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2011 Dodge Durango

$9,134 — $20,298 USED
Sport Utility
5-7 Seats
16-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Cruising comfort
  • Stable handling
  • Stylish design inside and out
  • Comfortable, supportive front seats

The Bad

  • Some bobbing on winding roads
  • V-6 burdened with considerable weight
  • Occasional kickdown lag (V-6's automatic)
  • Tall cargo area liftover
2011 Dodge Durango exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2011 Dodge Durango
  • Redesigned for 2011
  • Seating for seven in three rows
  • V-6 or V-8 power
  • RWD or AWD
  • 7,400-pound maximum towing capacity

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

From the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2011 Dodge Durango.

by Mike Hanley -

Numbers are inevitable when talking about cars. Whether it's dimensions, horsepower, wheel size or seat count, each category has a number attached to it — and it's often used to trump a competitor.

There's a number Dodge (and other makers of big crossovers) would probably like to brush under the rug: 75, as in $75 to fill the tank of the redesigned 2011 Durango I tested. The price for a gallon of regular gas in the Chicago suburbs was $3.65, and my total would have been a little higher had I not reached the pump's limit for credit-card transactions.

The Durango is a remarkably well-mannered, high-quality seven-seat crossover suitable for a family road trip, but its fuel economy — typical for its size — is a big liability.

I tested the most efficient version of the Durango available: a rear-wheel-drive model with the base V-6 engine, which is rated 16/23 mpg city/highway. It was a midrange Crew trim level, which starts at $33,195, but plenty of technology options pushed the as-tested price to $41,485. To see a side-by-side comparison with some of the Durango's competitors, click here.

The Look

The previous-generation Durango had an odd look to it from certain angles, but the 2011 model is considerably more stylish. Dodge designer Mark Trostle repeatedly used the word "proportion" when describing its looks. It does indeed have nice proportions, and the design is enhanced by a new take on Dodge's signature crosshair grille that giv...

by Mike Hanley -

Numbers are inevitable when talking about cars. Whether it's dimensions, horsepower, wheel size or seat count, each category has a number attached to it — and it's often used to trump a competitor.

There's a number Dodge (and other makers of big crossovers) would probably like to brush under the rug: 75, as in $75 to fill the tank of the redesigned 2011 Durango I tested. The price for a gallon of regular gas in the Chicago suburbs was $3.65, and my total would have been a little higher had I not reached the pump's limit for credit-card transactions.

The Durango is a remarkably well-mannered, high-quality seven-seat crossover suitable for a family road trip, but its fuel economy — typical for its size — is a big liability.

I tested the most efficient version of the Durango available: a rear-wheel-drive model with the base V-6 engine, which is rated 16/23 mpg city/highway. It was a midrange Crew trim level, which starts at $33,195, but plenty of technology options pushed the as-tested price to $41,485. To see a side-by-side comparison with some of the Durango's competitors, click here.

The Look

The previous-generation Durango had an odd look to it from certain angles, but the 2011 model is considerably more stylish. Dodge designer Mark Trostle repeatedly used the word "proportion" when describing its looks. It does indeed have nice proportions, and the design is enhanced by a new take on Dodge's signature crosshair grille that gives the Durango an intimidating stare. The sides and rear are less memorable, and the design seems to sag slightly behind the rear wheels, but on the whole it's attractive for a big crossover.

Perception-Changing Interior Quality

Previous Dodge interiors didn't do the brand many favors. They were rightly criticized for their uninspired design and rudimentary construction that significantly trailed the competition at a time when design and interior quality were becoming more important to consumers. The redesigned Durango's all-new cabin is a big improvement over the old model's lackluster one, and it's among the best in the segment. It's amazing what a few years and a full redesign can do.

One of the things I like most about the Durango's new cabin is that Dodge didn't forget about the little details — an oversight for which it used to be notorious. Smooth finishes on plastic trim pieces like the door pockets and armrest storage release button might not seem like much, but they go a long way toward raising the overall feel of the cabin — a space that already benefits from high-grade materials and good panel fit.

In addition to style, this Durango has substance. The front bucket seats are comfortable, and even though the step-in height isn't excessive, you get a commanding view of the road. The seats are supportive — especially for your thighs — and were finished in optional leather (upscale cloth upholstery is standard).

The second-row bench seat doesn't slide, but its fixed position has more usable legroom for adult passengers than the second row in the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer. The Durango is just a few inches longer than the Explorer but features a wheelbase that's 7 inches longer. Longer wheelbases tend to provide more room for passengers, and that's the case here. Meanwhile, the two-person third row can handle adult passengers in a pinch, thanks to decent headroom, but it's best suited for children.

