• Jan 19, 2010
According to an Autoblog source, Dodge will abandon the Durango nameplate for the model's replacement due for 2012. In place of that two-generation designator, Chrysler is exhuming the Magnum nameplate, a moniker used on the low-slung wagon built on Chrysler's LX platform up until 2008. The new Magnum is expected to be built atop the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee chassis (itself riding on Mercedes-Benz-derived architecture) and skew more toward the crossover segment than the previous rough-and-ready SUV.

Our source originally showed us a screen capture of a Pentastar service training software page on its Chrysler Academy Learning Center confirming the Magnum's existence (shown above), but at that time, he wasn't clear what the vehicle was. Since then, our man has learned through a Chrysler zone manager at a New York dealer's meeting that the line item in question is indeed the next Durango. A secondary source close to the situation confirmed to Autoblog that a name change for the new vehicle is in the cards and that Magnum is under serious consideration, but he was unclear as to whether a final decision had been made.

The Durango was introduced in 1998 and immediately found success riding the crest of the SUV boom. A second-generation debuted for 2004 and ran through the 2009 model year, but the larger redesigned model didn't meet with the same sort of success as its predecessor, struggling to deal with the collapse of the body-on-frame SUV market and increasingly plentiful crossover options.

It isn't immediately clear what the reasoning is behind Chrysler's apparent name change strategy, especially as the 2005-2008 Magnum itself wasn't considered much of a sales success (it was consistently outsold by its LX platform stablemates, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger). That said, with the model being more CUV-like than a body-on-frame bruiser, the change seems to make some sense. Further, Magnum remains a powerful nameplate, and the Pentastar has a long history of employing it for any number of different products, including a large B-platform coupe in the late 1970s, a range of engines, and a Mexican-market K-car model in the '80s. Thanks for the tip, Michael!


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  • 42 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sorry dodge, but Magnum will always be that abortion of a monster station wagon I see woman struggling to park at the mall.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Mercedes is riding on a GC-derived chassis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There is nothing wrong with the Durango nameplate. They should leave it alone.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Looks like they are dropping the Durango name because many people associate it with large SUV's and trucks which probably correlates it to poor mpg's.

        By switching to Magnum, Dodge is lining its names up with its performance image. I would not be surprised if the new midsized truck (if made) will drop the Dakota name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      huh..how about Ram 1000?
      Does the buyer have to have a Tom Selleck mustache to own the new Magnum?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thats kind of weird to me. Personally I thought that the Magnum was a fairly cool vehicle and that it was doing quite well as far as sales were concerned, same goes for the Durango? Shows how much I know. If that were the case I guess they wouldn't be changing the names would they? I actually agree with what Jamie has said that in changing the name it might confuse the customers though. I guess we'll see. I am going to post something about this on my new blog though. http://26inchrims.org
      • 4 Years Ago
      so then what are they going to call the new Magnum?
        • 4 Years Ago
        read the last sentence in the first paragraph
      • 4 Years Ago
      The name is being changed because Sergio has the same ideas about America as most foreigners. It's a land where guns sell, sex sells, and bigger is better. "Magnum"
      scores the trifecta and resonates with Americans in a way that beautiful little mountain towns don't.

      Add it to the "Ram" line and men will fall all over themselves in a psychosexual stupor. At least Chrysler's marketers must hope this is the case.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When will Chrysler learn that people don't like nameplates relating to things that explode or reference death in any way? Durango is a fantastic name! Don't make the mistake of getting rid of it Dodge.
      • 4 Years Ago
      especially considering I have condoms that go by the same name...

      some great association there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        DJ, that wagon was not an epic fail. They cancelled it because the station wagon was not selling as much as their charger sedan and the suv - that is a no brainer. Of course the wagon sells less. It only was axed because they had to restructure and prioritize and less performing cars (which btw are loved in this case) had to make way. Like it or not, people who have magnums seem to love them and they are rated well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hmmm, we can name our new SUV after:

        A - A station wagon that was an epic FAIL.

        B - A gun used by Clint Eastwood in 80's movies.

        C - A TV show starring Tom Selleck

        D - A really big bottle of wine

        E - An oversized condom.
        • 4 Years Ago
        you sir are a pro at spotting comedy and jokes when you read them.

        I could have made a gun joke, or a cheap malt liquor shot, I chose magnum condoms and stick with my decision.

      • 4 Years Ago
      If they are going to change the name then they should at least change it to Ramcharger, a name that has significance to the brand. Also, the '05-'08 Magnum was not meant to be a volume seller along the lines of the 300 and the Charger. It is not like the Taurus wagon was meant to sell as many units as the sedan. Would Chrysler have like to sell more of the Magnums in the U.S.(the 300 Touring in Europe)? I am sure the answer is yes, but if they did not discontinue the model then there would not be production capacity for the Challenger.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A 300 Touring for the US would have been far more successful than the Magnum in my opinion. Or if Plymouth could have been ressurected for one or two select models, a Grand Fury station wagon with limited option packages to keep the price reasonable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was never the Charger wagon, does not share one piece of sheet metal with the Charger. The body lines are completely different. The reason you can throw a 300 front end on a Magnum, is because it was sold that way in Europe as the Chrysler 300C Touring.
      • 4 Years Ago
      After seeing what seemed to be concept drawings of the new Durango/Magnum, it does resemble both slightly. Not quite a Durango and not quite a Magnum.

      Either way, I'm not married to the name. Call it Beetle Dung for all I care if I get the large V8, and 8,000# of towing in a "mid-sized" SUV which seats 7.
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