Check used Nitro for transmission issues, leaks
History/Description: The Dodge Nitro brought a bit of toughness and manliness to the utility vehicle scene occupied by models like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-7. With a driver-selectable four-wheel-drive system, plenty of ground clearance and a solid rear axle, this was a tough truck ready for towing and off-road use – though it was intended equally for use on the road more travelled, too.
Nitro packed standard V6 power, namely from a 3.7L or 4.0L V6 making 210 or 255-260 horsepower, respectively. Though rare, a manual transmission was available on some models. Automatics were fitted otherwise.
Feature content included a slide-out cargo tray in the trunk, heated leather, premium audio, a household power outlet, a sunroof, automatic climate control and plenty more. Trim levels started with SE for a ‘basic’ Nitro, with SXT, SLT and R/T filling the model range from less to more loaded, respectively.
What Owners Like: Nitro owners rate the ride, handling, sense of confidence, and all-season traction highly. The upgraded stereo is well liked, as is the styling and overall ‘bang for the buck’ where feature content is concerned. Many owners also enjoy the ability to switch into and out of four-wheel drive ‘on the fly.’
What Owners Dislike: Common complaints include limited footwell space, limited headroom for taller drivers, and a long reach for the shifter – which is mounted to the passenger side of the centre console. Some owners wish for a higher quality feel to the cabin, too.
Common Issues: On a model with the automatic transmission, be sure to ‘feel’ for any signs of slippage or a ‘shudder’ at lower speeds and under light loads – which could indicate a problem with the transmission or torque converter itself, or the computer that controls the gearbox. If the transmission exhibits any of these symptoms, be sure to have the vehicle checked by a professional.
Additionally, some owners have reported transmission or torque converter replacement under warranty.
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
2011 Dodge Nitro 4WD Specifications
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