AAA Picks the Charger, Durango As Top Road Trip Models
by Patrick Rall
As summer road trip season is upon us, the folks at AAA have announced their top new models for road trips and among the list are the 2011 Dodge Charger and the all new 2011 Dodge Durango. The Charger received an extensive refresh inside and out for 2011 while the Durango is a completely new model – with both of these vehicles benefitting from the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the 5.7L Hemi V8.
The 2011 Dodge Charger features a new exterior that is a gorgeous
improvement on the previous generation of the muscle 4-door Dodge
sedan. The front end received some styling tweaks to make it more
aggressive with new scalloping on the hood and doors paying homage to
the vintage Charger. Finally, the 2011 Charger sports an incredible new
LED taillight that encompasses the entire width of the car’s rear end.
However, being a great road trip car is more about interior and drive
quality then great looks.
When the Dodge engineers were working on the interior of the 2011
Charger, they didn’t look to other cars in a similar price class;
instead they laid out the new interior based on luxury brands like Audi and
Lexus. The result is a roomy, luxurious interior with soft-touch
surfaces throughout the cabin providing for an incredibly comfortable
experience. On top of the revised seats and armrest areas being
improved to bolster driver and passenger comfort, the 2011 Charger
offers a state of the art sound system and plenty of leg and elbow room
for a family of five.
Of course, there are also the fuel efficient engines of the 2011 Dodge
Charger with the new 3.6L Pentastar V6 offering 292 horsepower and 27
miles per gallon on the open road. This engine provides plenty of power
for a road trip with impressive fuel economy to boot. But if the driver
demands more power on their drive, there is also the 5.7L Hemi V8 option. This
tried-and-true V8 packs 370 horsepower and 395lb-ft of torque while
using the Fuel Saver Technology (including the Multiple Displacement
System) to yield 25 miles per gallon on the highway. MDS shuts down 4 of
the 8 cylinders in the Hemi to improve fuel economy when the full force
of the Hemi isn’t needed – like when you are cruising down the highway
on a family road trip.
The 2011 Dodge Durango is an all-new SUV inside and out – with a new
unibody construction allowing for weight reduction, and thus, better fuel
economy from this brawny sport ute. Inside, the new Durango offers
plenty of room for a family of 5 with lots of cargo space in the back
for luggage or the family dog. Dodge has fitted the Durango with
similar luxury level amenities, both in seat and panel surfaces, as well
as high tech AV goodies like a premium sound system and rear
The 2011 Durango is available with its own variants of the 3.6L
Pentastar V6 and the 5.7L Hemi V8. The Durango’s V6 makes 290
horsepower while reaching 23mpg while the 5.7L Hemi in the SUV makes
360hp, 390lb-ft of torque and getting a respectable 20mpg on the
highway. Also, the Durango can tow 6,200lbs when equipped with the V6
and 7,400lbs when fitted with the Hemi – so you can tow a travel trailer
or even another vehicle on your family vacation.