So let me offer a suggestion: Check out Dodge’s 2012 Durango SUV Citadel.
The Durango of the past is gone. In its place is this well-sorted, steady-driving, as-comfortable-as-you-can-get three-row SUV that leaves nothing to chance–and in this Citadel trim, nothing off the option list, either, including heated and ventilated seats covered in perforated Nappa leather, visible stitching, chrome-plated wheels, blind spot monitor, high intensity discharge lights, and a unique chrome grille, to name a few.
Engines include new 3.6L Pentastar (with the Mercedes W5A580 5-speed auto trans) and the 5.7L VVT Hemi (with the proven Chrysler 545RFE five-speed transmission). The 3.6 is rated at 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm; and 260 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm. Estimated EPA gas mileage is 16/23 (rear wheel drive) and 16/22 (all wheel drive). With the Hemi, power is rated at 360 hp, and 390 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm; gas mileage is expected to be 14/20 (RWD) or 13/20 (AWD), with up to 7,400 lb of trailer towing with rear wheel drive.
Benchmarked against premium performance SUVs, Durango has a unibody structure consisting of 52% advanced, high-strength steels; it integrates the suspension with the body, reducing flex when compared with the previous body-on-frame design. More than 5,500 welds and more than 4,100 mm of arc welding contribute to torsional stiffness levels greater than the Mercedes-Benz GL. Every path that leads to the interior is sealed in one or more ways and joints are made as tight as possible by using sealer between panels, which expands during the paint process. A double wall separates the engine bay and the cabin to limit the noise.
The new short/long arm front suspension and isolated multi-link rear suspension features isolated front and rear cradles for improved on-road handling and comfort. Aggressive shock and spring rates and large sway bars handle body roll in hard turning. Available electro-hydraulic performance steering and standard electronic stability control contribute to grip and stability.
Your Virginia Dodge dealer offers standard safety features on the 2012 Dodge Durango Citadel which include standard front seat-mounted side air bags and standard side-curtain air bags that cover passengers in all three rows, active head restraints and Electronic Stability Control; options include Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Keyless Enter-n’ Go.
The new Dodge logo on the steering wheel is eerily similar to the one created by Jack Ratchett and featured on Allpar last year.
Built on the known quantity that is the stellar Jeep Grand Cherokee (Autoweek’s inaugural Best of the Best Truck in 2011), the Durango of today is a perfect match for families in need of seven seats (even occasionally), rear-seat entertainment, plenty of power and towing capacity, solid (read: Jeep) off-road cred and a ride and drivability that feels more like a car-based station wagon than a Jeep-based truckster.
You could get away with a 3.6-liter V6 version (290 hp, 260 lb-ft) and still be comparable to the 3.5-liter in the Explorer (290 hp, 255 lb-ft) in output and fuel economy, and have better towing capacity. But if your family is big, and your toys are similarly sized, your Virginia Dodge dealer recommends you stick with this 360-hp Hemi V8, even if fuel economy suffers. This powertrain provides no-holds-barred performance, serious rip off the line and smooth cruising power. Combined with the well-sorted chassis and handsome appearance, this Durango is now truly a real match for the competition.
Just make sure those mastiffs don’t get carsick.
Safford Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Fredericksburg
Your Virginia Dodge Dealer
5202 Jefferson Davis Hwy
540 898 7200 / 888 544 8122