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2011 Dodge Durango

Overview
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2011 Dodge Durango Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

Shortly after gas went to five dollars a gallon and the economy took a nose dive, the full-size SUV's days looked to be numbered. Dealer lots were buried rows deep in vehicles like the Dodge Durango, and no one was biting. One would think after coming through yet another near-death experience, Dodge might kick their old SUV habit to the curb and focus on small, fuel-efficient cars. But that's not what happened. Instead, under the stewardship of Fiat, Dodge has decided to reinvent the Durango, creating a smooth, roomy and efficient full-size SUV from a single unit body shared with the newly developed Jeep Grand Cherokee. A bold move? You bet it is, but one that apparently has the potential to pay off big for Dodge – that is as long as gas stays relatively cheap.

You'll Like This Car If...

The new 2011 Dodge Durango is well suited to those who need to carry more than five passengers and tow more than 7,000 pounds, all while riding in car-like comfort. Styling inspired by the Dodge Charger adds a sporty dimension not shared by other vehicles in this class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a seven-passenger SUV with fuel economy figures in the mid to high twenties, you won't find a Durango to meet your needs. A diesel-powered Audi Q7 or Mercedes Benz GL might be a better fit; so too might the seven-passenger Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Dodge Durango is all new from the ground up. Riding on a unit body platform (the old model was body-on-frame), the Durango is now a more solid, stable and quiet vehicle. The new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine serves as the standard powerplant, with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 as an option. In an attempt to please everyone, Dodge offers the Durango in four distinctly different trims: Express, R/T, Crew and Citadel.

Driving the Durango

Driving Impressions We spent the better part of our 2011 Dodge Durango test drive behind the wheel of a V6-powered Citadel and the experience overall was quite pleasant. There's no getting away...

from the fact that this is still a big, heavy SUV, but the 290-horspower Pentastar V6 performs admirably. Although we're certain you'll want the V8 for towing, the V6 has enough power to move a semi-loaded Durango with some urgency. The steering feel at the wheel is heavy, but the turn-in response is excellent and the Durango tracks straight and true on the highway. Wind and tire noise are kept at a minimum, a result of added insulation and heavy gauge steel used throughout the cabin. The Durango handles fairly well for such a heavy vehicle, but the stiff suspension, especially on the R/T trim, can also feel abrupt at times, especially when passing over small bumps and road distortions.

R/T Trim
About the closest you'll get to an SRT version of the Durango, the R/T's lowered sport suspension, recalibrated shocks and springs and aggressive 20-inch tires make this one playful full-sized SUV. Oh, did we forget to mention its got a HEMI?

Blind Spot Monitoring
Big SUVs have lots of side glass for good visibility, but that doesn't always help when trying to change lanes with a car full of screaming kids. Thankfully, the Blind Spot Monitoring system will alert when something other than air is occupying the space you're attempting to fill.

2011 Dodge Durango Details
2011 Dodge Durango photo Interior

Dodge has spared no expense getting the Durango's interior to shine. No matter where any of its seven passengers are sitting, they will be treated to supportive seats, yards of elegant materials and soft-touch surfaces, and about one of the quietest SUV cabins we've tested. Upper end trims feature heated and cooling front seats and an available heated second-row seat. Models not equipped with cooling front seats include a fold-flat front passenger seat for maximum load floor capability.
With 28 possible configurations, the Durango's interior is more than capable of carrying any manner of cargo or crew. Clever features, such as the remote folding rear seat head restraints improve rearward visibility, as does the available rear back-up camera. With 84.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Durango's interior is about equal in size to the Honda Pilot, but smaller than the 116.9 cubic feet offered in the GMC Acadia.

Exterior
2011 Dodge Durango photo

Where the old Durango was big and bulky, the new Durango is smooth and sleek. Mimicking the same "coke bottle" side profile as the new Dodge Charger, the Durango strikes an almost wagon-like appearance that masks the vehicle's true dimensions. Lower in profile but still capable of venturing off-road if asked, the Durango has a rugged elegance about it that sets it apart from more pedestrian SUVs. From its split cross-hair grille to the sporty R/T trim with its lowered ride height, 20-inch rims and color-keyed ground effects, the Durango looks every bit a member of the Dodge performance family. Taking a cue from the Subaru Outback playbook, Crew and Citadel models now feature a roof rack with cross bars that fold into the side rails when not in use.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The entry-level Express trim features a 3.6-liter V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, heated power side mirrors, remote start, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, 12-volt outlet and removable LED flashlight in the cargo area, tilt/telescopic steering column, and an AM/FM/CD radio with WMA/MP3 support, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and auxiliary input jack. At the opposite end of the Durango spectrum, the Citadel adds 20-inch wheels, a power rear liftgate, HID headlamps, power folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, Nappa leather and suede seats, rain-sensing wipers, keyless Enter-N-Go, eight-way power front seats, a heated second-row seat, and Garmin navigation. Standard safety features on all 2011 Dodge Durangos include electronic traction and stability control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, Hill Start Assist, front seat side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags covering all three rows.