Admirable Composure

The highlight of the new Durango's driving experience is, without question, its ride comfort and overall poise. The Durango's foundation is a good one, as it shares its platform with the recently redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is 10 inches shorter. Those roots are evident the moment you get behind the wheel.

For a large three-row crossover, the Durango handles well. There's some body roll when cornering, but it always feels planted and stable. There's none of the tipsiness that many SUVs of a decade ago exhibited.

The Durango's confidence-inspiring steering yields arrow-straight tracking and smooth lane changes, aiding highway cruising comfort. Some drivers might be intimidated by the Durango's large dimensions, but know that this crossover is as easy to drive as one of Chrysler's minivans, and it's right there with the Chevrolet Traverse and the Explorer.

V-6 Power

I was the lone occupant during my test, but the Durango is relatively quick off the line and didn't have any trouble keeping pace with fast-moving highway traffic. That's thanks to the standard 290-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6; it's a smooth-revving engine, and it moves the Durango well. The only time it felt sluggish was when accelerating from midrange speeds with the five-speed automatic in one of its higher gears. The automatic shifts smoothly, but it can pause for a moment when you want it to kick down to a lower gear.

The rear-wheel-drive V-6 version is rated 16/23 mpg. The rating drops to 16/22 mpg when you add optional all-wheel drive. With the optional 360-hp, 5.7-liter V-8, it's rated 14/20 mpg with rear-wheel drive and 13/20 mpg with all-wheel drive.

The Durango's V-6 mileage estimates slightly trail those of its competitors. The Traverse gets 17/24 mpg or 16/23 mpg with front- or all-wheel drive, respectively, and the Explorer gets 17/25 mpg or 17/23 mpg. Meanwhile, the front-wheel-drive Mazda CX-9 is rated 17/24 mpg, while the all-wheel-drive model gets 16/22 mpg. (None of these models offer a V-8 engine.)

If you need to tow a heavy trailer, the Durango's capacity will more than make up for its slight fuel economy disadvantage. When properly equipped, the V-6 Durango can tow up to 6,200 pounds — significantly more than the Traverse (5,200 pounds), Explorer (5,000 pounds) or CX-9 (3,500 pounds). If you need to tow something heavier still, the V-8 Durango is rated for a maximum of 7,400 pounds (RWD) or 7,200 pounds (AWD).

Cargo

Unless you're eyeing a Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition EL, most three-row SUVs and crossovers don't have a lot of cargo room behind the last row of seats. In the Durango, the cargo area with all the seats upright is 17.2 cubic feet — a bit more than you'd find in your average family sedan. There's a bin under the cargo floor if you want to hide smaller items from view.

It's easy to fold the 50/50-split third row with one hand. It drops level with the cargo floor and expands the volume to 47.7 cubic feet, which is a little more than you get in the Explorer when its third row is down (43.8 cubic feet) but less than the 68.8 cubic feet of space behind the Traverse's second row.

Safety

Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags for all three rows, antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, and trailer-sway control.

Optional features include a blind spot warning system, rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control with an integrated collision warning system, a backup camera, and rear parking sensors.

For a rundown on how various child-safety seats fit in the Durango, check out MotherProof.com's Car Seat Check. For a full list of safety features, visit the Standard Equipment & Specs page.

Durango in the Market

Dodge has had a busy 2011 model year, remaking models like the Charger full-size sedan, Journey crossover and Durango, to name just a few.

The 2011 Durango is proof that the brand can compete with the best, but it enters the market at absolutely the wrong time thanks to circumstances not of its making. There's no telling what gas prices will do in the future, but the recent run-up that's brought the national average close to the historic highs of just a few years ago will weigh on car shoppers' minds in the months to come, putting pressure on the Durango and other large crossovers.

In this environment, the V-6 Durango's slight gas mileage disadvantage versus prime competitors may be reason enough for some people to cross it off their consideration list. That would be a shame, because the Durango does many things well.

Send Mike an email  


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
66 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Nice SUV for my family

by Nicoleragan33 from Amarillo on October 10, 2018

This car met our needs it did have problems with the alternator several times which was very frustrating. Grateful I purchase the extended warranty . It got us where we needed to go the gas mileage ... Read full review

(5.0)

Very impressed with bang for the buck

by Mark on July 3, 2018

Had my heart set on my 3rd Explorer. Gave up searching when we found the Durango with all the same options for 8-10k less. Now, my family loves this car. Surprisingly good on gas for a 7 passenger. ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2011 Dodge Durango currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2011 Dodge Durango Express

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
acceptable
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Dodge

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

Latest 2011 Durango Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Durango received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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