By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
With gas prices holding steady for the near term, the full-size SUV has begun its resurgence with consumers, and the 2013 Dodge Durango is leading the pack. Not quite as large as a Chevy Suburban, the leaner Durango is no less capable, offering a choice of a V6 or HEMI V8 engine, 2- or 4-wheel drive and four well-equipped trims. The Durango's small size doesn't ask consumers to sacrifice interior room, comfort or the ability to tow over 6,000 pounds. In V6 form, the Durango offers a strong alternative to vehicles such as the GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer. But when equipped with the available 5.7-liter HEMI V8, the Durango can out-tow and out-muscle any V6, with a tow rating of 7,400 pounds and a whopping 360 horsepower.
If you require a vehicle that can carry seven people, tow up to 7,400 pounds and still fit easily into your garage, the 2013 Dodge Durango tops a very short list. Thanks to its unit-body construction and sturdy design, the Durango is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick.
If towing and brute power are not important attributes, a more fuel-efficient option might be wiser. Although pricier than the Durango, Audi's diesel-powered Q7 offers about the same room with better fuel economy. A more affordable option is Toyota's 7-passenger Highlander Hybrid, which also has superior resale value.
A new Rallye Appearance Group is offered on the SXT trim, while the Crew gains heated front and second-row seating. R/T trims can be outfitted with heated and cooling Nappa leather seats, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection. Second-row captain's chair seating is now offered on all trims.
Driving Impressions Despite the 2013 Dodge Durango's mass, the 290-horsepower Pentastar V6 never fails to accelerate briskly or deliver up ample passing power when asked. We can certainly see instances where the...HEMI V8 is preferable to the V6, such as when towing heavy loads, but for those only interested in hauling items that fit inside the Durango's cabin, we think the V6 is the way to go. As for its road manners, the 2013 Dodge Durango SUV has a slightly heavy steering feel, but the turn-in response is excellent and the Durango tracks straight and true on the highway. The Durango's suspension tuning is a bit stiff, a complaint heard especially often from those testing the R/T trim, but overall the ride is still compliant and fairly comfortable. As a result of added insulation and heavy-gauge steel used throughout the cabin, wind and tire noise are kept at a minimum.
About the closest you'll get to an SRT version of the 2013 Durango, the R/T's lowered sport suspension, recalibrated shocks and springs and aggressive 20-inch tires make this one playful full-sized SUV. Oh, did we forget to mention it's got a HEMI?
Big SUVs have lots of side glass for good outward vision, but that doesn't always help when trying to change lanes with a car full of boisterous kids. Thankfully, the 2013 Dodge Durango's Blind-spot Monitoring system will alert when something other than air is occupying the space you're attempting to fill.
If you're looking for luxury car-like quality and craftsmanship, look no further than the 2013 Durango's interior. Dodge has outdone itself (and everyone else in the field) with an interior that emphasizes comfort, visual elegance and supreme quiet. Crew and Citadel trims offer such features as heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seating and standard leather seating. The Durango's 28 possible configurations allow for any combination of people and cargo, from the roomy spot behind the second-row seat to the full-length flat floor created by the flush-folding front passenger seat.
With the exception of the new Ford Explorer, we think the Dodge Durango for 2013 is one of the freshest faces in the 7-passenger SUV segment. The Durango's sport wagon-like appearance is only an illusion, however, as it retains its impressive ground clearance and tall roofline. Of course, the R/T trim does sacrifice some ride height and its more aggressive 20-inch rims and lowered ground effects clearly limit its off-road ability. Then again, the R/T trim is meant to excel on paved roads and, with the potent HEMI V8 under the hood, acceleration is also best in class. Other clever features found on Dodge's 2013 Durango SUV include an available flexible roof rack that incorporates folding crossbars that can be stowed in the side rails when not in use.
The entry-level SXT trim features 18-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, heated power side mirrors, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, 12-volt outlet and removable LED flashlight in the cargo area, tilt/telescopic steering column and an AM/FM/CD radio with WMA/MP3 support, Sirius Satellite Radio and auxiliary input jack. At the opposite end of the Durango spectrum, the Citadel adds 20-inch wheels, a power rear liftgate, HID headlamps, Nappa leather and suede seats, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, Rear Cross Path Detection system, power heated and tilt/telescopic steering wheel, keyless Enter-N-Go, heated second-row seating and Garmin navigation.
Options vary by trim and include a Garmin-equipped navigation radio with 30 GB hard drive and Sirius Travel Link, ParkView rearview camera, ParkSense rear park assist, side Blind-spot Monitoring, Smartbeam auto-dimming high beams, UConnect phone (Bluetooth), skid plates, Alpine premium audio, Bluetooth streaming audio, heated second-row seats, power rear liftgate, rain-sensing wipers and a heated steering wheel. Option packages include the Trailer Tow Group IV that adds a 220-amp alternator, heavy-duty engine oil cooler, Class IV hitch receiver, 4- and 7-pin wiring harness and rear load-leveling shocks. The Rallye Appearance Group adds 20-inch polished wheels, black bezel headlights and body-colored trim and grille.