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim and include a Garmin-equipped navigation radio with 30 GB hard drive and SIRIUS Travel Link, ParkView rear backup camera, ParkSense rear park assist, side blind-spot monitor, auto-dimming high beams, UConnect phone (Bluetooth), Adaptive speed control, skid plates, Alpine premium audio, Bluetooth streaming audio, SIRIUS Backseat TV, heated second-row seats, power rear liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, and a heated steering wheel. Option packages include the Trailer Tow Group IV that adds a 220-amp alternator, heavy-duty engine oil cooler, Class IV hitch receiver, four- and seven-pin wiring harness, and rear load-leveling shocks. The CrewLux package adds leather-trimmed seats, heated front and second-row seating, in-dash Garmin navigation radio, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, rain sensing wipers, auto high-beam dimmer, and bright exterior door handles and mirror caps.

Under the Hood

The standard engine on all but the R/T trim is Chrysler's new Pentastar V6. Without question, one of the best V6 engines ever produced by the company, this engine has more than enough power to satisfy most SUV drivers. Equipped with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing, the 3.6-liter Pentastar is capable of achieving maximum performance without sacrificing fuel economy. The Durango's optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 features fuel-saver mode that deactivates four of the eight cylinders when full power is not required. When power is needed, however, the Durango's HEMI has it in spades, delivering 360 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of tow-ready torque. The AWD V8 model includes a low-speed transfer case with a neutral position setting.

3.6-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 (RWD), 16/22 (AWD)

5.7-liter HEMI V8
360 horsepower @ 5150 rpm
390 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (RWD), 13/20 (AWD)

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2011 Dodge Durango Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 89 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Great vehicle for our family of 5 and 24 mpg city

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "MPG - Room for 6 - ZOOM!! - sure footed -"

Cons: "put ac outlets in the back seat on all vehicles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"When searching for a replacement for Camry, the criteria was seating for 5, I must be able to put my 6"4" body in front and back seats. The two captians chairs allow for easy access to the third row. The heated seats/steering wheel, and LARGE touch screen is great. The rear camera allows for flawless parking. Turn on the eco button and configurating the gas effiency meter and we are getting 24 mpg city - 28 mpg in comfort. Love the keyless entry and rotary shifter. Essentially it is a Grand Cherokee XL."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We have a 2011 Durango Heat. It's been a great vehicle so far, no issues. Very comfortable, drives very nice. Get a lot of compliments on the styling. Would definitely buy again."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

love it drives like a luxery car!

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive roomy 3rd seat is great quiet"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"great suv love it has all the room i need and more great gas milage lots of power rides like a luxery car very quiet"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Very nice and fun to drive

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Acceleration, interior and exterior, ride"

Cons: "Seat is a touch narrow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have only had my Durango a few weeks but can honestly say (after owning many SUV's) it is one of my favorites. Bought the RT model with the Hemi and it is a lot of fun to drive for a large vehicle. Good acceleration but of course the fuel mileage suffers because even in the eco mode it am still getting 16 mpg average. Vehicle is comfortable although the seats are a little narrow and I am not a wide bodied person. Other then that the interior is top notch. One of the best(and easy to use) touch screens I have seen and I have owned a good number of vehicles. IT has to rate right at the top. Very convenient with the third seat that folds and I usually keep it folded since I don't carry more then five people usually. Exterior wise the Durango gets a lot of looks and I have had numerous people come up and comment on how they like the looks. All in all for the short time I have owned it I would say I am very glad I decided to buy a Durango. Definitely consider one if you are shopping in this category."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Okay car I guess

By on Friday, August 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfortable ride, plenty of room. Good in snow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"First time I purchased an american made brand. Not terribly disappointed, but not overly happy with it either. It starts every morning and it gets me where I need to go, but it often hesitates when I accelerate (doesn't seem to know what gear to pick. The same happens when going up a slight incline. Rear shockbreaker broke and needs replacement (warranty). Chrysler seems to have a lot of issues with backorders and so far I have been waiting for a month. MPG experience is about 16-17 MPG on average. When driving highway, it gets as high as 21 MPG, but trips in town and stop and go traffic quickly reduces that to about 14-15 MPG. This car requires premium unleaded, so expect to open your wallet. Other than that, not a bad car, but for me, nothing really to write home about either."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great value, very versatile

By on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling, smooth highway drive, utlility,"

Cons: "I opted for black cloth interior, shows dirt"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had my 2014 Durango SXT Plus AWD for four months now and am very happy with it. I opted for the Captain's Chairs in the second row as I have four kids and did not want to have to flip part of the bench seat forward every time kids loaded or unloaded. This configuration is perfect for us. The SUV drives great, handles well with ample power for passing. The price was very cheap when compared with the Tahoe, Expedition or the Suburban which I also shopped. I also like how easily the rear seats flip forward to expand the cargo space in the rear. I can throw my dog in the converted back and still carry four people, then it's just a pull of a strap to reconfigure to seat 6. I opted for the AWD since we are skiers. Can't wait to try it out on snowy mountain roads in Winter. I also like the look of the vehicle. It's got nice lines with a much more manly look than a mini van. I didn't opt for the leather interior, which I should have with 4 kids and a dog to haul around. The touch screen control panel is user friendly and intuitive. Overall I'm very satisfied and would recommend this SUV to anyone. Just great value and utility for the price."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?