2017 Dodge Durango
In a market inundated with crossover and SUV offerings that do very little to distinguish themselves from one another, the Dodge Durango remains stoic.
The Durango may have been one of the last great truck-inspired SUVs to be introduced, prior to the influx of wagon and hatchback-inspired crossovers. An offshoot of the Dodge Dakota, it boasted the same sort of distinctive design notes that are celebrated in the likes of modern Charger and Challenger designs, as well as the ‘big-rig’ feel of RAM truck offerings. It also affirmed the solidity of Dodge’s family-friendly offerings, alongside the likes of the minivan-styled Dodge Caravan.
Now, with two decades under its belt, the Durango continues to provide an appealing alternative within the SUV segment. As the clock ticks downwards on its enduring third-generation, Dodge must be commended for their thoughtful tiering, and for the introduction of well-timed updates that keep the Durango feeling fresh. For those in search of a 2017 Dodge Durango – Keene, NH makes the perfect destination, courtesy of Keene Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.
Among full-sized three-row crossovers, the Durango stands out as one of heaviest (yet most powerful) offerings in the market. Available in four trim levels (SXT, GT, Citadel and R/T) the Durango is accessibly-priced to start around $29,995 MSRP (for the base SXT).
25 MPG Highway
In today’s fast-paced world of constant innovation, model year offerings fall under the same intense scrutiny as technology does in general. Automakers are all too aware that creation of a compelling aesthetic just isn’t enough. New models must do more than include the technology that today’s drivers desire. To stay ahead of the curve, they must anticipate technologies that tomorrow’s drivers will come to demand. In this regard, more lofty expectations may be placed upon crossover / SUVs than on another segment, and the Durango doesn’t disappoint.
Bluetooth-enabled, the (base) SXT trim boasts an infotainment system built around.a 5-inch touchscreen and six-speaker sound system equipped with auxiliary, USB and SD card inputs. These features are further enhanced at the GT trim and above, with satellite radio and voice-controls which support an 8.4-inch touchscreen.
Suffice it to say, the Citadel trim further elevates the offerings, adding built-in navigation and a nine-speaker audio system equipped with HD Radio. A power liftgate and adjustable seating adds further amenities designed to enhance the overall passenger experience.
But a number of enhancements are available, even on lower trim levels. The inclusion of rear-entertainment systems and Safety Sphere technologies make the Durango a deserving contender, at whatever level you approach it.
Inside, the generous proportions of the Durango create a wealth of both comfort and convenience. From its well-designed doors (allowing ease of entry and departure) to the ample space provided for its third-row passengers, the Durango is designed effectively with its passengers in mind. This is reaffirmed in the inclusion of a second-row console, allowing for easy regulation of zoned temperature, the convenience of USB charging ports and the functionality of a 115-volt power outlet.
Moving through the trim levels, there are a number of enhancement options, ranging from upgraded leather upholstery (and accent trims) to ventilated seating, and even to additional storage options. Eleven different upholstery options guarantee a color and styling to satisfy every driver’s tastes, with those options ranging from the modest to sporty to downright luxurious. Throughout every inch, the comfortable Durango excels at sidestepping the pitfalls of many third-row crossover SUVs that struggle in best-utilizing the space allotted to them.
The Durango answers the call of anyone in search of SUV styling, outside of the cookie-cutter offerings that blanket today’s roads. Like most of Dodge’s offerings, the Durango simply doesn’t look like anything else on our roads and highways.
First impressions matter and Dodge’s crosshair grille make an immediate impact. Available in a few different variations, it is the automakers aesthetic calling card. This is further supported by the low-placement of the Durango’s projector fog lamps, helping to improve driver visibility regardless of the weather conditions. Impeccably on-brand, there is no mistaking a Dodge with the products of other automakers. In turn, there is no mistaking the Durango.
A walk-around the Durango brings a symphony of sculpted contours, contained with sporty proportions. And the lasting impression left by the Durango is one of American muscle, seared into the mind’s eye by the iconic-styling of Dodge’s signature racetrack tail-lamps. As impactful going as it is coming, the Dodge Durango casts a truly distinctive shadow.
With the exception of the top-of-the-line R/T, a 3.6-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard on the rear-wheel-drive Durango. Generating 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, it is rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city / 25 highway), and offers a 7.8-second sprint to 60 mph.
Buyers can also opt for all-wheel drive variants, ensuring that their Durango offers the versatility demanded by today’s all-season vehicles; and properly equipped, they can enjoy a 6200 LB towing capacity, well above what is offered by most of the competition.
Optional on the Citadel, and standard on the R/T trim is a 5.7-liter V8 mated to an eight-speed automatic. Throwing up a swaggering 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, the V8 Durango offers more modest fuel economy (17 mpg combined) but carries an even more impressive tow rating of 7400 LBS (up to 8700 LBS). Supported by its 4.4-second sprint to 60 mph, the Durango sets a high bar.