After undergoing a dramatic and award-winning redesign just one year ago, the much heralded Dodge Durango reasserts its dominance for the 2012 model year with a little fine tuning and some impressive new features.
The distinctive, imposing design of the 2012 Durango illustrates the SUV’s no-compromises mentality. With a deep, value-packed trim lineup that stretches from the base Express to the top-of-the-heap Citadel, the Durango delivers premium appointments and outstanding functionality, and does so with a powerful, sculpted exterior laden with available features like chrome accents, a rear spoiler, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps, low-mounted foglamps and 20-inch wheels perched at the edges of a wide, commanding stance. New this year, the Durango offers a trio of new color options: True Blue, Canyon Brown and a Deep Molten Red.
Under the hood, the 2012 Durango gets class-leading power from a pair of engine choices: A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V8. Lightweight and engineered with variable valve timing for enhanced efficiency, the V6 took the segment by storm last year and returns for 2012 with a hearty 290 hp, up to 23 mpg highway (an increase over last year) and a best-in-class driving range exceeding 550 miles. Choose the HEMI and you’ll get 360 hp and 390 lb/ft of torque – through a newly revised six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode – as well as intelligent Fuel Saver mode, which automatically shuts down or activates engine cylinders as needed to enhance fuel economy.
With features like available full-time All-Wheel Drive, a low-range transfer case and standard trailer sway control, both engines deliver class-leading towing capability – up to 7,400 pounds in the HEMI – but the beauty of this year’s Durango doesn’t lie in its raw power alone. More than any other vehicle in its class, the 2012 Dodge focuses its efforts on creating a refined and purely enjoyable ride. The independence of the short/long-arm front and multi-link rear suspension setup delivers unparalleled on-road smoothness and comfort while features like an ultra-stiff, welded body, available load-leveling shock absorbers, a mold-bonded stabilizer bar and electronic stability control ensure confident, precise handling that outshines class competitors.
The 2012 Durango is also more than a capable performance SUV; it’s a versatile three-row, seven-passenger family hauler that’s as thoughtfully designed inside as it is beneath the hood. The Durango’s surprisingly sophisticated interior turned heads after its redesign just a year ago. It integrates world-class refinement, attractive, expressive styling, soft-touch craftsmanship and a laundry list of standard and available features including everything from heated and ventilated leather seats to tri-zone automatic temperature control and a power rear liftgate.
Advanced technology fills the cabin with premium sights, sounds and information like never before. The available top-of-the-line Alpine® premium audio system delivers 506-watts and 5.1-surround-sound and shares center stack space with the optional in-dash Garmin navigation system through the advanced Uconnect® system. Popular features like Bluetooth® and SIRIUS Satellite Radio are also available, as is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with two sets of wireless headphones, a remote and optional SIRIUS Backseat TV™. Advanced uconnect® Web is available to turn the newest Durango into a mobile Internet hotspot.
The 2012 Durango is as flexible as it is functional; with more than 30 unique storage areas, newly available second-row captains’ chairs and 28 different seating configurations (second- and third-row seats easily fold flat), the SUV tops out at about 85 cubic feet of impressively versatile storage space. Named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the newest Durango earns its designation with 45 standard and optional safety features including electronic roll mitigation, Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Path Detection, Forward Collision Warning, a rear camera and front, side and side-curtain airbags.
The newest Dodge Durango garnered press, praise and plenty of awards for its striking redesign. With models starting at just $28,995, the 2012 iteration proves that there’s plenty more where that came from.