What is it? While the original Dodge Durango was a truck-based, rough-and-ready SUV, the 2011 Durango is a unibody crossover (available with rear- or all-wheel drive) promising more real-world refinement, as well as off-pavement and towing abilities to satisfy the needs for most customers. Think of it as now targeting the Chevrolet Traverse, rather than the Tahoe.
It is powered by the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine, with a 6,200-lb. tow capacity. For more might, a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 will be available with a 7,400-lb. tow capacity--more than enough for a typical 24-foot boat and trailer. Horsepower and fuel economy figures have not been released. However, we can guess the output, as these power plants are shared with the redesigned 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. There, the V6 produces 290 horsepower and the V8 churns out 360 horsepower.
The three-row interior is said to be more passenger friendly than before, with better materials and attention to design. We had a chance to briefly preview the Durango, and the cabin made a better first impression than the outgoing model. We'll know more when we test a real production model.
Safety features include standard three-row curtain air bags, active head restraints, and stability control. Available premium equipment includes adaptive cruise control, collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-path detection.
When will it be available? Late 2010.