2012 Dodge Durango SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Dodge Durango SUV

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Dodge Durango Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 290 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Dodge Durango

  • Thanks chiefly to its welcoming interior and athletic yet comfortable handling, the 2012 Dodge Durango is fully 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 2012

    For 2012, the Dodge Durango gets a few minor improvements. Among them are a six-speed automatic transmission for V8 models, newly available second-row captain's chairs and revised trim levels.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (22 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

High hopes; big disappointments

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango

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

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Durango

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

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

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

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

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Dodge Durango Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Dodge Durango gets a few minor improvements. Among them are a six-speed automatic transmission for V8 models, newly available second-row captain's chairs and revised trim levels.


Last year, the Dodge Durango SUV returned to the market after a one-year hiatus. Fully redesigned, the latest Durango is a much different and much better vehicle than the generation that came before. With improved handling and ride dynamics, a nicer interior and a more refined and powerful V6, Dodge's full-size SUV gets a level of respect that the old Durango couldn't have gotten if Nelson Mandela himself was behind the wheel.

As expected, this year's 2012 Dodge Durango has the same positive qualities going for it. We're particularly fond of its sleek styling and upscale cabin. As a large crossover SUV, the Durango can seat up to seven passengers. It is also pretty easy to maneuver and rides well on both the highway and city streets.

Although it cranks out nearly 300 horsepower, the 3.6-liter V6 still boasts relatively good fuel economy numbers. The Durango's specialty, however, lies with its available V8. A nice choice for those who need added muscle for bigger hauling and towing duties, the V8-powered Durango can pull up to 7,400 pounds when properly equipped -- a figure that's more than what most other competitors can manage.

If you don't require such heavy hauling ability but do need three rows of adult-friendly seats, then there are other worthwhile choices to consider. Among them are the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Flex, Mazda CX-9 and the Durango's most obvious competitor, the recently redesigned Ford Explorer. Honestly, there's not a bad one in the bunch, but if you're looking for a vehicle with sharp styling, lots of features and high recreational abilities, the Durango is an excellent choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Dodge Durango large crossover SUV is available in four trim levels: base SXT, midlevel Crew, performance-themed R/T and top-of-the-line Citadel.

Standard equipment on the SXT includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, heated sideview mirrors, 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 sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Crew adds remote ignition, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo compartment cover, power front seats (eight-way driver, six-way passenger), driver-seat memory functions, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition/entry, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a 115-volt power outlet, Bluetooth (phone and streaming audio) and an upgraded nine-speaker sound system with a touchscreen display, a USB/iPod interface, digital music storage and voice activation.

The R/T essentially includes the upgrades of the Crew (minus the parking sensors and rearview camera) along with a V8 engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, body-color accents, xenon headlights, faux-suede upholstery and power driver lumbar support.

Stepping up from the Crew to the Citadel adds automatic xenon headlamps, 20-inch wheels, a chrome grille insert, automatic wipers, a sunroof, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, 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 the R/T. Options for the whole lineup include second-row captain's chairs, a towing package, a skid-plate package (except R/T) and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with satellite TV (except SXT).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Dodge Durango is offered in several powertrain combinations. You can choose rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Except for the V6-only SXT, 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 dual-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. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. In Edmunds performance testing, a V6 Durango went from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds, a bit slower than most competing crossovers. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 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 six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The AWD V8 is rated at 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined.


Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every 2012 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.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Durango earned a perfect "Good" rating for its performance in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Modern and functional, the 2012 Dodge Durango's cabin has been designed with family-style versatility in mind. Regardless of trim level, the design is attractive and features upscale materials.

Chrysler's latest batch of digital-entertainment options (a 28GB hard drive, satellite radio and TV) should appeal to both kids and tech-savvy parents; however, the available touchscreen interface isn't the most user-friendly or advanced. The front seats are roomy and comfortable, but the second row has a rather flat cushion (which helps promote a flatter load floor when the seat is folded) 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 even more rear-passenger and/or cargo space.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Dodge Durango is related to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and it shows in the way this nearly 5,000-pound vehicle drives down the road. The Durango feels controlled in almost any driving situation, and the responsive nature of the steering makes the Durango easy to maneuver.

Low-end torque is not a strong suit of the V6, but once the 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.

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