Calling the Dodge Nitro a concept vehicle that could become a reality, Creed said that if produced the Nitro would have the best engine, the best brakes, the best handling, the best towing capacity, and the best interior roominess of any midsize SUV.
That's just silly. Let us set the record straight.
The Dodge Nitro Concept is equipped with the Liberty's 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 engine; four-speed automatic transmission; full-time 4WD system; 4,115-pound curb weight; and independent front and solid axle rear suspension. In the Liberty, this doesn't add up to anything "best" except off-road capability, and we doubt the 20-inch wheels and 255/50 Michelin Diamaris tires on the Nitro make that big a difference in the handling department.
In fact, press releases for the Dodge Nitro state a top speed of 108 mph, a zero-to-60 mph time of 9.6 seconds, and a quarter-mile trap time of 16.9 seconds. Maximum cargo volume for this alleged midsize SUV is a measly 66.9 cubic feet. See what we mean about a smokescreen?
Inside, Dodge jazzed up the Jeep Liberty's cabin by adding a three-pod gauge cluster with electroluminescent lighting, lots of satin silver trim, and brushed aluminum pedals. Black leather seats with red inserts provide a sporty ambience, and the cargo area features ultimate utility thanks to a textured vinyl floor that slides out for easy loading and unloading. Modular storage bins and a first-aid kit are also included.
Photos courtesy of DaimlerChrysler