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Dakota, Nitro, Liberty changes for 2011

by David Zatz on

2011 Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro and Dakota details have been released by Chrysler.

The 2011 Jeep Liberty will have new features: standard cruise control, Jeep-branded steering wheel, upgraded interior trim, and an optional navigation system with traffic, fuel prices, and weather updates. While the Liberty Renegade will enter its first full model year, the entry-level Sport is expected to be the big seller, claiming nearly three quarters of sales.

Jeep Liberty has best in class four wheel drive technology and towing capacity (5,000 lb with sway control), best in class sunroof opening with SkySlider roof, and flexible seating and cargo options. Three new paint colors, blackberry pearl, deep cherry crystal pearl, and bright white, are available for 2011.

The Dodge Nitro gains numerous standard features, including the 4-liter V6, new 20″ wheels and performance suspension, nine-speaker Infinity satellite audio system with voice command, monotone slate interiors, and body color grille with bright inserts. Over half of sales are expected to go to the well-equipped, but base, Heat model, with the rest split between Detonator and Shock. The upper two models will have diagonal Dodge fender stripes, with Detonator getting color-matched fabric inserts and stitching, and Shock getting standard leather seats (heated in front).

Dodge Nitro has five star front and side crash test ratings, with standard side curtain airbags, stability control, and roll mitigation.

Dodge Dakota, which has been selling in surprisingly small numbers, comes back for 2011 with standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes and side curtain airbags on all models; there are four new colors (deep cherry red, deep forest green, white gold). Auto-dimming mirrors are no longer available. The Dakota keeps its best in class towing with V8 (7,250 lb with 4×2 extended cab); the V8 is the most powerful in its class, with 302 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. Dodge expects three quarters of sales to go to the Big Horn / Lone Star package, with the rest going to the entry level ST and top line Laramie.

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