September 2011

Vehicle Profile: The 2011 Dodge Nitro

Choosing most affordable SUVs is like picking between brands of vanilla. Not so for the Nitro. Its bold, crisp styling stands in opposition to the bean-shaped vehicles it competes with. Stepping up with significant engine power and a stout powertrain, it backs up its looks with the best towing capacity in the class.
The all-new Dodge Nitro (MSRP starting at $22,245) is available in four distinctive Lifestyle Packages: Heat, Heat 4.0, Detonator and Shock. The Dodge Nitro Heat features aggressive 20-inch aluminum wheels, a body-colored grille with bright billets, sunscreen glass and performance suspension, all as standard equipment. The proven 3.7-liter V6 engine delivers 210 hp and 235 lb/ft of torque through a four-speed automatic transmission, and is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 models.
New for 2011, the Heat 4.0 Lifestyle Package includes a five-speed automatic transmission, standard uconnect® Phone and an upgraded eight-speaker sound system. The “4.0” in the package is a powerful 4.0-liter V6 engine. The all-aluminum overhead cam V6 delivers 260 hp and 265 lb/ft of torque.
The Nitro Detonator features the 4.0-liter V6, plus 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, nine premium speakers with subwoofer, remote start and the ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System.
The Dodge Nitro Shock includes new 20-inch aluminum premium-painted wheels, heated leather seats and a sunroof along with the 4.0-liter overhead cam V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. The Shock has an intense, nine-speaker (including subwoofer) audio system, remote start and ParkSense.
Under the broad shoulders of the Nitro’s sheet metal resides a suspension designed for both work and play. Dodge Nitro features a coilspring independent front suspension and a five-link, coilspring rear suspension. The independent front suspension provides the driver with the optimal balance between compliant ride and sporty handling with a greater sense of control and precision. The solid five-link rear suspension, including upper and lower trailing links and track bar, provides higher lateral stiffness for vehicle responsiveness and outstanding handling.
Four-wheel drive models feature a shift-on-the-fly, part-time four-wheel drive system. Two-wheel and four-wheel drive lock modes are electronically controlled by a switch in the center console.
Nitro drivers enjoy top quality safety and driver assistance features as standard equipment including four-wheel disc antilock brakes (ABS), Brake Assist (BAS), which applies maximum braking force during panic stops, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which keeps the Nitro on the straight and narrow during evasive maneuvers, Electronic-Roll Mitigation (ERM), which helps to prevent rollover and All-Speed Traction Control.
The five-passenger Nitro provides owners with seating and cargo carrying flexibility unmatched in the small SUV segment. Rear-seat passengers enjoy reclining seatbacks for additional comfort. When the time comes to haul a load of 2x4s from the home center, Nitro has you covered. An innovative fold-flat rear and front passenger seating system provides plenty of room for long items. And if that isn’t enough room, the Nitro offers optional equipment that allows a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, the best towing capacity in the class.
All Nitro models are equipped with a Media Center AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Heat models feature six full-range speakers. Both the Detonator and Shock trims step up to eight speakers, a subwoofer and a 368-watt amplifier. Available audio options include a 30GB hard drive and a 6.5-inch touchscreen. A DVD-based navigation system is also available.
In total, the Nitro offers the five-passenger spaciousness of its competitors, beats the towing capacity of any vehicle in the class and comes in a form that you certainly won’t lose in a parking lot. Visit with us today to learn why the Dodge Nitro earned AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award two years in a row.

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