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2014 Durango Changes Keep Dodge Competitive in Full-Size SUV Class

2014 Durango Changes Keep Dodge Competitive in Full-Size SUV Class

By Jeff Youngs, March 27, 2013
At the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the 2014 Dodge Durango debuted with a long list of upgrades designed to keep the full-size, 7-passenger SUV competitive. The model lineup is modified for 2014, with the Durango Crew model dropped in favor of new Rallye and Limited trim levels slotted between the base SXT and the up-level R/T and Citadel models. Dodge also introduced new fuel-saving features, upgraded technology and safety systems, and additional comfort features.

Starting with styling changes, the 2014 Dodge Durango features a new grille, new headlights, new hood, and a revised front bumper. New LED running lights are standard on all except the Durango SXT, and all trim levels have signature LED racetrack taillights for 2014. Wheel selections, offered in 18-inch and 20-inch designs, are restyled for 2014, and the updated Durango includes a capless fuel-filler system as well as an optional integrated trailer hitch design.

Inside, the 2014 Durango has a new instrument panel that accommodates the standard full-color reconfigurable gauge cluster, new 5-inch center display screen, and optional Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system. A new media hub with auxiliary input jacks, USB ports, and an SD card slot is standard for 2014, and the new Durango's interior includes a redesigned steering wheel with paddle shifters and active front-seat head restraints.

Under the hood, the 2014 Durango is equipped with the familiar 290-horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine or 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine with fuel-saving technology. The V-6 is equipped with a new 8-speed automatic transmission operated using a rotary controller, similar to what is installed in the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup and helps contribute to what Dodge claims is a 9% increase in fuel economy for 2014. A new capless fuel-filler system makes re-filling the Durango's gas tank that much easier.

The default powertrain setting each time the 2014 Durango is started is a new Eco Mode, which modifies shift points and throttle response to maximize fuel economy. It can be shut off using a button on the dashboard. According to Dodge, the V-6 can tow up to 6,200 pounds, while the V-8 tugs up to 7,400 pounds, the equivalent, according to Dodge, of a 24-foot boat on a trailer.

The new 2014 Durango Rallye has what Dodge refers to as a "sinister" appearance, thanks to monochrome exterior trim, darkened headlight trim, LED running lights, and Hyper Black 20-inch aluminum wheels. The new 2014 Durango Limited builds on the SXT trim level with leather seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and Uconnect 8.4 technology.

For 2014, the Durango's Uconnect 8.4 system, standard on Limited, R/T and Citadel models, adds 3-D navigation mapping, Bing Internet search, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and natural voice-recognition technology for voice texting, climate, audio, and navigation functions. Additionally, the 2014 Durango can be optioned with a new dual-screen Blu-Ray DVD rear-seat entertainment system with dual 9-inch headrest display screens. Designed for compatibility with HDMI gaming systems, the rear-seat entertainment system includes two wireless headphone sets and a wireless remote control.

A new second-row pass-through center console design makes it easier for families with three children to load and unload the brood when the second-row captain's chairs are specified. Alternatively, a full second-row center console with additional storage can be installed between the captain's chairs. Heated and ventilated front seats, a heated rear seat, and a heated steering wheel are new options for the updated Durango.

The 2014 Dodge Durango also offers new safety technologies. The 9-1-1 Assist system puts a live operator in touch with the Durango's occupants if the air bags deploy or if an occupant pushes the button on the upper console. A new Adaptive Cruise Control Plus system employs a radar system and a camera to bring the Durango to a complete stop if necessary and then resume speed with a push of the accelerator pedal. New Forward Collision Warning Plus technology uses the same systems as the Adaptive Cruise Control Plus system to identify closing rates with objects in front of the Durango and take graduated steps to spark driver reaction to a potentially dangerous situation. These new options complement the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection systems already offered for the Durango.

The 2014 Dodge Durango is built in Detroit, Michigan, in one of two assembly plants still operating within Detroit city limits.

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