2014 Dodge Durango Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

With the Durango, Dodge has a vehicle that's sized slightly larger than some mid-size crossovers like the Ford Explorer, while it's significantly smaller than the big SUVs from Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Lincoln, among others. Unlike the latter trucks, it's not based at all on a pickup truck--in fact, it's a cousin to both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes GL-Class and M-Class.

What that means inside is plenty of crossover-style space to go with more manageable size. It starts in front, where the Durango has a very good driving position, with ample space in every direction and good adjustment range to the driver seat and steering wheel. The seats themselves are bolstered well enough on the backrests, but the leather seats we've been in more recently felt flatter and less supportive than prior versions--possibly because of the now-available seat ventilation.

The knockout interior has excellent space, but the front seats aren't quite as comfortable as in some SUVs.
In the second row, it's possible for three adults to sit comfortably. The Durango can be ordered with bucket seats in the second row instead of the usual second-row bench; so outfitted, it gets a low console containing a cupholder between the seats. 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.

This year's thorough rework of the dash and controls pushes the Durango's interior a few more grades toward business class. It was good to begin with; now the shapes and textures are very rich-looking on most versions, though to get the pretty, bright 8.4-inch touchscreen, you'll have to upgrade the Durango's base audio system. The trims and materials are substantial to the touch, and the cabin is quiet and refined, with a tightly sealed feel that's still absent from some utility vehicles.

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