Are you looking for a handsome midsize SUV that has ample room for passengers and cargo and can tow more than many rivals? The Dodge Durango is up to the task and also has nimble handling and a smooth ride.
The Durango is available in SXT, SXT Plus, GT, Citadel and R/T trims. Starting prices range from $29,995 to $44,695.
It’s available with two or three rows of seating, and the third row is even roomy enough for adults. Rear-wheel-drive is standard; all-wheel-drive is available for $2,600. You can get a towing package for $995 on all trims except the SXT with rear-wheel-drive. The Durango offers best-in-class towing capabilities. The V6 can tow up to 6,200 pounds and the V8 up to 7,400 pounds.
The Durango is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The R/T trim gets a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that makes 360 hp and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. The V8 is also optional on the Citadel trim. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Durango is pretty athletic for a midsize SUV. Acceleration is smooth off the line and there’s plenty of power for freeway passing. It stays planted when cornering. The transmission shifts smoothly. Overall, the ride is very smooth and you’ll barely notice rough roads.
Fuel efficiency for the V6 is about average for this segment. EPA Mileage estimates for my tester are 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 21 mpg. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. The V8 gets below average mileage at 14 mpg city/22 city and a combined rating of 17 mpg.
The cabin is spacious, attractive and quiet. Materials look and feel nice and controls are well laid out. Passengers will enjoy comfortable seating in all rows, and there’s even decent room for adults in the third row.
The Uconnect infotainment system is intuitive and works well. There are old school knobs or you can also operate it via the touch screen. The 8.4-inch screen is easy to see and reach, and the menus make sense. It’s easy to make phone calls and enter destinations using the hands-free system.
The Durango has more storage space than many competitors. There are 17.2 cubic feet of storage with all three rows of seating in place, 47.7 cubes with the third row down (or in two-row trims) and 84.5 cubes with the third and second rows folded. The front passenger seat also folds down, making it easy to make room for long items.
User-friendly infotainment system
Lots of room for passengers and cargo
Even the third row is comfy for adults
One of the highest towing capabilities among competitors
Prices can climb in a hurry with higher trims and options
V8 has below average fuel efficiency
Bottom line: The Durango is a family-friendly SUV that’s enjoyable to drive, offers lots of room for passengers and cargo including class-leading towing capability, and has a user-friendly infotainment system.
My tester starts at $40,095. The Customer Preferred Package 23E is $2,395 and adds 506-watt amplifier, Beats premium audio system, black roof rails, navigation, HD radio, integrated roof rail cross bars, power liftgate, power sunroof and Uconnect 8.4-inch infotainment system. Rear DVD Entertainment Center is $1,995 and adds rear seat video system with Blu-Ray compatible dual-screen video, power eight-way driver seat with memory and eight-way passenger seat. The Trailer Tow Group IV is $995 and adds 7- and 4-pin wiring harness, Class IV receiver hitch, full size spare tire, heavy duty engine cooling and rear load leveling suspension. The Safety/Security and convenience Group is $1,195 and adds automatic high beam headlamp control, automatic headlamp leveling system, blind spot and cross path detection, cargo compartment cover, cargo net, low beam HID h eadlamps, power tilt and telescoping steering column and rain sensitive windshield wipers. Second row fold/tumble captain chairs are $995. Second row console with armrest and storage is $300 and adds a USB charging port, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, third row full-console floor mat and illuminated rear cup holders. Destination charge is $1,095, bringing the grand total to $49,065.