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QUALITY | 6 out of 10
4.0 produces a ragged note under even gentle throttle applications
A few chintzy interior materials
The overall seating position is poor
Although the 2008 Dodge Nitro offers a few redeeming comfort traits and respectable storage space, the overall build and materials quality are poor.
The 2008 Dodge Nitro has seating capacity for five, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that you're probably better off limiting yourself to four occupants. ConsumerGuide writes that, "though small for a midsize SUV," the Dodge Nitro's "boxy design provides acceptable space for four adults." Up front, Edmunds that the "liberal use of soft cushioning makes it easy to get comfortable," but many reviews complain about the Dodge Nitro's front footwells, which are "impossibly small," according to Cars.com. AutoWeek backs that opinion, adding "the driver's footwell is cramped and offers no dead-pedal support." In the rear of the 2008 Dodge Nitro is a "split bench seat" that ConsumerGuide calls "comfortable and fairly supportive, though Nitro's narrow cabin means three-abreast seating is best reserved for short jaunts." Edmunds reviewers say "legroom is ample" in the back.
One benefit of the Dodge Nitro's boxy exterior is that it offers a large amount of cargo space. Edmunds says that "the Dodge's spaciousness is a product of its long 108.8-inch wheelbase," which combines with a "large hatch opening and cubic shape" to "make the most of available cargo space," according to ConsumerGuide. Cars.com deduces that, as a result, this 2008 Dodge "has 32.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second-row seats," and "folding the rear seats brings 65.2 cubic feet of space and is a straightforward process that doesn't require the two rear head restraints to be removed." One innovative new cargo feature on the SLT and R/T trims is the "slide-out cargo floor (dubbed 'Load 'n Go')" that Edmunds credits for making the 2008 Dodge Nitro "particularly user-friendly as a light-duty hauler." Unfortunately, interior storage does not live up to the spacious rear, as Cars.com notes "backseat passengers don't get a center armrest and the door pockets are tiny." ConsumerGuide reviewers point out "cabin storage is limited to a narrow center console and small glovebox."
Although this 2008 Dodge mid-size SUV scores well for passenger comfort and cargo room, the Dodge Nitro draws more than its fair share of criticism when it comes to build and materials quality. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com unanimously deride what Edmunds calls the "chintzy interior materials." ConsumerGuide notes that the Dodge Nitro's "cabin is finished in hard plastic," and "unconvincing faux-metal and most other trim bits significantly trail class competitors." Edmunds also writes that "a few plastics stand out as unacceptably low-grade." Kelley Blue Book offers a similar opinion, admonishing the "perceptible amount of average-grade plastics" inside the cabin of the Dodge Nitro.
Out on the road, engine noise and other ambient sounds are noticeable but not particularly obtrusive. ConsumerGuide reviewers claim that engine noise from "the 3.7 V6 is unobtrusive, but the 4.0 produces a ragged note under even gentle throttle applications." Aside from that, however, Edmunds says that the Dodge Nitro "cruises quietly at highway speeds."
The 2008 Dodge Nitro holds an impressive amount of cargo, but the interior desperately needs some materials upgrades.