Aqueous suspensions of dendronized iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) have been obtained after functionalization, with two types of dendrons, of NPs synthesized either by coprecipitation (leading to naked NPs in water) or by thermal decomposition (NPs in situ coated by oleic acid in an organic solvent). Different grafting strategies have been optimized depending on the NPs synthetic method. The size distribution, the colloidal stability in isoosmolar media, the surface complex nature as well as the preliminary biokinetic studies performed with optical imaging, and the contrast enhancement properties evaluated through in vitro and in vivo MRI experiments, have been compared as a function of the nature of both dendrons and NPs. All functionalized NPs displayed good colloidal stability in water, however the ones bearing a peripheral carboxylic acid function gave the best results in isoosmolar media. Whereas the grafting rates were similar, the nature of the surface complex depended on the NPs synthetic method. The in vitro contrast enhancement properties were better than commercial products, with a better performance of the NPs synthesized by coprecipitation. On the other hand, the NPs synthesized by thermal decomposition were more efficient in vivo. Furthermore, they both displayed good biodistribution with renal and hepatobiliary elimination pathways and no consistent RES uptake.