Review - 2011 Dodge Durango

After a short leave of absence, Dodge has revived its once-popular Durango nameplate for a new three-row range-topping SUV based on the same Mercedes-Benz-derived platform as the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The new 2011 Dodge Durango marks the first step in Dodge's "product onslaught for 2011," and shares virtually nothing with the last-generation Durango that was discontinued in 2009.

Like the Jeep, two engines are on offer, including Chrysler's new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The V6 will return 16 city, and 23 highway miles per gallon in two-wheel drive (rear), and loses one mpg to 22 highway if equipped with four-wheel drive.

The second engine is the well-known 5.7-liter Hemi V8 - good for 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. The Hemi suffers a sizable hit on fuel economy, coming in at 14 city, 20 highway in 2WD, and 13 city, 20 highway in 4WD.

Both engines feature variable valve timing and are mated to five-speed automatic transmissions.

Dodge says that Hemi-outfitted 2011 Dodge Durangos are capable of towing up to 7,400 lbs., while V6 models are rated at a still reasonable 6,200 lbs.

Outside, the 2011 Dodge Durango shares its Ram-inspired front fascia with the automaker’s pickups and, to a a certain extent, the previous Durango. Its tail, clearly inspired by the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is totally different than the outgoing model’s.

Inside, the 2011 Dodge Durango’s look is derivative of other recent Chrysler products, namely the new Grand Cherokee. It gets some of Chrysler’s latest switchgear and it benefits from all of the automaker’s top safety features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and active head restraints.

2011 Dodge Durango's previous system of identifying trim levels has been replaced with a new naming scheme that involves four levels, starting with Express, then R/T, Crew and the range-topping Citadel.

The Express model is obviously the base model, but still features such things as standard fog lamps, automatic halogen headlamps, power external mirrors with defrost (manual foldaway), chrome grille surround, keyless entry, air conditioning, 18-inch wheels and more.

Progressing through the trim levels will add various content, ranging from larger 20-inch wheels to roof racks, but the big shot of the show is the Citadel, which adds niceties such as High Intensity Discharge headlamps (Also on R/T model), unique chrome texture for grille, rain-sensing wipers, 20-inch chrome wheels, Nappa leather seats with Axis II pefrorated Nappa leather inserts, leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio and phone controls, power tilt and telescoping column and more.

2011 Dodge Durango uses a fully independent suspension and unibody construction derived from the Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV. More than just a stretched Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Durango is designed primarily for on-road use.

The 2011 Dodge Durango squares off against other unibody SUVs and large crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
source: leftlanenews

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