2012 Dodge Durango Crew 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
We wanted to replace my wifes 07 Lexus RX with a bigger vehicle so she test drove a 2012 Explorer and then the 2012 Durango. I went with her on the Durango test drive only so I cannot compare it to the Explorer, but I was totally impressed with the Durango after seeing how good it looks and driving it. It handles much better than our Lexus with hardly any body lean at all. I was so impressed that I did not see the need to test drive anything else.
My wife liked the Durango better than the Explorer because of how it drove, the 2nd and 3rd row seat space was better, and the technology/controls are easier to use. For example the navigation in the Durango is a Garmin unit that is really easy to use, she said the Explorer navigation system seemed like it was going to be a lot more complicated and she might need to take a class to learn how to use the touch system.
We did not want to get leather in this vehicle yet we were able to get a ton of other features. Most other brands make you buy their leather package to get push-button start, 2 driver position presets, rain sensing wipers, upgraded stereo, etc. I think a Honda I bought one time I had to buy their leather package just to get a sunroof. We got all these things and did not have to buy leather that we were not interested in. The base stereo in the Crew is a 9 speaker Alpine system with a 500 Watt amp. This is the base stereo and is not an extra charge, I was totally surprised to learn this when I saw the Alpine amp in the back. We also got the navigation which I think added a 40GB hard drive to store music on. I have never owned a Chrysler or Dodge vehicle in my life but this seemed like a really easy choice for both me and my wife after looking at the Durango up close.
Ride, handling, styling, standard features, Alpine stereo with 500 Watt amp and sub, Push-button start, Garmin navigation, lots of passenger room, backup sensors/camera, sound insulation, high quality interior.
Warranty is only 3 years / 36000 miles. Fuel economy isnt horrible with the v6 but Im sure they could find ways to make it better. Dont try to sell me extended warranties and paint protection packages when Im giving you $34k.