2012 Dodge Durango Review
The 2012 Dodge Durango continues to impress reviewers with its upscale interior, rugged good looks and standout performance.
The 2012 Dodge Durango was co-developed with the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and test drivers say its luxury roots show through. This family-hauling SUV packs surprisingly fun driving dynamics, thanks in part to its German engineering, powerful Hemi V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. In fact, the Durango is one of the only affordable midsize SUVs to include a V8 engine that puts power to the rear wheels, making it one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in its class.
Test drivers are also impressed with the 2012 Dodge Durango’s high-quality interior and easy-to-use features. Though some may complain that the graphics used in the Garmin-sourced navigation system look cheesy when compared with such an upscale interior, all agree that it’s intuitive. Plus, the Dodge Durango offers Sirius TV, a Chrysler exclusive that includes kids’ TV channels along with its satellite radio package.
The 2012 Dodge Durango isn’t perfect though. Its fuel economy with all-wheel drive is sub-par, especially when paired with the powerful, but thirsty, V8 engine. And some test drivers wish for more space in the Durango’s second and optional third rows. Still, most say the 2012 Dodge Durango should be at the top of your shopping list if you’re in the market for a three-row crossover.
Other SUVs to Consider
If you need a family SUV with more heavy-duty off-road chops than the Durango’s soft-road capabilities, check out the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Though it can only seat up to five compared with the Durango’s maximum of seven, it’s one of the most capable off-road SUVs on the market, and reviewers say it’s comfortable on-road as well. It costs a bit more than the Durango, but no other affordable midsize SUV can outshine its combination of family-soothing luxury and boulder-crushing off-road prowess.
For a crossover with a roomier third row and better fuel economy in two-wheel drive models, take a look at the Chevrolet Traverse. It’s a little more expensive than the Durango, but reviewers say the Traverse is one of the only crossovers in the class with an adult-sized third row. Plus, the auto press says it’s hard to beat the Traverse’s combination of interior features and around-town comfort.
Details: Dodge Durango
The 2012 Dodge Durango sees minimal changes for this year, following the complete redesign that debuted with last year’s model. Updates include the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission paired with the Hemi V8 engine and improved fuel economy in four-wheel drive V6 models.
Since the 2012 Durango is very similar to the 2011 model, we include reviewer opinion from prior evaluations.
- "Though Durango is a late entry to the ‘large-midsize’ 7-passenger crossover segment, it's a very credible alternative to established players, such as the GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX-9.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Formerly a truck-based, body-on-frame SUV, the Durango now uses a carlike unibody architecture that noticeably improves ride and handling dynamics. Dodge has also increased refinement with a smoother, more powerful V6 engine, not to mention a welcoming cabin that has high-quality, soft-touch materials in place of the previously drab and budget-feeling hard plastics.” -- Edmunds
- "If you're using your head, you pick the Ford (Explorer). However, if you're using your heart, the Dodge (Durango) is the easy winner. While the Explorer is pretty good-looking, the Durango is downright dapper. Not that people buy SUVs for how they handle, but we can't stress how much we liked driving the Dodge, especially when compared to the more minivan-ish Ford. It's just a more appealing product.” -- Motor Trend
- "The Dodge's refined ride and handling, fuss-free technology and endlessly impressive foul-weather handling made it a first-rate travel companion, full stop.” -- Autoblog
- "Its merits are substantial and our kvetches minimal; Dodge did its homework to offer such a world-class family hauler.” -- Left Lane News