What is it?
This is the Nitro, Dodge's bluff-nosed answer to the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sorento. It's a proper, no-nonsense, all-American 'lifestyle vehicle' designed to cart you and your family to the beach or to the slopes, to tow your jet-ski, and to generally be able to take you wherever your heart desires.
Underneath that butch, square-jawed, unapologetic styling, the Nitro is a proper Yankee SUV; they've 'Yurripean-ized' it by making a diesel engine available, but otherwise it's firmly from the American school, which means it's got a heavy duty chassis that allows it to go further off-road than, say, a Honda CR-V.
However, the Nitro is also supposed to serve up more power-per-pound than any of its rivals, and specifically to offer sporty, road-biased handling qualities. The problem is going to be, we suspect, that a live rear axle and long-travel suspension aren't the ingredients of a fine-handling road-going 4x4. That's why, when Dodge refers to handling qualities, you can assume that the word 'qualities' has been applied more in hope than expectation.