By James Bergeron

Day 1:

2007 Dodge Nitro
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This week, I’m driving the 2007 Dodge Nitro, or, what I like to call the modern macho machine. I do not think any vehicle on the road today exudes more macho-ism than the Dodge Nitro — except maybe the Hummer. Oddly enough, for the first time, I saw a woman driving a Nitro the other day. I didn’t think I would ever witness that, as I see the Nitro targeted aggressively towards men.

My tester is a base model SE 4WD with a few select options such as automatic transmission, which is an expensive option at $1540 as it upgrades the vehicle from steel wheels to alloy wheels. The only other option is cruise control at $310, with the total price just squeaking under $30,000 before tax.

2007 Dodge Nitro
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Compared to most test vehicles I get, the Nitro is fairly spartan, though it does include the essentials for me, which are cruise control and air conditioning, as well as a six speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 player.

I am not a fan of recent Dodge interiors and the Nitro isn’t much different, unfortunately. However, it seems that Dodge tried to take a few cues from Jeep in the design of the interior, with round speaker covers and door handles that look very utilitarian.

The Nitro is powered by a 3.7 litre V6 engine that produces 210 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque, a little on the low side horsepower- and torque-wise for the size of the engine, especially when compared to the Ford Edge I drove last week; it has a smaller engine with 55 more hp and slightly less torque.

I haven’t had much time behind the wheel of the Nitro yet but so far I am not highly impressed by the driving dynamics or the interior quality. Time will tell as I do tend to change my mind as the week goes on and I get accustomed to a vehicle.

2007 Dodge Nitro SXT
MSRP as tested: $30,045

For more information on Dodge and the Nitro visit Dodge Canada

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