A Buyer’s Guide to the 2011 Dodge Nitro

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While the Nitro shares some typical crossover features with competitors like the Equinox and even Dodge’s own Journey and Jeep Liberty, what it doesn’t share is typical conservative styling. This boxy beauty (or beast, depending upon your point of view) is a visual class unto itself, and it’s not afraid to admit it with daring colors and bold exterior shaping. If you’re looking for something attention-grabbing and atypical, with the power and functionality of a regular crossover SUV, Nitro might be just the ticket.

Key Features

Remote keyless entry, power accessories, audio system with auxiliary input jack, and a unique slide-out cargo floor all come standard on this crossover utility vehicle. Optional trims Heat, Detonator, and Shock all add Bluetooth with streaming audio, a bigger engine, and an 8-speaker Infinity sound system.

Changes for 2011

20” wheels adorn the 2011 model year version and the Shock gets a sunroof and leather seating surfaces.

What We Like

The optional hard-drive based navigation and info system with voice operation is a big draw, as is the generously sized rear cabin. The sliding cargo floor holds 400 lbs. and adds significant convenience for loading and unloading. There are enough available tech toys to keep everyone happy, and the price tag won’t give you heart failure. Plus, let’s face it, it just plain feels cool to drive around in something that doesn’t blend in with every other kid – or car – on the block.

What Concerns Us

Because it’s built on the Jeep Liberty platform, the ride feels most like a truck. This makes for a nagging feeling that it could use a more powerful engine or a different transmission.

Available Models

  • Base model Heat gets a 3.7L V6 4-speed automatic with 235 lb.-ft. of torque, 210 HP, and 16/22 mpg for RWD, 15/21 mpg for 4WD.

  • Shock and Detonator variants are outfitted with a 4.0L V6 5-speed automatic with 265 lb.-ft. of torque, 260 HP, 16/21 mpg in both the RWD and 4WD versions.

Major Recalls

There were recalls issued in both July 2011 and November 2013, for an incorrectly installed steering column rivet and an electrical problem in the active head restraints. In both cases owners were notified and Dodge made a statement that they would fix the problems at no cost.

Common Issues

There have been several complaints of issues relating to the A/C blower motor, as well as battery and starting problems, and the engine light coming on (in some instances requiring an engine rebuild at low mileage).

Dodge Nitro 2011 Interior


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21 years of experience
Lexus ES300 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Garden Grove, California
Very professional, but although cool in a sense. On time actually arrived at site earlier than expected that was a plus. Also very thorough, and gave recommendations. Thanks alot Chriss.
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Willie

23 years of experience
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Willie
23 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Stanton, California
Had Will inspected two Hyundai Elantra SE at different dealers. He was prompt and provided great feedback on the cars. Really value his experience and recommendation. We're highly satisfy with Will and his service.
Dodge Avenger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Long Beach, California
Willie is a hard and reliable worker. Fixed the problem. 3rd experience with him I think. Very satisfied

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Ford Explorer - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Las Vegas, Nevada
Very happy with the pre-inspection service. He was in contact from when he left to when he arrived at dealership to a FULL Sheet of info right after the inspection. Raymond helped make me feel at ease buying the car after having his professional opinion that everything was good. The one thing he did recommend I mentioned to the dealership and they took care of it before I even bought the car. :) Thanks so much for your expertise. I would definitely use this website again for any future services I may need.
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12 years of experience
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David
12 years of experience
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Prompt and knowledgeable. David arrived early to do our pre-purchase car inspection and completed it in a timely fashion. He communicated his findings, recommendations by phone and text message, which was nice. I appreciated the information and details he provided.
Mercedes-Benz E400 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Kennesaw, Georgia
David called when he arrived and called shortly after he finished inspecting the vehicle. Unfortunately, due to the inefficiency of the sales representative at the dealership, David was not able to drive the vehicle as the final phase of the inspection.

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