The all-new ’07 Dodge Nitro will start at $19,885, including the destination charge, when it arrives in showrooms in October, Chrysler Group announces.

Add 4x4 capability, and the price jumps to $21,395.

The midsize SUV will be available in three trim levels. The base SXT features a 3.7L SOHC V-6, as does the SLT, which starts at $23,295 for 4x2 and $24,805 for 4x4.

Enhancements on the SLT include body-color fender flares and facias, 17-in. aluminum wheels, YES Essentials stain-fighting seat fabric and Chrysler’s Load ’N Go sliding cargo floor.

The top-end R/T starts at $25,970 for 4x2 and $27,630 for 4x4. It features a 4.0L V-6 that generates 255 hp and 265 lb.-ft. (359 Nm) of torque at 6,000 rpm, compared with the smaller engine’s output of 210 hp and 235 lb.-ft. (319 Nm) of torque at 4,000 rpm. The R/T’s standard-equipment list boasts a new performance suspension and 20-in. tires with chrome-clad aluminum wheels. These features are optional on the SLT.

Chrysler launched the final phase of Nitro production Aug. 21, when a third shift was added to its assembly complex in Toledo, OH.

Nitro rolls off the line alongside the Jeep Liberty, with which it shares a platform. But the auto maker is confident the new Dodge will find its own place in the market instead of cannibalizing sales from the established Liberty.

“It appeals to a different customer than the traditional Jeep Liberty would,” Byron M. Green, vice president-truck and activity vehicle assembly, tells journalists during a visit to the plant.

Tom Loveless, director-Dodge marketing and global communications, agrees.

“The 5-passenger Nitro will appeal to customers seeking distinctive style and sporty performance, combined with passenger- and cargo-carrying flexibility,” he says.

emayne@wardsauto.com