The 2017 Dodge Durango continues in its unique position as one of the few crossovers that has some of the towing and off-road capabilities of a body-on-frame SUV. But are its good qualities enough to overshadow its not-so-hot crash-test scores, outdated safety equipment, and love for gasoline?

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 Dodge Durango starts from $30,590 (destination fees included) for the base SXT trim with rear-wheel drive. If all-wheel drive is a must-have, it runs an extra $2,600. Because this base trim is so well equipped, we expect it to be the most popular configuration. It comes with:

  • Eighteen-inch alloy wheels
  • Load-leveling suspension
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Cruise control
  • Three-zone climate control
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Six-speaker audio system with a five-inch touchscreen and a USB input
  • 3.6-liter V6 engine with 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque

For buyers looking for a more performance-oriented SUV, the available R/T model comes with a 5.7-liter V8 that injects 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

Performance Pros

Dodge Durango
  • Properly equipped, the Durango can tow up to 7,400 pounds.
  • The V6 engine has plenty of midrange torque, while the V8 adds a dose of straight-line fun
  • Despite its SUV-like hauling capabilities, the Durango drives like a sedan.

Performance Cons

  • Both the V6 and V8 engines are thirsty – the thriftiest Durango only returns 19 miles per gallon city, 26 highway, and 21 combined and requires owners to pass on the optional all-wheel-drive system.
  • The optional 20-inch wheels make the typically comfortable Durango a little rough on uneven surfaces.

Interior Pros

  • The cabin feels very sedan-like and welcoming.
  • While moving up the trim levels, the Durango starts feeling more like a luxury vehicle.
  • The Uconnect infotainment system is clean and easy to use.
  • All three of rows of seats have plenty of room, and its up to 85.1 cubic feet of cargo room is excellent

Interior Cons

  • Third-row seats are a little difficult to get into.
  • Second and third rows seats don't fold flat into the floor.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The fact that the Durango has ties to the old Mercedes-Benz ML-Class has gotten lost with time. But the quality of the workmanship inside reminds us of its roots. It’s even more evident as buyers move up the trim levels, especially in the Citadel and Citadel Anodized Platinum trims.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The Durango has some issues in the safety department, according to IIHS testing. While it received “Good” ratings in four of the five tests, the IIHS gave it a spotty “Marginal” rating in the tough-to-ace small-overlap test. This is a newer test and the Durango is an older vehicle, so the performance isn't too surprising.

The Bottom Line

The Durango is a rare combination of easy-to-drive crossover and rugged SUV with plenty of towing power. Some buyers, however, will find its iffy safety ratings a bit of a turnoff. Whether the Durango is the right choice or not depends on the buyer’s priorities.