Dodge Durango Reviews
Model Overview:The 2013 Dodge Durango is offered in four different trims, with V6 or V8 engines, depending on the trim, and a choice between rear- and four-wheel drive throughout the model line. Base Durango SXT models come with a 290-hp, 3.6L V6; Crew models come with the same standard V6, but they can be optioned up to a 360-hp, 5.7L V8. R/T and Citadel models add the Hemi V8 as standard.
V6 models have a 5-speed automatic transmission, while models with the V8 deliver their power through a 6-speed automatic; and throughout the lineup there's a choice between rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive. And with the Hemi, there's a fuel-saver mode that aids gas mileage when during coasting or low-speed cruising.
All models have 4-wheel disc brakes and precise electrohydraulic steering, and they ride on a short/long-arm front suspension with rear multi-link arrangement; both the front and rear are isolated on cradles, to allow comfort and control on rougher surfaces off the pavement or under load.
Two different family-friendly layouts in the Durango permit both 6- or 7-passenger seating--depending on the second row, where a second-row bench is standard on most of the model line but dual captain's chairs are available, with two different console layouts, including one that permits easier access to the third row. There's a total of 85 cubic feet, with both sets of rear seatbacks folded, which is enough to fit a 6-foot couch or a coffee table, according to Dodge. Otherwise there are a total of 30 storage areas, including plenty of smaller cubbies.
At the base SXT level, you get the 290-hp V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, 7-passenger seating, tri-zone climate control, power heated mirrors, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, SiriusXM satellite radio. Step up to the Crew and it brings premium leather upholstery, heated first- and second-row seats and bright door handles. ParkView back-up camera, a power rear liftgate, power front seats (with driver memory settings), remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a cargo cover and a 6.5-inch Uconnect touch screen are also included.
On either SXT or Crew models you can add the 6-passenger layout with captain's chairs, as well as rain-sensing wipers, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and Blindspot Monitoring and Cross Path detection.
R/T models are the sporty variants of the lineup and get the 360-hp Hemi V8 as standard, with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with Mineral Gray pockets, plus HID headlamps, a monochromatic look, a unique front fascia, special interior trim, and remote start. But most notably, they get a 20-mm lowered sport suspension, along with performance steering, to help get the most of the added power on the road.
The top-of-the-line Durango is the Citadel, which is loaded to the brim with luxury-brand features like soft ventilated Nappa leather, heated leather seats, a power sunroof, HID headlamps, a navigation system, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, and Uconnect. Adaptive cruise control is on offer, too.
If you want the look of the R/T but don't necessarily need the thirstier V8 engine (or the R/T's higher sticker price), you can option the SXT up to a new Rallye Appearance Package, which adds 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with Mineral Gray pockets, plus black-bezel headlamps and body-color moldings, grille, and rear fascias. The package also raises the layout of the V6 to 295 hp.
The side-curtain airbags that are standard throughout the model line cover outboard passengers in all three rows, and front seats have active head restraints and their own thorax-protecting side bags. Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection help the driver spot potential hazards, while the electronic stability control system includes Hill-Start Assist as well as trailer-sway control. Tow ratings range up to 7,400 pounds with the V8.
Model Changes:Also arriving late for the 2013 model year is a new "Rallye" Appearance Group; offered only on the SXT models, it brings 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with Mineral Gray pockets, plus black bezel headlamps as well as body-color wheel-lip moldings, sill moldings. Rallye Appearance models also get illuminated visor mirrors and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, plus Uconnect with voice command, Bluetooth streaming audio, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
A Technology Group is newly offered on R/T models and adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection, as well as adaptive cruise control.
Also, prices on the top-of-the-line Dodge Durango Citadel have been reduced--with the rear-wheel-drive version of the Citadel now starting at $39,995.
Model Value:The Dodge Durango is the most affordable full-size SUV with 20-inch wheels, Dodge says, and it's the best-equipped 7-passenger SUV in the U.S. The Durango also remains one of the safest SUV picks for a large family, as it's been a repeat IIHS Top Safety Pick; and it's one of the best picks on the market for those who need to carry a large family while also towing a trailer. Tow ratings for the Durango range up to 7,400 pounds with the V8 or 6,200 pounds with the V6.