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2012 Dodge Durango

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2012 Dodge Durango Review

A serious competitor in the SUV class

Reviewed by Automotive on

The 2012 Dodge Durango is the latest edition of the popular SUV that went missing for two years back in 2008. It's obvious some of the changes that were made during its absences have pushed the Durango into the limelight. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine made its debut last year and carries on for the 2012 Durango. There's an option to go bigger if the V-6 just isn't cutting it. An available 360-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is enough to move a vehicle that can weigh up to 5200 pounds, as is the case of the Citadel with the 5.7-liter engine.

The 2012 Dodge Durango carries over the 2011 model's interior, which is great news. With soft touch materials and a new Uconnect Media center, the latest Durango can seat up to seven in surprising comfort. Part of the credit for the Durango's excellent drivability goes to Mercedes-Benz, which still owned part of Chrysler during the Durango's early development. While the companies went their own separate ways, the Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee benefit from that alliance, as the SUVs are designed to be just as good off-road as they are on.

The Range

Bodystyle: SUV
Engines: 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: SXT, Crew, R/T, Citadel

What's New

With the 2011 Dodge Durango being reintroduced into the market last year no major changes are expected for 2012, with the exception of a six-speed automatic transmission for V-8 models.


After going on a hiatus for two years the Durango returned with the same refined look Dodge has implemented across its lineup. With the influence of its Italian backing the 2012 Dodge Durango has the standard split cross-hair grille and "ring of fire" taillights now seen on all Dodge vehicles. The sheet metal has been crinkled in every new direction possible giving the Durango a robust look. Fog lights book-end the lowered front end and air intake while dual exhaust pipes peek out from underneath the rear bumper.


The 2012 Dodge Durango holds seven passengers spread across three-rows with an interior that can be configured in multiple ways and is soft to the touch. There are more than 30 areas to stuff cargo and 28 different ways to configure seating to enhance cargo space that takes up 85 cubic feet with all the seats folded. Chrysler's Uconnect media center is the heart of all things entertainment in the Durango controlling music and navigation. Satellite radio with Travel Link offer the latest updates on fuel prices and road conditions. A real-time weather forecast is also part of Travel Link and is new for 2012.

Performance & Handling

Independent suspension along with responsive steering and handling makes the 2012 Dodge Durango easy to handle. A choice of the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine or a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine let the Durango get up and go. The Pentastar engine orchestrates 290 ponies to the pavement while the Hemi cracks the whip on 360 horses. While the V-6 soldiers on with the same five-speed automatic as last year, V-8 Durangos get a new six-speed automatic.


The 2012 Dodge Durango has 45 safety features either offered or standard. Some of these features include electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation; which applies the brakes in times of great stress, and trailer-sway control. Other safety features include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection, both help drivers changing lanes or in a crowded parking lot. Seat-mounted air bags protect occupants in the front row while side-curtain air bags secure everyone no matter where they sit.

EPA Fuel Economy

V-6: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway
V-8: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Pentastar engine
  • Handling
  • Smooth ride

You Won't Like

  • Overweight
  • Not offered in SRT8 package

Sum Up

A serious competitor in the SUV class

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford Explorer
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee

See the New 2015 Durango.

Front & Driver Side View

2012 Dodge Durango Consumer Rating

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