By on February 3, 2010

Carscoop dug up these drawings from a Chrysler patent filing for the Dodge-branded version of the forthcoming 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Autoblog figures Dodge will drop the Durango name in favor of resurrecting the Magnum moniker, though given that model’s distinct lack of success, that would be a questionable strategy. On the other hand, the Durango name doesn’t have a lot of tread left on it either… but then what Chrysler Group nameplate does? [UPDATE: Grand Cherokee pricing/trim levels apparently leaked here, with prices reportedly ranging from $31,480 to $45,770 ]

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43 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Dodging The Durango Edition...”


  • avatar
    Znork

    Oh joy another SUV.

  • avatar

    I wonder what logo will be on the grille, as Dodge and the “Ram” brand parted ways.

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      I’m very curious to find that out as well. If it’s badged a Dodge, that will only muck up the Dodge/Ram branding strategy even more.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike66Chryslers

      I suspect too much is being made of the “separation” of Dodge and Ram “brands”. There was a quote from Sergio M. that was linked-to from TTAC where he said that they were separating Dodge trucks and Dodge cars and that separate people would manage each (sub)division. At one time, Dodge trucks used the Ram’s head logo, while Dodge cars used a 3-pointed star emblem that they named the “Fratzog”, and they didn’t try to style the cars and trucks so they all look the same. I think that’s what Sergio is trying to get back to at heart.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Sounds like an invitation for badge-engineering to me: Sell it as a Dodge & a Ram. I suppose Chrysler realized GM did less terribly than them, so thought they’d try the GM approach.

  • avatar
    ott

    I think that given Chrysler’s current branding confusion, they should stick with Dodge Durango. It’s at the very least a recognizable name, and I think Chrysler needs a bit of stability right about now.

    • 0 avatar

      Problem is, everyone knows the Durango as an old school SUV-truck. More to the point, a truck that nobody’s wanted for the past year or so. IIRC, this new one is a unibody design so not associating it with the Durango name isn’t a bad idea. This is, after all, not an established name like the Ford Explorer, soon to be on a unitized frame itself.

      Then again, all of this assumes you really care about the spinoff of the Ram brand. Which I see as rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike66Chryslers

      Durango not an established name? 13 years isn’t long enough to be considered “established”? If they name the new truck as something else, some people will say that they are throwing away whatever brand equity they’ve built-up**. They can’t win.

      **Not that I’m defending the Durango as a good vehicle; I have no interest in the Durango so I don’t know how good/bad it is.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    It looks nice enough, but is it really necessary? I’d think that it and the Grand Cherokee would compete for a lot of the same business. I don’t see a problem with the Magnum name, as it wasn’t the name that killed the car, but I’d probably stay away from Durango though. That name did become somewhat tarnished by the second generation vehicle.

  • avatar
    tced2

    You have to file a patent for a new model of a previously existing model? No wonder the patent office is overloaded.

  • avatar

    A Dodge branded Jeep…when both are sold in the same building. Huh??

    John

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    … but then what Chrysler Group nameplate does?

    PT Cruiser.

  • avatar

    To me, that drawing looks suspiciously like the new Grand Cherokee. cover up the snout and see what you think.

    [Edit: it helps to read the article...durr]

    I guess that would make sense from an investment standpoint – if it’s as good a platform as we’re hearing, it makes sense to have a Dodge-branded version to rope in more buyers. It makes a lot more sense than having completely different GC and Durango platforms cometing with each other. If you’re going to cannibalize your sales, why invest in 2 different platforms to do it?
    Doesn’t matter – I’m not interested in owning either one. But it does seem to be a close match…

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      Article says the picture is of: “Dodge branded version of the 2011 Jeep Cherokee”. Not like there’s some big play to hide the fact that this is a Dodge version of the same vehicle on the same platform.

      And who needs another SUV anyway? I thought Ram was the truck brand. I thought Chrysler was trying to more clearly define it’s brands.

      Will the Chrysler version be called the Cordoba ?

