Dodge Nitro SXT 2.8 CRD - Music to the ears

Hi-fi specialist Darren Maynard finds the new Dodge Nitro SXT 2.8 CRD makes sound sense...

Hi-fi specialist Darren Maynard finds the new Dodge Nitro SXT 2.8 CRD makes sound sense.Tell us about yourself and what you doI am managing director of two Bang & Olufsen franchises in Leigh-on-Sea and Chelmsford, where we specialise in leading audio, video, telephonic and digital media for consumer and professional applications. I've sold Bang & Olufsen hi-fi systems since I was 17 years of age, although I opened my main store in Chelmsford five years ago and our second in Leigh-on-Sea about two-and-a-half years ago.

How much do you enjoy motoring?My job keeps me on the road quite a lot travelling between branches, visiting customers, doing home visits and site surveys for big multi-room installations.I really love driving and when I was 17 that's all I wanted to do. My first job was as a photographer at the Ford Motor Company's research and development centre at Dunton, in Essex. It was a car enthusiast's dream as there was a test track and I was surrounded by some fabulous development cars. The then-new Ford Fiesta was just out and a highlight was driving the first Ford RS Turbo, which was fantastic. Then two years later I was selling Bang & Olufsen equipment.

What cars have you owned and what would be your dream car?I've had 12 cars since learning to drive, some of which were quite embarrassing. My first was a bronze Ford Fiesta with a sunroof and boy racer stripes down the side. I thought it was fantastic. After that I got an MG Metro, which made the right noises but didn't do much. I've had several Ford Mondeos though the worst car was my first Rover 216, which was plagued by electrical problems. My current car is an Audi A4, which is outstanding in every respect. I like 4x4s and my dream car would be a Range Rover.

How does the Dodge Nitro drive?It's a comfortable ride and the seats are nice and supportive once you've adjusted them to suit. The visibility and driving position are excellent and as off-roaders go it feels very rugged. The interior seems tough and the switches and controls are all in the right place and feel as if they will last a lifetime. The audio system looks impressive and I like the fact that it has Bluetooth and an iPod socket, which are important to me. Handling is what you'd expect from a 4x4 and this has a good, strong diesel engine under the bonnet. I'm a family man and like all the cup holders, cubby holes and storage space.

So, how would a Dodge Nitro suit your lifestyle?I'm not sure if I need a 4x4 for the driving I do, but I have a five-year-old son and take him to school most mornings and he'd love riding in this car. It's quite a funky car and the sporty interior matches the chunky exterior. My family would Facts at a glanceCar Dodge Nitro SXT 2.8 CRD AutomaticPrice as tested £25,185 on the roadInsurance Group 14E [est.]Co2 emissions Maximum 250 g/kmPerformance Max Speed 113 mph; 0-62 mph 10.5 secs.Fuel consumption 30.1 mpg (Combined)Standard safety features ABS; Multistage driver and front passenger airbags; Electronic Stability Control; Tyre pressure monitoring (on SXT models)Will it fit in your garage? Length: 4584; Width: 1856; Height: 1773 (mm)How Deborah rated this carI love it. 8½ out of 10Darren Maynard was talking to motoring editor Adrian Foster. Contact Adrian at Our thanks to Lancaster Chrysler Southend for the loan of the test vehicle. For information visit or

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