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Back in Feburary we mentioned the arrival of the All-new 2007 Dodge Nitro and no one really cared, after all its just another American SUV and if thats anything to go by, the Dodge Nitro has a hell of a lot to prove.

Dodge are very well aware of this “another suv” image, so they’ve started their marketing campaign like this:

Nitro is not another mid-size sport-utility vehicle with sleep-inducing styling. Instead, the bold styling and masculine swagger of Dodge (think Viper, Ram, Avenger and Caliber) is hot-wired into Nitro, inside and out.

You have to admit, that as far as marketing goes,thats a pretty darn good intro for a car like the Dodge Nitro. Dodge is also concerned about the looks of the Nitro. Dodge is calling it handsome, and that is definitely one way of looking at it, but we think american is the better word to describe the styling.

With room for five passengers, plus the most advanced digital entertainment and communication system in its class, including MP3, CD, DVD, USB, VES (for Video Entertainment System), and MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System. The Nitro is the sort of car that will slowly grow on you, despite all the chrome.

2007 Dodge Nitro Front

As mentioned previously, the Nitro is the first (affordable) car which comes with a built in Hard Drive to store music, photos and lots of other things. Obviously an answer for the iPod generation which sick and tired of dealing with out of date stereo systems.

Unfortunately though, this car is going for the same market as the made-out-of plastic Hummer H3. Even more unfortunate is that Dodge is happy to market this as a “I can’t drive so you better get out of my way” type car:

The Nitro’s certainly fresh with macho good looks, it’s “get outa my way styling” and a kick-ass turbo diesel option that would be particularly attractive to buyers with a price tag that would surprise and delight. Gerry Jenkins, Managing Director for the Chrysler Group in Australia

When you crash into a parked car (and you will in this thing), you can be assured that the Dodge Nitro has a full range of safety systems that will keep you safe. Standard safety features include:

  • Electronic Stability Program,
  • Electronic Roll Mitigation,
  • All-speed Traction Control,
  • Brake Assist,
  • Advanced Anti-lock Brakes
  • Side-curtain Air Bags.

Whilst the sound system may be advanced, the engine and the gearbox leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps the four speed automatics were good in 90s but in 2007, selling a 3.7 litre V6 matched to a four speed automatic, is just not on.

2007 Dodge Nitro Interior

However if your smart enough to opt out for the Diesel engine (2.8-litre common rail turbo diesel) you will get a more respectable five speed automatic.

At the end of the day its such a hard job to like the Nitro. With its bold aggressive American styling, its just another Hummer clone. For those still unconvinced, you can see it for yourself when it hits the Australian market in the third quarter of 2007.




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