With its powerful engines and muscular styling, the Durango could easily pass for a truck-based SUV. But it's really a family-friendly crossover with room for seven and a relaxing demeanor.
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2017 Dodge Durango Overview
What's New for 2017
A new GT trim level replaces the Limited as the mid-range model.
Choosing Your Dodge Durango
Unlike most crossovers, the Durango features rear-drive architecture, which enables it to tow up to 6,500 pounds with the standard 295-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. The R/T's 5.7-liter V8 produces 360 horsepower and raises towing capacity to 7,400 pounds, on par with many full-size SUVs.
Full-time all-wheel drive is available with the V6, and V8 models can get on-demand four-wheel drive with low-range gearing for moderate off-road ability. An eight-speed automatic transmission is used on all models. Other mechanical features include a load-leveling rear suspension, a Sport driving mode, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The new GT carries an impressive load of equipment for the price and can be dressed up as you see fit. It's our pick unless you must have V8 power, in which case only the R/T will do.
2017 Dodge Durango Review
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 But are its good qualities enough to overshadow its not-so-hot crash-test scores, outdated safety equipment, and love for gasoline?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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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