Chrysler is on a roll with SUV designs, and though the Durango doesn't quite hit the sweet spot the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee does, it's not far off the mark. Sleek, smooth, and modern, the 2011 Durango's look wraps what Dodge is pitching as a "performance-tuned" setup, and does it with three rows of seating.
Performance SUVs are hardly a new idea, and Chrysler has even turned one out before: the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. But the 2011 Durango lays claim to fun-to-drive ability without the SRT8 price tag.
Powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 or a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the Durango won't be all that sporty in all configurations. It's also still up for the weekend boat-hauling it will need to do, rated at 7,400 pounds towing capacity with the V-8 and 6,200 pounds with the V-6. All-wheel drive is available with either engine, and the V-8 offers Multi-displacement System tech, which cuts four of the cylinders under light load for fuel economy.
Inside, the 2011 Durango steps up its game with the same design team that was behind the very nicely outfitted 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dodge says it's a "first-class experience," though naturally we'll have to wait to get our hands on one to see how much of that is marketing hype and how much is reality.
The 2011 Durango goes on sale in the fourth quarter of this year.