The New Dodge Durango has a bit of Mercedes in it……


If your an Anti-SUVer….

You can skip this post….

If NOT …..
Read on….

TESTED 2011 Dodge Durango Crew

WHAT IS IT? An American relative of the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class sport utility.

HOW MUCH? $30,045 for base Express; Crew as tested was $43,385 including $1,195 Technology Group (adaptive speed control, forward collision warning and rear cross-path detection) and $5,000 Preferred Package (20-inch wheels, navigation system, leather and heated front and second-row seats).

WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD? 3.6-liter V-6 (290 horsepower, 260 pound-feet); 5-speed automatic; all-wheel drive.

IS IT THIRSTY? Rating for 2011 is 16 m.p.g. city, 22 highway. For 2012, the addition of electric power steering lifts the highway figure to 23 m.p.g.

I’LL go out on a limb and wager that most people who buy three-row S.U.V.’s and crossovers neither know nor care what’s under the skin. That’s fine — who but a car geek cares what lurks beneath a Ford Explorer?

But nearly all of these vehicles are built on shared platforms, and that incurs compromises. Crossovers are typically based on front-drive cars with limited towing and off-road abilities. Body-on-frame S.U.V.’s are based on pickups, and they (including the original Durango) drive and swill fuel like trucks.

The latest Durango, though, is based on neither a car nor a pickup. Thanks to Chrysler’s bygone hookup with Mercedes-Benz, the Durango (as well as the Jeep Grand Cherokee) shares DNA with the Mercedes GL, a classier fancier relative than a Taurus or a Silverado…..


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