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#24

in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $12,535 - $14,733
Original MSRP: $21,590 - $24,985
MPG: 16 City / 22 Hwy
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2010 Dodge Nitro Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2010 Nitro's interior stands out for its cargo space and functionality, but doesn't measure up to rivals in quality. Rivals around its price point that offer higher quality interiors include the Chevrolet Equinox and Nissan Xterra.

  • "Nitro's cabin is finished in hard plastic. Unconvincing faux-metal and most other trim bits significantly trail class competitors." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Chrysler does gauges right, and generally blows GM out of the water when it comes to handsome style and function. On the other hand, Dodge trails GM when it comes to materials quality. Like most Dodges, the Nitro's interior materials are largely plastic and don't impart the feel of luxury or quality. A few more soft-touch surfaces would be nice." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The interior is another area where the Nitro leaves much to be desired. Cargo space is generous and the controls are simple enough to use, but the overall materials and construction pale in comparison to what you'll find in vehicles like the GMC Terrain, Mazda CX-7 and Subaru Forester." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior styling is in line with that of recent Dodge vehicles and includes a perceptible amount of average-grade plastics." -- Kelley Blue Book

Seating

The Nitro's five-seat interior offers plenty of space in the front seat, but the rear seat is a tighter fit. This is typical for many compact SUVs. If a more spacious rear seat is important to you, look at the Toyota RAV4 or Honda Element. A plus is the SLT model's premium "Yes Essentials" fabric, which is designed to repel stains, control odors and reduce static electricity. Leather upholstery is a new option for 2010.

  • "Adequate headroom and knee space for six-footers [in the rear seats]. Foot space is good. The split bench seat is comfortable and fairly supportive, though Nitro's narrow cabin means three-abreast seating is best reserved for short jaunts." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There's good front-seat legroom, and it feels like there's even more because the dashboard is narrow." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The Nitro's front seats are comfortable (read: soft) and provide an upright driving position (which we like), but feel a little bit like they're inflatable until you adjust to sitting on them rather than in them. Rear-seat legroom is sufficient for adults." -- Edmunds
  • "What's a little surprising is that, despite 4 inches more than Liberty, Nitro's second-row seats don't have a lot of wiggle room. Good comfort up front, good stowage capacity in back, but none of those 4 inches was devoted to the comfort of those in the rear seat." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "The leather-trimmed bucket seats are surprisingly soft; you sink into them rather than sit on top. The upper section of the backrests hit my shoulder blades uncomfortably, but otherwise the Nitro's front seats are easy to live with." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

The Nitro's controls are easy to operate and the cabin is well equipped for an affordable SUV. Notable standard features for the base model include Sirius Satellite Radio, keyless entry, a tilt steering column and power fold-away mirrors. The Nitro also boasts hi-tech options, including a multimedia navigation system, a remote start system and a UConnect multimedia system with voice activation.

  • "Inside, the Nitro has a somewhat industrial feel, though faux aluminum accents brighten the place up a bit. Materials quality is average for this class, though a few plastics stand out as unacceptably low-grade." -- Edmunds
  • "Snuggly tucked in the center of a sea of hard, black plastic is one the Dodge Nitro's few bright spots: the UConnect multimedia system with GPS. The system features a 6.5-inch touch-screen and a 30GB hard drive that serves up map and POI data quickly. The UConnect system features traffic data supplied by Sirius Traffic. A year of service is included as part of a Sirius satellite radio service." -- CNET
  • "The gauges are large and easy to read. All controls are simple, clearly marked, and logically placed." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Everything is clean, easy to operate, and easy to understand. We especially like the inside door handles, an intelligent ergonomic design: They form a half loop, and you simply slip three or four fingers against the door inside the handle, fingers facing forward so there's no twist of the wrist, and pull." -- New Car Test Drive

Cargo

The Nitro's innovative cargo areas are one of its bright spots. It provides 75.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down and around 32 cubic feet with the rear seats in use. This is good when compared to compact SUVs, and the maximum capacity beats both the Toyota RAV4, a class leader, and the boxy Honda Element. Reviewers especially like the SXT model's Load N' Go Slide Out Floor.

  • "For easier loading and unloading, the Nitro is available with a cargo floor that slides out 18 inches over the rear bumper and can hold up to 400 pounds. Beneath it is a four-inch deep storage bin good for storing jumper cables or hiding a laptop." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "A large hatch opening and cubic shape make the most of available cargo space. Cabin storage is limited to a narrow center console and small glovebox." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With the liftgate raised, the carpeted rear cargo floor slides rearward 18 inches, out over the bumper, saving a loader's back. It can hold 400 pounds. Under half of the cargo floor there's a four-inch-deep compartment that can store things such as jumper cables and tools, or hide a laptop." -- New Car Test Drive

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