The 2011-2013 Dodge Durango: Jeep-based Dodge SUV
The Dodge Durango returns in model-year 2011, moving to the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform. Due to begin production in November 2010, the new 2011 Dodge Durango will have a 119.8 inch wheelbase — several inches longer than the new Grand Cherokee.
The lineup starts with the well-equipped Express model, and quickly moves to Durango Crew, which has remote start, rear backup camera, memory seats, and power liftgate. The CrewLux option package includes 20 inch wheels, heated leather seats (first and second rows), Garmin navigation system, and other features. The R/T version has a sport suspension (with 20 mm lower ride height), V8, 20 inch three-season performance tires, standard HID headlamps, unique interior, and monochromatic exterior, with optional performance “summer tires;” Heat is similar to R/T but gives up the HID headlamps and V8. (Captain’s seats will be available in the second row starting with February 2012 production.)
Finally, the top end is the Durango Citadel, with heated and ventilated seats covered in perforated Nappa leather, visible stitching, chrome-plated wheels, blind spot monitor, high intensity discharge lights, and a unique chrome grille, along with other items.
Options include sunroof, engine block heater, roof rack with integrated, stowable crossbars, trailer towing package, skid plate group, and electronics group (including rear backup camera, rear parking assist, USB port, and upgraded radio). Options that require a particular model include Travel Link, rain sensitive wipers, tilt and telescope steering column, SmartBeam® headlamps, back seat television, forward collision warning, rear cross path detection, adaptive cruise control, hard drive based stereo, Capri leather with embroidered logo, eight-way power driver and passenger seats, and signal mirrors.
Engines will be the new 3.6L Pentastar (with the Mercedes W5A580 5-speed auto trans) and the 5.7L VVT Hemi (with the proven Chrysler 545RFE five-speed transmission). The 3.6 is rated at 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm; and 260 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm. Estimated EPA gas mileage is 16/23 (rear wheel drive) and 16/22 (all wheel drive). With the Hemi, power is rated at 360 hp, and 390 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm; gas mileage is expected to be 14/20 (RWD) or 13/20 (AWD), with up to 7,400 lb of trailer towing with rear wheel drive.
Pricing starts at $29,195, with AWD adding $2,000 to the price regardless of trim level. The Crew costs $4,000 more than Express; CrewLux package starts at $9,000 more than Express, or $38,195. The top of the line Durango Citadel is $41,795... with rear wheel drive. Add $850 for the destination charge to all those numbers.
Durango R/T starts at $35,465 plus destination, while Durango Heat starts at $30,500 plus destination. Durango Heat adds five horsepower to the regular Durango V6.
As an example, a Durango Crew with AWD lists for $35,195; the dealer invoice price is $33,307 (without considering holdback and other incentives). Adding Customer Preferred Package 26G would add $5,000 to the price, with a dealer invoice cost of $4,450. The destination is $850 (for both dealer and customer).
The new Durango has 28 different seating configurations, with up to 85 cubic feet of cargo and storage areas. With second- and third-row seats folded flat, the Durango can fit a 6-foot couch with room for a coffee table, or enough 10-foot 2x4s to build a tree house. Visibility over the third row was achieved by creating a button to drop the headrests when the third row is not in use.
As expected, the Durango will have an optional Hemi V8 providing up to 7,400 pounds of towing, while the standard V6 provides best-in-class V6 towing at 6,200 pounds; both have standard trailer sway control, and both engines have variable valve timing and are available with all wheel drive.
Benchmarked against premium performance SUVs, Durango has a unibody structure consisting of 52% advanced, high-strength steels; it integrates the suspension with the body, reducing flex when compared with the previous body-on-frame design. More than 5,500 welds and more than 4,100 mm of arc welding contribute to torsional stiffness levels greater than the Mercedes-Benz GL. Every path that leads to the interior is sealed in one or more ways and joints are made as tight as possible by using sealer between panels, which expands during the paint process. A double wall separates the engine bay and the cabin to limit the noise.
The new short/long arm front suspension and isolated multi-link rear suspension features isolated front and rear cradles for improved on-road handling and comfort. Aggressive shock and spring rates and large sway bars handle body roll in hard turning. Available electro-hydraulic performance steering and standard electronic stability control contribute to grip and stability.
