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The New Dodge Durango is Longer, Lower and Leaner

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2010

Following the purchase of Chrysler assets by Fiat, an aggressive realignment of Chrysler brands has put Dodge cars under the direction of Dodge president Ralph Gilles, while Dodge trucks have been placed in a new division dubbed – appropriately enough – Ram. This allows Dodge to pursue a more ‘every-man’ (and woman) product portfolio, while the new Ram can aggressively pursue the red meat profile (American, male) of the more typical truck prospect.

Dodge’s newest Durango may not speak fully to a new, Eurocentric enlightenment, but its combination of Mercedes underpinnings, available Hemi power and a wheelbase five inches longer than its Grand Cherokee sibling signals a new direction in the Durango product plan. The truck-based body-on-frame construction of the first and second generation Durangos is out, and what promises to be a wholesale improvement in ride-and-handling composure is in.

Although the new Durango’s Grand Cherokee roots are evident, this isn’t the vehicular cloning that took place when developing Jeep’s Liberty and Dodge Nitro. Instead, the Grand Cherokee’s upright structure is morphed into a softened, more organic shape – compared by Dodge to the new sheetmetal on this year’s redesigned Charger – for Dodge’s iteration. Most of the lengthening (some five inches of additional wheelbase) appears to have been added to rear seat legroom and rear door length. The modifications allow the addition of a third row, while making access to both second and third rows easier.

“Dodge Durango appeals to customers who need the versatility of a crossover and capability of an SUV, but want the refinement and characteristics of a premium performance vehicle,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge.

The new unibody structure is constructed of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, to which is attached an all-independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. Best-in-class towing capability is 6,200 lbs. when opting for Dodge’s new 3.6 liter V6; check the Hemi box and capability is up to 7,400 pounds (think 24-foot boat and trailer).

Safety is enhanced with standard electronic stability control, blind-spot monitoring and side airbags providing protection for all three rows. The Durango’s 85-cubic feet of cargo will swallow a 6-foot couch and coffee table, affording the chance to fall comfortably asleep while driving.

The 2011 Durango arrives in Dodge dealerships during the 4th quarter of 2010, and is assembled at Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The New Dodge Durango is Longer, Lower and Leaner - Autotrader