Beneath the hood
There are two engine options available.
First up, is the 3.6 L V6 Pentastar eight-speed transmission option producing 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. Interestingly, Dodge boasts that this engine offers best in class towing for a V6 motor at 6,200 pounds and best in class fuel efficiency.
The fuel ratings for the V6 are 12.7 city and 9.6 highway for L/100 km…not too shabby for a full sized SUV.
The engine that came with my week-long tester was the iconic 5.7 L HEMI V8 eight-speed transmission that Dodge says delivers best in class power with a class-leading combination of 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of torque and best in class towing capability of up to 7,200 pounds.
Bigger engine, higher fuel consumption and the V8 rates at 16.6 city and 10.7 highway for L/100 km thanks to the available (for $2,400 as an add-on) Multi-Displacement System, that deactivates four of the eight cylinders while cruising and then flips back to eight cylinders when full power is needed.
If you’re looking at the Durango, there are four trim levels to choose from.
The SXT starts at $44,195, with 18” wheels, tilt/telescopic steering, a 5” Uconnect touchscreen and illuminated cup holders, among many other frills.
The GT starting at $49,195 adds a universal garage door opener, a power 10-way passenger seat that folds flat, remote start system and a backup camera, with lots of other goodies.
Following that is the R/T at $56,495, featuring an Alpine nine-speaker, 506 watt audio system, 20” wheels, an 8.4” Uconnect touchscreen, heated steering wheel and then some.
At the top sits the Citadel, for $57,195 adding a power sunroof, Nappa leather seats for the first two rows, and cooled front seats, second row captain’s chairs, plus a few others.
Dodge’s signature “floating split crosshair” grille is unmistakable on the Durango and at first look, you can see exactly why it’s classified as a full SUV.
There is an attractive look to it (unlike the unique QX80) and despite it being a large vehicle, the Durango does have good looking design lines incorporated. The rear is what’s most impressive as it has 192 individual LED’s for a fluid look.
There’s really not much anyone can do to reinvent the design of the SUV that’s this size and for me, the traditionalist is kept happy.
On the road
The V8 motor certainly ensures that you’re always with power, regardless of conditions. Despite this being nearly 5,400 pounds of machine, the Durango responds well once your right foot comes down.
I’ll strongly advise against wild and sharp turns with this taller vehicle, due to basic physics.
Where you’ll find the most enjoyment is cruising at higher speeds and enjoying the quiet cabin and smooth ride…the cutting out of 4 cylinders will slow the descent of the gas needle but power doesn’t feel sacrificed while doing so.
Parking-wise, I’ll tell you to not squeeze into a tight spot, even if you think you can. Walk the extra 30 seconds to ensure you have enough room for the Durango.
If you’re towing a boat/trailer/etc., be prepared to spend a few extra seconds reaching your desired (and safe) speed.
I came away impressed with road feel and drive quality in the Durango…it did exactly what a full sized SUV is supposed to, which is be sturdy, poweful and give you a very high vantage point of the road.
With the Citadel top-trim, there’s pretty much everything you want/need in an SUV. The 8.4” Uconnect screen (largest in its class) was easy to operate, there’s plenty of soft touch materials throughout and the seats are road-trip ready. There’s even a class exclusive Blu-Ray player to keep the kids occupied on those trips to the cottage.
The standard 12-way power driver seat made it easy to find my optimal seating position and you don’t have to pull yourself into the vehicle when entering. I mention that because the Durango, while it looks quite high off the ground, is surprisingly easy to enter/exit, which is good for us shorter than average folks.
The one odd mark on the Durango is how the centre console doesn’t quite line up with the infotainment system. The screen falls a few degrees to the right when it (for me, anyway) should be centred.
It’s only noticeable for those in the rear seats and I didn’t notice it until I was taking pictures of the interior.
The Durango offers over 60 standard and available safety features. On the option sheet, you can add on blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with active braking, advanced brake assist, along with plenty of others.
Enjoy the full gallery below: