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2013 Dodge Durango Comfort & Quality

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Shorter than the Suburban or Expedition, but more rugged than the similarly sized Traverse and Flex, the 2013 Dodge Durango is one of the more passenger-friendly SUVs on the market--much more so than the purely truck-based ute that preceded it.

It's nearly identical to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL Class in width, wheelbase, and in the total interior cargo space of 84.5 cubic feet--ahem--and that gives the Durango some of the same great selling points we've appreciated in the Mercedes ute. The Dodge has a great driving position, and the front seats have ample space all around for even large drivers. The same goes for the seats themselves: they're wide, decently bolstered, and this year, the top versions add ventilation for the ultimate in comfort.

Three rows of very comfortable seats and great cargo space are standard on every Durango; so's a well-trimmed cabin.

In the second row, it's possible for three adults to sit comfortably. During the 2012 model year, Dodge introduced an option for the second-row bench that swaps it out for a pair of bucket seats. In between there's a low console containing a cupholder; optionally, the console can be a larger one that has dual cupholders and a second USB port and a 12-volt outlet for charging phones and gaming devices.

It's less easy for full-size people to get into the third-row seats, which seem a little more difficult to access than in the GL, but not by much. The seats don't fold out of the way like those in a minivan, either--so if you're looking for more than the total of 84.5 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down, you're probably better off with the flat cargo floor of a Dodge Grand Caravan.

Interior appointments tend to be somewhat simple and straightforward, though they're far from drab. The trims and materials, up close, feel like a major upgrade from those in most other Chrysler products, and the cabin is quiet and refined, with a tightly sealed feel that's still absent from some utility vehicles.

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