2020 Dodge Durango

2020 Dodge Durango Review: All American Muscle Wagon

by Sebastian Cenizo

Dodge says the Durango is the three-row Charger. While there are obvious styling similarities and a shared love for gas, we can't guarantee that the Durango is going to be as exciting as the Charger in daily driving. What it will do, however, is tow your race car and carry your pit crew to the track and back in relative comfort. A 3.6-liter V6 is standard with up to 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, with upper trims having access to a cooler Hemi V8 with 5.7 liters of displacement, 360 hp, and 390 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic are standard fare, while all-wheel-drive is available for increased off-road ability. Affordable and spacious the Durango may be, but cheap interior materials and a lack of modernization make rivals like the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee worth considering too.

2020 Dodge Durango Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Durango?

The Durango carries over unchanged from 2019, with only the R/T and SRT trims (vehicles we review separately) getting any updates for the new model year.

Pros and Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Impressive towing ability
  • Available V8 is strong
  • Attractive styling
  • Numerous options
  • Base engine is iffy
  • Third row costs extra
  • Fuel economy is poor
  • Mediocre handling
  • Cheap interior

2020 Dodge Durango Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SXT
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,795
SXT Plus
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,795
GT
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,995
GT Plus
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,995
Citadel
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,995

Durango Exterior

The Durango features an aggressive front fascia that clearly draws inspiration from the Charger, with a large front grille bearing the Dodge cross and an attractively creased hood. Fog lights and 18-inch wheels are standard, while 20s are available. A sunroof is also available while roof rails are stock-fitted. The LED taillights at the back span the entirety of the tailgate while a dual-exit exhaust system adds more muscular flair to the GT variants, which boast a unique front fascia and, on the GT Plus, the option of a vented hood.

2020 Dodge Durango Front View Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Rear View Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Front View 1 Dodge
See All 2020 Dodge Durango Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Durango is unlikely to be mistaken for a Japanese Kei car. With a height of 70.9 inches and a width of 75.8, the Durango is a hulking machine of excess. In order to accommodate three rows of seating, the SUV has to be long too, and it is. 201.2 inches is the measurement from nose to tail, while the wheelbase is 119.8 inches. Curb weight varies, with the base model starting at 4,680 lbs and the heaviest V8 AWD version starting at 5,417 lbs. When you want to go off the beaten path, ground clearance of 8.1 inches allows for easy traversal of obstacles, as do an approach angle of 16.3 degrees, a breakover angle of 18.1 degrees, and a departure angle measuring 21.5 degrees.

  • Length 201.2 in
  • Wheelbase 119.8 in
  • Height 70.9 in
  • Max Width 75.8 in
  • Front Width 63.9 in
  • Rear Width 64.1 in

Exterior Colors

The base SXT model is spoilt for choice in terms of color options, with eight no-cost finishes and one $595 hue - Vice White. If you'd rather save some cash, you can have DB Black, Granite, Destroyer Grey, Billet, Reactor Blue Pearl, In-Violet - an SXT exclusive -, Octane Red, or White Knuckle. Other options available elsewhere in the lineup include F8 Green and Redline 2, both of which can be had on the GT trim variants. The GT Plus can also be specced with racing stripes in various colors for $1,195. Redline 2 is a particularly attractive hue, but the more demure shades of greys are perfectly acceptable for those who want to blend in.

  • Vice White
  • DB Black Clearcoat
  • Granite Clearcoat
  • In-Violet Clearcoat
  • Octane Red Pearlcoat
  • Reactor Blue Pearlcoat
  • White Knuckle Clearcoat
  • Billet Clearcoat
  • Destroyer Gray Clearcoat
  • Redline 2 Coat Pearl
  • F8 Green Clearcoat

Durango Performance

While SUVs are usually renowned for off-roading and towing ability, the Durango does well in both fields and adds a bit of speed to the mix too. With the standard 3.6-liter V6, the Durango can accelerate from 0-60 mph in around 7.5 seconds. However, the real fun comes on higher trims that have access to an optional 5.7-liter V8 that can bring the sprint time down to just 6.2 seconds.

If you opt to use the Durango for the purpose that SUVs are traditionally intended, the V6 will allow you to tow up to 6,200 lbs behind you, if you're not taking advantage of the 1,380-lb payload capacity, while the V8 versions can manage up to 7,400 lbs when equipped with the lighter rear-wheel-drive setup that is standard across the range. For those who wish to use the Durango on the trail, all-wheel-drive will likely be the default option. Going for this setup along with a V8 opens up better off-roading ability to the Durango, as a two-speed transfer case is included with this configuration.

2020 Dodge Durango Front View Driving Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Rear View Driving Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Rear View 1 Dodge

Engine and Transmission

The Durango's standard engine is the aforementioned 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, with 293 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, although this engine allows for good throttle response and decent acceleration from a standing start, the power drops off as you get up to speed. As a result, overtaking is a tricky task, especially when you're carrying a load.

The available 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is far more capable, thanks to outputs of 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Whether from the line or at speed, the V8 is far more willing to get you from point A to point B, and the accompanying rumble isn't half bad either.

Regardless of which engine you opt for, an eight-speed automatic is fitted and does a good job of keeping shifts smooth, although our test drives noted a bit of confusion from the management system, resulting in gear-hunting. Unsurprisingly, the thirsty Durango has been calibrated to get into top gear as soon as possible to try to maximize fuel economy, but this can sometimes be frustrating.

  • Engine
    3.6-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Weight equals comfort, most of the time anyway. In this case, the stereotype rings true and the Durango is impressively compliant and comfortable over all kinds of tarmac, soaking up bumps and abrasions in the road with aplomb. Thus, the Durango is an enjoyable vehicle to simply cruise in. As an additional notable point, the rear-wheel bias of the Durango can be felt in the way this thing handles. It's still a large and lethargic vehicle that takes its time to go around corners, but the large SUV stays relatively flat through the corners and isn't going to exacerbate any feelings of car sickness. The brakes are also responsive and well up to the task of bringing the big brawler to a stop, although numerous hard stops can accelerate brake fade. Turn-in is direct and the steering feels solid, but those with weak forearms may find the steering to be a bit too heavy.

On the downside, thanks in part to its comfy suspension and long wheelbase, the Durango is not as good on the trail as something like a Jeep, but it will still happily scrabble through difficult terrain and pull you up greasy slopes. If you intend to make off-roading a regular thing with the Durango, a V8 version is your best bet, offering a two-speed transfer case for the trickier terrains you may encounter.

Durango Gas Mileage

The Durango is not a vehicle you buy for its frugality. Still, if fuel economy is a concern for you, you'd do best to avoid an AWD, V8-equipped variant, because its EPA estimates are rated at 14/22/17 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. Combined with the 24.6-gallon gas tank that is shared across the lineup, total range with mixed driving is estimated just below 420 miles. Swap the V8 for a V6, and you get vastly improved EPA estimates of 18/25/21 mpg on the same cycles with a mixed range around 516 miles. Naturally, the lightest versions will be the most economical, albeit not by much. A rear-wheel-drive V6 is estimated to return figures of 19/26/21 mpg, giving it the same range as an all-wheel-drive variant.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    24.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 19/26 mpg
* 2020 Dodge Durango SXT Plus RWD

Durango Interior

As we've come to expect from Dodge, the interior of the Durango is awash with cheap plastics, but they are laid out in an attractive way, and the overall design is not offensive in the least. There are some decent materials scattered about too, and you can have leather if you want. While the interior finishings may be lacking, you won't be wanting for space in the Durango, and all the seats are comfortable and supportive. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can get heated seats on the first two rows and captain's chairs in the second row.

2020 Dodge Durango Infotainment System Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Central Console Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Seat Dodge
See All 2020 Dodge Durango Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

As standard, the base model only seats five while all other trims get an additional row that brings the seat count to seven. Optionally available are second-row captain's chairs, which decrease that count to six. Regardless of configuration, the Durango is spacious enough to seat adults in every row, although the captain's chairs would likely be squabbled over, particularly by taller individuals. That third row can also be difficult to get into unless you have the individual second-row seats. Up front, the driver has a commanding driving position with a clear view, but power-adjustment is not standard.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Front Head Room 39.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.8 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The base SXT comes with what Dodge calls Carolina Mesh/Double Cross fabric upholstery in a choice of Light Frost Beige or Black as standard. Genuine leather costs $695 on this base model and Capri leather in the same colors is available as an option on the base model and the GT trims, and as standard on the Citadel. The GTs also have access to Capri leather in Black with perforated suede inserts, while the GT Plus can be had with carbon fiber trim inserts. The top trim, the Citadel Anodized Platinum, has a choice of Nappa Axis II inserts on Nappa leather in Black or Black/Sepia. Tungsten accent stitching also features here.

