2019 Dodge Durango Review

Durango

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2019 Dodge Durango Overview

Amid a sea of crossovers designed for efficiency, the Dodge Durango distinguishes itself with powerful styling and genuine racing credentials, while seating as many as 7 people across three rows. Dodge brought the Durango to market in 2011 and gave it a significant refresh in 2014. Last year marked the arrival of a brand new performance model and introduced new infotainment systems. For 2019, there are only incremental updates.

Dodge touts the Durango as the “Driver’s Crossover,” and nowhere is that more apparent than its powertrain lineup. The base 3.6-liter V6 offers 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, plus a maximum 6,200 pound tow rating. Opt for one of the nicer trims, and you’ll be able to select the renowned 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine, delivering 360 hp, 390 lb-ft, and a 7,400-lb tow rating. Finally, the SRT level houses an impressive 6.4-liter HEMI V8 generating 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to hit 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds and tow 8,700 lbs. Whichever model you choose, you’ll get an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 3.6- and 5.7-liter engines come with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) and optional all-wheel drive (AWD). The latter is standard for the 6.4-liter. Fuel economy is not the Durango’s strong suit, but the V6 in RWD guise will put up a respectable 19 miles per gallon city, 26 highway, and 21 combined.

Choice is the word of the day, and the Durango offers plenty of it across its eight trims. The SXT, GT, Citadel, and Citadel Anodized Platinum grades offer a semi-civilized exterior styling, while the GT Rallye and R/T are more brash. The base SXT grade gets 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear load-leveling suspension, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice commands, keyless access and start, a 6-speaker alpine audio system, LED tail lights, LED interior lighting, and 5-passenger seating. Scaling the trim ladder nets you larger wheels, leather upholstery, a dual-screen rear DVD system, third-row seating, a power liftgate, a larger 8.4-inch infotainment system, navigation, a power sunroof, power driver and passenger seats, and heated and cooled seats.

The SRT, meanwhile, is a beast unto itself. Not only does it come with the larger 6.4-liter V8, it also gets special 20-inch painted wheels, Brembo 6-piston brakes, an electronic limited slip differential, a Bilstein active-damping high-performance suspension, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and unique performance modes that tie into the infotainment system. For the truly bold, it even offers red interior upholstery and genuine carbon fiber trim.

Go beyond the face-melting performance and up-to-date features, and you'll see that Dodge still has safety in mind with the Durango. A reversing camera and airbags are the only standard safety items. However, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, and lane-departure warning are all on the options sheet. The Durango received a marginal small front overlap test score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but excellent marks in all other categories, including a superior rating for crash avoidance with the optional features.

With style and performance in spades, it’s hard to miss a Dodge Durango if you see one on the road. Especially with either of the two V8 options, it might just be the perfect solution for the spirited driver with a family.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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