel economy, some cut-rate cabin materials.
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$2,425 - $3,886

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With styling unlike any other SUV in its class, the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro will get plenty of sales on looks alone; however, more discerning buyers will likely be put off by its sloppy handling and so-so mileage.

Vehicle overview

Most small SUVs are gentle creatures -- conservatively styled, car-based designs that aspire to deliver practicality, comfort and perhaps a touch of athleticism in an economical package. But leave it to Dodge to create a compact sport-utility that won't play nice with its peers. An all-new offering this year, the 2007 Dodge Nitro is based on a slightly lengthened version of a chassis also used for the Jeep Liberty. It's a unibody design, but a non-independent rear suspension, a standard rear-drive configuration (with four-wheel drive optional) and the use of large-displacement 3.7-liter and 4.0-liter V6 engines all point to the platform's truckish roots.

Then, there's the matter of styling, as the Dodge Nitro forsakes its competitors' soft curves for a Ram truck-like grille, exaggerated fender flares and oversize tires that measure up to 20 inches in diameter, depending on which trim level you select. It's a unique look for this class, although the Nitro's high beltline and short glass area call to mind the Hummer family, while the faux vents in its front quarter panels are cribbed from Land Rover's Range Rover Sport.

For those who want a small SUV with a definitively masculine presence, the new Nitro will surely do the trick. Unfortunately, there's not as much substance as style. Even though Dodge retuned the suspension to provide a sportier feel on pavement, the Nitro is ultimately unable to deliver the kind of refined ride quality and responsive handling you get with true car-based SUVs like the Mazda CX-7 and Toyota RAV4. Similarly, its V6 engines can't match the smoothness or efficiency of competitors' smaller engines (which are nearly as powerful). In its favor, the 2007 Dodge Nitro offers a roomy, comfortable cabin that's well insulated from wind and road noise, but in the highly competitive compact SUV class, this isn't enough to offset an overall subpar driving experience.

2007 Dodge Nitro models

A small SUV, the 2007 Dodge Nitro is available in SXT and SLT trim levels. Standard equipment on the base SXT includes 16-inch steel wheels, a roof rack, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, a 115-volt outlet and power windows, mirrors and locks. Step up to the Nitro SLT and you'll get 17-inch alloy wheels, body-color exterior trim, a power driver seat, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a slide-out cargo floor (called Load 'n Go) with tie-down points. Available on the SLT is the R/T Package, which provides a larger engine, 20-inch chrome wheels, firmer suspension tuning, upgraded exterior trim, two-tone cloth upholstery and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Major options on the Dodge Nitro include leather upholstery, a sunroof, an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD/DVD changer, a rear entertainment system and the MyGIG multimedia system, which offers navigation, MP3 file storage/playback and Bluetooth functions via a central touchscreen. Class III towing preparation is also available.

2007 Highlights

The 2007 Dodge Nitro is an all-new compact SUV tuned for street duty.

Performance & mpg

Standard on the Nitro SXT and SLT is a 3.7-liter V6 rated for 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on SXT models; a four-speed automatic is optional on the SXT and standard on the SLT. The Dodge Nitro R/T alone comes with a 4.0-liter V6 engine good for 260 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with this engine. All versions of the Nitro are available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (4WD). Nitro 4x4s have a part-time system with high- and low-range gearing. Properly equipped, the Nitro can tow up to 5,000 pounds regardless of drivetrain.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on the 2007 Dodge Nitro. All Nitros also come with a tire-pressure monitor; the SLT and R/T offer a readout of the tires' current psi (whereas the SXT only warns you when they're low).

Driving

Acceleration is adequate with the 3.7-liter V6, but only when equipped with the 4.0-liter engine does the 2007 Dodge Nitro feel truly quick. We've timed a Nitro R/T at 7.7 seconds for the 0-60-mph run. The Nitro cruises quietly at highway speeds; the ride is mostly comfortable as well, though soft suspension damping allows too much body motion over bumps. Handling around corners is unimpressive for a small SUV, as even the sporty R/T model exhibits slow steering and significant body roll. In keeping with the Nitro's modest handling limits, the stability control system is undefeatable and quick to intervene during aggressive maneuvers. The brake pedal has a long travel and a somewhat vague feel (typical of a trucklike vehicle), but stopping distances are convincingly short -- that same Nitro R/T tester stopped in 122 feet from 60 mph.

Interior

Inside, the Nitro has a somewhat industrial feel, though faux aluminum accents brighten the place up a bit. Materials quality is average for this class, with only a few plastics that stand out as low-grade. An upright seating position provides a good view out the front, and liberal use of soft cushioning makes it easy to get comfortable. Legroom is ample for adults in the backseat, though the bench is mounted too low for optimal comfort. There are 32.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. The lift-over height is high for a compact SUV, but the slide-out cargo tray in SLT and R/T models provides easier access when unloading groceries and luggage. With both the rear seats and the front-passenger seat folded, there are 75.6 cubic feet of space.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2007 Dodge Nitro.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great buy, looks great
nitroftw,07/15/2012
I fell in love with the dodge nitro the second I test drove it. I have since had zero problems for three years, aside from basic maintenance for brake pads and such. Great MPG for the price of the car and the quality of the construction of the vehicle. Feels very sturdy and it is. I think that this is the one car that I actually like from Dodge.
Real Nice Ride and Looks
frank66,12/06/2006
This SUV is an all around awesome vehicle for the money. The other brands (mid size SUV's) I looked at were too cramped for space inside, too common looking, and even boring. The nicest ones were way up there in price, even before you add in options. The Dodge Nitro does everything I need from a SUV and does at a reasonable price.
Nitro Rocks
AceRealtor,11/08/2006
My wife and I researched and shopped for a replacement for her Suburban. We have found the perfect solution. The Nitro is absolutely sweet! I like to say it has some "that was nice of you think of" features. For example, the Load-n-Go is way cool for loading groceries. The reclining second row seats are something I always wanted in my previous SUV and now I have it in the Nitro. We got the sunroof with ours and it makes driving this thing big fun! I must admit, it has the typical handling and sway feel of a midsize SUV's but of course, I drive a Vette during the week and I'm used to a very responsive feel. Overall, the Nitro is a total home run for Dodge. We love it!
Great looking body. Car itself is okay
JC,07/06/2016
SLT 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 4A)
Mine is a 2007 and purchased it used in 2010 with only 10K miles. Car has been dependable and only big complaint is the braking. It's too soft and spongy. Had it looked at and had brakes replaced and rotors resurfaced. Some wind noise and loud engine noise can be annoying. Loud acceleration and when coming out of a stop. On a stop, feels like it wants to stall but never has. I thought it was because of the RPM being almost to zero. Had that looked at too and they said it was normal. A couple of recalls but nothing major and was taken care of promptly. The last major thing that happened to me a couple of months ago was that the car completely shut off while I was driving. Luckily it happened while I was pulling into a store parking lot. Engine just shut off and steering got hard to turn. Good thing it was not on the road or freeway. Can you imagine?? I was able to pull into a parking spot right away while coasting. Was able to start it right up again and rode straight home praying it would not stall. Next day took it the shop and ended up paying $700 for the part replacement. Rides good but can feel like a couch sometimes. Harsh on bumps. Just happy that it didn't turn out to be a lemon. No repair costs other then the normal maintenance stuff. Space cargo is huge. Interior is simple and plain. No frills there.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2007 Dodge Nitro features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Marginal
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2007 Dodge Nitro

Used 2007 Dodge Nitro Overview

The Used 2007 Dodge Nitro is offered in the following submodels: Nitro SUV. Available styles include SLT 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 4A), SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (3.7L 6cyl 4A), SXT 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 6M), and SXT 4dr SUV 4WD (3.7L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2007 Dodge Nitro?

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Which used 2007 Dodge Nitros are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2007 Dodge Nitro?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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