The 2013 Dodge Durango's standard engine on all but the R/T trim is Chrysler's award-winning Pentastar V6. Without question, one of the best V6 engines ever produced by the company, this engine has more than enough power to satisfy most SUV drivers. Equipped with dual-overhead cams and variable-valve timing, the 3.6-liter Pentastar is capable of achieving maximum performance without sacrificing fuel economy. The Durango's optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 features a fuel-saver mode that deactivates four of the eight cylinders when full power is not required. When power is needed, however, the Durango's HEMI has it in spades, delivering 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of tow-ready torque. The all-wheel-drive (AWD) V8 model includes a low-speed transfer case with a neutral position setting.
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
5.7-liter HEMI V8
360 horsepower @ 5,150 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 13/20 mpg (AWD)
The 2013 Dodge Durango SXT has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $30,000 for the rear-drive model and $32,000 for all-wheel drive (AWD). The Crew bumps the price to around $35,500, while a fully loaded Citadel with the HEMI V8 and all-wheel drive tops out right around $50,000. These prices compare well with a comparably equipped Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and Ford Flex, none of which offers the option of a V8 engine. To get the best deal on your Durango, be sure to take a look at the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com to learn what buyers in your area are actually paying. As for resale, we expect the new Durango will probably hold its own against the Ford Flex and Chevrolet Traverse, but still fall short of the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer.
By Cards Fan on Wednesday, April 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, Technology within the vehicle"
Cons: "Gas Milage even w/VVT, road noise, reaview sight"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I really like this vehicle. 3RD row seating is a must for our family and the storage space available with the 3rd row in use is the best we've ever had. I wish I had the 8 speed trasnmission because the 5 speed is not really very good with the HEMI. But hey, It's got a HEMI!! It's difficult to see around you using only the rear view mirror, but the blind spot indicator is really helpfull."
By Roche on Tuesday, April 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,521overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance ride, UCONNECT, quiet, value, towing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned my 2014 Durango since Dec 2013 and enjoyed every bit of the material on it. My wife drives a BMW X5 but rather steal my Durango because of the better ride gives and luxury in its class. This nice crossover handles the roads absolutely well on a smooth quiet drive have every time sit in comfortable bucket seats inside with UCONNECT NAV/Ventilated seats, blue tooth, audio includes Pandora and 1 year Sirius satellite radio. I love cruising around my Durango because of responsive handling get from it on lots of sleek performance. Its a fun SUV than ever I am not disappointed on features nor shortcomings that can be listed a really bargain. Towing capacity is excellent tow a 5,000lbs boat hooked on this small SUV which seems smaller on outside but have better quality inside from better options than my wife's X5 which she loves but likes the Durango more its been a great crossover for 4 months now there hasn't been not one problem out of it. I'm looking at another Chrysler/Dodge product searching for a new Ram truck while all our vehicles paid cash on and drive them for another 10 years keeping the Durango and buying a truck because I do travel a lot even work on a long distance business so have bit more room and better fuel economy which done researching on Ram 1500 on reliability and finding something with a great ride as test drove one making a new purchase next week probably order one with more features if can't found a equipped model. Back to my Durango love this SUV its better from Tahoe or Expedition in a greater ride and more room this was my Chrysler product I'm very thrilled with it because while driving it for couple months showed me what the Chrysler vehicles are like now in better rides includes fit and finish materials."
By Brewers on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this SUV for my many trips to Mexico towing my boat. Highway driving is very comfortable and the Durango with the V-8 handles like a charm. Overall gas mileage on trips is 18+. Interior is quality and exterior is attractive. The console for radio/cd/sat/GPS is challenging to use (especially while driving). Only real dislikes so far; transmission is jerky periodically on some auto shifts between 1-3rd gears and clunky/rough/noisy when first shifting manually from Park to Drive. Lastly, annoying brake squeal with pedal pressure but only for last few feet before complete stop? Dealer says its "normal" but I refuse to believe that. Overall I am very happy I decided to violate my 25 year boycott of Dodge/Chrysler."
By rjksrf on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliabilty, fuel economy, ride"
Cons: "No diesel available"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"89,000 miles in 34 months. Never been to the dealer for any service or repair. All maintenance suggested completed and probably a few beyond the recommendations. Factory tires and brakes exceeded my expectations. Reliability, Ride, fuel economy and towing exceeded my expectations. If they would let us have the diesel it would be close to the perfect vehicle with the 2014 upgrades."
By Matt on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very little out of pocket expenses in 2+ years"
Cons: "Automatic dimming dashboard lights."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Very low maintenance cost, basically to take it to the dealership for "free" oil changes every 3,000 miles. Excellent quality and reliability. The 3.6L V6 24 valve VVT engine towed my 6,000lb trailer pretty handily, only steep hills seemed to slow it down. My only regret is not getting the electronic controlled driver side seat."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By happy driver on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "mpg could say what it is."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love this 2014 Dodge Durango limited. I bought this with a penastar v6 with 8 speed transmission and AWD. The interior is very nice with no cheap plastic. Lots of soft touch plastic,and the heated leather front and back seats are great. The v6 has a ton of power,and the transmission is smooth as silk. I upgraded to the dual blue ray dvd in the middle seats which work great. The infotainment system works great with a 8.4" touch screen that is just simply amazing. The third row is very large and comfy with great head and leg room. Everything in this suv has screams luxury!The price point was a little bit on the high end,but compared to everything else i looked at there is no competition. If your in the market for a great 7 passenger suv look no further than here. The only slight gripe i have is the mpg says 19 combined,but as of now i am only getting about 15."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful