- Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 09:47
- Written by Frank S. Washington
- Category: Drivin' 2012
It’s been years since I test drove a Dodge Durango. So I was definitely out of touch with the sport utility. But after spending a week in a 2012 edition one word stuck in my mind – refined.
My test vehicle was quiet and smooth but it still had Durango muscle. I had a 2012 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD. The Citadel is at the top of the Durango trim line.
The sport-utility had a HEMI® V-8 with multi-displacement technology. It made 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and it was equipped with standard trailer sway control. The vehicle could tow up to 7,400 lbs.
This engine was responsive, it had subtle power, it was quiet and acceleration was instant. There was no truck-like lag when I depressed the accelerator with authority. Transmission shifts were excellent, heck, the gear box was so smooth I didn’t notice that my Durango had six forward gears.
My three-rowed test vehicle had seven seats. However, for 2012 Dodge is offering second row bucket seats with a choice of two center consoles. That would cut seating capacity to six. Nonetheless, two of the three seating surfaces of the second row bench seats in my sport-utility were heated. That’s something that would have never occurred to me in an old Durango. Heck, the heated and cooled front seats were a new sense to me of refinement in the Durango.
The press material contained information about the Durango’s four-wheel independent suspension that gave my Durango a car-like ride, well almost. The 50-50 weight distribution meant I felt no shift of weight while turning or in normal stops and starts. The responsive steering gave me accurate handling. In other words, the sport-utility went where I steered it in real time.
Three row sport utilities are for those folks who have other folks (kids) to tote around and the stuff that usually goes with them or the friends that they pick up along the way and their stuff, too.
To serve their needs, the Durango featured more than 30 storage areas, 28 seating configurations and a rear cargo area of nearly 85 cubic feet that fits a 6-foot couch with room for a coffee table or a 10-foot ladder with the front passenger seat folded flat.
Buyers can also opt for a larger center console that has more storage space and class-exclusive features, such as illuminated cup holders and a USB jack, as well as a 12-volt outlet for charging phones, video games and other electronic stuff.
The Durango’s exterior lines have been smoothed and it still sported the iconic horse collar grille. The interior was spacious, the leather seats had French stitching and the sport-utility was well equipped including Bluetooth, satellite radio, a navigation system, rear park assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot sensor, forward collision warning and a backup camera. And that’s just some of the Durango’s creature comforts.
My 2012 Durango Citadel AWD (all-wheel-drive) had a base price of $42,995. Add on optional equipment and an $850 freight charge and the price as tested was $47, 235.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com