The 2017 Dodge Durango comes in five trims: SXT, SXT Plus, GT, Citadel, and the tire-smoking R/T, or Road/Track. The R/T, as being the top model, comes packed with features and technology. The distinguishing feature of the R/T name is the exclusive 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine.
This fire-breathing, 360 hp beast features variable valve timing (VVT) and FuelSaver MDS technology, plus it works with an eight-speed automatic transmission to improve its engine efficiency. The raw 390 lb.-ft. of torque allows the vehicle to tow up to 7,400 pounds. Its roominess and capability qualify the Dodge Durango as a superb selection for an SUV.
The EPA fuel economy is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The 0–60 mph sprint time is 6.2 seconds.
Up front, the split-crosshair grille is filled with a modern mesh texture, and the bulked-up hood puts a veil of civility over the brute-force power plant. The projector headlamps and LED daytime running lamps shine like a magic city.
The rear lights up the night with a full-width signature LED racetrack tail lamp, accentuated by bright exhaust tips. Following a Dodge Durango at night make you feel you are trailing a sinister-looking jack-o’-lantern pumpkin.
The black interior color with luxury-trimmed bucket seating and a perforated leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel add to the luxury and comfort of the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T.
Inside, a 7-inch customizable digital gauge cluster gives real-time information on performance, navigation, and other vehicle-status data all displayed in full color and rich graphics.
The 8.4-inch touchscreen on the center console houses a Uconnect infotainment system with navigation. This brings a range of communication and entertainment services within easy access. SiriusXM Satellite Radio, SiriusXM Traffic, and SiriusXM Travel Link are all part of the touchscreen technology package.
The BeatsAudio premium sound system includes nine premium speakers plus a subwoofer powered by a 506-watt amplifier.
The 8-by-20-inch Low-Gloss Granite Crystal aluminum wheels cart this beauty around. The liftgate makes it easy to load through the back, while the deep-tinted sunscreen glass and optional power sunroof allow a grand outside look and sky view.
Features like ParkView rear backup camera, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and Parksense rear park assist with a controlled stop feature are standard marvels on the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T.
There is an optional technology package that includes adaptive cruise control with a controlled stop feature, advanced brake assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection, forward-collision warning with active braking, and lane-departure warning–all for an additional $2,295.
My grandkids enjoyed the Rear DVD entertainment center. They were most content to sit quietly in the back seat. They watched their favorite movie on the two screens at the back of the front seats. This $1,995 entertainment package adds Blu-Ray-compatible dual rear-seat entertainment screens. Not once did I hear, “Are we there yet?”
The armrest between the front seats covers a storage space, which houses a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet. This space leaves little room for anything else without blocking the outlet.
There is a small open trough at the base of the center console for keys or a phone. In the opening, there is also a small panel with AUX/USB/SD card connectors so you can bring your own entertainment material. Between this trough and the armrest is a full-length floor console with two illuminated cup holders, and both doors have bottle holders.
The Dodge Durango R/T is a seven-passenger powerhouse that includes air conditioning with tri-zone automatic temperature control. The second row features 60/40-split fold-and-tumble seating and the third row provides 50/50-split folding seats, offering convenient flexibility. The manufacturer’s literature says Durango accommodates 50 different seating configurations.
The Dodge Durango is strong when turning corners and smooth to handle. It’s quiet and comfortable and escorted by the best in technology. The Durango eats up the distance on a trip, helping you get to your destination refreshed and ready to enjoy your next adventure.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T RWD is $42,095. Opting for AWD raises the price to $44,695.
3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Roadside Assistance
5-year/Unlimited-mile Rust-Through Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at email@example.com