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

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.

About Dodge

Dodge is a full line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs that are sporty, functional and innovative. With nearly 100 years of heritage, the brand has a history of providing its customers excellent quality, innovation and value. Dodge is building on the momentum of introducing six all-new or significantly redesigned products, solidifying its message that Dodge offers an excellent value for American families looking for top performance in all the places that matter – from power off the line and handling in the corners to high-quality, dependable vehicles that deliver unmatched functionality and excellent fuel economy in everyday driving situations. In fact, Dodge now offers six vehicles that deliver 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, while retaining that distinctive Dodge innovation and style. With the all-new Dodge Durango and Dodge Charger and significantly revamped Grand Caravan, Journey, Avenger and Challenger, Dodge also now has one of the youngest dealer showrooms in the country with more new product coming.