It’s a new year for Dodge and the American automaker is determined to start the year off on the right foot. At the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, Dodge will be unveiling a new and affordable performance package for the 2011 Durango, one that will henceforth be called the Dodge Durango Heat.

Though it doesn’t come with the same HEMI powertrain of the performance-oriented Durango R/T, the Durango Heat does come with some attractive features of its own. First is an aggressive styling that underlies its inner beast. Then there’s the new Pentastar V6 engine, which, despite its less powerful engine compared to its R/T alter ego, promises to make up for it in terms of fuel efficiency.

According to Ralph Giles, Dodge’s president and CEO, the Durango Heat "is about handling performance and a street presence that puts the sport in sport-utility."

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Head over after the jump to find out more about the Dodge Durango Heat.

  • 2011 Dodge Durango Heat
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    295 horsepower
  • Torque @ RPM:
    260 lb/ft of torque
  • Price:
  • body style:

Exterior and Interior

For the most part, the Dodge Durango Heat model will be aesthetically similar to its R/T counterpart with only a few upgrades. Among the changes done on the body kit include a monochromatic front fascia with a lower air dam and fog lamps, a color-matched grille, dark headlamp bezels, a lowered ride height (20mm), an integrated dual chrome exhaust system, and a set of 20” wheels that goes along with all-season performance tires.

Over at the interior, the Durango Heat maintains a good share of cabin space, enough for five passengers and 50 cubic feet of storage space that includes 5.9 cubic feet of under-floor storage. In addition, the Durango Heat will also carry the same Uconnect Voice Command and 506-watt Alpine audio system with 10 speakers as that of the R/T model.


Unfortunately, the Durango Heat won’t be coming with that mastadon Hemi V8 engine, but instead will ‘only’ have a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine with an output of 295 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque and a top speed of 130 mph. While some people will be disheartened about the HEMI’s absence under the Durango Heat’s hood, the underlying benefit of the V6 engine will its fuel economy. According to Dodge, the Heat boasts of EPA ratings of 16 mpg for city driving and 23 mpg for highway driving for the rear-wheel drive model and 16 mpg (city) and 22 mpg (highway) for the all-wheel-drive version.

2011 Dodge Durango

2011 Dodge Durango High Resolution Exterior
- image 373512


Anybody interested in scooping up a 2011 Durango Heat will have to shell out either $30,295 for the rear-wheel-drive or $32,295 for the all-wheel drive.


Giants attract giants, so they say. In the case of the Dodge Durango Heat, it’s going to have its hands full against a competing SUV like the 2011 Ford Explorer.

In terms of performance, the closest in numbers to the Durango is the V6-powered Ford Explorer with 290 horsepower and 255 lb/ft of torque. While that number is remarkably close to the figures of the Durango Heat, the latter has a pretty sizable advantage in terms of towing capacity. While the Explorer can haul over 5,000 lbs - a respectable figure in SUV parlance - the Durango Heat out-pulls the Explorer by a fairly wide margin with its best-in-class towing capacity of 6,200 lbs.

  • Leave it
    • Engine could be better, or more powerful
    • Lack of discernible exterior upgrades
    • Competition is stiff in the market
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Show Comments


  (9) posted on 06.19.2011

the durango wasn’t good at all before but i will admit the new rhino looks really good and seems pretty up in the market

  (412) posted on 02.9.2011

Yeah, Cadillac, GMC or Infiniti would be a better choice. But for the Durango, i can see the improvement and upgrades on its looks. Even if the front bumper reminds me of the classic Dodge.smiley

  (559) posted on 02.9.2011

There is a stiff competition in the market. And i don’t think that Durango would be a good choice.

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