It’s a Best Buy because:
Durango offers a lot of versatility and capability in a manageable size.
It’s a bit smaller than other large SUVs.
Durango straddles the line between midsize and large SUVs. We consider it a large SUV due to its rear-drive platform, available V8 power, and maximum 7,400-lb towing capacity.
What Is It?
Durango is Dodge’s flagship SUV. Although it’s about the same size as the largest midsize SUVs, it would stand out as being the only one with three rows of seats built on a rear-drive platform (all-wheel drive is also available) and offering a V8 engine and anything close to its 7,400-lb towing capacity. Thus we consider it a full-size SUV. Durango seats up to seven passengers and comes with either a 290-hp 3.6-liter V6 or a 360-hp 5.7-liter V8.
Durango sees some significant changes for 2014. All models get an 8-speed automatic transmission. It uses a rotary shifter that’s mounted on the console and includes steering wheel paddle shifters. Exterior styling has been massaged with new front and rear fascias, projector-beam headlamps, and LED taillights. Inside, there’s a redesigned instrument panel and new center-mounted touchscreens in two different sizes. The instrument cluster receives a 7-inch color display that allows the driver to customize how vehicle information is viewed. There are new Rallye and Limited trim levels too.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for V6 Durangos are 18 city/25 highway with rear-wheel drive and 17/24 with all-wheel drive. With the V8, it’s 14 city/23 highway with RWD and 14/22 with AWD. The V6 is capable of using E85 flex fuel, but doing so drops the EPA estimates to 13 city/19 highway with RWD and 13/18 with AWD. Dodge recommends regular gasoline for V6 models and mid-grade gas for those powered by the V8.
Value in Class
The Dodge Durango has something for just about every type of large-SUV shopper. The base SXT has a lot of features for the money, while Limited and Citadel add worthwhile luxury and convenience items. We’re not especially high on the sporty R/T, but we can see its appeal for those who crave brawny style and maximum performance. And, the new Rallye brings the V8-powered R/T’s sporty looks to a more affordable V6 model.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$29,795 – $43,395|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Wagon|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||290-HP, 3.6-Liter V6; 360-HP, 5.7-Liter V8|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Rear or All-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||14-25 MPG|
Other Large SUV Best Buys