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    It’s the 7-seat version of the platform to replace the Durango and Commander. The Jeep GC will have no 7-seat option.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The Dodge version will be lower priced than the Grand Cherokee and have a third row of seats.

  • avatar
    YotaCarFan

    It would make sense to brand all SUVs as “Jeep”, pickups as “Ram”, and sedans & minivans as “Dodge”. Then, eliminate all re-badged variants of the above. And, get rid of the ghetto/thug naming and styling conventions — naming a truck after a gun (magnum) and using the baleful scowl radiator grill motif is off-putting to mainstream buyers IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      Dragophire

      Have you ever thought that Dodge just like the sound of the name of or something to do with weapons..Caliber, Magnum, Crossfire (Chrysler) I don’t really see anything ghetto or thug like about them..Just names.Ford has this thing with F’s and E’s that’s no big deal either. Unless you just think that’s stupid.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    I like it. It’s direct competition for the GMC Acadia, which is also a nice car-based SUV.

    I don’t think it will sell in record numbers, but I think it will sell very well and help Chrysler’s bottom line.

  • avatar

    Naming it Magnum will only upset everyone who bought a Magnum because it wasn’t an SUV.

    I don’t think Durango carries too much baggage.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Stop pussyfooting around and call it a new name, Dodge Dominator, and make a clean break with the past. The only stumbling block I can see is that Holley makes ‘Dominator’ carbs – they might object. Anyway, if you are reading this Chrysler and use the name you’d damn well better pay me.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Why not Ram Charger or Ramcharger. It’s authentic Dodge, always was an SUV, and it’s now 3 generations old (they quit making them after 1993 for the US market) so the jump from BOF to unitized wouldn’t completely confuse much of anyone. They would have sold better as 4-doors anyway. This way you can brand it either way you like without substantially changing the model name.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Nothing– Nothing is wrong with the picture.

    Like has been stated in this reply-chain: There needs to be a ‘commoner’s’ version to help bolster sales of what has always been a very expensive vehicle: the Grand Cherokee.

    To build an SUV really and truly fit(I’ve always seen Jeep as blue-collar luxe) to wear the Jeep name it will directly compete with other powerful, well-trimmed– RWD– vehicles like… oh, ANYTHING from ANY luxe or near-luxe manufacturer. $30k is a bread-and-butter price-point these days. There has to be a model of this chassis that seems approachable, and this is it.

    Which of the Fiat brands is getting a version as well? It’s absolutely gorgeous. I think it’s Alfa, but am not wholly sure. This project seems to be shaping up to be a success, doesn’t it? All Three versions have distinct characters and serve different tastes. You’ve got a traditional ruggedized version, a luxe posh version and a capable but approachable version.

    They’re not unlike the Acadia/Traverse/Enclave– except they’ll be driven by the correct wheels and have proper 4×4.

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      Thank You! You said it all and Alfa Romeo is supossed to get the same. There is nothing wrong with sharing platforms when done properly, not all dealerships have Dodge (Ram) and Jeeps under the same roof.

      2012 Durango/Magnum
      http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/dodge/durango-2012.html

      2011 Jeep GC and possible Alfa
      http://www.allpar.com/trucks/jeep/2011-cherokee.html

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      Actually cooldad, part of Chrysler’s strategy when shutting down stores was to eliminate single brand sales points when possible. There aren’t very many places remaining that sell only Dodge of Jeep, most will sell all Chrysler brands now.

  • avatar
    Mike_H

    Well by golly, I predict that this new vehicle will be a spectacular success in the marketplace.

    Americans are yearning for a badge-engineered Jeep, re-named with a failed Dodge moniker, and manufactured by Fiat. Whoever the heck owns Dodge these days will make a ton of dough on this masterpiece.

  • avatar
    Joel

    I see no surprises here; it has vague hints of Viper, Ram truck, and the new grille style of the big plus that can be seen on other current Dodge cars and trucks. To me it speaks of brand unification if anything(whether that is a good thing or not can be another conversation for another day). SUVs will be around for a while longer, but happily, not in as much gusto as was evident several years ago.

