After a brief hiatus, Dodge’s Durango SUV returns for model-year 2011, but it will now be built on the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee platform. However, the 2011 Durango will have a 119.8-inch wheelbase; several inches longer than the Grand Cherokee, which will allow for an optional extra row of seating for up to seven passengers. The front passenger seat can be folded down and second rows have a 60/40 split and tumble seat.
Available features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Electronic Stability Control, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, Forward Collision Warning and Keyless Enter-n’ Go. Extras include an Alpine premium audio system, optional Garmin navigation, active head restraints, HID headlamps, power liftgate, dual exhaust (Hemi models), Hill Start Assist, Proximity Keyless Entry and push button start.
Powertrains will be the new 3.6-liter V-6 and a 5.7-liter VVT Hemi V-8 with a five-speed automatic transmission. The optional Hemi is rated for up to 7,400 pounds of towing, while the standard V-6 provides best-in-class V-6 towing at 6,200 pounds. Both engines come with trailer sway control and variable valve timing standard. All models are available in 4×2 and 4×4 versions.
New Durangos are expected to begin arriving in showrooms by early December. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but should start around $30,000 for the two-wheel drive Express; all-wheel drive adds around $2,000, while the Hemi V-8 adds around $1,500.