2017 DODGE DURANGO

DEALS ON A HAULER

There are some very good deals right now on leftover 2017 Dodge Durangos, especially on the high-end models, like my Citadel test car. If you are in the market for an SUV that can tow a large boat or trailer, and carry seven passengers as well, the Durango might just be the ticket.

The Durango is a good-looking vehicle, with just enough creases in its sheet metal to make it look contemporary, even though it has been around for several years. It features the signature Dodge “crosshairs” grill up front, and a distinguishing full-width taillight system that resembles a racetrack at the rear

Inside, the cabin compliments the exterior with a straightforward and clutter-free dash highlighted by a large 8.4-inch display in the center. The screen houses the U-Connect infotainment system, which is very intuitive and easy to operate. Also of note, the screen displays a wide-angle rear view, which is essential when backing up with a trailer.

The Durango has one of the roomiest cabins in its class. Buyers can select seating for six or seven people. Front passengers have plenty of room, and chair-like seating that provides a great view of the road. Second-row occupants (captain chairs in my test car) enjoy more than enough head-and legroom. The back row seats two adults with a surprising amount of room. Access is relatively easy, since the second-row seats flip over and out of the way. Storage space is good as well. Its big enough to carry a six-foot sofa with the back seats folded down.

Dodge offers the Durango in four levels of trim, SXT, GT, R/T and Citadel. The SXT is the price leader with standard seating for five. However more buyers prefer the GT with seven seats, leather upholstery and more. For those seeking more performance, the R/T offers a standard V-8 engine and a sport suspension. The Citadel, at the top of the line, goes the luxury route, with nappa leather, ventilated front seats and sunroof.

Under the hood, Dodge offers a choice of a 3.6-liter, 290-hp, V-6 engine, or its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 360 horses. Both are teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which happens to be the same one used in the BMW X-5. The V-6 will tow up to 6200 lbs.—the Hemi will tow a whopping 7400. However, gas mileage suffers with the V-8. It gets just 17 mpg is combined city/hwy driving. The V-6 gets 21.

On the road, the Durango has a leg up on many competitors in the handling department. This is due in part to it being a crossover SUV built with a unibody. Others in the class are built with the truck-style body-on-frame. The Durango feels more together negotiating twists and turns, even though the steering is a bit numb. The ride is also above average for its class. Passengers found it comfortable, except those in the way-back who complained of side to side rocking motions.

Durango pricing for 2017 models starts at $30,990 for the SXT and ranges up to $45,000 for the Citadel. If you decide to buy a 2017 Durango, you’d better act quickly, they won’t be around much longer.

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