Cars.com Faceoff: Dodge Nitro, Hummer H3, Toyota FJ Cruiser

Machosuvfaceoff

We had some fun with the latest Cars.com Faceoff. Mike Hanley, Joe Wiesenfelder and I took three of the most macho SUVs on the road and pitted them against each other on things like their rugged looks, offroad prowess and everyday usability. You might be surprised to learn which of these grown-up Tonka trucks took home the prize.

Cars.comparison: Macho SUVs

Comments 

yet another unfair faceoff...the nitro isn't even 4WD! its not even a real match for a hummer or a FJ! it should be up against a explorer or something!! geez!

Tyler

If they shouldn't be compared against each other, then why should they all target the same buyer group?

When you design and manufacture car A to target some buyer who is considering car B, then you should not only design and manufacture car B like car A, but do it better!

The manufacturers don't make every model available to us with every option. Still, the Nitro with AWD wouldn't have had the off-road chops of the other two.

Juan Carlos

shocker!!!! a toyota did't win! guess toyota should have bought ad space like they did with the tundra in order to beat the silverado.

as for the nitro, it still got best overall value. and while they are targetting the same group, they are doing it for different reasons. you can see hummer in some dirt road in the middle of nowhere and all, but many people want the hummer and don't go outside the pavement. it is that buyer that the nitro is for. they want the feel and the look and other things, but aren't taking it often enough to some dirt off in the middle of nowhere.

like some of the crossovers. they aren't suvs at all in any form, but they look like one and have enough of it for those that want to drive a car that looks like a suv.

Interesting report -- although contrary to the blog post, I was not surprised to learn who came away with the top prise!

Infosaur

Folks,, they're STATION WAGONS!

Deal with it.

dave

about time one of Detroit's cars one. It was lookin like the Nitro was gonna win....ah...put 4wd on that thing and you got the winner.

Juan Carlos,
No advertising money sways any editorial decision at Cars.com
Like we said during the truck faceoff it was extremely close. There was certainly nothing said that would dissuade anyone from the Silverado or even the F150.

Juan Carlos

we are still waiting for the rematch. all of us know who will win it this time, but official results would back it up. top silverado vs top tundra this time will change the outcome.

here in orlando a local raido ad wants to know why a woman wants a war vehicle? how behind the dealer they have a cliff where they can show how the vehicle handles. why would a woman want such a car? to take the kids to the soccer game. and all the nitro commercials i have seen have been in urban areas, not in some mountain. i see the H3 to be for those who think H2 is too big and expensive.

remember reading an article on how people buy too much car for themselves. if you need to tow something once in a while, rent. the rental fee will be cheaper than spending thousands of dollars. if you need the car for other reasons or towing every weekend, then buy it. don't do it just for towing twice a year and an extra cup holder. i see the nitro in that spirit.

saw a note (here if not mistaken)on how GM is going to have H4 in order to compete with the fjcruiser. and if you look at the price, H3 was 5k-8k more expensive in this test. how would the H4 do in this test against the nitro/fjcruiser? the test itself says H3 is really going against the jeep cherokee.

MikeW

The H3 is the only one with a center differential, why bother with the other two.
Why bother with the H3 until it gets a 6 speed automatic. (GM's 6L50)

Thor

They are targeted to different people. Or does anybody REALLY believe that you are going to find a FJ Cruiser buyer outside the trendy malls? Hummer can be use for professional who work outdoors and the Nitro is very practical for everyday use.
The Cruiser (I feel sorry for that good old name in a fancy car) is like the New Beetle, cars for people who consider themselves urban and trendy. The old FJ Cruiser was a great outdoor car, this is for fancy people to get their capuccino.
I prefer the Nitro, more practical, no mark ups.

jyd

The Nitro is another ridiculous rebadging job by Dodge. Is it any wonder MB is looking to dump Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep?

I've never been a fan of Hummers and the H3 is no exception. While it probably is the toughest of the three, under the skin it is just a beefed up Chevy Colorado.

