Though the Dodge Durango has long been classified as a midsize sport-utility vehicle, its designers actually made it a half-size larger in order to fill the niche between the midsize SUV and full-size SUV classes. In this case, the Durango is often just the right size for those folks who need more interior room and towing capability than a typical midsize SUV can deliver while not being as bulky, cumbersome or hard to park as a full-sizer.
The first two generations of the Durango were truck-based SUVs in the traditional style. A used model from this period should be a fair choice, though in the later part of the 2000s, the Durango was outclassed by newer crossover SUV competitors. The third-generation Durango, however, has joined the crossover club. It still offers V8 power and stout towing capabilities, but is a much nicer and well-rounded vehicle overall.
Current Dodge Durango
The Dodge Durango is a large crossover SUV that seats seven passengers, though buyers can opt for second-row captain's chairs that lower capacity to six. Four trim levels are offered: well-equipped SXT, midlevel Crew, sporty R/T and plush Citadel.
Either a V6 or V8 engine is offered. Unlike in years past, the current 3.6-liter V6 has some muscle -- 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Standard on the R/T and optional on the Crew and Citadel is a 5.7-liter V8 good for 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard for the V6, while the V8 gets a six-speed unit. One may also choose among rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive (V6 only) and four-wheel drive with added low-range gearing (V8 only).
In reviews, we've found the Durango confident in terms of handling while still providing a composed and comfortable ride over bumps and ruts. Performance is adequate with the V6, while the V8 provides fairly strong acceleration and added grunt, which would be an asset for those who plan on towing.
Inside, the Durango offers an attractive and upscale design, with class-competitive quality. The second and third rows offer enough room for most families (the rearmost row can even comfortably sit 6-foot adults), though its seven-passenger max falls one person short of its GM rivals. Even so, the Durango comes highly recommended as a choice for a midsize or large crossover SUV.
Read the most recent 2014 Dodge Durango review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Dodge Durango page.