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2011 Dodge Durango Review

Dodge redesigned the Durango for 2011, transforming it into a crossover with sporting intentions, a well-made interior and outstanding safety ratings. This SUV isn’t the best for rugged off-roading, but when it was new, test drivers said the seven-seat Durango was the ultimate Dad-mobile.

Pros & Cons

  • Available V8 engine
  • Comfortable ride
  • Upscale interior
  • High safety scores
  • Less cargo space than some midsize SUVs




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Dodge Durango Overview

When it debuted, reviewers said that the 2011 Dodge Durango was one of the best vehicles in Dodge’s lineup. Though the three-row crossover class is competitive, test drivers said that the Durango stands out with an available V8 engine and aggressive looks. Most testers said the base V6 engine has enough power for most shoppers, but the Durango is one of the only three-row 2011 midsize SUVs with a V8, and reviewers loved the extra power it provides. Not only does the Durango’s engine make it fun to drive, but it also means the Dodge can tow more than almost any other crossover. If you need three rows of seats, but want a vehicle that will stand out from the crowd and provide some serious grunt, the Dodge Durango is worth a serious look.

The Durango comes standard with rear-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is available. It is available in five trims: Express, Heat, R/T, Crew and Citadel. The base Express trim comes standard with features like tri-zone automatic climate control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker audio system and satellite radio. Higher trims offer features like a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a sunroof and a navigation system, among other features. The R/T trim is the sportiest, and gets a standard V8, special exhaust tuning, sportier looks and a unique suspension.

See the full 2011 Dodge Durango specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Dodge Durango’s performance, you should also consider the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both SUVs share the same underpinnings, but since the Grand Cherokee is smaller and lighter, test drivers said it feels more powerful. The Grand Cherokee only seats five, but reviewers said it lives up to its Jeep badge because of its excellent off-road capability. Plus, test drivers appreciated its well-made, high-quality cabin.

The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse is also a top pick in its class for those who need minivan-sized seating and cargo capacity, rather than the Durango’s available performance. The Traverse has one of the most comfortable third rows in any SUV, and closely matches the Durango in terms of safety. Though it doesn’t offer a V8 engine, reviewers said it was quiet and comfortable to drive, with tons of room for the whole family.

Compare the Durango to the Grand Cherokee and Traverse »

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