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Old 02-10-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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Default 2011 Dodge Durango Heat and R/T Trims Profiled, Priced

Among the many sporty offerings on its stand at the Chicago auto show, Dodge has issued full details on the Heat and R/T trims for the new 2011 Durango. Both models are designed to introduce a modicum of sportiness to the big crossover, thanks to both added visual presence and mild chassis tweaks. They go on sale this spring, joining the Express, Crew, and Citadel trims.

Dodge Durango Heat
Positioned price-wise between the entry-level Durango Express and the mid-grade Crew configuration, the Heat is the only Durango model that comes from the factory with just two rows of seats. It’s powered by the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine as most other grades of Durango, but dual exhausts and a new air intake offer a smidge more grunt. Horsepower is up five, to 295 total, while the unchanged peak torque of 260 lb-ft arrives 300 rpm earlier, at 4500 rpm.

To offer a sportier driving experience, the Heat gets sharper steering and a firmer suspension, riding 0.8 inch lower than other models. Its unique 20-inch wheels wear all-season tires as standard but can be optioned with summer-performance rubber. The Durango’s exterior has been given a once-over to reflect the performance intent, with new front and rear fascias and side skirts, darkened headlight housings, painted grille trim, and those dual exhaust tips.

The Heat also includes a 506-watt, 10-speaker Alpine sound system connected to Dodge’s Uconnect voice-recognition infotainment system. The Heat starts at $31,145 with rear-wheel drive, and runs $33,145 with all-wheel drive.

Dodge Durango R/T (pictured above)

The R/T is essentially the Heat model equipped with the optional 360-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and a third row of seats. It also wears a new body kit and grille, as well as the dual exhaust tips and 20-inch wheels, while swapping the headlights for HID units. Likewise, it rides on firmer suspension that has been lowered 0.8 inch, with sharper steering, and load-leveling rear dampers. A “Redline Red” paint color is exclusive to the R/T.

The three rows of seating feature red “digital suede” inserts, with red stitching for the front-row buckets. As for equipment, the R/T builds on the Crew trim, bundling niceties like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, remote start, a power liftgate, keyless ignition, the Uconnect infotainment system, and the 506-watt Alpine sound system with a 30-GB hard drive.

Dodge says the R/T was designed for buyers who used to drive a sports car, but need more practicality. If the chassis tweaks do imbue the crossover with zestier handling dynamics—and if those buyers’ idea of a sports car is a Challenger R/T—it may fill that perceived need. At $36,315 with rear-wheel drive and $38,715 for an all-wheel-drive model, the R/T is just over two grand costlier than the Durango Crew, which we consider a reasonable premium given that the Crew comes standard with the V-6 engine, wears 18-inch wheels, and lacks HIDs.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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Looks better than the last.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
Looks better than the last.
Just what I was going to say.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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.... At this point,
even I have lost track.


That looks ok, a little bloated, but ok.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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So another sporty Durango. Don't think it quite work the first time around.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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^^^This body style was hard to improve in my opinion.
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