Interior / Exterior » 8
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STYLING | 8 out of 10
a modern shape that appears athletic, strong and modern
There's no groundbreaking design here, but the dash is shapely and attractive
Edmunds' Inside Line
new lower fascias and bigger wheels lend the Durango a sportier, contemporary stance
The five-speed automatic, however, does hold the powertrain back, often hesitating on downshifts and sometimes refusing to shift into the lowest possible gear.
The 2012 Dodge Durango was completely redesigned last year, and arguably it's a little less distinctive, muscular and truck-like than the model it replaces.
With its all-new form last year, Chrysler built the Durango on the Grand Cherokee's unibody architecture and in the process, it honed off some of the bulges and brawny character. The big Dodge crosshair grille sets up a tall SUV stance that smooths out down the sides. The shape of this long-profile seven-seater reminds us more of a Toyota Sequoia than the old, flare-fendered Durango this ute replaced, but it's still a fairly muscular shape.There's more visual impact in the cockpit, where some of that more authoritative, truck-like heritage has been carried over. Like the Grand Cherokee, the new Durango sends outdated, hard-edge plastics to the recycling bin. Instead, there are tightly fitted, superb cabin appointments, with big red-needled gauges, simple climate-control knobs, and backpedaled touches of bright and soft metallic trim. With leather upholstery, woven red inserts and red stitching, and white trim rings on the dials, even the R/T feels bold yet very tastefully done. In any case, the Durango feels less like an on-a-budget utility vehicle and more like a luxury SUV, done right.
The 2012 Dodge Durango is a little less distinctive-looking than it's been in the past, but it's still a handsome vehicle--especially inside.