DODGE Durango: Unexpectedly Better

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Workhorse on Four Wheels of Dodge Durango

When your motoring goals include transporting seven people and towing a mass of more than three tonnes (or 7400 lbs), you must be looking for some serious stuff. You can include the Dodge Durango in your shopping list.

In its third generation, Dodge’s Durango is a very serious competitor in the full size SUV segment. Until the previous model, you probably wouldn’t have considered this vehicle as some kind of status symbol. Things have changed in Dodge Durango. Now you can be proud of your Dodge.

Power plant

Moving you and your passengers with Chrysler’s Hemi 5.7L V8 engine unleashing 360 horsepower is “an extremely positive” experience. The engine of this car is not only a super power plant for a 2950 kg vehicle but also does a very good job.

Except its boring black interior trim, the Dodge Durango looks like an upscale vehicle and the appearance is really attractive and come with more power, better styling, better equipment and better craftsmanship. What else do you want in a full size SUV? Looking back into the past few years, it’s clearly understand that American cars are getting better and better. And I am convinced that the Durango is a part of this success story.

Floating on solid surfaces

The ride quality is the outcome of the fact that the new Dodge Durango rides the same platform as the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and has the same DNA with the Mercedes GL, a reliable mutual product of a by-gone era. This car has been exclusively developed to carry a tough, robust but also comfortable SUV with all-wheel drive. This uni body platform of Dodge Durango with front and rear independent suspension offers car-like ride quality. It simply wooow and exciting! I moved this giant toy on some rough, snowy and icy surfaces around Milton and “jumped” to the asphalt afterwards. Once you drive it, Dodge Durango makes you think that this machine is built to set foot anywhere on this planet.Yes, I can drive it as a normal sedan on the highway and watching most others from above. You cannot switch to two-wheel mode though. All-wheel drive is permanent and you can only “reduce” it to “low” for mud or if you launch or tow a boat.

Merits and Sins

With space for seven occupants, you can give yourself some relief about your impact on the environment, like dividing the average consumption of about 17 liters per 100 km by seven. When coming to the pop-up rear row of seats, they are good enough but only for the kids.

A loaded cabin

I am not against fake wood trim. However the large black cabin with chrome is probably not very harmonious with the overall elegant look . Dodge could have been added some colour and a more appealing atmosphere inside.

The test car provided by Chrysler Canada was the range-topping Citadel version. It has push-button (and also remote) engine start, a full driver computer, a heated steering wheel, heated and air conditioned power leather memory seats and a full-out infotainment system with navigation. There’s a USB hookup for your tunes, and power outlets all over the place. Household power outlet, heated rear seats, and a flip-down DVD player with hookups for your Xbox are also on the list.

And with a full suite of automatic features, the Dodge Durango gives you almost everything for a driving without any distraction. The HID (say it like “xenon”) lights and high-beams are automatic. The “radar connected” cruise control automatically slows or accelerates the Durango in changing traffic conditions. The same sensor that monitors this system can even alert you if you are about to crash someone. With some caution, I tested this feature (ready to break and steer any moment if something goes wrong with the high-tech) on the somewhat crowded traffic in the 403 and was very much satisfied with its reliability. The vehicle accelerated and slowed down by itself (under my close supervision).
On board automation includes climate control and the wipers. “Set it and just focus on the road.”

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you get a fully loaded full-size SUV to tackle anything you need. With a variety of more civilized and somewhat “soft” SUV’s around, Durango raises the bar for bold and “old fashioned” SUV’s with tough jobs.

The MSRP for the Citadel version with 5.7 liter engine hits $57,000. You may have some bargaining power. With all options available for this model, the price of the test vehicle approaches the 65K limit.

For more information about pricing and specifications, please visit: www.dodge.ca