by Tony West
Dodge hopes the new Durango will compete well in the full size SUV market. With a spacious tech-advanced interior and youthful design the Durango holds its own. But with luxury innovation more plentiful with competitors like the Ford Explorer, Lexus LX and Yukon Denali, the Durango may have missed a note on elegance.
The 2014 Dodge Durango is lower and stout with sleek muscular lines, a slimmer crosshair grille, and LED daytime running lamps and HID headlamps. The 2014 Durango also has 18-inch and 20-inch wheels to match all 5 trim levels.
The 2014 Durango has a 3.6 liter Pentaster V6 engine or a 5.7 liter HEMI V8 engine with 390lb-ft of torque and 360 horsepower. The V6, paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission offers 290 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque. In addition, a new Eco Mode offers enhanced fuel economy by optimizing shifting, throttle sensitivity, and interactive deceleration fuel shut off, reducing fuel consumption.
Along with improved fuel efficiency and performance, the 2014 Durango has class leading towing capabilities. The V6 has a trailer tow capability of 6,200 lbs and the HEMI V8 7,400 lbs. The electro hydraulic power steering features manual paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Most of the whips I’ve driven now have this feature. The auto-manual seamless shift is great for turbo SUVs with suspension and braking that can handle power. The V6 Durango has less than impressive horsepower, so paddle shifters on rear-wheel-drive standard steel chassis is… uneventful.
Yet the 2014 Dodge Durango has plenty of exciting features inside and out, like a fully integrated trailer hitch, available 2nd and 3rd row captain’s chairs with 50 different seating configurations, and 60 different safety and security features. Standard safety features include forward collision alert, rear cross path detection, and trailer sway control.
The spacious leather interior of the 2014 Dodge Durango leaps forward in the premium market with a customizable 7 –inch instrument cluster with 100 configurations, the 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen with U-Connect Access, and two 9-inch Blue Ray/DVD players on the front seat backs. UConnect Access can utilize emergency services, media apps like Pandora and I-Heart Radio as well as climate control and Bluetooth and voice activated navigation with 3D maps. Rear passengers-comfortable with an isle to pass through the cabin can utilize the Blue Ray or DVD player or play gaming systems with the HDMI cables. Wireless headphones are included. As an option, the Durango can become a Wi-Fi hotspot. And with 60/40 split folding second row and 50/50 split folding third row seats, the Durango can accommodate quite a bit of cargo.