2011 Dodge Durango Heat RWD new car reviews

Better than: previous Durangos
But not as good as: Durango SRT8
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 68.60

The new Durango represents a departure for the name, coinciding with its first update since the Fiat takeover of Chrysler. For the first time, it’s not based on Dodge’s Dakota truck chassis. This time, it shares a foundation with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz GL class of SUVs.

Refreshing updates abound: Chrysler’s new aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 replaces the brand’s old iron boat anchor as the base engine. The car's styling pays no homage to previous generations, either: Even Dodge’s trademark crosshair grille looks different from the second-gen Durango.

Our tester came lightly optioned on top of its well-equipped Heat trim line, listing $1170 above the $30,520 base price. A couple small surprises on our features list: The Heat trim deletes the standard roof rack and third-row seats. Even so, it has a built-in hard drive for music, a sport suspension with summer tires on its 20-inch wheels, and a 500-watt sound system.

Other staff views

J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

It’s difficult to not damn the new Durango with faint praise. I want to say that the whole package seemed “competent,” but that sounds a bit like I’m blowing it off. The thing is, no full-size SUV will probably ever have much of a personality, and if it did it would probably be because there were some glaring fault that people mistook for “character.”

The new Durango goes about its business in a pruposeful way, and Dodge is definitely one of the domestic leaders in human interface design at the moment. Hopping into the Durango, you never wonder where anything is, how to work anything, or how to reconfigure the various seating options. Again, these are not compliments I would shout from the hilltops, but they are powerful arguments in this market segment.

I will provide this piece of glowing praise, however: The Durango got surprisingly good fuel mileage. In mixed driving, slanted a bit toward highway travel, our test car returned almost 22mpg. That’s impressive for a truck of this size and cpacity.

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Comments

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pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
10/7/11 7:34 a.m.

Crew, Crew Lux, Citadel, Heat, Lifestyle Packages...at least Dodge gets Kudos for some interesting names!

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar SuperDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

The new Durango represents a departure for the name, coinciding with its first update since the Fiat takeover of Chrysler. For the first time, it’s not based on Dodge’s Dakota truck chassis. This time, it shares a foundation with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz GL class of SUVs.

Refreshing updates abound: Chrysler’s new aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 replaces the brand’s old iron boat anchor as the base engine. The car's styling pays no homage to previous generations, either: Even Dodge’s trademark crosshair grille looks different from the second-gen Durango.

Our tester came lightly optioned on top of its well-equipped Heat trim line, listing $1170 above the $30,520 base price. A couple small surprises on our features list: The Heat trim deletes the standard roof rack and third-row seats. Even so, it has a built-in hard drive for music, a sport suspension with summer tires on its 20-inch wheels, and a 500-watt sound system.

spinaddict
spinaddict
8/1/14 6:59 a.m.

This is such an innovative deal…hoping BOTH of us are around for the next ten…my 12 year old son has a good chance and this opportunity to give him 10 years of auto-bliss is just perfect!

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