The most noticed feature of the Dodge Nitro is its strong, aggressive exterior design, one that suggests power and commands attention because of its sharp, square corners, prominent in-your-face grill and stylish yet confident use of steel, aluminum, simple colors and sharp geometric design. The Dodge Nitro has a unibody construction based on a platform it shares with the Jeep Liberty. Chrome tubular side steps and chrome fascia accents give the Nitro a very dominating look. Despite its size, the Dodge Nitro appears like a full-sized SUV, making it appear larger and more prominent than similar vehicles, like the Saturn VUE. Image-conscious buyers will appreciate the powerful look and style of the 2009 Dodge Nitro.
The SE features a 3.7L V6 producing 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard; no manual transmissions will be available for 2009. The SLT and R/T trims feature a 4.0L V6 that makes 260 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The R/T comes standard with a five-speed automatic transmission. All models are available with either rear wheel drive or part-time 4-wheel-drive that can be easily operated while driving.
The 2009 Nitro has increased its cargo and towing capacity from 2008. It has 65 cubic feet of space when the back seats are folded down. A popular feature from 2008, the SLT and R/T have the Load 'n' Go cargo floor that slides 18 inches rearward for loading and unloading. In addition, the Nitro can tow (with the addition of a Class III towing package) up to 5,000 pounds. A 115-volt outlet is standard on all models.
The 2009 Nitro has improved stiffer rear axles so that it can handle challenging road conditions better. Combined with a revised braking system, driving ? particularly on the highway ? is smooth, even with a full vehicle. The Nitro carries the Electronic Stability Program as standard on all models. The improved powertrain and engine carry a lifetime warranty on all models.
The 2009 Nitro's safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control (which includes a 'trailer sway' feature) as well as full-length "multi-stage" and side curtain airbags. Crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earned the Nitro five of five stars in all frontal and side impact categories.
Standard equipment on the SE includes 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full-power accessories, reclining rear seats, tire-pressure monitor and a six-speaker CD stereo.
Standard on the SLT are 17-inch alloy wheels, body-color exterior trim, privacy glass, heated power folding mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable driver seat, cruise control and the sliding Load 'n' Go cargo floor with tie-downs.
The R/T package for the SLT also includes 20-inch chrome wheels, firmer suspension tuning, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and upgraded exterior trim. The Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) is standard or all R/T and SLT models.
Upgrade packages includes the Convenience Group package, which adds an upgraded audio system, rear park assist, remote engine start and Bluetooth. A "Sun and Wheels" package adds sunroof, performance suspension and aluminum chrome-clad wheels (20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels are standard on the R/T). SLT buyers can also get the "Uconnect" multimedia suite, which includes a 30-gigabyte hard drive and navigation system with real-time traffic, USB port and digital music storage.