Check out the new 2014 Dodge Durango!

2014 Dodge Durango

Brasher than before, plus it now has more tech and a new transmission.


Ford’s Explorer is for soccer moms. Nissan’s latest Pathfinder? Forget finding paths, how about finding a closer parking space at Costco? See, if you want a three-row crossover that announces, “This guy (or gal) has got some onions,” look no further than Dodge’s Durango. With its square-jawed face, muscular fender bulges, and available Hemi V-8 power, the Durango oozes brawn. And for 2014 it gets a make over—uh, we mean, it got into a fistfight that resulted in reconstructive surgery, a few extra gears in its transmission, a new trim level, and more whiz-bang technology. (And, yeah, fights usually end in revised gearboxes, additional trim levels, and more whiz-bang technology.)

Not Bruised—Angry!

The 2014 Durango’s headlights are narrower, and the grille looks like it took a vicious, tenth-round upper cut from a prizefighter, but we mean that in the nicest way possible. It’s also more streamlined than before, and sits above a rearranged lower fascia that wears an exaggerated scowl. The headlights and fog lamps are now projector-beam units, and uplevel models get LED running-light strips. Chalk up the Durango as the winner of that metaphorical boxing match, because it still has the best-looking mug of any three-row rig out there.

The biggest change is to the Durango’s rear end, though, which now lights up brighter and more identifiably than before thanks to Dodge’s signature full-width LED taillight design. Dodge says a total of 192 LEDs do the dazzling, and the new look brings the Durango in line with the Dart andCharger sedans. There are seven new 18- and 20-inch wheel designs to match the updated sheetmetal, as well as three distinct grilles that vary depending on the trim level.

The Insides, But No Feelings and Emotional Stuff

You can’t take a few hits to the abdomen—or go through a mid-cycle refresh—without getting a rearranged interior, and the 2014 Durango’s got one. Even though the dashboard is essentially the same, Dodge swapped out the center stack for a new one that accommodates either a standard five-inch Uconnect touch screen or an optional 8.4-inch unit—both with the latest versions of Uconnect—as well as a fresh array of hard buttons just beneath the display. The three-spoke steering wheel is new, and incorporates standard paddle shifters for a bit of zest. Behind the wheel is an equally new seven-inch, reconfigurable TFT digital gauge cluster like the one available in the Dart, although here it’s standard. The optional rear-seat entertainment package now features a Blu-ray player and a pair of seatback-mounted, high-resolution nine-inch screens, as opposed to the 2013 model’s single, roof-mounted display that couldn’t play Blu-ray discs.

Mechanically, the Durango soldiers on into 2014 largely unchanged save for the aforementioned transmission swap. Like its platform-mate, the2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Durango gets Chrysler’s new eight-speed automatic, which backs up to either the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The new trans is operated via a new rotary shift knob—just like the one in the eight-speed-equipped version of the 2013 Ram 1500—located where the more traditional shift lever resided on the 2013 model. The V-6 still makes 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the V-8 continues to churn out 360 ponies and 390 lb-ft of twist. Towing capacities for the 2014 model are the same as last year: 6200 pounds for V-6 Durangos and 7400 pounds for rear-drive V-8s, while all-wheel-drive V-8 Durangos can pull 7200 pounds.

While Dodge has yet to release fuel-economy estimates for the eight-speed Durango, the company does claim that the new transmission results in a nine-percent efficiency improvement. (The current, two-wheel-drive Durango is rated for 16 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway with the V-6 and 14/20 with the V-8. All-wheel drive drops the V-8’s city figure by 1 mpg and doesn’t affect the six’s numbers.) Dodge also claims that the V-6 Durango now boasts the longest driving range between fill-ups in its class—a bladder-torturing 600 miles. (Holding it for longer is extra manly and tough, though, and thus a uniquely Durango-ish selling point. Points deducted for a funny dance, though.) When they occur, fill-ups themselves should be slightly quicker thanks to the 2014 Durango’s new capless fuel-filler opening.

Fifty Shades of Mind Your Own Damn Business

For 2014, the Durango’s SXT, Rallye, R/T, and range-topping Citadel trim levels are joined by a new Limited spec, which slots under the Citadel. The Limited comes standard with polished 18-inch wheels, leather seats, heated front seats and steering wheel, and the larger 8.4-inch Uconnect display. Once again, the Rallye and the R/T are the sportiest Durangos, and get a monochrome exterior treatment, headlights with black accents, dual exhaust outlets, and 20-inch black wheels. The new LED running lights come standard on the Rallye on up, and the Citadel and R/T include HID headlights, too.

Because talking about safety features seems a little sissy when discussing the Durango, we suggest reading the following paragraph through gritted teeth. See? It’s burrter earlruddy. The Durango’s roster of save-your-bacon gear previously included blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path alert, and a full complement of air bags. New this year are radar-based forward-collision warning and crash mitigation, a driver’s-side knee airbag, and Uconnect Access’s ability to contact help in an emergency. While we’re doing the gritted-teeth thing, now might be a good time to note that Dodge also fitted an Eco driving mode as standard equipment. It’s automatically selected on vehicle startup and alters throttle sensitivity, the transmission mapping, and fiddles with V-8 models’ cylinder-deactivation protocol to improve fuel economy. It can be defeated with a push of a button.

Dodge will begin producing the 2014 Durango in the third quarter of this year, so expect to see the updated SUV hit dealer lots this fall. Pricing and final EPA ratings will be released closer to the on-sale date, but don’t expect the former to deviate too far from the 2013’s $30,490 base price. We like the Durango—it won a comparison test against the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot—largely because of its butch looks, winsome personality, and excellent driving manners. It seems Dodge left the latter two traits well enough alone, while suitably increasing the ute’s handsomeness—and we’re not just saying that because we don’t want to get punched.

Categories: New Inventory, News, Dodge
Tags: Durango, New, 2014, Car, Dodge
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