Durango Trunk and Cargo Space

If your Durango comes with seven seats, you still have enough space to fit luggage for four with relative ease, thanks to 17.2 cubic feet of volume behind the third row. Fold that row in its 50/50 split and you get 43.3 cubes. Maximum space is made available when you fold the 60/40 second-row or collapse the captain's chairs, with 85.1 cubic feet of maximum volume available. The front passenger seat can also be folded, allowing you to carry really long items from the local Home Depot with ease.

In the cabin, small-item storage is well catered for too, with large door pockets offering space for water bottles. If you spec captain's chairs for the second row, a pair of cupholders and a central storage bin can be added to those already existing on the outside of the third row. The front row also gets a pair of cupholders, along with a space for your phone, a center armrest tray and storage bin, and a decent glovebox.

2020 Dodge Durango Trunk Space Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Trunk Space with Third Row Folded Dodge
2020 Dodge Durango Maximum Cargo Space Dodge

Durango Infotainment and Features

Features

Each trim level of the Durango adds progressively more features and equipment. The base model, the SXT, is equipped with a rearview camera, heated mirrors, tri-zone climate control, hill start assist, keyless entry, push-button start, and manually-adjustable front seats. The SXT Plus adds power wing mirrors with auto-dimming and rear parking sensors, while the GT gains eight-way power-adjustment for the driver's seat and a 50/50 split-folding third row. Next up is the GT Plus, a model that earns heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel with power adjustment, and more adjustments for the driver's seat. Citadel models add captain's chairs as standard in the second row, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, and a sunroof, while the top Citadel Anodized Platinum model gains ventilated front seats and a cover for the cargo area. As part of the options list, all but the base SXT model can have blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, while GT Plus and higher trims have access to full-speed forward-collision alert with autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and brake assist as part of the Technology Package. A power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, and auto high beams are also available.

Infotainment

The standard Uconnect 4 infotainment system includes a seven-inch touch display with six speakers, two USB ports, Bluetooth audio streaming, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. On the SXT Plus trim and up, SiriusXM satellite radio is added, while the Citadel and it's Anodized Platinum sibling gain the Uconnect 4C 8.4-inch infotainment display with navigation and the option of a 19-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound setup. A nine-speaker Alpine system is standard on these two trims as well. A rear-seat Blu-Ray/DVD player is also available with two screens. Regardless of which trim you get, the Uconnect interface is fluid and easy to navigate, with attractive graphics, too. It's arguably better than Ford's SYNC 3 system, a setup that has been proven to be one of the best available, as Dodge's setup is quicker and more responsive to inputs.

Durango Problems and Reliability

The 2020 Durango has not had any recalls thus far and J.D. Power has given it an overall quality and reliability rating of 77 out of 100. In terms of coverage, Dodge provides a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

Durango Safety

The 2020 Dodge Durango scored four out of five stars in the NHTSA's crash tests while the IIHS similarly gave the SUV the best possible score of Good in most criteria with the small front overlap failing the car with a second-to-worst score of Marginal.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

As standard, the Durango comes with a rearview camera, dual frontal airbags, front-seat side airbags, curtain airbags, and a driver's knee airbag. Hill-start assist and the usual traction and stability systems are also included, but blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert is an option on all trims. The base model cannot be further equipped in terms of safety features, but GT Plus and higher variants can be ordered with full-speed forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with advanced brake assist. SXT Plus and higher models also gain rear parking sensors.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Dodge Durango a good SUV?

The Dodge Durango has a great infotainment system and plenty of available features, but its most important attribute is its space, of which there is a considerable amount. With the ability to seat seven adults or carry large items in the back, the Durango is a versatile SUV with decent off-roading ability and a comfortable and compliant ride. However, due in part to its size and its thirsty engines, the Durango becomes expensive day to day, and the V6 is pretty poor, with a transmission that doesn't do it any favors either. You also have to pay extra for most safety features, and if you want the cheapest model, you can't access the bulk of them. The interior finishes are average at best, so, as an all-rounder, the Durango misses the mark. But for those who want a spacious, comfortable, and relatively affordable people carrier, the Durango will be more than adequate.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Dodge Durango?

The 2020 Dodge Durango starts at a base price of $30,495 for the SXT model, before a $1,495 destination charge. The SXT Plus starts $34,690 while the GT and GT Plus start at $34,895 and $39,245 respectively. The Citadel costs $42,995 and the Citadel Anodized Platinum is $46,270. Opting for all-wheel-drive adds $2,600 to each of the trims, while the two Citadel variants have the option of a V8 engine for $3,995 extra. Fully loaded, the Citadel Anodized Platinum costs a fraction over $61,000.

