2007 Dodge Nitro

Change Year or Vehicle
$3,234–$11,210 Inventory Prices
SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2007 Dodge Nitro. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Tonka-tough styling
  • Strong performance (4.0-liter)
  • Burbling exhaust sound (4.0-liter)
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Competitive towing capacity

The Bad

  • Trucklike ride quality
  • Spongy brake pedal feel
  • Small front footwells
  • Rear seats can't slide fore/aft
  • Uncomfortable front seatbacks (leather seats)

Notable Features of the 2007 Dodge Nitro

  • Side curtain airbags
  • Standard stability system
  • Optional Load 'N Go sliding cargo floor
  • Optional 20-inch chrome wheels
  • Optional navigation system can reroute to avoid accidents

2007 Dodge Nitro Road Test

/cstatic-images/stock/64x64/90/img1115632532-1502480398190.jpg
Mike Hanley
For a brand that's constantly touting the toughness of its products, it's a bit ironic that Dodge has been a small player in the SUV market — the segment that has come to represent all things tough in the car world. However, with the launch of the all-new 2007 Nitro, Dodge looks ready to make up for lost time with an über-tough SUV if there ever was one.

The five-seat Nitro is a blast to drive in a straight line thanks to a gem of an engine in the available 4.0-liter V-6, but it suffers from trucklike ride and handling that has no place in an SUV designed for onroad performance.

Exterior & Styling
Despite my normal aversion to overly aggressive-looking SUVs, I'm fond of the Nitro's Tonka-tough appearance. Still, it's hard not to feel a little like a goof when driving it alongside everyday Accords and Corollas. Though it may not get as many looks (or smirks) as a Hummer H3 or Toyota FJ Cruiser, it's a head-turner.

The Nitro's boxy shape is accentuated by gigantic front and rear fender flares and a short greenhouse. The nearly vertical grille is silver on SXT and SLT trims, but the crosshair portion of the grille is body-colored on R/T models.

Ride & Handling
The Nitro's independent front and solid rear axle suspension system is available in sport or performance tune, the latter featuring changes to the stabilizer bars, coil springs, shocks and bushings. The performance suspension — which includes 20-inch chrome wheels ...

For a brand that's constantly touting the toughness of its products, it's a bit ironic that Dodge has been a small player in the SUV market — the segment that has come to represent all things tough in the car world. However, with the launch of the all-new 2007 Nitro, Dodge looks ready to make up for lost time with an über-tough SUV if there ever was one.

The five-seat Nitro is a blast to drive in a straight line thanks to a gem of an engine in the available 4.0-liter V-6, but it suffers from trucklike ride and handling that has no place in an SUV designed for onroad performance.

Exterior & Styling
Despite my normal aversion to overly aggressive-looking SUVs, I'm fond of the Nitro's Tonka-tough appearance. Still, it's hard not to feel a little like a goof when driving it alongside everyday Accords and Corollas. Though it may not get as many looks (or smirks) as a Hummer H3 or Toyota FJ Cruiser, it's a head-turner.

The Nitro's boxy shape is accentuated by gigantic front and rear fender flares and a short greenhouse. The nearly vertical grille is silver on SXT and SLT trims, but the crosshair portion of the grille is body-colored on R/T models.

Ride & Handling
The Nitro's independent front and solid rear axle suspension system is available in sport or performance tune, the latter featuring changes to the stabilizer bars, coil springs, shocks and bushings. The performance suspension — which includes 20-inch chrome wheels — is standard on the R/T, the trim level I tested.

Dodge says the performance suspension is designed to have a firm ride, and I have to agree. The Nitro uses a lengthened and widened version of the Jeep Liberty's Uniframe unibody/frame-rail platform, and driving on rough roads is a jarring experience; hitting a bump or dip in the road results in an exaggerated response from the suspension that can toss occupants around in their seats. Even relatively smooth concrete highways can make the body start bouncing.

The driver gets a commanding view of the road, but the high seating position doesn't inspire much confidence when driving through corners, which I often took gingerly. I like the feel of the R/T's thick-rim leather-wrapped steering wheel, but the rack-and-pinion power steering system provides too much assist for my taste when traveling at highway speeds. The light effort is appreciated around town, though.

Going & Stopping
Two V-6 engines are offered, and the larger and more powerful 4.0-liter V-6 that's standard in the R/T goes a long way toward backing up the Nitro's burly exterior with its eager responses and ever-present exhaust burble. This engine gets the two-ton Nitro up to highway speeds easily, and is quite smooth considering its displacement.

