2014 Dodge Durango R/T RWD

The Hemi Hauler. A large, V8 powered SUV.

  • Likes
  • Engine sound
  • Towing capacity
  • Manuverability
  • Dislikes
  • Weight
  • Fuel economy

A big, V8- powered SUV, the Dodge Durango R/T is a capable performer but thirsty on gas. It comes with three rows of seats, a USB/Aux/SD media hub, three zone automatic climate control and, new for 2014, an eight speed automatic transmission. Our granite crystal metallic test car was rear-wheel-drive and equipped with the 5.7 liter hemi V8 making 360 horsepower. This gave it reasonable performance for such a large, heavy vehicle; helped by the quick shifting, modern transmission, the old pushrod V8 can get this behemoth through traffic and up to speed like a much smaller, sportier car. It also sounds great, with a low, muscle-car rumble at idle that rises to an airy growl as you approach redline. The downside of such a fun-loving, relatively low-tech motor is its thirst for fuel. We struggled to attain the Dodge Durango's claimed 14-mpg in the city, though matching the EPA highway mileage should be possible, especially with its cruise-friendly 6th, 7th and 8th gears.

Our test car, with about $10,000 worth of options, was fully featured and comfortable, although you won't be mistaking the interior, with its large swaths of black plastic, for that of a luxury car.

All 2014 Durangos feature the rotary shift-knob first introduced on the Ram pickups. It takes some getting used to: having the transmission controlled by something that seems like it should be operating the A/C or radio, but, once you accept that this is how it is, the rotary knob is actually pretty convenient.

The Durango R/T, which sits one inch lower than other Durangos, and comes with a stiffer, sportier suspension, is remarkably agile. Its turning circle is tighter than that of many midsized sedans, and it corners with only moderate body-roll. Though it does tend to understeer, the RWD version gives you the option of using the hemi's torque to balance out the cornering attitude and get the back to come around. Though definitely a big car, the hemi Durango can be legitimately fun to drive.

Warranty/Service: 5-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. 3-year, 36,000 mile limited warranty. 5-year, 100,000 mile roadside assistance.

Visit the Dodge website

Specs

Base Price: $38,995

As Tested: $38,995

  • 14 / 23 mpg
  • EPA
  • 6.8 sec
  • 0-60
  • 360 hp
  • Horsepower
  • 130 mph
  • Top Speed
  • Engine: 5.7-liter OHV V8
  • Horsepower: 360 hp
  • Torque: 390
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Curb Weight: 5,200 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 119.8 in
  • Length: 199.8 in
  • Width: 85.5 in
  • Height: 70.9 in
  • Turning circle: 37.1 ft
  • Brakes: F/R: Vented disc/ vented disc with ABS and EBD
  • Suspension: F/R: ind. upper and lower A-arms, anti-roll bar/ ind: multilink, anti-roll bar
  • Traction: traction and stability control standard
  • 0-60 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 130 mph
  • EPA City: 14 mpg
  • EPA Highway: 23 mpg
  • Combined MPG: 17 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 7
  • Safety: Advanced multistage front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain front/ rear airbags, driver knee airbag

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