2011 Dodge Durango SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Dodge Durango SUV

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Dodge Durango Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 290 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Dodge Durango

  • Thanks chiefly to its welcoming new interior and balanced ride and handling, the 2011 Dodge Durango is now competitive against top crossover SUVs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sophisticated ride; easy to maneuver; adult-friendly third-row seat; powerful optional V8; generous towing capacity.

  • Cons

    Less cargo room than rivals; V6's performance still not as sprightly as some rivals.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Dodge Durango has been completely redesigned.

Full 2011 Dodge Durango Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Dodge Durango has been completely redesigned.


"Maybe you should take a year off and figure out what you want to do." At one time or another, we've all heard this sage advice. In the automotive realm, it seems that someone told this to the Dodge boys, because the 2011 Dodge Durango is solid proof of what good can come from that advice.

After a one-year hiatus, the Dodge Durango emerges with a new body and a new attitude. Formerly a truck-based, body-on-frame SUV, the Durango now uses a carlike unibody architecture that noticeably improves ride and handling dynamics. Dodge has also increased refinement with a smoother, more powerful V6 engine, not to mention a welcoming cabin that has high-quality, soft-touch materials in place of the previously drab and cheap-feeling hard plastics.

The new 3.6-liter V6 cranks out 290 horsepower -- a substantial increase of 80 hp over the previous 3.7-liter V6. It's hooked up to an automatic transmission with just five speeds (pretty much every competitor has six), but the combo is still good enough for decent acceleration and 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway. A 5.7-liter V8 is once again available, providing added muscle for those with greater hauling and towing requirements. As much as 7,400 pounds can be pulled behind a properly equipped 2011 Durango, a top figure for a large crossover SUV with three rows of seats.

Truly, the Durango's sabbatical has done wonders. But that's not to say the 2011 Dodge Durango is suddenly at the top of its class. If heavy hauling capability isn't a requirement, there are a number of very worthy three-row crossovers to consider, namely the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, 2011 Ford Flex, 2011 Mazda CX-9 and 2011 Toyota Highlander. You should also check out the fully redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer, which has gone through a similar metamorphosis this year and is indeed the Durango's closest competitor (it's like the 1990s all over again). But overall, it's very nice to see a stylish and upscale Durango back in the mix.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Dodge Durango large crossover SUV is available in five trim levels: base Express, sporty Heat, midlevel Crew, performance-themed R/T and top-of-the-line Citadel trim levels.

Standard equipment on the Express includes 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated sideview mirrors, remote engine start, full power accessories, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control (includes separate rear air-conditioning), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split-folding and reclining second-row seat, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The Heat deletes the roof rack, third-row seat and rear air-conditioning that are standard on all other trims and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, performance steering calibration, rear load-leveling suspension, body-color accents (grille/bumpers/wheel lips), auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and an upgraded nine-speaker audio system with a touchscreen display, USB/iPod integration, digital music storage and voice activation.

The Crew adds a power liftgate, power-folding outside mirrors, driver memory functions, power front seats (eight-way driver, six-way passenger), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition/entry, rear park assist, a 115-volt power outlet and a rearview camera.

The R/T essentially includes the upgraded luxuries of the Crew (minus the park assist and rearview camera) along with the performance and appearance features of the Heat and then adds the 5.7-liter V8.

Stepping up from the Crew to the Citadel adds automatic xenon headlamps, 20-inch wheels, a chrome grille insert, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, leather seating, heated front and rear seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and a navigation system (with Sirius Travel Link).

Many of the Citadel's luxury features are available on the Crew and R/T, while a few of them (such as the sunroof and back-up camera) are available on the Express and Heat. Options for the whole lineup include a towing package, a skid-plate package and (for all but the Express) a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with satellite TV.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Dodge Durango is offered in several powertrain combinations. You can choose between rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Except for the V6-only Express, rear-drive versions offer a choice of V6 or V8 power. The full-time AWD system is only available with the V6 engine. The on-demand 4WD system features low-range gearing (which makes it more capable on more challenging terrain) and requires the V8 engine.

Standard on all but the R/T is the 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is rated at 290 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a V6 Durango went from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds, a bit slower than most competing crossovers. Fuel economy is 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined for the V6 with all-wheel drive.

Optional on the Crew and Citadel and standard on the R/T is a 5.7-liter V8 good for 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard for both engines. The AWD V8 gets an estimated 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway.


Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side and side curtain airbags are standard on every 2011 Dodge Durango. The Citadel also comes with blind-spot monitoring and cross-path warning systems, which are both optional on the Crew. In Edmunds brake testing, a Durango Crew came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet -- a very good distance for a large crossover.

Interior Design and Special Features

Modern and functional, the 2011 Dodge Durango's cabin has been designed with family-style versatility in mind. Regardless of trim level, the design is attractive and features soft-touch materials in place of the former Durango's hard, cheap plastics.

