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STYLING | 8 out of 10
All controls are simple, clearly marked, and logically placed
Such a square jawline and such exaggerated wheel flares you can't take your eyes off it
Familiar Dodge crosshair grille, a clamshell-style hood and decorative side vents
Kelley Blue Book
While some vehicles are built with an emphasis on a plush ride, and others place performance above all else, the 2008 Dodge Nitro is essentially an exercise in bold, look-at-me styling.
The exterior of the 2008 Dodge Nitro is, if nothing else, unmistakable. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show overwhelming approval for the direction Dodge has taken with the Dodge Nitro. Car and Driver christens the look "slash-'n'-burn urban styling that would appear right at home in the latest Diddy music video," especially the R/T version that comes "with flashy paint that accentuates its huge fender flares." This 2008 Dodge comes in three trim levels: the base SXT, mid-level SLT, and top-of-the-line R/T model. Exterior differences between the three are noticeable, and Cars.com points out that "the nearly vertical grille is silver on SXT and SLT trims, but the crosshair portion of the grille is body-colored on R/T models," and Kelley Blue Book says that "base SXT models get dark, unpainted bumper fascias, moldings and fender flares." Regardless of which trim of the Dodge Nitro you look at, all boast a "bad-boy road presence" and "brash exterior styling," according to Edmunds. They write that "whereas most compact and midsize SUVs are defined by soft, rounded forms, the 2008 Dodge Nitro has such a square jawline and such exaggerated wheel flares you can't take your eyes off it." Even Cars.com reviewers, who claim a "normal aversion to overly aggressive-looking SUVs," admit that they are "fond of the Nitro's Tonka-tough appearance."
The interior of the 2008 Dodge Nitro doesn't quite match the tough appearance presented on the outside, but reviewers appreciate the styling. Car and Driver says that the Dodge Nitro is "less flashy inside," though "the supportive two-tone seats with bright red inserts will get your attention in an otherwise tasteful and well-executed interior." Cars.com writes that "the Nitro's cabin is a bit austere" and features "a three-pod gauge cluster" that "sits atop a skinny dashboard that falls away rapidly from the driver and front passenger." Those gauges win praise from ConsumerGuide reviewers for being "large and easy to read," and they add "all controls are simple, clearly marked, and logically placed."
The 2008 Dodge Nitro is a definite attention-getter, and for all the right reasons.