A drag coefficient of approximately 0.35 enables an aerodynamic improvement of more than 14% over the prior Durango, contributing to quiet interior and improved fuel efficiency.
Standard safety features include standard front seat-mounted side air bags and standard side-curtain air bags that cover passengers in all three rows, active head restraints and Electronic Stability Control; options include Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Keyless Enter-n’ Go.
The new Dodge logo on the steering wheel is eerily similar to the one created by JackRatchett and featured on Allpar weeks ago.
Our unnamed source’s estimates of prices similar to the Grand Cherokee, with the invoice price within $2,000 - $3,000 of retail depending on model, appears to have been accurate. Most buyers will probably check in at the Express or Crew level; Crew, at around $3,500 more than Express, has many more standard features. All wheel drive adds around $2,000. The standard gear ratio will be 3.06, with 3.09 optional and 3.45 on the Hemi.
The Hemi V8 will be optional on all models, for around $2,000 extra on Express. Europeans will use a 2.8 liter VM Motori diesel at 195 hp, as well as the Pentastar gasser, according to “mrmopar;” both will use the W5A580, not the 545RFE.
Overall, the pricing reflects the balance between a larger vehicle and lower off-road capacity. Given the expected high-end interior and feel of the 2011 Durango, which will have a standard 290-horsepower Pentastar V6, and the daunting list of standard features, the pricing is definitely reasonable. That said, these numbers were not provided by an "unquestionable" source, and pricing may be higher or lower than described here. Pricing will, regardless of whether these numbers are accurate, be “real” — customers should not expect a rebate to be slapped on the hood just after the car appears at dealerships.
We expect the Hemi V8 to add around $1,500 and a navigation system to add $750.
Stephen Weigel “fleshed out” patent drawings for a more realistic view of what the actual vehicle might look like. His illustration is almost identical to the actual photo, taken weeks later.
The R/T has the 5.7L VVT Hemi. The hot new 3.6L Pentastar has the Mercedes W5A580 5-speed auto transmission and the 5.7L VVT Hemi (with the proven Chrysler 545RFE five-speed transmission). They are built, along with Grand Cherokee, in the North Jefferson plant.
Seating configurations will be for five or seven passengers. The front passenger seat can be folded flat, the second row will have a 60/40 fold and tumble seat, and the third row seat will include headrests that can be lowered by the driver for a better rear view. The new Magnum will also be available without the third row seat if desired.
The Wall Street Journal wrote about a Chrysler Citadel, a hefty misunderstanding confusing the Chrysler Citadel concept — which became the Pacifica — with a possible matching Citadel model of the Dodge Grand Caravan.
The Durango shares many options with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, including upgraded premium interiors and:
- the new Alpine premium audio system with 9 speakers and subwoofer, and optional Garmin navigation
- active head restraints, HID headlamps, rear cross path protection, and power liftgate
- Hill Start Assist, Proximity Keyless Entry and push button start.
Seating configurations are for five or seven passengers. The front passenger seat can be folded flat, the second row will have a 60/40 fold and tumble seat, and the third row seat will include headrests that can be lowered by the driver for a better rear view.
The new Durango started arriving in showrooms in late 2010, built in the renovated North Jefferson plant.
Dealershipforum.com was right about the name being Dodge Durango.
oh2o wrote that the Crew and models will have an accent color grille with chrome insert; the Heat and R/T will have a body color grille with accent color insert; the Citadel (Boulevard) models will have an all-chrome grille. While some said an insert like the one on the right would be present, others said there would be no logo-type inserts, and that the place where they normally appear would simply be blank. The Dodge name, in letters, is to be the only brand badging, which is consistent with photos of the new Charger and Challenger.
JackRatchett posted an absolutely accurate rendition of the new Dodge logo, without having seen it.
Redriderbob wrote in mid-2009, “About a year and half ago, I broke the word to you guys and gals at Allpar.com that the next generation of the Grand Cherokee would grow in size to cover both the Commander and Grand Cherokee lineups. I also stated that the next Grand Cherokee, Aspen, and Durango would all share a common platform. That is still true. Dodge will replace the Durango in 2012, one model year after the introduction of the new Grand Cherokee. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2012 Dodge Durango will share powertrains as well as chassis parts. The Chrysler Aspen's future is still undecided.”