$21,710 - $31,395

2017 Dodge Durango Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Dodge Durango was new.


Performance: 8.3

The 2017 Dodge Durango’s performance attributes are among the best in its class. Though a standard V6 engine is adequate for most normal driving situations, an optional V8 adds even more power. The Durango also has stable handling and a calm, composed ride.

  • “If you're used to a bigger, truck-based SUV, the Durango should feel pleasantly maneuverable. If, however, you're coming out of a smaller SUV or a car, it could be a bit overwhelming." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Four-wheel independent suspension, a near 50/50 weight distribution and electro-hydraulic power steering create a sure-footed driving experience around both on and off the road." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • “Among tough rear-wheel-drive SUVs, the Durango's driving experience stands out as one of the very best." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Durango’s standard powertrain is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 293 horsepower, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive and a 5.7-liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower are optional. The Durango can tow up to 6,200 pounds with the V6 engine and 7,400 pound with the V8.

In standard configuration, the Durango gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA, which is just about average for the class. Opting for all-wheel drive will cost you 1 mpg both city and highway. The V8 engine only manages 14 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway.

The base engine provides good power for everyday driving, though the Durango’s weight can make it seem underwhelming. An optional V8 motor delivers exhilarating acceleration and power at highway speeds but at a high fuel efficiency cost.

  • "The Durango is one of the most muscular vehicles in its class, but it's also one of the heaviest, too. That takes a toll on real-world fuel economy, and it can also make the standard V6 engine feel strained at times - a good argument for specifying the exuberant Hemi V8, gas bills notwithstanding." -- Edmunds
  • "The 295-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine that's standard in the Dodge Durango is more than adequate to move this big SUV around, maybe even better than you'd expect. It's smooth and refined, the 8-speed automatic transmission clicks off smooth shifts -- although sometimes it hunts for the right gear -- and it can even tow a respectable 6,200 pounds. However, if you really want to put the spurs to it, the 360-horsepower Hemi V8 is the way to go. This hot-rod version of the Durango serves up seriously quick acceleration and passing power, plus the added benefit of being able to tow 7,400 pounds." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Of course, the Durango isn't perfect. Its chief problem is its thirsty V8, an issue that remains even after Dodge replaced the SUV's 5-speed automatic with a new 8-speed last year." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The Durango comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional. Ride quality is smooth and comfortable, with a cabin that stays quiet. The sport-tuned R/T model delivers more athletic handling but also has a stiffer ride.

  • “Although Dodge's engineers have done their best to mask this SUV's mass when you're driving around turns, it can still feel like a handful. One area where the Durango's weight likely helps is the ride quality. There's a take-command feel to the way it rolls down the road, and we even found the ride comfortable when outfitted with big 20-inch wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "The Durango's size and weight are apparent on the road, but thanks to rear-wheel drive (RWD) and careful suspension tuning, the Durango is surprisingly sporty, especially in R/T trims, which can be downright stiff." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "The Durango traverses bumps gently and remains quiet at highway speeds. This is a large vehicle, though, and you'll never forget it from behind the wheel. Still, the Durango handles better than something this size has a right to, especially with the R/T's performance-oriented suspension.” -- AutoTrader (2015)

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