The Dodge Durango went away a few years ago, and stayed away for 2 years. Some of us wondered if high gas prices and an economy spiraling down the porcelain facility, had done the truck in. but in 2011, it was revived and truly better than ever.
And this week, we’ll show you a couple of Dodge Durangos, the R/T and citadel, one for show, and one for go. Now that the Dakota truck is gone as a platform, the Durango had to be a new sheet of paper. Well, not completely new. It is the same platform as the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes M-Class. Call it the last vestige of Chrysler’s old German overlords.
But, it works, and works extremely well. In fact, if you are out shopping for a large SUV, Dodge and Jeep offer the true class of the field right now. And if you don’t really plan to go off-road, the new Durango will fit the bill perfectly.
The look is not as heavy as the last generation, thought the truck is at nearly 5000 pounds. But you’d never know it. Whether you have the RT with it’s 5.7-liter, 360 horsepower V8 Hemi, or the 3.6-liter V6 with its 290 ponies, the truck is a performer. The price you pay for the Hemi’s growl is mileage. Though, to be fair, the V6 all-wheel-drive Citadel gets only 16 city, 23 highway. The Hemi loses a few at 13 city, 20 highway.
The trucks have a third row seat, but the rear area is better served making room for cargo, and it will hold a lot, whether it’s picnic supplies or the picnickers themselves.
On the road, the truck is planted, sure-footed and a pleasure. But I’ll again confess my prejudice here. I don’t get the sports-truck deal. It’s a truck, meant to haul or tow stuff. Making a heavy, tall box into some kind of sports car dealy is like teaching a pig to dance. They’ll never be Fred Astaire and it annoys the pig.
Though, to be fair, the team at Dodge came about as close as you can come. The difference between the RT and luxury Citadel is engine, mileage, and trim. The new Durango R/T can start at near $40,000 for a rear-wheel-drive, and the Citadel’s base price is just over $41-K.
For that you get a very darned nice truck. So while you’re out shopping Chevy or Ford or the imports, stop in at the Dodge store. You’ll be impressed.