Dodge Nitro Engines
3.7-liter V-64.0-liter V-6
Horsepower (@ rpm)210 @ 5,200260 @ 6,000
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm)235 @ 4,000265 @ 4,200
Required fuelRegularRegular
EPA-estimated
gas mileage
(city/highway, mpg)
18/24
(RWD, 4WD manual)
17/23
(4WD automatic)
17/21
Source: Manufacturer

The base 3.7-liter V-6 teams with a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic, while the 4.0-liter V-6 drives a five-speed automatic that features Dodge's AutoStick clutchless-manual mode. Whether you're driving in the city or on the highway, the five-speed automatic readily kicks down when more of the 4.0-liter's ample power is needed.

Both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions are available, and two 4WD systems are offered. The part-time system should only be engaged when driving on slippery surfaces (RWD is used under normal driving conditions), but the full-time system includes a center differential and operates without driver intervention. Neither system has a low range, which disqualifies the Nitro from extreme offroad driving.

All-disc antilock brakes are standard. The brakes stop the Nitro without incident and are fairly linear, but the pedal itself has an uninspiring, spongy feel.

The Inside
Like the exterior, the Nitro's cabin is a bit austere. The three-pod gauge cluster sits atop a skinny dashboard that falls away rapidly from the driver and front passenger. The base SXT's interior is accented in black, but SLT and R/T models feature silver trim pieces on the center dash, door pulls, door armrests and center console. Manual air conditioning, a 115V power outlet and a CD stereo are standard.

There's room for five in the Nitro, which has two front bucket seats and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat. Its backrests can recline for enhanced passenger comfort, but the rear seats don't slide fore and aft like they do in the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander. Cloth seating surfaces are standard; stain-resistant fabric and leather-trimmed seats are available.

The leather-trimmed bucket seats are surprisingly soft; you sink into them rather than sit on top. The upper section of the backrests hit my shoulder blades uncomfortably, but otherwise the Nitro's front seats are easy to live with. More annoying are the impossibly small front footwells and the lack of a footrest for the driver's left foot. The outboard rear seats are roomy and there's headroom to spare, though backseat passengers don't get a center armrest and the door pockets are tiny.

Safety
As of publication, only the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had crash tested the Nitro, which received five stars for its performance in the agency's frontal test. Side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system are standard.

Cargo & Towing
The Nitro has 32.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second-row seats, which is the same as the Ford Edge but smaller than both the RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Folding the rear seats brings 65.2 cubic feet of space and is a straightforward process that doesn't require the two rear head restraints to be removed.

SXT models have a reversible cargo floor with a molded-in tray on one side that's designed to keep messes confined to the cargo area. SLT and R/T trim lines have the Load 'N Go cargo floor. Capable of sliding out of the cargo area up to 18 inches, Load 'N Go brings the cargo floor to you when loading objects, and Dodge says it can hold up to 400 pounds. There's a concealed storage bin underneath both floors.

The Nitro's standard towing capacity is 2,000 pounds. Selecting the optional Trailer Tow Group — which includes heavy-duty engine and power steering cooling systems, a Class III hitch and a full-size spare tire — raises trailer towing capacity to 3,500 pounds; fitting a so-equipped Nitro with a weight-distributing hitch bumps maximum towing capacity to 5,000 pounds, which is at the high end for small SUVs.

Features
Available entertainment options include the MyGIG navigation system, which features Sirius Satellite Radio and the Bluetooth-based UConnect cell phone system. MyGIG features a 20GB hard drive that can hold music and images uploaded to it from a disc or USB flash drive (image files can be set as the background on the system's 6.5-inch screen). In conjunction with Sirius' real-time traffic data, MyGIG can reroute the Nitro around traffic accidents. A rear-seat video system that features a 7-inch overhead screen is also optional.

Nitro in the Market
Though more consumers are migrating from truck-based SUVs to more fuel-efficient and better-riding car-based models, there will always be a market for statement vehicles like the Nitro, where practical considerations hold less sway. Even if the Nitro's reception by consumers is only lukewarm, which seems a remote possibility, it brings Dodge into a segment where until now its market share has been zero, and how can anything be worse than that?

Send Mike an email 



2007 Nitro Video

MotorWeek walks you through the 2007 Dodge Nitro. Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check MotorWeek.org for times and channels.

Latest 2007 Nitro Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(3.9)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(3.7)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Hasn?t had any problems since I?ve had it

by hb123 from TN on July 30, 2018

This car has been the most reliable out of the previous cars I?ve owned and has not had any problems. I also enjoy the look of the car inside and out. Read full review

(3.0)

AC compressor failure/window assembly failure

by Tausha from Bremerton on July 28, 2018

I have had multiple problems with this vehicle. Have replaced the ac compressor 3 times still no ac. Multiple replacements of window assembly units. Otherwise decent car. Just frustrated with all the ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2007 Dodge Nitro currently has 6 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2007 Dodge Nitro has not been tested.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Nitro received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker