The Dodge Durango is a big, brawny SUV with three rows and lots of interior room. For 2017, the Limited trim is replaced by the sportier Durango GT.
The Durango is available in SXT, GT, Citadel and R/T trims. Durango has a terrific cabin and an available Hemi V-8 that gives it an aggressive attitude, class-leading towing and excellent driving dynamics. The 5.7-liter engine develops 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.
Most Durangos, however, will come with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that develops 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic operated by a rotary dial shifter on the console. The automaker is a leader in rotary dial shifters and I’ve become a fan.
My test vehicle, a 2017 Durango Citadel AWD, weighed in at nearly 5,400 pounds and was equipped with the Hemi V-8. Driving this big, comfortable SUV makes you feel like a road boss. The Durango has also been a popular choice for law-enforcement agencies and security details because of its performance.
The six-cylinder Durango with RWD promises 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for a combined 21 mpg. The V-8 with RWD (and AWD) will get you 14 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg combined. You can get SUVs with better mileage, but they probably won’t be as beefy and solid as the Durango. They also won’t be able to tow up to 7,400 pounds.
The cabin of our test vehicle was roomy and comfortable, with 39.9 inches of head room in the front seat. I climbed into the row-two captain’s chairs (a bench increases the Durango’s passenger capacity to seven) and found just one-tenth of an inch less head room. And when I folded my 6-foot-1 frame into the seats in row three, I was amazed to find 37.8 inches of head room. Sitting straight up in the seat, my hair still didn’t reach the headliner. This is one of the few SUVs on the market where most adults will be comfortable anywhere in the vehicle.
The rear-drive Durango also makes one heck of a road-trip machine with the $2,490 Premium Entertainment group, which has Beats Audio and a Blu-ray disc player with dual screens that fold from the front seat backs. The Technology group ($2,295) added a suite of safety features like adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, blind-spot and cross-traffic warning systems, full-speed collision warning and a lane departure system that nudges the wheel if you drift out of your lane.
Adding to the comfort in the Durango Citadel are eight-way adjustable front seats that are heated and cooled, a heated steering wheel, three-zone automatic air, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with controls, an 8.4-inch touch screen with FCA’s excellent Uconnect infotainment system, navigation and lots of connectivity.
The Durango gets four out of five stars in the government’s crash test program, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2017 Durango its top score of “good” in all but the difficult small overlap front crash test, in which the Durango scored “marginal.”