The FJ is the one vehicle that doesn't belong in this group. It is definitely a "retro" vehicle looking to cash in on that current trend but it hardly belongs in a "Macho SUV" comparison. The Nitro and Hummer are all about wanting to feel macho. They are marketed as such and both are more hype than anything else. Retro and trendy are not macho qualities.

Biased Review

This is a stupid review, you should be ashamed to be part of it, those 3 vehicle have nothing in common, why didn't you add a geo metro too? :-p

Biased Review,
You're looking at the pictures and read the name of the comparison right?
Out of all the other comments I think you'll see no one made the mistake in thinking they weren't three similar, in appeal/looks at least, vehicles. That's why the comparison was called "macho" SUVs. And even if we were wrong it wouldn't be biased. That's not the definition of that word.

At least JYD gives an argument for the FJ not being Macho...it was definitely the odd one out because, it's odd. But still, a lot of people see it as macho.

kap

Interesting review. I agree all three are tugging at the male's macho heart-strings. I think it is a fun review but must admit that it seems very odd that Hummer and the FJ lost to a Dodge Nitro in a comparison... maybe this has something to do with Dodge struggling? Can't say I mind a bit of American propaganda even being an FJ owner.

I'll tell you this... wouldn't pay what I payed for my FJ to buy either of the other two. No way. My FJ makes me smile at every glance. Hope you all find that in your picks.

kap--

The Nitro was the overall best value, but the H3 was the winner for being most macho.

HULK


WELL THIS REVIEW JUST PROVES THAT ADS PAY THE SWAY .
BY NOW PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY KNOWS TGHAT THE NITRO IS A SEDAN IN A SUV BOX. NOT INTENDED FOR OFF ROADING. THE HUMMER IS AN OVERPRICED SHOE BOX ON WHEELS. UNDERPOWERED AND OVER CHROMED.
NATURALLY THE ONLY TRUE WINNER HERE COULD POSSIBLY BE THE FJ CRUISER.
AS COMFORTABLE ON OR OFF ROAD AS A BUG SNUG IN A RUG !
MOST POWERFUL , FASTEST , MOST RUGGED AND DAM BETTER LOOKING THEN THE OTHER 2 WELDED TOGTHER.
BOTTOM LINE IS IF YOU DONT MIND HEADS TURNING IN YOUR DIRECTION WHEVER YOU DRIVE [ OH YEH THE GIRLS LOOK AT IT TOO] AND YOU DONT MIND HAVING A BLAST DRIVING IT , THEN GET A FJ CRUISER RIGHT AWAY!

Nitro owner - hummer lover

Nitro wins best value, it all depends what you are getting the car for. I would have loved to get a hummer myself, but i dont plan on going off road, and its far to big and bulky for city driving. (that is unless your one of those mums that want that look) The looks of the nitro does it for me. And that FJ thing, really what is it? Its the ugliest looking car ive ever seen, its a try hard hummer.

Mike

The Nitro isn't even an SUV and it's definatly not macho. It's a tall, poorly made CAR that should be compared to a Kia Sportage, if any SUV. This is like comparing a Chevy Aveo with a Ford Escape.... and then saying the Escape won the comparison contest....well duh. I'm sorry, I just don't see how the Nitro was selected, and this is possibly the most random test I've seen in a while. I'm VERY surprised a JEEP product like the Wrangler or Unlimited wasn't used, That would have been an ACTUAL face-off.

Next time I compare cars, I will drive a Nissan Xterra, Jeep Wrangler, and ohh wait... since they are the same types of cars; a Scion Xb...now that's another good "SUV" to try out.

Tom

Nitro belongs this group:
Kia Soul
Scion Xb
Nissan Cube
Chevrolet HHR

Not this one:
Ford Explorer
Toyota 4 Runner
GMC Yukon
Jeep Wrangler

See the difference?

Promise Hanson

The Dodge Nitro has a 4x4, why pit a 2 wheel nitro against a four wheel, that is unfair faceoff. I suggest there should be a rematch with a 4x4 Nitro against other 4x4 machos, then tell us the result.

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