2009 Dodge Nitro SLT new car reviews

It's not offensive to look at, just to drive.

Better than: Jeep Liberty
But not as good as: Joe Gearin's AMC Eagle
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 62.00

When Dodge needed a small SUV, they did a little crossbreeding with the Jeep Liberty to create the Nitro. While the two trucks aren't exact twins, they offer a similar feel. The Nitro is powered by the same 3.7-liter V6 that's been in service for years, although a new 4.0-liter V6 is available as an option.

The Nitro is dimensionally larger than most others in its category, including the Jeep Liberty on which it was based. There is a good deal of usable space behind the rear seats, and the sliding load surface for the cargo area seems useful. The Nitro also boasts a 5000-pound towing capacity.

Despite these amenities, actually driving the car was a downright bad experience.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Sorry, I just don't like much about this car/truck/whatever. It's cramped, slow and, at least in my eyes, a little silly looking. I'd also call it loud, clunky and unrefined. The interior switches also felt like they came from the bargain bin. Fuel economy is also sub-par at 15/21, where ours carried a total price of $31,055. Consumer Reports called the Nitro one of the worst cars of the year, so I don't feel like I'm being too harsh.

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin
Associate Publisher

This machine, along with the Caliber (Non-SRT) make me think that Chrysler has given up, and no longer deserves to exist. Poor build quality, poor execution and poor driving dynamics were never acceptable, especially now. I really hope Chrysler has some great designs in the pipeline, because this ain't gonna cut it.

The heading is right on! My AMC Eagle is way better than the Nitro......well maybe not, but it has way more Zoot!

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Comments

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Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

When Dodge needed a small SUV, they did a little crossbreeding with the Jeep Liberty to create the Nitro. While the two trucks aren't exact twins, they offer a similar feel. The Nitro is powered by the same 3.7-liter V6 that's been in service for years, although a new 4.0-liter V6 is available as an option.

The Nitro is dimensionally larger than most others in its category, including the Jeep Liberty on which it was based. There is a good deal of usable space behind the rear seats, and the sliding load surface for the cargo area seems useful. The Nitro also boasts a 5000-pound towing capacity.

Despite these amenities, actually driving the car was a downright bad experience.

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