3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Dodge Durango

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Expert's Rating

4.6Excellent

MPG 15 City / 22 Highway
Pros
  • Head-turning styling
  • Balanced ride quality and handling
  • Comfortable seats
Cons
  • Tall cargo floor and liftgate
  • Instrument cluster not for everyone
  • Interior materials feel cheap
, Automotive Editor -
The Dodge Durango is the best of both worlds for some people looking at a three-row crossover. It's based on an up-to-date unibody platform like most of its rivals. But it shares those mechanicals with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, an SUV that's equally at home on rock trails as well as at the parking lot to the soccer field. So the Durango has similar refinement to other three-row, car-based crossovers, but up-to 7,400-lb. towing capacity and available V8 as a truck-based, full-size SUV. It's a combination that should appeal to a lot of consumers.

Introduction

The Durango starts off with the SXT trim. It's powered by the now-ubiquitous Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and a five-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is optional. SXT models get 18-inch alloy wheels, 7 seats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a full complement of power amenities and safety features, tri-zone automatic climate control and a six-speaker audio system with AUX input.

The Crew trim adds the power liftgate, power front seats with memory settings for the driver, rear parking sensors and backup camera, nine-speaker audio system with hard drive storage for music and Chrysler's UConnect system, which incorporates Bluetooth and iPod interfaces.

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is optional and comes with a six-speed automatic. The R/T tries to be sportier with the Hemi standard, along with chunky 20-inch alloy wheels, body-colored trim along the exterior, lowered and revised suspension, high-intensity headlamps and an Alcantara interior. The Citadel is the most luxurious Durango and comes loaded with special 20-inch alloy wheels, big chrome grille, automatic wipers and headlamps, heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row, power adjustments for the heated steering wheel, power sunroof, leather seats and navigation with satellite traffic and weather.

The Ford Explorer has more advanced in-car technology and a more efficient powertrain lineup, but tows less. The Chevrolet Traverse seats up to 8 and is more spacious, but has a cheaper-feeling interior. The Honda Pilot is more maneuverable but has polarizing styling and mediocre fit and finish. And while the Chevrolet Tahoe tows more, it's much more cumbersome to drive.

If you're downsizing from a full-size SUV, the Durango will surprise by its optional V8 engine and towing ability that bests any crossover. Buyers coming from a luxury SUV will also be pleased by the quality and refinement of the top-trim Citadel. The Durango can be viewed as a best-of-both-worlds vehicle that can be a refined, but practical, family rig.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Dodge Durango
Starting price
$22,975

2013 Dodge Durango Citadel

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a luxurious family hauler

The Citadel boasts a downright opulent list of equipment to make the Durango a viable option for buyers thinking about a luxury crossover or something with a premium badge. Standard features include polished 20-inch alloy wheels, a special chrome grille, leather seats with ventilated functions for the front and heat settings for the first two rows. Also included are automatic xenon headlamps, Garmin navigation and a heated and power steering wheel. Options are limited, but include the all-wheel drive, rear DVD entertainment system, trailer package, second-row captain's chairs and console and the Hemi V8.

2013 Dodge Durango
Starting price
$22,975

2013 Dodge Durango Crew

Recommended for: Buyers who want the ability to tow more

The Crew adds more equipment and opens up the ability to add the powerful Hemi V8 with more horsepower and torque to boost the towing capability up to 7,400 lbs., almost as much as many truck-based SUVs. All Crew models get the V6 standard, along with features like a power liftgate, remote start, cargo cover, leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and start, parking sensors with a backup camera, touchscreen radio with iPod interface and Bluetooth streaming audio and hard drive storage, 115-volt power outlet, power front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror and memory settings for the driver's seat and mirrors. Options include all-wheel drive, the Hemi V8, trailer package, second-row captain's chairs and console, a rear DVD entertainment system, 20-inch alloy wheels and a navigation system. The Crew Convenience package adds automatic high beam headlamp control, blind spot monitoring and automatic wipers.

2013 Dodge Durango
Starting price
$22,975

2013 Dodge Durango R/T

Recommended for: Crossover buyers who want a sportier, faster crossover

The R/T looks and feels like the sportiest Durango. It comes standard with the powerful Hemi and features a lowered suspension, body-colored exterior trim, special 20-inch alloy wheels and xenon headlights. Inside, the seats are covered in an imitation suede trim. The optional Entry Navigation/Commuter Group adds rear parking sensors with cross-path detection and a Garmin navigation system. Opting for the adaptive cruise control also includes front parking sensors. Other options include all-wheel drive, trailer package, second-row captain's chairs and console, power sunroof and performance tires.

2013 Dodge Durango
Starting price
$22,975

2013 Dodge Durango SXT

Recommended for: Shoppers who want a lot of seats and space for a lower price

Even though it's the most basic Durango, the SXT offers a lot of features and standard seating for 7 that will attract buyers interested in transporting passengers for a relatively low price. The SXT comes standard with the 3.6-liter V6 and five-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but a full-time all-wheel drive system is optional. Also included in the price is a tri-zone automatic climate control system, 18-inch alloy wheels, alarm, trip computer, automatic headlights, foglights, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker audio system with an AUX port and SiriusXM satellite radio. Options include the Popular Equipment Group that bundles a touchscreen radio with hard drive music stories, backup camera and rear parking sensors, streaming audio and Bluetooth. Power seats, navigation, UConnect, Trailer Package, second-row captains chairs and console, power sunroof and roof rails are also available.

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