Chrysler's latest batch of digital entertainment options (a 28GB hard drive, satellite radio and TV) should appeal to kids and tech-savvy parents. The front seats are roomy and comfortable, but the second row has a rather flat cushion and doesn't offer quite as much legroom as roomier rivals. The Durango's easily accessed third row, on the other hand, offers a surprising amount of leg- and headroom (even for 6-footers) and is indeed more spacious than the Ford Explorer's.

With the second- and third-row seats folded down, the Durango can carry up to 84.5 cubic feet of cargo. This is a respectable amount, but competing large crossover SUVs can offer more rear passenger and/or cargo space.

Driving Impressions

A major benefit of the Durango's new unit-body chassis (derived from the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and shared with the Jeep Grand Cherokee) is its ability to keep you from noticing this Dodge's nearly 5,000 pounds when you're going around a corner. The new Durango feels controlled in circumstances that would have left it fumbling to regain its composure in the past. The steering has also been improved, and its responsive nature makes the Durango easy to maneuver.

Low-end torque is not a strong suit of this V6, but once the 2011 Dodge Durango is moving, the engine pulls respectably. Midrange acceleration is adequate for passing and merging and indeed there's little reason to sweat the additional second or two it takes the Durango to reach 60 mph compared to its fleeter rivals. As expected, the V8 offers brisk all-around performance. On a long interstate cruise, the Durango provides a quiet and relaxed cabin environment.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

High hopes; big disappointments

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango Crew 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

Bought it brand new. 2 years and 36k later: Good: Nice design in and out. Looks amazing when clean. Smooth powerful V8 Hemi. Tops in towing. Actual useable 3rd row seating. Bad: Exterior build quality is complete junk. The front bumper pops out and is now cracking like its going to fall off. The exterior mirror housing is frayed and already replaced only to have the same problem return. Tail lights feel loose and move when touched. The drivers door is not aligned with the rest of the body. Car has failed to start once- apparently a known issue with Dodges- failing TIPM's (Google it for more info.). Hemi spark plugs have to be changed every 30k miles. Recommended gas is 89.

Poor craftsmanship

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango Crew 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

I was so excited to get my Durango in June 2011. Since then I have experienced odd hiccupping, like its missing, when accelerating up hills. An extremely irritating rattle in the dash. I have had to have the back of the driver's seat replaced twice because the clips that hold it on break. The review mirror had to be replaced because the night dimmer decided to just stay on all the time. The key fob does not always work. Sometimes the push button start cannot detect the key. Since most of these issues are intermittent, of course, they cannot reproduce them. At least my seat and mirror are fixed for now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 year later and we

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

24000 miles later and I would buy this again. We liked it so much that we have now bought a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit and a 2012 Ram Laramie Crew Cab. The technology is amazing. After lots of research there is no other SUV ( except the GC Overlands etc) that offer all this technolog PERIOD. And if they did, i.e Land Rover ( no ventilated seats nor adaptive cruise in LR4 even available ) it would cost $20k more then the Durango. Auto high beams work great, adaptive cruise a blessing, heated steering wheel. Handles amazing for any SUV. Entry and exit height perfect, not to high nor to low. Interior one of the best, better then other American brands

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my durango

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango R/T 4dr SUV AWD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

I have a 2011 Durango RT V-8. It wasnt cheap but man am I spoiled! It is gorgeous! I love the interior space and quality...it has everything you could need and then some. I have 4 kids and there is space for them and friends even! I am always picking up extra kids. They love the satellite tv and dvd player. My only complaint is the gas milage..while I realize its a v8 and I expected as much, it feels like Im at the pump every day lol. I have put 10k on it and other than oil changes and a balance/rotation all has been great! Its very peppy and fun to drive...wouldnt trade it in for anything. I just love it and so does the rest of the family!!!!

2011 dodge durango with bad

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango Express 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

Bought a 2011 Durango Express AWD. From the day we got it, the steering was loose and pulled to the left. Brought it to the dealer we bought it from, they said it was fine. Brought it to another Dodge dealer that said the car may have been used for parts to fix another vehicle and the parts weren't replaced correctly. They said the alignment was off by 5 degrees. Now the car still has loose steering and now pulls to the right. When going over small bumps, the steering wheel will actually jerk to the right. Three times at the second dealer, they say that's how the car drives. They rotated the tires, double-checked the alignment, balanced the tires was fine. Still have the same problem.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great suv

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

Been driving Durango for 2 weeks, getting 21 - 22 mpg mostly city. Excellent suv , quiet ride, heated and cooled seats, clear sound system. Third row comfortable for 6 ft adult. Did alot of research / test drives, the Durango is the best kept secret in the marketplace. Now consumer reports recommends.

Talk About The 2011 Durango

2011 Dodge Durango Discussions See all Started By

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I have Dodge Durango 2011 with a 5.7l V8...

Anyone looking at the new Durango? We don't even have invoice details yet, so if anyone has some news, please tell us about it....

Read more about the 2011 Dodge Durango

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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