2020 Dodge Durango Models

The 2020 Durango is available in six variants: SXT, SXT Plus, GT, GT Plus, Citadel, and Citadel Anodized Platinum. All variants come standard with rear-wheel-drive and the option of all-wheel-drive, and all are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 with 293 hp as standard. The top two Citadel trims have the option of a 360-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8.

The base SXT comes with 18-inch wheels, seating for five, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment setup with smartphone integration, Bluetooth audio streaming, and six speakers. Tri-zone automatic climate control is also included.

Next up is the SXT Plus, which adds a pair of seats in the third row and gets black roof rails, satellite radio, and rear parking sensors. More options are also available on this model.

The GT gets 20-inch wheels and a sportier front fascia and loses the roof rails. Instead, it gains power-adjustable front seats, and yet more available options.

The GT Plus builds on the GT with more adjustability in the first row, a heated steering wheel, and heated front seats.

The Citadel loses the bench second row and gets the captain's chairs as standard. Roof rails make a return on this model too, while more standard features including a nine-speaker Alpine sound system and a sunroof, along with a larger infotainment screen with navigation, are added.

The Citadel Anodized Platinum gets various platinum accents on the interior and exterior, along with ventilated front seats and leather upholstery and a cargo cover.

See All 2020 Dodge Durango Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The base model has access to very few add-ons but you can spec SiriusXM satellite radio for $195. You can also add third-row seating for $1,095. The SXT can be had with a power sunroof for $1,295, and blind-spot monitoring costs $495. The Popular Equipment Group costs $1,695 and adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. On the GT, you can spec the 8.4-inch infotainment system with navigation for $995. The top Citadel trims can be had with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system for $995 too, while all models can be had with a trailering package that includes rear load-leveling suspension for $1,195.

🚗What Dodge Durango Model Should I Buy?

The GT Plus is our pick of the bunch, as it allows you to be well catered for in terms of standard and optional features. It's sportier styling is also better to look at. As standard, this model has 20-inch wheels, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, and the option of captain's chairs in the second row. This model can also be specced with a power sunroof, an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation, an upgraded Alpine sound system, and all of the available safety features. Essentially, the GT Plus is the one with the most choice alongside an impressive list of standard features, all for a starting price below $40,000.

Check out other Dodge Durango Styles

2020 Dodge Durango Comparisons

Ford Explorer Ford
Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Dodge Durango293 hp19/26 mpg$30,795
Ford Explorer 300 hp21/28 mpg$32,765
Jeep Grand Cherokee 293 hp19/26 mpg$32,150

2020 Dodge Durango vs Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is another of America's favorite three-row SUVs, and thanks to a more traditional front-wheel-drive setup, it offers marginally more space in the cargo area than the Durango. The other side-effect, however, is that it's not as fun to drive nor as capable when towing or hauling. On the plus side, the Explorer can be had with a 400-hp 3.0-liter V6, and the Ford's ten-speed SelectShift automatic is far better than the eight-speed in the Dodge. The Ford also looks arguably more modern and its cabin features less tacky materials, but despite its more powerful engine option, maximum towing capacity lags considerably behind the Durango's, with just 5,600 lbs. If you want a comfortable and capable seven-seater with loads of space, the Durango will likely fit your needs better. If, however, you prefer a more premium, car-like experience, the Ford with its numerous standard safety features and much more impressive options, is a much better SUV.

See Ford Explorer Review

2020 Dodge Durango vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

If you don't need seven seats, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is worth considering. With the same engines as the Durango, the Grand Cherokee offers similar performance but with far superior off-road ability, as you'd expect from a vehicle with the hallowed Jeep name. Its maximum towing ability is a little behind that of the Durango with just 7,200 lbs, but how often does one use every last ounce? In addition, the Jeep doesn't feel nearly as cheap or as spartan as the Durango SXT, even in base form, and because it's smaller, it's easier to park and easier to manoeuver. It's a little pricier in entry-level spec, sure, but with that extra cash you get 20-inch wheels as standard, more ground clearance, and better features and options, including a Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation on the base model, and standard HD Radio.

See Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

Dodge Durango Popular Comparisons

See All 34 Comparisons

2020 Dodge Durango Video Review

Check out some informative Dodge Durango video reviews below.

$30,795 - $45,595
Price Range (MSRP)
Dodge Durango