Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Dodge Durango SXT include Pentastar 3.6L V-6 293hp engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st, 2nd and 3rd row overhead airbag, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability.
|SXT Search New||$29,995||293-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||19 / 26|
|Special Service Search New||$31,595||293-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||19 / 26|
|SXT Search New||$32,595||293-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||18 / 25|
|Special Service Search New||$34,195||293-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||18 / 25|
|$37,495||295-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||19 / 26|
|$37,495||295-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||19 / 26|
|$40,095||295-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||18 / 25|
|Citadel Search New||$41,395||295-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||19 / 26|
|R/T Search New||$42,095||360-hp 5.7L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||14 / 22|
|Citadel Search New||$43,995||295-hp 3.6L 6-cyl||8-spd auto||18 / 25|
|R/T Search New||$44,695||360-hp 5.7L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||14 / 22|
We’ve said the Durango isn’t a crossover, but it drives like one, when it’s not towing like an SUV. The independent suspension provides a supple and well-damped ride, even without an air suspension, although there’s some head toss on patchy pavement. The steering is heavy but precise, and the brakes are big and secure for towing.
If you do tow a lot, even though the V6 can do 6200 pounds, the muscular Hemi V8 might be a better choice, for its additional torque; it can tow with the best of them, including some Ram 1500 pickup trucks. The 8-speed transmission works for towing even with its wide ratios and some models even have paddle-shifters to complement the standard rotary dial.
The Durango is classy, despite its huge in-your-face grille and boxy profile with conservative flat sheetmetal. From the rear, you wouldn’t say it looks like a truck, although you won’t mistake it for anything else. Monochrome trim and a twin exhaust give it some sport.
If there’s any doubt about the Durango’s personality from the outside, it’s dispelled by the inside. The tightly sealed cabin is rich but subtle, quiet and refined, feeling like a luxury SUV, like its foreign ancestor the Mercedes ML. The flowing dash is covered in soft-touch materials and displays metallic-ringed gauges and a bright 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen on most models (SXT uses a 5.0-inch touchscreen). The R/T shows off leather upholstery with woven red inserts and red stitching.
Front passengers have it good, with well-bolstered cloth seats and a driving position that works for all sizes. The leather seats are flatter than the cloth, so if you like sporty driving it’s something to consider.
Three adults fit comfortably in the second row, with available captain’s chairs for two individuals, with a low console with one cupholder between them. There’s an optional larger console with two cupholders, 12-volt outlet and USB port we recommend getting.
The third-row seat is standard except on the SXT, where it’s optional. It actually fits two adults, eminently usable compared to its competitors, although it’s a bit difficult to climb back there. It’s split 50/50 and folds, although not into the floor like the Chrysler’s Pacifica minivan, which might be a better option if it’s a people-carrier you need more than a tow vehicle. But when the Durango’s second row is folded there’s 84.5 cubic feet of space, room enough for a six-foot couch and a coffee table, or a stack of 10-foot-long two-by-fours.
The rear visibility is hindered by wide roof pillars, so with the SXT, the rearview camera option is a must.
There is a lot of competition in the large SUV class, and the Durango is getting a bit long in the tooth. Its powertrain, ride and handling hold their own, while the cabin and especially third-row seat are pluses, although fuel mileage and crashworthiness aren’t.
Sam Moses contributed to this report, with staff reports from The Car Connection.
The 2017 Dodge Durango comes in SXT ($29,995), GT ($37,495), R/T ($42,095), and Citadel ($41,395) models. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.) All-wheel drive is optional ($2600); rear wheel drive is standard.
Standard equipment in the SXT includes six airbags, full power, air conditioning, cruise control, 18-inch wheels, tilt/telescope steering wheel, an AM/FM stereo, USB port and aux jack. No rearview camera, although it’s standard on the other models. Also standard on other models is the UConnect infotainment system with 8.4-inch display screen.
New for 2017, the Citadel comes with Nappa leather.
Options include an Alpine audio system, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning that can bring the vehicle to a complete stop at slow speeds, heated front seats, third-row seat, satellite radio, 115-volt outlet, and 20-inch wheels. Second-row captain’s chairs are also available, along with a power sunroof, power tailgate, Beats by Dr. Dre audio system with 10 speakers and subwoofer, and HDMI and Blu-ray rear entertainment system.
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