2007 Dodge Nitro SLT 4X2 (639)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2007 Dodge Nitro SLT 4X2 SUV. What do you think? Well, take a look at the price before you answer that. And don’t consider the recent news rumors of Daimler Chrysler wanting to sell the Chrysler division. Don’t also look at the staying power of Chrysler over the years when others thought it would die.  Mercedes says they aren’t making money. But the accountant in me says, so what?! Who’s fault – Mercedes or Chrysler? What’s going on behind the scenes is what interests the auditor in me.

In any case none of that is in defense of Chrysler and I do feel all things work to good… and we may find another influence on Chrysler could be even more beneficial than was Mercedes-Benz on them. Hard to imagine, but it could be.

I believe the affiliation has been very good and that isn’t about to go away any time soon.

General Info:

Parts – US/Canadian 76%

Assembly – Toledo, Ohio, USA

Class: – Special Purpose

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Caravan, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 &           3500, Sprinter Van, Sprinter Wagon and Viper.

Observation:

Even notice no matter how fast you drive there are always others who are compelled to travel even faster. This fact supports the need for traffic control measures (tickets that cause monetary punishment). Of course the problem is that if you continue to speed up others do as well and as you ratchet up faster and faster one or more will exceed their ability to control the car and then – CRASH! And if there is a coming together of two drivers exercising poor judgment the real problem is the innocent often are pulled into the whole mess.

I test most cars on a race track so I don’t feel the need to prove I’m Mario Andretti on our public roads. Perhaps the State should set up track days for those who’d like to put their driving skills to the “Real” Test without endangering others. The cost of providing such facilities would be less costly to society in the long run. For the older generation you’ll recall drag racing in the 1950s and 1960s that gave an outlet to blow off steam.

Handling & Performance:

The accelerator is not as smooth as I like and I experienced a leap forward at the slightest touch of the pedal. The brakes were a little grabby on the other end as well. But I did notice I adjusted to the over sensitive feel of both acceleration and braking by the end of the weeks testing. Another explanation for the sensitive controls could be the newness of components.

Styling:

Square-ish – but that seems to be the in thing these days. Fashion and all that – because we get tired of any design in time and the car makers change to meet consumer expectations. I must admit I do appreciate variety and options.

Fit and Finish:

Very good for a product in this price range.

Cost:

Quite good. I liked the ride overall and warmed up even quicker when I saw the price.

Conveniences and comfort:

For the life of me I couldn’t find a valid use of the slide out floor in the rear cargo area. I’m sure they must have had some in mind and I’m told it allows you to put stuff on the shelf when pulled out and slide it in. I think it’s a wasted expense (that I as the consumer must pay for) – no thanks.

On the whole the standard equipment is outstanding. I say that because the cost of such things these days is very low and manufacturers should include a lot because everyone wants gadgets and goodies. And portable Navigation systems are getting so cheap a factory installed system is not needed at the high prices they ask.

Consumer Recommendation:

Surely this is a must drive for those about to make a purchasing decision. The Nitro surely gets high marks in the class.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Nitro $19-27,000, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Saturn Vue $17-24,000, Ford Edge $25-31,000, Pontiac Torrent $22-24,000, Chevrolet Equinox $22-29,000, Mitsubishi Outlander $21-25,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $21-28,000, Acrua RDX $33-36,000, Jeep Liberty $21-27,000, Kia Sorento $20-26,000.

Good News:

Well priced, good number of creature comforts and technical safety features like stability control and traction control are standard and very good to have. It is also roomy.

Bad News:

The ride is a little soft with touchy brakes and accelerator. For a 4X2 the fuel economy is not as good as I expected. Not terrible but I expect better.

Standard Equipment:

3.7 liter V6 engine, 4-speed auto trans, front and side air bags, LATCH child anchor system, traction control, electronic stability program, 4-wheel ABS power assisted disc brakes, theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, speed sensitive power locks, cruise control, rear window defroster, tire pressure monitoring display, power windows & locks, 115 A/C and 12 volt outlets, air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, stereo with CD /MP3 player with 6 speakers, front passenger fold flat seat, tilt steering wheel, stain resistant cloth seats, rear split 65/35 folding seat, information center, overhead console, load and go slide out rear floor, compact spare tire, fog lights and power heated fold away mirrors.

Gas Stats:

$2.69/ Gal avg. Feb. 27, ‘07

www.fueleconomy.gov for more information.

18 City and 24 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $22,635.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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