Archive for the ‘dodge durango’ Tag

The SRT Durango is here — and it’s awesome

After ages of speculation and rumors, the SRT Durango will finally debut later today at the Chicago Auto Show. I was fortunate enough to check the SRT Durango out in advance, and as a fellow Mopar fan who has long been hoping to see a proper high performance Dodge SUV, I believe that this is the Durango that the Mopar community has been hoping to see for so many years.

As you might expect, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will share a drivetrain with the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, starting with the 392 cubic inch Hemi. This mill delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and a high tech all-wheel drive system, allowing the big SUV to make the most of every bit of power. Also, with the 2.75 inch exhaust system fitted with 4 inch exhaust tips, the 6.4L SRT Hemi offers the type of tone that you would expect from the fastest and quickest 3-row SUV in America.

The SRT Durango is lightning-quick in a straight line, but thanks to the addition of a huge Brembo braking package (6-piston/15” fronts, 4-piston/13.8” rears) and a revised suspension setup featuring the same adaptive, adjustable dampers from the other SRT vehicles, this big SUV will blast through the curves as well.

Finally, and most importantly to some buyers, the SRT Durango offers the same copious amounts of cargo space as the non-SRT Durango models, along with an even greater towing capacity. The same SRT Durango that will run a 12.90 quarter mile will tow 8,600 pounds, so you could conceivably tow your Mopar muscle car to the track, drop the trailer and race both your Durango SRT and your Mopar muscle car.

In addition to being fast and capable, the SRT Durango has a sporty exterior design that is similar to the SRT Charger. This begins with the twin vented hood and a hood scoop, a unique mesh grille, a new slim air intake slot in the middle of the fascia and a huge lower fascia opening. There is also a new air intake duct system which helps feed cooler air intake the Hemi engine for improved performance in any situation.

Finally, like all SRT vehicles, the 2018 SRT Durango will have a loaded interior with heated, leather bucket seats in the first two rows, and smaller bucket seats in the third row. The SRT cabin also includes the newest UConnect infotainment system with an 8.4” touchscreen in the dash and a 7” adjustable driver information center.

The 2018 SRT Durango is aggressively designed on the outside, it has loaded interior and it has a high tech drivetrain which makes it the toughest and fastest 3-row SUV inn America. While there will be some people who now insist that this Durango should have packed a Hellcat Hemi – this is the SRT Durango we have all been hoping for and it will be available in dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year.

You can see the video and read all about the finer details of the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT in our full piece by clicking here.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2017/02/the-srt-durango-is-here-and-awesome-36429

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Is this the Dodge Durango SRT?

There are no official images of the ever-popular-but-still-rumored Dodge Durango SRT; however, when Allpar’s suzq044 created this rendering, an inside source said it was “very accurate.”

Here is a quick rundown compared to the already sporty Durango R/T:

– The front fascia is similar to the 2017 SRT Jeep, including a large lower-central grille opening flanked by two smaller vents and a long opening along the bottom.
– The upper grille opening has swapped out the crosshairs for the same style mesh as the lower grille opening; the SRT badge has been added to about the same place as it is in the SRT Charger and Challenger.
– The hood has a Hellcat-inspired design, with a front scoop like the Hellcat hoods and two vents from the Jeep SRT.
– This SRT Durango rendering has a far more aggressive stance than any current Durango, requiring a unique suspension tune.
– The wheels are from the Challenger Scat Pack.

The artist changed the front fascia, the upper grille, the hood, the wheels and lowered it a bit, creating what I have been told is an accurate depiction of the upcoming SRT Durango. The fact that so few items have been changed to create such an aggressive looking, high-performance SUV is a testament to just how sporty this big SUV is in its “normal” form.

Still, there are a few features of this SRT Durango rendering which I don’t expect to see on the production model. Mostly, I don’t expect so much Hellcat inspiration in the hood, so scratch the “Hellcat scoop.” I also don’t think that Dodge will use Scat Pack wheels, but I do expect to see something far sportier than the Durango R/T wheels. Finally, I don’t know that we will see a factory SRT Durango that sits quite this low to the ground.

In addition to the 392 cubic inch engine and the unique trim, the SRT Durango will surely have a set of Brembo brakes, lightweight wheels wrapped in high performance tires, and an interior with plenty of logos when it hits dealerships.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/09/very-accurate-srt-durango-rendering-33563

Durango vs Wagoneer: making room

Years ago, when word of a new Jeep Wagoneer first reached Allpar’s ears, we were told that it would replace the Dodge Durango, which is essentially a lengthened, street-tuned Grand Cherokee. That was before a surprisingly successful ad campaign starring Will Ferrell in his Ron Burgundy character.

When Durango sales rose, the thought of having the Durango and Wagoneer co-exist inevitably arose, but how would they differentiate the two?

According to long-time source redriderbob, the first step will be dropping the Dodge Durango Citadel, which is covered in luxury trim. Instead, the future Durango will be performance-focused, fitting the Dodge theme and raison d’être. There will be an entry-level Durango with two-row seating for five, to help absorb some Journey buyers when that crossover is replaced by a smaller, sportier rear drive version.

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer itself is likely to take on all the luxury trappings of the Citadel, but might retain the Grand Cherokee’s off-road-capable suspension design.

There is also speculation that the Wagoneer — since a company rep has talked about there being both a Wagoneer and a Grand Wagoneer — would be a higher-end, lengthened Jeep Cherokee. It could also be based on the forthcoming rear-drive Dodge Journey.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/09/durango-vs-wagoneer-making-room-33314

More praise for Jeeps and Durango

Car & Driver recently compared SUVs in two categories: Mid-Size Crossovers and SUVs and 3-row Crossovers and SUVs.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has won more awards than any other SUV, bested the Dodge Journey, Volkswagen Touareg, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan XTerra, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Nissan Murano and Ford Edge in the mid-size SUV class.

Car & Driver’s editors said: “Whether you want to climb a mountain or just move up the ladder of success, the Grand Cherokee has you covered. With a choice of four 4×4 systems plus an optional Quadra-Lift air suspension, there’s no obstacle too difficult to tackle.”

In the 3-row category, the Dodge Durango was judged the best of the bunch. It beat the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Pathfinder (which is being discontinued), Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.

“The Durango remains big, brawny, and masculine in an era of soft, curvaceous crossovers, but it’s not as trucklike as other large sport-utes…The V-6 models are enough for most, with smooth acceleration, while Hemi models deliver excellent torque, especially handy for towing.”

In Great Britain, the Jeep Renegade was named 4×4 Magazine’s “4×4 of the Year.” The decision by the magazine’s expert judges was unanimous and followed a tough off-road evaluation course. Those doing the testing also said the entire Renegade lineup was worthy of the top award.

“It’s a credit that any manufacturer should consider producing such a capable small off-roader,” says Nigel Fryatt, Editor, 4×4 Magazine. “That it’s so well built, while also fun and funky, is a delight.’

The Renegade also won the magazine’s “Mid-range SUV sub-£30,000 (~$45,600)” category while the Wrangler took the “Hardcore” class for the fourth consecutive year.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/12/more-praise-for-jeeps-and-durango-30779

Dodge Magnum Scores Highest with Millennials on Used Car Market

Could it be that children who spend their formative years in people movers are naturally attracted to versatile big vehicles? Or are Millennial car buyers (those ages 18-34) just more practical with an eye for value?

Either way, younger used-car buyers are drawn to the powerful look of the Dodge Magnum wagon, elegant utility of the Chrysler Pacifica and the brawny versatility of the Dodge Durango, according to an Edmunds.comanalysis of Polk sales data for the first half of this year.

The Dodge Magnum was the top choice of younger used-car buyers between January and June — 27.6% of Millennials chose the wagon that is still a popular choice among fans of FCA US’ LX-series of vehicles. The Magnum was produced for the 2005-2008 model years, in rear-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. To really haul your gear there was the SRT-8 version with a 425-hp HEMI V-8.

Tucked in right behind the Magnum in popularity with Millennial used-car buyers is the Chrysler Pacifica — selected by 27.3% of buyers in the first half of this year. The Pacifica, built for the 2004-2008 model years, was among the first vehicles to combine a roomy and versatile interior with an aerodynamic, stylish exterior. The V-6-powered Pacifica was available in front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions.
Also making the top 10 among Millennial used-car buyers is the Dodge Durango SUV, chosen by 24.8%. The Durango’s versatility, towing capabilities and comfortable ride catch buyers’ attention.

You can see more details of the Edmunds report at http://prn.to/1L1G5JV.

Seeing more Dodge Magnums, Chrysler Pacificas and Dodge Durangos on the road during your daily commute? It just confirms that the kids were listening to your talks, even if it looked like they were tuned elsewhere.

2015 Dodge Durango – Full Review and Test Drive

Ever wanted a Jeep Grand Cherokee with three rows of seats and room for seven people? Is the extent of your off-road adventuring limited to farm roads, campground trails, and blizzards? Well then, I have good news!

The Dodge Durango is just the SUV you’ve been wanting. It just doesn’t have a Jeep badge on it.

Say what now?

Yep, under the sheet-metal, the 2015 Dodge Durango shares its heart and soul with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Durango sits on a wheelbase stretched five inches, is about a foot longer, and rides half an inch closer to the ground, negatively impacting its ability to travel as far off the beaten path as a Grand Cherokee.

Otherwise, the two vehicles overlap in terms of powertrains, infotainment technologies, materials, and even that all-important new car smell. No surprise, they’re built in the same Detroit assembly plant, too.

Of the two, I prefer the Durango. It is more practical, and it drives better on pavement, where 90-percent of typical SUV buyers spend 100-percent of their time. In fact, the Durango is one of my favorite family-sized SUVs, and except for a “Marginal” rating in an important crash-test assessment and a 3-star rollover resistance rating when it is equipped with 2-wheel drive, I have but one qualm about recommending one.

My test vehicle sure looks swanky with its blacked out grille, wheels, and badges, but this appearance, included in the optional Blacktop Package, isn’t really for me. I prefer my Durango blinged out, Citadel-style. This Bright White Durango Limited, though, attracted plenty of attention; usually from the types of guys that I hope my daughters never bring home to meet the parents.

A Durango Limited starts at $37,890, including a destination charge of $995. An all-wheel-drive system costs $2,600, and improves the Durango’s rollover resistance rating to 4 stars.

My test model had the standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine, but you can choose a 5.7-liter V-8 if you’ve got an extra $3,795 that you don’t know what to do with. Add the Blacktop Package, the Premium Group, the Safety/Security and Convenience Group, and a set of second-row captain’s chairs, and the price rises to $45,765 for the Durango I tested.

Good looking, and equipped with an interior featuring quality materials rendered in tasteful tones and textures, the Durango strikes me as a quality piece of work, even luxurious in some respects. Think twice about getting black leather seats, though, because they transform the cabin into a cave. Thoughtfully, Dodge makes the Black/Light Frost leather option available with nearly every paint color.

Comfort levels are high, especially for front seat occupants, and unlike many other 3-row SUVs, adults can actually ride in a Durango’s rearmost seating area for more than just a few minutes before committing mutiny.

My test vehicle’s Premium Group added a power rear liftgate, a premium sound system, a power sunroof, and a navigation system. The awkwardly named Safety/Security and Convenience Group installed a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-path detection, rain-sensing wipers, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and HID headlights with automatic high-beam control. The rear-seat entertainment system’s omission meant my kids looked out of the Durango’s windows and discovered the world around them, or took a much-needed nap.

Trailer towing equipment is optional for the Durango, and because this SUV is built on a more robust platform than your typical crossover SUV, it can tow a substantial amount of weight. My test model’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine – bumped from 290-horsepower to 295-horsepower thanks to the Blacktop option package – could tug up to 6,200 pounds. The optional 360-horse, 5.7-liter V-8 engine can handle up to 7,400 lbs. of trailer.

As far as cargo carrying is concerned, a Durango can haul up to seven people and as much as 17.2 cu.-ft. of cargo, but that last number is a bit misleading. You’ll be stacking stuff to the roof in order to take advantage of the maximum number, so what you’ve really got is about 12 cu.-ft. of space in combination with a full load of passengers.

Put the kids in the second-row seat, fold the third-row seat, and a Durango supplies 47.7 cu.-ft. of cargo, a generous amount of space. Maximum utility measures 84.5 cu.-ft. Compare those numbers to the 5-passenger Grand Cherokee, which comes in at 36.3 cu.-ft. and 68.3 cu.-ft., respectively.

Though my test vehicle did not have the optional V-8 engine, I never felt the Durango demonstrated a lack of power. Dip into the throttle, and the Durango moves off the line with authority. As revs climb, such as when entering a fast-moving freeway, the engine’s response fades somewhat, but you’re unlikely to wish for extra grunt unless you’ve got a trailer attached, and you’re heading up a mountain grade.

An 8-speed automatic transmission with a rather unconventional rotary shift dial fed the power to the ground on a continuous basis, splitting delivery in half with 50-percent going to the front wheels and 50-percent going to the rear wheels. This is perfect for dwellers of foul-weather regions, as you never need to manually engage the AWD or choose a specific type of program with regard to how the power flows to the wheels.

Does this negatively impact fuel economy? In combined driving, the ratings drops from 20 mpg for the rear-drive model to 19 mpg for the AWD model, so the answer is “not really.” I averaged 18.6 mpg, so the EPA’s official numbers appear to be somewhat accurate, for a change.

Despite the optional 20-inch aluminum wheels, the Durango’s ride quality is impressive, and this is a remarkably quiet vehicle on the highway. Handling is certainly improved by the bigger tires, and around town the Durango feels athletic. Don’t take this to mean you can toss it down a winding country road, though. Dodge programs the stability control system to step in early, which is fine given the type of vehicle and that 3-star rollover resistance rating for the rear-drive version.

The Durango’s brakes proved disappointing when driving in the mountains on a day with temperatures in the low 70s, fading to the point where I almost could not engage the ABS during a panic stop. For a vehicle designed to carry so many people and tow so much weight, this is flatly unacceptable. The V-8 engine option also adds larger front brakes and ventilated rear brakes. I would strongly urge Dodge to just make those standard on all Durangos.

Traditional hydraulic steering is also a part of the V-8 engine upgrade, and I’ll bet it is more satisfying than the electric-assisted steering that comes with the V-6 engine. Lifeless on center, the steering is too quick off-center for this size and type of vehicle.

Dodge definitely has a good thing going with the Durango. A structural upgrade to improve the Durango’s performance in the small overlap frontal-impact crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and additional attention to detail regarding the brakes and steering, would make this appealing and practical family-size SUV super easy to recommend.

Then, Dodge would just need to get the word out, starting with Jeep Grand Cherokee buyers who have no plans to venture far from pavement.

Read more at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-suvs/2015-dodge-durango-%E2%80%93-full-review-and-test-drive/ar-AAdfS5h

Must-Have Car Features for Expectant Parents

There may be no greater joy in life than knowing a newborn is on the way.

Soon, you’ll get to experience all the excitement and bliss that being a parent brings. But with this wonder comes great responsibility. The entire well-being of another human will rest in your hands. It’s time to evaluate some things in your life and make a few changes.

Remember that car you bought fresh out of school that was some combination of being affordable, cool, unique and youthful? Now it’s deteriorating into a pile of scap metal in your driveway. You gamble with whether you will or will not make it to your destination or not on every trip you take. Getting stranded on the side of the freeway is one thing, but having it happen with an infant aboard will be a nightmare. Looks like it’s time for an upgrade.

So what should a new parent look for in an automobile? Well a lot of things, really. But to help any soon-to-be progenitors, we have broken down the new car checklist into three key areas. First, there are those things that need to be in a vehicle to make transporting a baby safe and easy. Second are things that aren’t quite a necessity, but would make your time behind the wheel as a parent a lot less stressful. Third, there are the items that are icing on the cake; the added perks that parents might not need, but will gladly take if offered.

Must-Haves

The most important thing you can do as a parent is keep your child safe. This is especially true when it comes to cars and driving. Regardless of how skilled you are behind the wheel, there is always the unknown factor of weather, road conditions and other motorists that could result in a crash. Modern vehicles have jumped leaps and bounds in terms of crash worthiness compared to older cars, even within the past five years. A modern car will keep its occupants much safer than models from the past. But some are still safer than others. To check and compare how well prospective new vehicle purchases rate in crash testing, visit the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety database or the one offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Act.

A newborn is going to spend the next several years in child safety seats, so a vehicle with a rear seat is essential. Although most four- and five-person coupes do come equipped with child seat anchors, accessing them and the child can be a nightmare because there isn’t a door opening directly beside the rear seat. When your child is an infant and in a rear facing child seat this can be quite the struggle.

It’s best to look for a four-door vehicle because the easier accessed rear seat area will be easier to deal with. If your rear facing child seat has already been purchased, take it along when new car shopping so it can be test fitted to the backseat area. Pay attention to a vehicle’s official rear legroom measurement as these safety seats are deceivingly long. Not all smaller cars can accommodate one without forcing the front passenger seat to be placed uncomfortably close to the windshield.

Rear doors are also important when it comes to size and operation. Vehicles like a Range Rover L with the extended wheelbase give parents all the space in the world to secure their bundles of joy to the back seats, but the rear doors also require all the space in the world to open, which is a challenge in parking lots. When looking at new cars, see how far out the doors open in relation to the access they give to the backseat area. As well, the angle in which they swing open is important as the closer to 90 degrees the better. Still, there is one champion when it comes to rear vehicle doors for parents: the sliding door. Not only does it give them full access to their kids, but it also takes up minimal space when opened.

Nice-to-Haves

With the essentials taken care of, many other automotive features can help ease the transition into parenthood. Chances are you’ll become more distracted behind the wheel now that an extra, highly demanding passenger is frequently aboard. Vehicles with the latest active safety systems like lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and collision detection could be a life saver if you stop paying attention, even for a split second.

Babies call for a lot of stuff like strollers, pack and play cribs, diaper bags and more. A car with a large trunk is good, but one with a lift gate hatchback is better. Not only is it easier to load odd-shaped items into a hatchback, by usually there is more cargo room in a hatchback and items placed back there stay as warm or cool as everything else in the vehicle. Taking things a step further, a power lift gate, power trunk or even power side doors

will further help a new parent whose hands will inevitably be full each time they approach the vehicle.

And when it comes to loading a child and their gear into a car, a vehicle’s height is important. Crossovers continue to gain popularity with new parents due partially to their load height. SUVs usually sit too high, requiring some people to have to step up into the vehicle to secure their child in a safety seat. What-to-Look-for-in-a-Car-with-a-Baby-on-the-Way-07.jpgRegular cars, on the other hand, sit too low and force parents to hunch over in backbreaking slouches as they secure the safety belts.

While discussing access, safety anchors that are easy to reach for the child seats are a huge plus. Some vehicles require a lot of work to uncover and use these clips. While you’re at it, try folding the rear seats down to see how easy it is to do when children are not occupying them for added utility.

Finally, keeping the sun out of your child’s eyes is important, especially ones too small to relate any discomfort to you. A vehicle with factory or dealer installed rear window tint is good, but one with built in roll-up sunshades is better. This isn’t as unusual as it once was either as several minivans, crossovers and sedans are now offering this feature.

Icing on the Cake

Of course, there are some other items that will make life even easier on new parents, like extra cup holders for kid’s snacks and food as well as excess storage bins for other random items. Some vehicles now include a secondary wraparound rear view mirror so a driver can take a quick look back on their kids without having to turn all the way around or moving the regular rear view mirror down.

Removable rear headrests are a nice bonus as they make installing child safety seats much easier and built-in rear video screens can help entertain little ones on longer trips.

Ultimately though, it all comes down to what is most important to you and what you can afford. There are many choices out there that are great, child friendly vehicles. As long as all the Must Haves are checked off as well as a good portion of the Nice to Haves, you should be fine. Happy shopping and good luck with the new baby!

Read more at: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/01/must-have-car-features-for-expectant-parents.html

Chrysler limits colors for Durango and Grand Cherokee

Chrysler is echoing Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”

The only difference is that Chrysler is adding white, gray and silver to the choices.

Automotive News reporter Larry Vellequette writes that orders for new Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees will be temporarily limited to those four colors as the paint shop at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant is upgraded to allow tricolor finishes on the popular SUVs.

Even though the limitation will be in place until at least February 2015, it most likely won’t be too onerous. According to automotive paintmaker PPG,  the most popular color in North America in 2014 has been white, followed by black, gray and silver – 72% of all 2014 vehicles were painted in one of those colors. Silver, once the most popular color, has fallen from favor in recent years.

Vellequette notes that just 19% of the Jeep Grand Cherokees and 8% of the Durangos on dealer lots are painted in a color other than the top four.