  • avatar
    crc

    Wouldn’t this step all over the Journey? I don’t see the point unless it was noticeably larger and badged as a Ram.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Journey is a 4-cylinder FWD car. This is 6-cylinder RWD truck. The line has been blurred, but there are still distinctions between the two.

    This is an argument of old-school v. new. Chrysler has always been the former. They will not build bastard hybridized amalgamautos like Crosstour, and it’s a beautiful thing.

    I can’t wait for the Dakota– this is the genesis of that truck.

    There are advantages to having a car-based truck, and a trucky truck.

  • avatar
    George B

    A Jeep Grand Cherokee without the insane price? Good for the customer, but wouldn’t this cut into Jeep sales considering the vehicles will mostly be sold under the same roof? Calling it a Durango wouldn’t scare me away as much as the financial state of Chrysler itself.

  • avatar
    Roundel

    To be honest, I don’t see how the Grand Cherokee is considered too expensive. Its a very capabable vehicle that could do far more than most SUV’s in its class if asked.
    But really Its all about the brand. We all know that Jeep is a strong brand, and I think it will be common that this new Dodge wouldn’t even be on the same shopping list as potential Jeep customers, the brands are that different.

  • avatar

    I agree that it should be called Durango, that name has a lot of equity still despite how bad the last generation was. This one should be considerably better judging by how nice the new Grand Cherokee looks.

    But why does Chrysler need a Dodge twin to the Grand Cherokee in the first place? And shouldn’t this thing be a RAM Durango if they want a seperate truck brand?

    Like Chevrolet and GMC this seems incredibly redundant, not to mention confusing for people used to DODGE trucks and SUVs and DODGE as a brand. If I wasn’t a car person I would have no idea what the new RAM commercials are referring to.

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      I do agree with you about this being under the Ram brand. If they want to solidify that name in the marketplace, then placing an SUV in its porfolio makes perfect sense. If others have postulated then this would be different in its ability to seat 7. It sounds like the new GC will not fill the Commander’s briches once it departs us at the end of this year. Since this will be simply platform sharing, I say that its a good plan to try and recoup platform costs.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    A station wagon with a lift kit and a Pickup front clip. Who didn’t see that one coming?

  • avatar
    aamj50

    I think they should skip the Dodge version entirely, put some chrome door trim on the hood and call it the Chrysler Aspen.

  • avatar

    I hope that the new Dodge has real strong side protection to withstand all of the broadsides it is taking in these posts before it even hits the road.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    The new brand has to be some way of getting around the CAFE numbers as trucks-only. What are the truck numbers for 2016? To separate Dodge and Ram, you’ll be able to sell a Charger/Challenger and a 500-based ‘neon’ and not lose your shirt in fines. But you’ll still have the fellas whose wives need cars. This vehicle is straddling the fence between car and truck. Making the transition between Dodge and Ram.

    This Truckster is the top-line(or bottom mpg, whichever way you look at it) for the Dodge brand.

    Chrysler will need some sort of Lancia-based 1.3 Pt Cruiser to sell 300C cars. Jeep will have to have a Panda 4×4 with 50mpg to be able to sell this as a Grand Cherokee– But Dodge as a brand has been trucks and cars.

    The regulations are forcing this strategy. The flack for complying needs to stop. These are normal steps to take.

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    Once Dodge completes it’s next round of Charger-inspired styling on every model it owns, what will be left to inspire the Charger? Can’t wait to see how they’ll apply this design language to the Caliber.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    Some of you are obviously confused as to why they would make a Dodge to compete against the Jeep. It’s not to compete, but to complement.

    Think of how the Merceds GL complements the ML, on the same dealer floor, with the Jeep being the ML and the Dodge being the slightly larger GL.

    Check it out for yourself:
    http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/#/vehicleComparisonMenu/

    Now that this is cleared up, let’s move on to the next Chrysler-bashing article.


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