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2011 Dodge Durango

Overview
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2011 Dodge Durango Review

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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 106 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

I love this thing

By on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable, practical vehicle"

Cons: "recalls adding up aslow to get done, fron facia"

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

"Great gas mileage (24 mpg highway in summer, 17-18 around town in winter). Heated steering wheel Comfortable Plenty of room, 'v6 tows my smallish boat fine Early on in cold winter day, brakes seemed to hang and make noise when backing up. They came and picked it up on a flat bed, said no problem seen and it never happened again - all free, so I cannot complain. Front air dam is low and busted off in snow bank. Was worried about chrysler quality (been burned before) but so far so good except for recalls (see cons). Love the 8 speed auto, turn knob selector ok now that I am used to it and it is less intrusive. Not as cool as push buttons on old dodge darts though!"

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Nice looking and that's it

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice looking"

Cons: "Heavy, needs more power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Very heavy,marginal handling with a full load (6 adults) lacks power, takes forever to accelerate from a standstill but once it reaches 4k rpm hold on so it is hard to control, brakes are marginal too, needs at least another 100 ponies or lower the weight like ford did with the F 150."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

By far the best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drive, Look and the sound system"

Cons: "There are not any"

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

"We traded in our Jeep Wrangler for this vehicle. This vehicle is the most comfortable on long trips with the family. I would recommend this Durango gem to anyone looking for a car that is loaded with options, comfort, reliability and class. Our vehicle insurance dropped in cost as well due to all the safety options included in the car. Best Alpine sound system I ever heard and that's right it's all about the base. If you want a car that will turns heads and is a pure pleasure to drive. Get yourself a Dodge Durango. You will not regret it."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

My favorite car ever!

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, comfortable, styling and reliable"

Cons: "Small glove box, stick preferred over sel knob"

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

"I'll get the bad stuff out of the way first. There are two things I do NOT like about this car. First, the glove box is just too small. Second, the rotary dial gear selector is not my favorite. I would rather have a stick. If you're thinking gas mileage...well, it's a big honking SUV. Get over it or go by a Smart Car. So, beyond that this car is seriously my favorite and I have had a LOT of cars. It is hugely comfortable - highway or city. Handling is excellent, turn radius excellent. The cabin is quiet, seats are comfortable, instrumentation and controls just what I would have hoped for. I REALLY love the adaptive cruise control. You can fill it with stuff or you can fill it with people and everyone/everything is in a happy place. 6 footers (with any range of motion...which means don't put your great, great grandpa back there) can comfortably get into the 3rd row seats. I have the 5.7L Hemi Citadel and just love it. Styling is an individual thing but I just couldn't see myself in a Buick. The Durango is a solid muscle car that is happy to carry all the groceries, rifles, canoes, and wifey Flea Market stuff you could ever want. I've owned my 2014 for almost 18 months and 15,000 miles (yes, low miles) and have not had a single problem (there have been three recalls which were handled without issue and except for the trips to the dealer had no impact on me). I would buy one again tomorrow...and in fact, I did just about that. I got the car as a company lease vehicle in the fall of 2013 and left my company 14 months later. I was able to buy the car from my employer. Of late, I've had a Lexus RX 350 and Lincoln MKX. In past years I've also owned Explorers and not too long ago a 300C (okay, not an SUV). None of these compare to my Durango. Hope this review helps you."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

An Unexpected Choice

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "tight turning radius, narrow body, ride quality"

Cons: "gas mileage"

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

"I was looking for a 3-row SUV to replace our old minivan and unexpectedly found the Durango meeting almost all of the criteria, except for the gas mileage. I especially appreciate the narrow body and tight turning radius which make parking into garage and in parking lots much easier than other wide-body SUVs. In addition, the 3rd row seat has enough legroom for adults, the ride quality is balanced and smooth thanks to its rear-wheel drive, the rear-view camera with cross-traffic and lane-change detection are very useful, and the interior design and material are superior to its competitors."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Best SUV I've ever owned

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"My Durango is the best SUV I've ever owned. I pull a 3500 lb. boat with the 6 cylinder engine and can't even tell it's back there, even in the hills. It is comfortable, quiet and the fuel economy is unbelievable, considering the size of the vehicle. 20-21 mpg around town and 27-28 on the highway. Even pulling the boat I get an impressive 15-16 mpg, far better than friends with other brands. I've owned this Durango for 1 year and have had 0 problems except for a minor recall which was a computer reprogram that took about 5 minutes to correct. My friends are so impressed with the Durango that three of them have traded in their SUVs for new Durangos or Gran Cherokees. The only negative is that I hear Dodge is discontinuing the Durango in 2016, and I have one question: What could Dodge possibly be thinking?"

27 people out of 44 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

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