The 2011 Dodge Durango doesn’t just offer high quality and an impressive performance, it also scores high in safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has named it as a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS makes the vehicles undergo front, side, rollover and rear crash test evaluations at the Vehicle Research Center in Virginia.
The IIHS then awards the vehicles that get the "good" rating. Testing is done only on units assembled after May 2011.
IIHS president Adrian Lund said that the Durango is the eighth vehicle from Chrysler to be given this honor. He said that the Durango offers buyers the best protection in the most common types of crashes. The Durango also features electronic stability control, which could make customers avoid crashes altogether.
The 2011 Dodge Durango comes with a total of 45 safety and security features. These include standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which has three security features that enhance overall vehicle stability.
It has been fitted with electronic roll mitigation (ERM) that reacts and applies brakes in extreme situations while Hill-start Assist (HSA) works alongside standard Trailer-sway Control (TSC) to boost off-road and towing capabilities.
Due to the independent 4-wheel suspension mixed in with the handling and responsive steering, the Dodge Durango is able to proudly make use of the word “Sport” in the term Sport Utility. With a unique bold design that is able to accommodate a premium and flexible interior that utilizes soft-touch materials and has a three-row 7-passenger seat, it is unmatched by any other SUV in the market. In terms of features, it offers 20 possible seating patterns with at least 30 storage areas.
The cargo area in the rear has about 85 cubic feet of volume which means that one can fit a 6-foot couch and there will still be space left for a coffee table. If the seat of the front passenger is folded down, it allows for a 10-foot ladder to be stored. By being chosen as one of 2011’s Top Safety Picks, the Dodge Durango joins seven other vehicles coming from the Chrysler Group LLC to be chosen for that honor.
Three of these that were chosen by the IIHS are the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. According to the IIHS, the reason the Jeep Grand Cherokee was chosen was because of the torso airbags that have been added which increases the side crash protection. This is in addition to the wide range of safety features already fitted inside. The others are the Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey, and Chrysler 200 Sedan, all three being chosen for this award for the third year in a row.
The seventh vehicle is the Jeep Patriot due partly to the side airbags mounted on the seats. In addition, all of these eight offerings from Chrysler will have as standard equipment, the electronic stability control.
That these eight were selected is no surprise as all of them follow a two-fold approach when it comes to safety features. Examples of these include the supplemental airbags in the side, active head restraints especially for the occupants in the front, and the anti-lock brake systems that have the 4-wheel disc brakes. According to Adrian Lund, IIHS president, the Dodge Durango is Chrysler’s eighth vehicle to get the highest safety award from the Institute.
What this means, he added, is that customers will experience the best kind of protection when it comes to common type of crashes. By having the electronic stability control, it helps avoid such crashes completely, he further said. Chrysler Group LLC Senior Vice President for Engineering shared that with the Dodge Durango, Chrysler Group now has a total of eight units chosen under the 2011 Top Safety Picks.
With this award from the IIHS, it highlights the company’s commitment as it relates to security and safety technology on all its vehicle segments, he continued. The company, he said, will undergo product transformation and seek to not only create new technology in all its vehicles but to increase capabilities as well. Aside from safety, the Dodge Durango is able to offer a mix of fuel efficiency and power.
Inside the hood is the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine with output at 290 horsepower, the best in its segment. It also has the best driving range for its class going 500 miles on just one filled fuel tank. Simply put, one can travel from San Francisco to San Diego and back without the need to stop and fill up on fuel. This is the same as going from Boston to New York or Nashville to Chicago, and back.
Also offered for the Dodge Durango is the HEMI V8 engine that comes with the Fuel multi-displacement Saver technology. Output is also the best for its segment at 360 horsepower with peak torque at 390 lb.-ft.
These two engines also have the trailer sway control for all models and deliver the best towing for its class. The V6 engine can tow up to 6,200 lbs. while the V8 can go as high as 7,400 lbs. In terms of security and safety features, the Durango has at least 45 of them.