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2012 Dodge Durango Review


The return of the Dodge Durango brought with it numerous awards and comparison test victories from many well-respected evaluation groups, such as MotorWeek and the American Automobile Association (AAA).

2012 Dodge Durango photo

For 2012, the Durango receives even more features, allowing Durango to raise the bar once again for value in the seven-seat SUV segment.

2012 Dodge Durango photo

With its four-wheel independent suspension, near 50:50 weight distribution, and responsive steering and handling, Durango has driving dynamics unlike what you typically find in a Sport Utility. No other SUV on the road compares with the all-new Dodge Durango’s distinctive bold Dodge design that craftily houses a spacious three-row, seven-passenger functional, flexible and premium interior, covered in soft-touch materials.

2012 Dodge Durango photo

Durango features more than 30 storage areas, 28 seating configurations and a rear cargo area of nearly 85 cubic feet that fits a six-foot couch with room for coffee table or a 10-foot ladder with the front passenger seat folded flat.

2012 Dodge Durango photo


Utility may be one of Durango’s key attributes, but safety did not take a back seat during development. The 2012 Dodge Durango was recently named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

New for 2012 is an automatic transmission on HEMI V-8-equipped Durangos that allows drivers to choose between six speeds when shifting in manual mode. V-6 AWD models now get 23 miles per gallon, a one-mile-per-gallon improvement compared to last year’s model.

2012 Dodge Durango photo

Also new for the 2012 model year are second-row captain’s chairs in the already well-equipped Durango interior (delayed availability). Revised trim levels include SXT, Crew, R/T and Citadel.

“There is simply no compromise with Durango,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO - Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Only Durango offers standard seven-passenger seating, best-in-class power, best-in-class towing and best-in-class driving range of more than 550 miles, while also delivering unmatched style and driving dynamics.”

2012 Dodge Durango photo

The 2012 Dodge Durango delivers the rare combination of power and fuel efficiency. Both engines deliver best-in-class V-6 and V-8 towing with standard trailer sway control on all models (V-8 - 7,400 lbs. and V-6 – 6,200 lbs.). Its award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers an unsurpassed 290 horsepower along with a best-in-class driving range of more than 550 miles on one tank of fuel, which means Durango owners could drive all the way from Chicago to Nashville, or New York to Boston and back again, without stopping for fuel.

The EPA fuel economy miles per gallon (mpg) (City/Hwy) are 16/23 for both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models, an improvement of one mile per gallon highway for AWD models compared to last year.

2012 Dodge Durango photo

Durango is also available with the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with fuel saver mode. The 5.7-liter delivers 360 horsepower (268 kW) and 390 lb.-ft. of torque (520 N•m) at 4,250 rpm and also features Variable Valve Timing (VVT). The available V-8 delivers performance, best-in-class 7,400 lbs. of towing capability and fuel efficiency. The EPA fuel economy mpg (City/Hwy) is 14/20 for rear-wheel-drive models and 13/20 for all-wheel-drive models.

The 2012 Dodge Durango features two automatic transmissions and two available full-time all-wheel-drive systems (V-6 and V-8 versions). The drivelines provide smooth operation of the vehicle over a variety of road conditions. Where competitors have switched to car-based platforms, the HEMI-powered, all-wheel-drive Durango features a low-range transfer case for light off-road recreation and to ease maneuvers while towing, such as pulling a boat out of the water from a high degree launch or backing up with a trailer attached.

2012 Dodge Durango photo

The 2012 Dodge Durango delivers excitement and refinement with world-class suspension and performance. It’s a driver’s SUV that delivers impressive on-road performance and capability with the flexibility of a three-row SUV.

The short/long arm front suspension and isolated multi-link rear suspension features isolated front and rear cradles for improved on-road handling and comfort. Durango delivers on the pavement with aggressive shock and spring rates and large sway bars to handle body roll in hard turning maneuvers. Available electro-hydraulic performance steering, along with standard electronic stability control also contribute to maintain tire grip and vehicle stability.

2012 Dodge Durango photo

Passengers will feel materials that are refined with a functionality that gives owners a first-class experience, regardless of the trim level. The instrument panel features a beautifully crafted monotone or two-tone appearance with a dark upper and lighter lower color and premium soft-touch materials for all price classes. Durango’s interior is also extremely comfortable for all three rows of passengers, and there’s a surprising amount of interior flexibility.

From families taking a long road trip and needing to keep the kids entertained, to sports enthusiasts who don’t want to miss the game and teens who can’t live without online gaming, the Dodge Durango offers the latest high-tech features to keep drivers' eyes on the road and passengers connected. Drivers can communicate, navigate and select entertainment options with advanced voice-recognition controls. Passengers can stay entertained with the latest available features, including SIRIUS Satellite Radio™ with Travel Link and UConnect® Web. New for 2012 is the addition of a real-time weather forecast feature as part of SIRIUS Travel Link.

Exterior revisions for the 2012 model year include three new color choices; Deep Molten Red, Canyon Brown and True Blue. These colors join the current Bright Silver, Brilliant Black Crystal, Stone White, Mineral Gray and Redline (R/T only).

2012 Dodge Durango photo

The 2012 Dodge Durango is an IIHS Top Safety Pick and offers consumers 45 safety and security features, including standard electronic stability control (ESC) that delivers three security features to improve overall vehicle stability both on- and off-road: electronic roll mitigation (ERM) reacts and applies brakes during extreme situations, while available Hill-start Assist (HSA) works with standard Trailer-sway Control (TSC) to enhance off-road and towing capabilities.
Other safety and security features available on Durango include Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when they’re changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, Durango features standard seat-mounted air bags in the front row, while side-curtain air bags extend protection to all three rows. Durango also includes standard front-row active head restraints.

2012 Dodge Durango photo -

Dodge Durango is built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit.

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