|SXT||3.6-liter V6 Gas||8-Speed Automatic||Rear Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$29,870||$29,995|
|GT||3.6-liter V6 Gas||8-Speed Automatic||Rear Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$36,246||$37,495|
|Citadel||3.6-liter V6 Gas||8-Speed Automatic||Rear Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$39,873||$41,395|
|Citadel Anodized Platinum||3.6-liter V6 Gas||8-Speed Automatic||Rear Wheel Drive, All Wheel Drive||$39,873||$41,395|
by James Allen
The Dodge Durango is a good all-round SUV – albeit one with some glaring issues.
As mid-size SUVs go, the Dodge Durango hits all-or most-of the bases on its way to being right in the middle of crossover and SUV. It’s got plenty of power from either engine option, is comfortable and even provides a lot of head space. However, the Dodge Durango does have some prominent faults, with the so-so fuel economy and the lack of some basic safety features being the biggest ones. Overall, the Dodge Durango is worth having a look at, but we wouldn’t recommend the car over many of its competitors.
The inside is very roomy even for taller people.
The Dodge Durango offers a very simple and spacious interior. Stepping into the car and sitting in the large seats with lumbar support, the inside is very roomy even for taller people. Although the Dodge Durango is based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it’s longer and provides a third row of seats, to accommodate a grand total of seven passengers including the driver. The second row of seats also has a lot of leg room, but gets a little crowded. There’s three options for the middle row, where there’s an optional center console, no console or a bench seat. The rear seats, which seat three passengers, have a surprising amount of leg room and, due to the square nature of the Dodge Durango’s design, offer adequate head room as well, but can be difficult to take advantage of depending on which center seat row option is chosen. The middle row can also be collapsed in order to access the rear seats.
The interior is filled with quality materials and soft padded arm rests.
The dashboard is not complicated, with an optional 8-inch touch screen being one of the most intuitive and logical infotainment system on the market. The interior is filled with quality materials and soft padded arm rests. The steering wheel has a lot of buttons but is fully adjustable, as are the seats. The one thing that might be a bit unsettling is the change to a small gearshift in the form of a dial that rests on the center console in between the front seats. It’s a little awkward and doesn’t automatically switch to park when the car is turned off. For the all-wheel drive option, there is a separate dial to switch to the two-speed transfer case, which can only be done in neutral. At 17 cubic-feet of trunk space the Dodge Durango is more impressive than the Nissan Pathfinder at 16 cubic-feet, but falls short of the superior Ford Explorer which boasts 21 cubic-feet behind the third row of passenger seats.
The car may be a bit stiff on city streets.
The Dodge Durango’s towing capabilities are far in excess of what many other cars in its class can achieve, and is only matched by the Toyota Sequoia. While the car may be a bit stiff on city streets as the RT sport-tuned trim, on highways the car is confident and stable, which is enhanced by the optional all-wheel drive available for all trim levels.
Steering can feel very heavy due to the car’s size.
Otherwise the ride is smooth and the inside is quiet, but offers poor visibility unless the GT trim is purchased which comes with a rear-view camera and parking assist. Steering can feel very heavy due to the car’s size, but offers excellent feedback. The car also has brakes that bite effectively.
The Dodge Durango comes equipped with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine.
The spectrum of engines available for the Dodge Durango covers the driver well for whatever adventure they may want to embark on. In the base trims, which spans the SXT all the way to the GT, the Dodge Durango comes equipped with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine, producing 290-hp and accomplishing 19 mpg city/ 26 highway, which is competitive against rivals like the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Sequoia and Chevrolet Traverse. There’s also a Rallye package available, that brings the six-cylinder horsepower up to 295-hp. Alternatively the Dodge Durango may come equipped with a 5.7-liter eight-cylinder gasoline engine, producing an impressive 360-hp. However, this chips away at the gas mileage set by the six-cylinder, all the way down to 14 mpg city/22 highway.
All Dodge Durango engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
If the car is set to regularly haul a load of people and a full trunk, the eight-cylinder engine is the only real choice. For a small family going on camping trips or to the snow, which the Dodge Durango is more than capable of doing, the six-cylinder will suit just fine, though it won’t tow nearly as much or as comfortably as the eight-cylinder. Thanks to decent mid-range acceleration, the six-cylinder packs a bigger punch compared to other engines of the same size by different American manufacturers. All Dodge Durango engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission which changes gears smoothly and seamlessly.
The Dodge Durango was awarded a four-star safety rating by the NHTSA.
Some choices that Dodge made with this mid-size SUV are confounding, especially in the way of safety. For starters, the Dodge Durango was awarded a four-star safety rating by the NHTSA, which it shares with the Dodge Grand Caravan. The Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder and Chevrolet Traverse all received five-star ratings from the NHTSA. Otherwise the car does come equipped with some important safety features, as long as it’s not the base model. The base SXT Dodge Durango comes standard with stability control, an accident response system, hill start assist and traction control.
We’d recommend the RT trim, which starts at a fair $42,000.
For anything else, such as rear park assist and a backup camera, it will cost an extra $1200 on top of the SXT Plus base price, which is $32,000 where the base SXT starts at around $29,000. That’s about $3,000 extra for the option to get more safety equipment. That said, for what it is the Dodge Durango isn’t expensive. At $29,000 it’s right with the competition. It’s more expensive than the Dodge Grand Caravan, but less than the Ford Explorer, even though it makes less power. Of all the trims available for the Dodge Durango, we’d recommend the RT trim, which starts at a fair $42,000. It has the eight-cylinder engine, and all the extra power would come in handy especially going into the mountains. Also, we’d opt for the extra $2,500 all-wheel drive option, if it’s expected to undertake some rugged expeditions. For the family SUV, a six-cylinder SXT Plus will do great, but for serious adventuring the eight-cylinder RT trim is the way to go.
In many areas, the Dodge Durango is more than a match for the class best. It tows more than almost all of its rivals, both engine provide plenty of power and the transmission easily handles shifting and delivering power. The Dodge Durango does, however offer very limited fuel economy and safety features, all the while scoring lower than its competition with safety ratings. If a Dodge Durango is desired, then it’s important to remember the safety and fuel economy hits it takes compared to its competition.