2012 Dodge Durango Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sophisticated ride
  • easy to maneuver
  • adult-friendly third-row seat
  • powerful optional V8
  • generous towing capacity.
  • Less cargo room than rivals
  • V6's performance still not as sprightly as some rivals.
List Price Range
$13,725 - $18,890

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks chiefly to its welcoming interior and athletic yet comfortable handling, the 2012 Dodge Durango is fully competitive against top crossover SUVs.

Vehicle overview

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.

2012 Dodge Durango models

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).

2012 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Dodge Durango.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Wow, what a vehicle!
Citadel 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
(BTW, this is a review of the Citadel V8 model, not available to choose from the list) I origiannaly had a 2011 Traverse and it was a nice vehicle with some great room and features. I was however, unhappy with the looks of it as well as the cheap "feel" of the interior. (I owned the LTZ model) I was always looking for a nice suv that had a more manly style and still had the luxury inside without paying for an escalade. Enter the 2012 Durango Citadel! OMG, this vehicle has it all. All of the cool tech features you could ever want, super luxurious interior, and a badass look on the outside! If there is one caveat I have, it is the plastic rim covers. An amazing vehicle overall!
Great SUV
Crew 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
We wanted to replace my wife’s 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.
Love it
Crew 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
We have owned the vehicle for just over 2 months and we love it. Dodge finally paid attention to details on the interior. The leather is top quality, steering wheel feels great, wood trim is quality and does not look like cheap stick on wood, perfect ambient lighting (cupholders, doorhandles etc...), Nav with Garmin is on point. We drive a lot and freeway we average from 23-24 mpg. Nice size gas tank so we can drive 500 miles on one tank. Personally speaking, I love driving the car. Ride is great. I think it is a smoother ride than an A6 I owned a few years ago. I would consider this vehicle without question
Never thought I'd be back in a Dodge.
Crew 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
After a couple of foreign cars I'm back in a dodge and my first SUV. We traded a mazda 5 for this as we had a third kid recently and the 5 (although great) was just too small. The Durango is a beautiful machine, it's well made and drives very well. My biggest surprise is the mpgs. I've only had it a few days but I'm consistently getting 18-19 mpgs in the city. Also on a hilly drive home from the dealership in Jefferson City MO to Columbia MO I averaged 25.4 mpgs. Both these numbers beat our minivan. Our little mazda 5 only got 22 not mater where or how I drove it. Just keep that rev counter in the green zone and you'll match me easily.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover22.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Dodge Durango

Used 2012 Dodge Durango Overview

The Used 2012 Dodge Durango is offered in the following submodels: Durango SUV. Available styles include Crew 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A), R/T 4dr SUV AWD (5.7L 8cyl 6A), SXT 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 5A), Crew 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 5A), SXT 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A), R/T 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 6A), Citadel 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 5A), and Citadel 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A). Pre-owned Dodge Durango models are available with a 3.6 L-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine or a 5.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 360 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2012 Dodge Durango comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2012 Dodge Durango comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Dodge Durango?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Dodge Durango trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Dodge Durango Crew is priced between $13,725 and$16,995 with odometer readings between 87274 and144065 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Dodge Durango Citadel is priced between $18,890 and$18,890 with odometer readings between 102627 and102627 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Dodge Durango SXT is priced between $14,500 and$14,500 with odometer readings between 108963 and108963 miles.

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Which used 2012 Dodge Durangos are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Dodge Durango for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2012 Durangos listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,725 and mileage as low as 87274 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Dodge Durango.

Can't find a used 2012 Dodge Durangos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Durango for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $12,858.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $10,130.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Durango for sale - 2 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $21,530.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Dodge Durango?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Dodge Durango lease specials