2011 Dodge Durango gets the ‘Top Safety Pick’ award, says IIHS

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 3, 2011

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.

Press Release

New Dodge Durango Named Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Durango latest 2011 Chrysler Group LLC model to receive IIHS Top Safety Pick
Chrysler has eight models that are IIHS Top Safety Picks for 2011

Dodge Durango has been named a "Top Safety Pick" for 2011 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS recognizes vehicles that perform "good" in front, side, rollover and rear crash test evaluations performed at its Vehicle Research Center in Virginia. This award applies to Durango models built after May 2011.

Additionally, to be considered, vehicles also must have available electronic stability control systems, which, research has shown, significantly reduce crash risks.

The all-new 2011 Dodge Durango offers consumers 45 safety and security features, including standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which delivers three security features to improve overall vehicle stability both on- and off-road: electronic roll mitigation (ERM), which reacts and applies brakes during extreme situations, and Hill-start Assist (HSA), which works with standard Trailer-sway Control (TSC) to enhance off-road and towing capabilities.

Other safety and security features available on the 2011 Dodge Durango include Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when they're changing lanes or parking. In addition, Durango features standard seat-mounted and side-curtain air bags in the front row. The curtain air bag extends protection to second- and third-row passengers. Durango also includes standard front-row active head restraints. Additionally, drivers can remotely lower third row headrests to enhance rear visibility when the seats are not occupied.

"The Durango is the eighth vehicle from Chrysler to earn the Institute's highest safety honor," said IIHS president Adrian Lund. "The performance of the Durango means buyers are getting the best protection in the most common kinds of crashes, and electronic stability control for avoiding many crashes altogether."

The new Durango joins seven other vehicles from Chrysler Group LLC that are Top Safety Picks for 2011. Earlier this year, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger were named "Top Safety Pick" by the IIHS. In selecting the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the IIHS noted the addition of torso airbags to bolster side crash protection to the vehicle's already comprehensive list of safety features. Chrysler 200 sedan, Dodge Avenger and Journey return to the list of IIHS "Top Safety Pick" for the third straight year. Jeep Patriot is also "Top Safety Pick" when equipped with available seat mounted side airbags.

All eight Chrysler Group LLC vehicles feature electronic stability control as standard equipment for 2011.

"With the latest addition of Dodge Durango, coupled with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, Chrysler Group has eight Top Safety Picks for 2011. This recognition by the IIHS underscores our commitment to engineering safety and security technology across all vehicle segments," said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President – Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. "As we continue with our product transformation, we'll continue to engineer new technology and more capabilities into all our vehicles."

All eight Chrysler selections employ a two-fold approach to safety including active head restraints for front seat occupants, standard antilock brake systems with four wheel disc brakes, and supplemental side airbags.

About Dodge Durango

With its four-wheel independent suspension and responsive steering and handling, Durango puts the "Sport" in Sport Utility. No other SUV on the road compares with the all-new Dodge Durango's distinctive bold Dodge design that craftily houses a spacious three-row, seven-passenger functional, flexible and premium interior, covered in soft-touch materials. Durango features 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 coffee table or a 10-foot ladder with the front passenger seat folded flat.

Durango also delivers the perfect blend of power and fuel efficiency. Its award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers best-in-class 290 horsepower along with a best-in-class driving range of 500 miles on one tank of fuel – that means Durango owners could drive all the way from Chicago to Nashville; San Diego to San Francisco; or New York City to Boston and back again without needing to stop for fuel. The available HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver multi-displacement technology delivers a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines deliver best-in-class V-6 and V-8 towing with standard trailer sway control on all models (V-8 up to 7,400 lbs. and V-6 – up to 6,200 lbs.). Durango also features more than 45 safety and security features.

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