Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2019

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The Dodge Nitro is not a strong contender in the compact SUV category when it comes to practical considerations like space, fuel economy or driving experience, but it does stand out in terms of exterior styling.

Its towing capacity is also strong, and reviewers say that the 2011 Nitro’s controls are intuitive and logically arranged.

The interior is marred by some cheap plastics, but consumers may be willing to overlook this flaw, given the standard voice-activated multimedia and navigation system.

This system even features a 30 GB hard drive for music storage and a 6.5-inch touch screen.

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Dodge Nitro Reviews

U.S. News and World Report ranks Dodge’s Nitro SUV among the last of 23 compact sport utility vehicles reviewed, but the Nitro’s price places it in the middle of the pack. Its starting MSRP is $22,245, which makes the Nitro more expensive than top-ranking compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, the Hyundai Tucson, and the Kia Sportage.

While these competitors are much stronger contenders when it comes to performance and space, they don’t have as many standard high-tech features as the Nitro does.

Dodge Nitro Auto Insurance Rates

Dodge Nitro auto insurance premiums will top $8,000 over five years, Edmunds predicts. That means you’ll pay about $1,613 annually, or $134 per month. Compared to the typical rates paid to insure the Nitro’s competitors, it costs more than $10 extra per month to insure the Nitro.

Rates for the Toyota RAV4 should be around $121, anticipates Edmunds. Chevy Equinox auto insurance will cost about $113 per month on average, and Honda CR-V car insurance costs about $105 monthly.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reports that Nissan Rogue auto insurance costs the average owner just $87 per month. That’s $47 per month less than what 2011 Nitro owners are expected to pay, and it adds up to annual savings of over $550.

Dodge Nitro Repair Costs

Since your Dodge Nitro will probably remain under warranty for the first two years you own it, Dodge will most likely foot the bill for any necessary repairs.

Once the warranty expires, you can expect to pay about $191 for repairs during the third year that you own your Nitro, and $454 during the fourth year. The fifth-year repair bill is projected to be $663, which brings the total 5-year repair bill to $1,308.

That’s a lot higher than the expected repair bills for some compact SUVs, like the Hyundai Tucson and the Chevy Equinox. Repair bills for these two small SUVs, along with those for the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, are expected to be around $700.

However, the Nitro’s repair costs are a bit lower than what the NADA expects that 2011 Rogue owners will pay. It should cost just over $1,400 to repair a Rogue for five years.

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Dodge Nitro Routine Maintenance

Scheduled service for your Dodge Nitro is expected to total $3,340 over a 5-year period, reports Edmunds. That total will include a $136 bill for the first year, a $472 bill the second year, and a $417 third-year bill.

You’ll pay about $883 in repair costs during the fourth year that you own your 2011 Nitro, and $1,432 for your Nitro’s fifth-year tune up.

Some competing vehicles, like the Hyundai Tucson, the Nissan Rogue, and the Honda CR-V, are much less expensive to maintain than the Nitro. Others, like the RAV4 and the Equinox, cost significantly more to maintain.

For instance, drivers will save nearly $1,000 on maintenance if they purchase a 2011 Tucson instead of a Nitro, but they’ll spend over $500 more on service costs if they buy a 2011 Equinox.

Dodge Nitro Fuel Efficiency

The Dodge Nitro’s 16 city mpg is the same as the fuel economy you’ll get if you drive a Jeep Liberty or a Nissan Xterra, and it’s a bit better than what the Jeep Wrangler gets in city driving. However, all other midsize gas-powered SUVs get between 19 and 24 city mpg. The Ford Escape Hybrid gets 30 mpg in the city.

On the highway, the 2011 Dodge Nitro gets 22 mpg. This is better than the Wrangler’s 19 mpg or the Xterra’s 20 mpg, and it matches the Jeep Liberty’s highway mileage.

However, you can do better with a Chevrolet Equinox or a GMC Terrain. They both get 32 highway mpg, which is even better than the Escape Hybrid’s 27 highway mpg.

The Outlander Sport and the Hyundai Tucson are also good bets for those who spend a lot of time on the highway, since they get 31 mpg and 30 mpg highway, respectively.

Dodge Nitro Crash Test Scores

The Dodge Nitro’s collision test results are another weakness for this compact SUV. Although it has yet to be tested by the federal government, the 2011 Nitro was subjected to all four standard crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

These include the rollover test and the frontal offset test, in which it performed well. In the rear crash protection test, the Nitro was only rated “Average,” though, and its score was just “Marginal” in the side impact test.

The Dodge Nitro’s “Good” score in rollover testing is actually quite impressive since six of the compact SUVs that were tested earned lower scores.

However, only two other small SUVs earned ratings equal to or lower than the 2011 Nitro’s side impact result, and just three other compact SUVs earned scores of “Average” or lower in rear-impact testing.

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