Of more concern to dealers is the fact the plant will shut down for three weeks from December 22 to January 12. This is the first time in several years the assembly line has been halted for such an extended period. In October, the plant produced 38,241 vehicles, up 20% from a year ago. October NAFTA region sales of the Durango and Grand Cherokee totaled 22,017 and the Grand Cherokee was the second-best-selling Chrysler Group vehicle.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/11/chrysler-limits-colors-for-durango-and-grand-cherokee

Join us tomorrow at Plymouth High School for our Dodge Booster Club Fundraiser

The Dodge brand and Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will team up with Plymouth High School Booster Club for a Dodge Booster Club Fundraiser tomorrow, Saturday, August 16th at Plymouth High School from 11:30am – 3:30pm.  Everyone in the community is invited to come out to test drive a 2014 Dodge Durango, Grand Caravan, Dart, or Journey. For each brief test drive taken during the fundraiser, the Dodge brand will donate $20 to The Plymouth High School Booster Club.

Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will provide the vehicles, and dealership staff will be on hand to assist with the fundraising test drives.  “We enjoy working with the parents and students in our community and look forward to the opportunity to help the Plymouth High School Booster Club in their fundraising efforts,” said Jason Scott, General Sales Manager at Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. “The Dodge school fundraisers are friendly and fun for everyone.  Stop by and spend a few minutes with us to help raise funds for Plymouth High School.”

The Dodge Booster Club Fundraiser will not only help the Plymouth High School Booster club, it’s a fun and friendly opportunity to check out and drive the exciting new 2014 Dodge lineup.

With the cooperation of local dealers like Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Plymouth, the Dodge brand supports local schools and student enrichment programs in communities across the United States, and has helped raise over $5 million since 1993.  Last year alone, Dodge donated $714,360 to local high school booster clubs through the Dodge Booster Club Fundraiser.

 

We hope to see you tomorrow at Plymouth High School!

What’s New for 2014 Durango

What’s New for 2014

The 2014 Dodge Durango gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission, revised front and rear styling, and an updated interior with newly available features like an 8.4-inch touchscreen display and a rear-seat Blu-ray player. Trim levels and equipment have also been shuffled.
Introduction

The Dodge Durango is one of our favorite options for a six- or seven-passenger SUV. The current generation not only has the roomy seating and polished ride that you’d expect in a family-oriented, three-row utility vehicle, it also has an optional V8 engine and impressive tow ratings that you typically see only on larger, more traditional SUVs. For 2014, Dodge (http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/) has updated the Durango to help it keep up with the competition in this price range. Although the even more aggressive styling is what you’ll notice first, it’s the less obvious changes that make the biggest difference on the 2014 Dodge Durango.

The changes in the cabin are particularly striking, as the Durango gets an all-new instrument panel and an updated dash that accommodates a large, intuitive 8.4-inch touchscreen that uses an upgraded version of the company’s Uconnect system to provide smartphone app integration, text-to-speech capability for text messages and a more robust voice control interface. High-quality interior surfaces abound, and much like its Jeep Grand Cherokee cousin, the 2014 Durango feels decidedly upscale for its class.

On the mechanical side, the 2014 Durango has a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which serves up impressively smooth shifts while providing a numerically small but still significant improvement in EPA fuel economy ratings. The new transmission also makes better use of what power the base V6 engine has to offer — although we’ve steered consumers toward the more powerful V8 in past years, a V6 Durango merits stronger consideration in 2014 due to its more energetic performance.

Of course, we’d still recommend the V8 if you intend to take frequent advantage of the 2014 Dodge Durango’s towing capability, which, along with its rich interior and unusually good ride and handling, is one of the best reasons to consider this SUV. However, the Durango doesn’t provide as much cargo room as most of its rivals. Well-regarded family crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 offer considerably more capacity. We’d also recommend that you check out the Ford Explorer and Flex. But overall the updated 2014 Durango is one of the most appealing options out there for a six- or seven-passenger SUV.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Dodge Durango large crossover SUV is available in four trim levels: SXT, Limited, R/T and Citadel. You’ll also come across Durangos with Rallye badging; the Rallye is an equipment package on the SXT. Seven-passenger seating is standard across the board; optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to six.

Standard equipment on the SXT includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, roof rails, heated sideview mirrors, full power accessories, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control (includes separate rear air-conditioning), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split-folding and reclining second-row seat, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, and USB and auxiliary inputs.

Several option packages are available on the Durango SXT. The 23B package adds roof-rail crossbars, upgraded cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. The Popular Equipment Group adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Rallye package adds 20-inch wheels, polished exhaust tips and additional body-color exterior trim while deleting the roof rails.

