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Dodge Nitro



  • Hey rockfish1...

    My wife and I both have driven a two wheel drive Nitro and a 4 wheel drive version. I have since ordered a 4x4 RT. We both agreed that we liked the little bit of extra seat height the 4x4 had. We are both sold on AWD or 4x4 also as we do drive a lot on wet and slick highways.

    I did not notice any difference in performance but the 4x4 really did feel more stable. I ordered the full-time 4x4 as it is essentially an AWD, and I have no desire to take it off-road.

    We need two cars, and now, my wife is also considering getting/ordering one for herself.
  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    Thanks for the info.
    I am trying to determine if the added costs, the 1 MPG less in gas mileage plus the added parts that can break would be worth the extra cost for the 4X4. It sounds like you are for the 4X4.

    Is your 4X4 always engaged or can you select the 4WD when desired?

    I also am not expecting any off road driving but will be driving in some snow at times and do not want to buy the strap on chains or sand bags I needed for my RWD Duster of years past.
  • Full-time 4WD is always on. (Essentially AWD and you may drive on slippery surfaces or dry) With part-time you have to engage it, and you have to dis-engage it. If you forget and drive on dry pavement for a time.......BIG REPAIR BILL.

    Read what this pro has to say about it:

    A very informative site. It was the reason for our decision. Good luck.
  • Thanks for the link.
    According to the Dodge Nitro Specs on the site, the term "Part Time 4WD" is used for the 4 speed Automatic transmission.

    According to the link you provided, the 4WD should only be used when moving in a straight line on surfaces without good traction. The article says:
    "Here is why part time 4WD should not be used on pavement:
    If you own a vehicle with part time 4WD the need for different rpm front and rear represents a major problem. The transfer case will power the front and rear drive shafts with same rpm and is not able to satisfy the front axle's need for more rpm. Remember, the combined rpm of front wheels (A+B) is higher than the combined rpm of the rear wheels (C+D). Only full time 4WD systems are able to negotiate the needs of front and rear.
    So, with part time 4WD engaged your front wheels are forced by good traction on the ground to rotate faster than the rear - but since the front drive shaft delivers only the same rpm as to the rear there is a fight between front wheels and rational force coming from the front drive shaft. The front drive shaft in effect tries to slow down the front wheels. This results in very wide turns (understeer) and dangerous handling on pavement.

    The name "part time" derives from its use. It can only be used part of the time - most of the time (for most uses) it has to remain in 2WD. Only "full time" - notice the name - can be used full time for all uses"

    The article also indicated that a part time 4WD car that is engaged in 4WD has this situation----
    "Here is another important fact: Since front and rear axles are not able to rotate independently ABS will not work properly."

    Thanks again for the link.
    It now seems that the 4X4 is only useful if I get stuck in mud or trying to SLOWLY go up a snow covered hill.
  • Well, a four speed tranny comes standard on the SXT & SLT, whether or not you get 4WD. The RT comes with a 5 speed auto.

    As that site says...for slick pavement, AWD or full-time 4WD is best.
  • I picked up a Nitro brochure and looked at the chart in the back. This has more info than the wen site. It seems the part-time 4wd is on the SXT with the MP143? and full time 4wd is on the SLT and R/T with MP140? 4 or 5 speed auto transmission.

    Is this MP140 and MP143 a code for manual or automatic transmissions?

    With the full time 4wd, I believe the additional traction benefits will be available on rain slick or snow covered roads.

    If this how you have found the Nitros that you drive?
  • I now have an AWD Infinity FX35. Great traction. I ordered a Nitro RT with the full-time 4WD because I feel that set up is best for wet/snowy/icy pavement. My wife is looking at an SLT with the same setup. When that happens we will sell the Infinity. Nothing wrong with it, I just fell in love with the Nitro and like a change every few years. My RT has not even hit the build stage as yet. Ordered it in Nov!

    "If" you plan to use your Nitro off-road a lot...then consider the part-time 4WD.
  • On road driving will be 99.999% of my driving. That is why I was questioning just having RWD. The part time 4wd is not much of a benefit for me so I am glad to see the Nitro brochure showing full time 4wd for the SLT and R/T. Dodge needs to update their website.

    I am surprised your R/T is still in order mode. I have seen a number of R/T's in the dealers inventory on line in the Baltimore/Washington area. The Fitzmall site still does not have the R/T's but the 28 other Nitro's are offered at $1000 to $1500 off MSRP.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    On road driving will be 99.999% of my driving.

    Incidentally, that translates to 1 mile offroad for every 100,000 miles driven. Thought you'd like to know. ;)

    tidester, host
  • Since I have 145,000 on my '99 Dodge Minivan and I have not had it off road except for the few feet I drove on the shoulder of an Interstate, I may have understated the percent!

    Not having driven a vehicle with a drivetrain other than RWD and FWD is one reason I don't know that much about the pros and cons of 4WD part time, 4WD full time or AWD. With an offering of a variety of drivetrains on the Nitro and other car/truck vehicles, I am interested in determining if the costs will match the benefits for me.

