2020 Dodge Durango

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2020 Dodge Durango Review: All American Muscle Wagon

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.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 6 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
7.4
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2020 Dodge Durango Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 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

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2020 Dodge Durango Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SXT
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,795
SXT Plus
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,795
GT
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,995
GT Plus
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,995
Citadel
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,995
See All 2020 Dodge Durango Trims and Specs

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.

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.

Check out other Dodge Durango Styles

2020 Dodge Durango Comparisons

Ford Explorer Ford
Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep

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

2020 Dodge Durango Popular Comparisons

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