The Limited has most of the above equipment as standard but reverts to 18-inch wheels. It also comes with a remote ignition, leather upholstery, driver memory settings, a six-way power passenger seat, a 115-volt power outlet and an 8.4-inch touchscreen display with an upgraded version of Dodge’s Uconnect system. The latter includes voice control, text-to-speech messaging capability, emergency roadside assistance, streaming Internet radio (delayed availability) and 3G Wi-Fi capability (via an extra-cost contract). The larger touchscreen and related infotainment features are optional on the SXT.

The R/T essentially includes the upgrades of the Limited (minus the roof rails) along with a V8 engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlights (low beams only), body-color accents (similar to the Rallye), a power liftgate and an upgraded nine-speaker sound system.

The Citadel reverts to a less aggressive suspension tune and a standard V6 engine, but otherwise builds on the R/T’s equipment list, adding automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-way power front-passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a navigation system with traffic updates and a Yelp-based search engine. All these amenities are optional on the R/T.

Optional on both the R/T and Citadel is the Technology Group, which includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning/mitigation system and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. Also available on these trims is a rear-seat Blu-ray/DVD entertainment system with dual video screens and an HDMI input. Options for the whole lineup include a towing package, a skid-plate package (except R/T) and an in-dash CD player.
Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Dodge Durango is offered with either a V6 or V8 engine. While the SXT only comes with the V6 and the R/T only comes with the V8, the Limited and Citadel trims can be equipped with either one. Depending on the model, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive is available. The light-duty AWD system is only available with the V6 engine. The on-demand 4WD system features dual-range gearing (which makes it more capable on rugged terrain) and is standard with the V8 engine. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.6-liter V6 engine is rated at 290 horsepower (295 hp with the Rallye package) and 260 pound-feet of torque. The EPA’s estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (18 mpg city/25 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) with all-wheel drive.

The 5.7-liter V8 is good for 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Rear-drive models are rated at 17 mpg combined (14 city/23 highway), while AWD versions are rated at 16 combined (14 city/22 highway).

Properly equipped, a V8 Durango can tow up to 7,400 pounds, while the V6 version tops out at 6,200 pounds — in either case, far more than most rival crossover SUVs can tow.
Safety

Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every 2014 Dodge Durango. A rearview camera and parking sensors are optional on the SXT and standard on all other Durangos.

Models with Uconnect Access (included with the 8.4-inch touchscreen) have an emergency telematics system that connects you with 911 operators at the touch of a button and provides stolen vehicle tracking. Optional on the Limited, Citadel and R/T is a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alerts. Note that the available Technology Group available on R/T and Citadel models now includes a more advanced forward collision warning and mitigation system that automatically applies the brakes in potential collision situations.

In government tests, the Durango received five out of five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Durango earned a “Good” rating for its performance in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features

Modern and functional, the 2014 Dodge Durango’s cabin has been designed with families in mind. Regardless of trim level, the design is attractive and features upscale materials.

With this latest update to the Durango, materials quality is now class-leading, and the cabin has an uncommonly elegant feel for this class. The available 8.4-inch touchscreen display is attractive and easy to use. The gauges look better, too, with crisp graphics and a useful trip computer display.

The front seats are roomy and comfortable, but the standard second-row bench has rather flat cushioning (which helps promote a flatter load floor when the seat is folded) and doesn’t offer quite as much legroom as roomier rivals. The Durango’s easily accessed third row, on the other hand, offers a surprising amount of leg- and headroom (even for 6-footers) and is indeed more spacious than the Ford Explorer’s.

With the second- and third-row seats folded down, the Durango can carry up to 84.5 cubic feet of cargo. This is a respectable amount, but competing large crossover SUVs like the Chevy Traverse and Mazda CX-9 offer considerably more cargo space.
Driving Impressions

The 2014 Dodge Durango is distantly related to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and it shows in the way this nearly 5,000-pound vehicle drives down the road. Steering is responsive and the Durango is easy to maneuver on almost any road. On a long interstate cruise, it provides a quiet and relaxed cabin environment.

Low-end torque is not a strong suit of the V6, but once the Dodge Durango is moving, the engine pulls respectably. Midrange acceleration is adequate for passing and merging, and there’s a noticeable improvement in responsiveness with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. As expected, the V8 offers brisk all-around performance and a satisfyingly deep exhaust note on acceleration.

As read on: http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/durango/2014/?sub=suv