    The link provided by linderman was very helpful
    Read what this pro has to say about it:

    Is there an active forum on drivetrains?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    If you are interested in 4WD/AWD, try the 4WD & AWD systems explained discussion. There's also FWD, AWD, RWD and the Luxury Performance Sedans that should have some points of interest.
  • I was on the dodge nitro myspace page and I was surprised at the amount of really attractive girls that are into this mid size's worth checking out some of their posts!

    link title
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Your link didn't work for me but I was able to go to and then search for Nitro. The first 10 friends to pop up were guys though, and not much farther down the list was a caricature of Dr. Z!
  • So many people post that the pictures from myspace change on a regular basis. Anyways this is the right link:
    This chick posted on the nitro myspace page and she is real cute 840
    ;) ;)

    P.S. The Caricature of Dr. Z is
  • Anybody know when the full time 4wd option will be available. The Nitro brochure indicates late availability but I heard some other people saying it may not be around till the 2008 model.
  • Mmmmmmm.....I'm not entirely sure. I'm a huge Nitro fan. I think that this car is great! I'll do a little investigating post back with an answer for you assuming I can find it! :blush:
  • I was leery about going back to a rear wheel 2wd vehicle or required FWD or full time 4wd for my driving habits. Since I only drive on hard surfaces, the part time 4wd is of little benefit due to the fact that it should only be used on slippery surfaces while moving in a straight line. With the less traction available with rear wheel drive, I was looking forward to full time 4wd to mitigate traction lost from RWD. My last RWD was a '71 Duster 340. This car needed sand bags in the truck and strap on chains in snow. Now I have to determine if the RWD will work with my driving.

    This is really disappointing if Dodge doesn't come make full time 4wd available.
  • Not this model year :sick: . It has been removed from the Dodge web site. But a 4WD Nitro would be awesome definitely worth the wait :shades:
  • Hi all, just drove the base 2wd model and quite liked it. Its just the right size where the liberty I drove recently was a little too narrow for me. The seat bottom's also a little longer although its squishy where the liberty was firm. That's probably my only complaint other than the funky styling.

    I can't figure out is why the highway mileage rating is higher than the liberty when the drivetrain seems to be the same. Anyone have any experience there? How do people like their Nitros?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    That thread has been moved to er0si0n, "General Questions about Leasing Vehicles" #53, 3 May 2007 6:26 pm

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    We have an SXT w/C package (fog lights, power, cruise, alum wheels, etc., etc.) full size spare, 3.73 rear diff. and 4 spd auto.

    Hmmmmm...I'll go and try to 'hit my butt on something hard in the seat', but so far haven't done such. Hmmmmm.

    We only have a few hundred miles on it so far, but have NO complaints about it.

    I like the simple interior, as in my '05 Dak Quad and our '07 Caliber.

    I reckon anyone can nit-pick anything to death, if they so desire.

    My wife...well, it was her decision and I was only there for back-up. She is quite tickled with it. It actually drives better and smoother than I had anticipated. When I finally did get a turn at driving it. :)
  • Has anyone seen this on Autoblog? You can win a Nitro!
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    I have to admit that I really love the masculine styling of the Nitro with the exception of the rear. Unfortunately, when i went to check one out I was very disappointed with the interior materials.

    I simply don't understand who Chrysler could launch a vehicle thats so hot on styling then do a total 180 on the interior materials. Considering that GM and Ford upgraded their interior materials almost two years ago its difficult to understand what Chrysler executives were thinking. It tells me that they are not committed to being a major player and would instead prefer to just do enough to keep up with the competition. Whats sad about the decisions they made on interior plastics is that no other company in the industry is using that much plastic.

    I still would like to buy a Nitro but they would have to seriously upgrade the interior and do more to address the Nitro's fuel consumption.
  • mb789mb789 Posts: 89
    Hello. I'd like to hear from some Nitro owners on how they like their vehicles. What features do you like best? Like least? Are you happy with its performance and handling, etc.? Have you encountered any problems with your vehicles? Thanks.
  • Well I've only had mine for two days now but I can tell you immediately that the handling is a little sloppy but you get use to it. The performance is great for me because the previous vehicle was a 2.4l and the bigger motor suits me better.

    Features? It doesn't really have anything to get too excited about unless you get NAV system or the MyGIG.

    I got mine with a moon roof, love that. The compass and temp gauge is a must have for me and you only get that with the customer preferred package. I don't really care for where the parking break is located, mostly because it's oddly large.

    I test drove one with the running boards, hated those as I banged my calf on the them every time in and out of the truck.

    As for appearance definitely upgrade the wheels, we got the 17" aluminum wheels over the 16" steel faced ones. The R/T wheels are amazing..I wish the SXT came with those.

    Keep in mind too that you can get the SXT with the color matched fender flares, it's only $200 or so option. My SXT is color matched and doesn't have the grey cladded bottoms.

    You can see pics of it in my carspace.

    ETA that I LOVE my Nitro!
  • Are there any changes or improvements from the 2007 model to the 2008?
  • Not sure about that but I was told the rebate on a 2007 is $2,500 and the rebate on the 2008 was only $1,000.
  • Has anyone experienced a brake failure on their Nitro after the brake recall. I owned the car for 8 months. A week after having my car fixed at the dealer relating to the brake recall notice, the brakes failed and I couldn't stop. The incident occured exactly like that explained in the recall. I guess Chrysler's fix for this problem didn't work???????
  • Like to hear what kinda mileage people are getting from their Nitro's? Please specify engine 3.7 or 4.0. Thanx
This discussion has been closed.