The Dodge Durango is a mid-sized SUV that comes with seating for five to seven passengers, depending on the trim level and seating configuration. Unlike many other mid-sized SUVs, the Durango comes with two HEMI® V8 engine options, making it a good choice for drivers who want extra power. Drivers who regularly tow will appreciate that the 2019 Durango can move 8,700 pounds when properly equipped, enough to pull a full-sized camping trailer or boat.
Currently, the third generation of the Dodge Durango is on the market. This generation debuted with the 2011 model year and received a refresh in 2014, when an eight-speed automatic transmission and exterior styling changes were introduced. In 2018, the Durango’s high-performance trim, the SRT model, was introduced. That year Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® became standard features, so drivers who want full smart-phone integration should choose that model year or later. Other than that, the Durango has been much the same since 2011, so drivers should feel comfortable buying an older model.
Are you considering buying a used Dodge Durango? Here’s everything you should know about this mid-sized SUV:
Price and Value: The 2019 Dodge Durango starts at $30,445, which is comparable to other mid-sized SUVs. Like other SUVs, the Durango’s price increases quickly with additional features and trim levels. A top-spec 2019 Durango can exceed $63,245.
Shoppers who are looking to save money should buy a used Durango. Because the SUV hasn’t been fully redesigned since 2011, older models still look relevant. A 2014 refresh changed the exterior styling slightly, so for the most up-to-date look shop for that model year or later. Drivers looking for the high-performance Durango will need to shop model year 2018 or later, since that’s when the SRT model was introduced. Although CarPlay® and Android Auto® didn’t become standard until 2018, they were available options for previous years, so drivers looking for full smart-phone connectivity could consider previous models.
The Durango is often compared to the Jeep Cherokee, since the vehicles are build on the same platform. The Cherokee has a slightly higher starting price of $32,195, but some people argue that the Jeep is a better buy, in part because of its off-road appeal and higher reliability rating. However, the Grand Cherokee only seats five passengers and has a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds when properly equipped. Because of this, the Durango presents the best value for drivers who need space and towing ability.
Size and Seating Capacity: The Dodge Durango usually holds seven passengers: two in the front row, three in the middle, and two in the third row. However, the base level of the Dodge Durango does not come standard with third-row seating, so it’s possible to get a Durango that only seats five people. If you want a third-row seat, be sure to confirm that the vehicle you are looking at comes with the extra seating. Second row captains chairs are an available option on the lower-level trims and standard on the top two trim levels. With this configuration, the Durango seats six people.
When the third row seats are in use, the 2019 Dodge Durango has 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space. However, with the third row seats folded down (or missing entirely) the Durango has 43.3 cubic feet of cargo space, more than many other mid-sized SUVs.
In terms of cargo, where the Durango really stands out is with its towing capacity. When properly equipped with a HEMI® V8 engine and tow packages, the 2019 Durango can tow up to 8,700 pounds. For comparison, most other mid-sized SUVs have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500-5,000 pounds, making the Durango a standout in this regard and a great option for families who regularly move camping equipment, boats or even small horse trailers.
Features and Trims: The Dodge Durango has many features that you would expect to find on a mid-sized SUV, including seating for up to seven people, decent cargo space and towing capacity, and optional all-wheel drive available on all trims. The Dodge Durango also has tech features like a backup camera, CarPlay® and Android Auto®, all of which became standard on the 2019 model year.
The 2019 Durango comes in five trim levels: SXT, GT, R/T, Citadel, and SRT. The SXT, GT and Citadel trims come standard with the standard engine, a 293-horsepower V6. A 360-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 is standard on the R/T, and an available option on the Citadel Trim. The high-performance SRT trim comes with a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI®V8.
Here are the other key features that you’ll find on each of the Durango’s trims:
- SXT: This trim comes standard with seating for five, although a third row is an available option. Cloth seats and an infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen are standard.
- GT: At this trim third-row seats are standard. You’ll also get leather seats, a heated steering wheel and satellite radio standard.
- R/T: This trim comes standard with a 360-horsepower V8 engine. A nine-speaker Alpine® Premium Audio System comes standard, as does remote start.
- Citadel: The Citadel comes standard with the V6 base engine, but the 360-horsepower V8 is an option. Second row captains chairs and a sun roof are standard on this trim.
- SRT: The high-performance SRT trim was introduced in 2018. It comes with the Durango’s most powerful 475-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI®V8, as well as performance-tuned suspension, steering and brakes.
Safety: The Dodge Durango is a safe vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2019 Durango a top rating of “good” for four out of five crash tests. However, the vehicle had a rating of “marginal,” the second lowest category, for its performance on driver’s side front crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn’t tested the 2019 model, but gave the 2018 Dodge Durango a safety rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
In model years 2018 and later the Dodge Durango comes standard with a rear-view camera. Additional safety features are offered as part of packages available on all except the base trim Durango. For example, the Technology Group package includes driver assist features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist.
Fuel Economy: The 2019 Dodge Durango with the base V6 engine gets an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon combined fuel economy in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. The HEMI®V8 engine options have much higher fuel consumption: The 360-horsepower V8 gets 17 mpg of combined fuel economy in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, while the 475-horsepower V8 gets 15 mpg combined.
Reliability: The 2019 Dodge Durango has a below-average reliability rating of 2 out of 5, according to J.D. Power and Associates. That is the lowest score that the agency gives. The 2019 Dodge Durango doesn’t have any recalls issued at this time, but the 2018 model has had two recalls relating to wiring and one relating to the transmission. Before buying a used Durango, check to see if it is subject to these recalls
Ratings: The Dodge Durango is generally a middle-of-the-pack mid-sized SUV. It doesn’t stand out for its performance, size or prize . However, the Durango’s towing capacity is the best in class.
The Takeaway: The Durango has many appealing points. Drivers will like that it has seating for seven, great cargo space, and all-wheel drive available on every trim level. However, the Durango has a low reliability rating and fewer standard features than other mid-sized SUVs. Yet, because the Durango’s shape and features have been consistent over time, it may be possible to score a great deal on a used Durango.