The 2011 Dodge Nitro SUV is imposing despite the fact that for a mid-size SUV, it is on the smaller side. This is a vehicle that offers a handsome, regal and stately appearance, but not much more. For a reasonable price, it offers a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that delivers 210 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is four-speed automatic with overdrive. Don't expect to win any races with this engine though as it takes a lazy 9.5 seconds to accelerate zero to 60 mph. For an SUV, gas mileage is acceptable at16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. Select two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive that can be disengaged. If you opt for the Heat 4.0, Shock or Nitro Detonator models, you will enjoy a 4.0-liter V-6 engine that produces 260 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired up with a five-speed automatic and can do zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is average.
Handling has improved with the redesigned steering and brake systems, along with an updated suspension. Other tweaks include better anti-roll bars, steering gear valve, springs, and shocks for greater steering control. Sound deadening material keeps the cabin free of road and engine noise. The Dodge Nitro SUV has good cargo capacity, with 75.6 cubic feet when the passenger seats are folded down. Some Nitro loyalists are disappointed to discover that the Load'n Go feature is no longer available. With all seats up, five adults fit well, though the back is lower to the floor than most care for.
Stay safe in the Dodge Nitro SUV with the Electronic Stability Control package, which includes brake assist, trailer sway control, all-speed traction control, and Electronic Roll Mitigation. A standard four-wheel antilock brake system has the very newest in electronics, resulting in a faster response to a sudden stop or slippery roads. In fact, when tested, it braked from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is good for its size. All models have multistage driver and front passenger airbags, along with supplemental side-curtain airbags that include roll-sensing technology. Front seat active head restraints reduce the chance of head and neck injury if the vehicle is struck from the rear, and a tire pressure monitoring system offers a control panel alert when tire pressure exceeds or drops below recommended levels. An optional Parksense rear park assist system is available to provide greater confidence when backing up. The 2011 Dodge Nitro SUV received a "Good" rating in frontal-offset crash tests but only ranked at "Marginal" in side-impact tests.