Review: 2014 Dodge Durango turns up the Manly Factor

2014 dodge durango limited review
2014 Dodge Durango Limited

Say goodbye to boringly styled soccer-mobiles: the face-lifted 2014 Dodge Durango is a pioneer in design for its brute, tough and aggressive look.

It’s big. It’s manly. It’s an SUV that would make a young child proud when getting picked up by his/her dad from school. The Durango refutes the styling of its competitors and argues you don’t have to be boring or boxy to haul seven people around town.

STATS Starting Retail Price As Tested Price HP / Lb-Ft
2014 Dodge Durango Limited AWD $38,395 $45,765 290 / 260
EPA Rating MPG As Tested MPG
Rating: LEASE IT! 17 / 24 Combined 19  21.5
Durango Dairy Air
Durango Dairy Aire

The Limited model comes standard with a 3.6L Pentastar V6. It produces 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. torque. It’s a competent V6 that allows for adequate acceleration in a daily driver, but it won’t set your world on fire.

It feels torquey even with a light step on the accelerator. The vehicle lurches forward and you’re thrust back into your seat, but the power that follows doesn’t match the initial torqiness. It’s a little trick that makes the vehicle seem faster, but realistically, the V6 struggles under hard acceleration. Weighing in at 4,756 lbs, the Durango is too much for the Pentastar to handle if you’re focused on performance.

2014 dodge durango v6 engine
290 HP, 260 lb.-ft. torque Pentastar V6

An 8-speed automatic transmission makes for great fuel economy in a such a large SUV as the Limited model can achieve up to 24 MPG on the highway and 17 in the city, with a combined rating of 19 MPG. However, the transmission tends to hunt for gears. At highway speeds, the Durango drops down three to four gears for non-aggressive, light passing. It’s fairly loud for such low throttle input, but if you’re up to speed and cruising in eighth gear, the ride is calm and quiet.

2014 dodge durango limited interior
Limited Interior

Durango’s 119.8 inch wheelbase gives it a very comfortable ride that’s perfect for long trips and vacations. Inside, you’ll find leather trimmed seating, soft touch materials, and an overall sense of luxury. Driver and front passenger seats are well-bolstered and heated (standard). Kids will enjoy the second row captain’s chairs that also come standard with heated seats. The third row is a little tight for adults, but at least gets seven passengers from point A to B in a bind.

A Uconnect 8.4 inch touch screen display infotainment system comes standard on the Limited model. It’s simple and easy to use, and the six speaker setup (also standard) packs a punch. One complaint is when reaching to turn up the volume without looking, I always went for the largest middle knob every time, which resulted in blasting the air conditioning. A rear entertainment center with Blu-Ray and DVD capability is available as part of a package for $1,995.00, which will pacify children on long trips and, subsequently, keep parents happy.

2014 dodge durango nathan adlen
Rear Entertainment Center

Steering feel is very light, which is especially noticeable at lower speeds. It feels as though you have to endlessly spin the wheel when making turns, and the turning radius is nothing to write home about. At higher speeds, the Durango’s steering tightens up, giving a sense of confidence.

The Durango has ample space for hauling large items inside the vehicle. It’s a bit tight if you try to throw something in the rear hatch with the third row seats in place, and the available cargo net and compartment security cover don’t make it easy if your hands are full. The automatic open and close feature is nice for the hatch, but it’s extremely slow and requires you to reach inside the vehicle to close the hatch rather than pushing a button on the hatch itself.

2014 dodge durango trunk space
Does Nathan Fit?

The Limited AWD Durango is priced at $45,765, which is a little high compared to competitors like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, as well as the Chevy Traverse. But you get a lot of bang for your buck in a vehicle that looks plain cool. And, you can get a very well equipped SXT model starting just under $30,000.00.

On the TFLcar scale of:

Buy it!
Lease it!
Rent it!
… or Forget it!

I give the 2014 Dodge Durango Limited a Lease It! 

This is a perfect model for those who want luxury coupled with style and aren’t concerned about performance. However, the Durango could be paired down to a much more reasonable price while still maintaining a lot of great features.

From a performance perspective, the V6 is far too sluggish for almost $46,000. Slap on the HEMI V8 and the Dodge Durango R/T earns itself a Buy It!

Check out Roman and Nathan’s First Drive Review of the 2014 Dodge Durango R/T below, and stay tuned for the Three Rows of Destiny Mega Mashup Review of the 2014 Dodge Durango Limited, coming soon!