2015 Dodge Durango Review

December 17, 2014
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When it comes to SUVs, the 2015 Dodge Durango is one of the best picks for reviewers and shoppers alike due to its respectable road manners, flexible interior, enticing features and capable engines. Although it is smaller than a regular SUV, it boasts a similar level of toughness and dependability, making it an excellent all-arounder.

NEW FOR THE 2015 DODGE DURANGO

o    Beats by Dr. Dre audio system
o    Red leather upholstery is offered on R/T models
o    Blacktop package

UNDER THE HOOD 

Except for the R/T models, all 2015 Dodge Durangos get their motivation from a 3.6-liter engine that is good for 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with the standard exhaust, and 295 horsepower with the optional dual exhaust system. EPA fuel economy ratings for V6-powered RWD Durangos check in at 18/25 mpg, while AWD models get 17/24 mpg.

A 5.7-liter V8 is the standard engine for R/T models and offered as an option to the Limited and Citadel versions. Maximum output for this powertrain is rated at 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, while EPA fuel economy ratings are 14/23 mpg for RWD models and 14/22 mpg for AWD models.

Whichever engine you pick, the sole transmission option is an eight-speed automatic. Drivetrain options are the standard rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive systems. The AWD is only offered on V6 models, while the 4WD is exclusively offered as an option to V8 models.

ON THE ROAD 

Despite its heft, the 2015 Durango is not a handful to maneuver. Credit goes to its light steering, which reacts quickly to turns, though such lightness could also mean lesser road feedback around twisting roads. Ride quality is somewhat firm, but not to the point of being harsh, and is quiet in most instances.

Either of the two engines offers ample power to move the more than 5,000-pound Durango without difficulty. If you intend to use this SUV mainly as a daily driving companion, the 3.6-liter V6 engine is a good choice as it is quick and strong enough to perform the required task. If you regularly have to haul more passengers and cargo, the HEMI V8 is a better choice, as it supplies the Durango with more power. In either case, the eight-speed automatic is an excellent companion, providing quick shifts needed for extra boost.

INSIDE THE 2015 DODGE DURANGO

The 2015 Durango’s interior looks and feels upscale without losing its functionality. At the cockpit, there are no hints of this SUV’s truck-like roots. The dashboard has a flowing layout and the gauge cluster stands out with its customizable seven-inch display. All the controls are of the right size and well-placed, while the 8.4-touchscreen display is one of the most attractive and intuitive in the class. Materials and trims are fine to the touch and general construction is, without a doubt, top-notch.

Up front, there is ample amount of space in every direction and the seats themselves have good adjustments and are well-bolstered. At the second row, three adults can sit comfortably on the standard bench, which can be replaced with bucket seats. The third row area feels a bit snug for adults, but can comfortably accommodate kids or smaller passengers.

The Durango’s cargo capacity is respectable by SUV standards. Behind the second row seat is 47.7 cubic feet of space, but folding it down, along with the third row seat, yields a maximum floor space of 84.5 cubic feet.

KEY FEATURES 

When buying the 2015 Dodge Durango, buyers get to choose from four trim levels: SXT, Limited, R/T and Citadel. All models come with a seven-passenger seating configuration, but the count goes down to six when the second row bench seat is replaced with captain’s chairs. Below are the standard and optional features on each trim.

The base SXT trim comes complete with tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, fold-flat front passenger seat, folding and recline second row bench seat, 50/50-split-folding third row seat, five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Uconnect voice controls, audio system with six speakers, SD card slot and inputs for USB and auxiliary, heated exterior mirrors, fog lamps and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Available optional packages to the SXT trim are the Customer Preferred Order package, which brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, satellite radio and roof rails, and the Popular Equipment Group, which contains heated steering wheel and front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

The Limited trim brings with it all the SXT’s optional features in addition to leather upholstery, driver memory functions, six-way power passenger seat, heated second row seat, 8.4-inch touchscreen (optional on SXT), upgraded Uconnect System, which features emergency road assistance, 3G Wi-Fi capability, Internet radio streaming and text-to-speech messaging capability, remote start, auto-dimming exterior mirrors and LED accent lights.

The Safety, Security and Convenience package as well as the Premium package can be availed for the Limited trim. The first bundles power-adjustable steering wheel, rear cross-path alert, blind-spot monitor, xenon headlights and automatic headlights and wipers, while the second package delivers a  navigation system, Beats by Dr. Dre audio system, power liftgate, sunroof and 20-inch silver wheels.

Both the SXT and Limited trims can be beefed up with the optional Rallye Appearance package, which brings body-color exterior trim and 20-inch black wheels. The Blacktop package is also offered on these trims (also offered on R/T trim), bringing together exterior updates like gloss-black grille, Rallye-style body-color exterior details and 20-inch gloss-black wheels.

The R/T trim builds on the standard features of the Limited trim (save for the roof rails) and gains a power liftgate, xenon headlights, sport-tuned suspension, Rallye body-color exterior details, 20-inch black or silver alloy wheels and Beats by Dr. Dre audio system. Optional to this trim are the navigation system, sunroof and the Premium Napa Leather and Convenience package, which brings power-adjustable steering wheel, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, eight-way power front passenger seat, extended leather trim and trim-exclusive red or black leather seating with accent stitching.

Springing for the upmarket Citadel trim brings goodies like upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, eight-way power front passenger seat, power-adjustable steering wheel, navigation system, sunroof and automatic wipers and high beams.

The optional Technology package can be purchased for the R/T and Citadel trims. It includes a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-path alert, a forward collision alert and adaptive cruise control.

All 2015 Durangos, save for the SXT models, are eligible for a dual-screen Blu-ray/DVD rear seat entertainment system and eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions. A towing package can also be added to all models, which include a spare tire, oil cooler, load-leveling rear shocks and alternator.

Photo credit: dodge.com

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