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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)

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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2011 Dodge Durango Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 101 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

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?"

11 people out of 22 found this review helpful

I Love it!

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "space, agile, options packages, lots o cup holders"

Cons: "cargo with 3rd row up"

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

"I LOVE my Durango. I traded in an Acadia and this is by far better. More agility, I opted for more options, have heated second row seats, and good standard sound system. The MPG could be better but I consider it average. That's not a setback IMO as I have 3 kids with 3 carseats right now and the space is great. OH! And when things fall in between the console and front seat there is actually enough space to put your hand in there and get it out! I don't think I could make a better more functional pick. It's an attractive vehicle and we love driving it."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Been a great SUV. Power of a truck and functional

By on Sunday, February 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,582

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: "Fits 7 comfortably. Great in Utah winters."

Cons: "Not much cargo space with seats up."

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

"This was our step out of a minivan now that we have moved out of car seats. It had handled better than any vehicle we have own. I would definitely recommend this to anyone else needing room and functionality. Only drawback is the lack of cargo space behind the third row. Even that is better then most comparisons."

24 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Exciting

By on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks fantastic, great electronics, fun to drive"

Cons: "Driver leg room if you are tall, gas mileage"

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

"Very simply put. I wanted a Dodge Charger R/T but my practical side said in the North East I still need a hefty SUV. This vehicle has given me a taste of both worlds. It is fun to drive with its racy feel and it is practical when I need it to be. I am 6'5" and I am surprisingly having a slight problem with my right leg, I either could use a little more back tilt on the seat or about one more inch leg room. A small price to pay for a very exciting to drive vehicle."

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Durango Citidal

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 350

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: "Looks, power, great sound system"

Cons: "none that i can think of"

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

"My first dodge vehicle. Did'nt ever think I would have one cause I am a chevy guy. This suv has greatly exceeded my expectations! The durango citidal is awesome. I only have driven it about 350 miles and is in love with it so far. Quiet, very upscale interior, and the sound system sounds veryyyy good. It has plenty power with the V6. I had narrowed my choices to this and the acura mdx. I choose durango cause it just looks soo much better to me."

19 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Extremely happy with purchase!

By on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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

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

"I own the 2014 Durango SXT AWD. Incredible vehicle! I bought this for many reasons: roominess, appearance (man, this thing looks cool), driving comfort, towing capacity, power, versatility, fuel economy, affordability, blue-tooth, and quiet ride. Best vehicle I've ever owned, period. Dodge has created a luxury-feel SUV but with an affordable price tag. Also looked at Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Chevy Traverse. After extensive online research, went to test drive the Durango and LOVED it immediately. Only problems: 1) radio malfunctioned and needed to be replaced, 2) transmission shifts rough between 1-3 gears after initial start up. Smooths out after warming up. I've learned not to push it too soon and to accelerate slow and easy to allow smoother shifting. Transmission does seem to "think" too much. I've installed running boards, mud flaps, Husky floor liners, and a bug guard. Now looks like a custom, sporty SUV instead of a base model. I love that I can use to transport our 3 dogs around, then flip the 3rd row up for more passengers. I can also haul large cargo by flipping down 2nd row and it acts like a truck bed. Best of all, the Durango rides smooth and quiet at cruising speeds. My wife loves it! Great sound system, too. Lastly, the rear racetrack tail light is super stylish and unique."

25 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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