The Dodge brand is upping the ante in the fast-growing full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and crossover segments, introducing the new 2014 Dodge Durango at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. This new SUV is built on the Dodge brand's pillars of performance, style and innovation, delivering a new standard state-of-the-art class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission that improves fuel economy up to 9 percent, the Chrysler Group's award-winning Uconnect Access easy-to-use touchscreen technologies and the Dodge brand's signature racetrack LED tail lamps to driving enthusiasts in the market for a three-row family performance SUV.
When Dodge re-introduced the Durango in 2011, it immediately earned accolades from customers and critics alike. Its combination of sleek yet muscular lines, comfortable three-row seating, large cargo volume, class-leading power, driving range and towing capability and overall driving enjoyment was unlike anything ever seen in the SUV segment before. For 2014, the engineers and designers at Dodge have made the ultimate "no compromise" SUV even better.
The new 2014 Dodge Durango takes everything that customers love about Durango and adds the latest advancements in technology to enhance its design, capability and functionality. With a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, improved fuel economy and performance, new LED exterior lighting, two new interior touchscreens, a new programmable instrument cluster, and an available high-definition dual-screen Blu-ray entertainment system, the 2014 Dodge Durango reaches even higher levels of sophistication building on its proven performance, utility and comfort.
"When the Durango was first launched in 1998, it represented a breakthrough in power, size and style," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO - Dodge Brand. "Now for 2014, we're upping the ante by making it our most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and dramatically styled Durango ever. With countless class-exclusive features and best-in-class attributes, the new 2014 Durango represents the ultimate no-compromise full-size SUV."
The 2014 Durango is available in five trim levels: SXT, Rallye, the new for 2014 Limited, R/T and Citadel. It will be built in the United States at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2013.
Unique, yet appealing to all
Dodge is introducing the new 2014 Dodge Durango just as the SUV segments in the United States are showing tremendous growth. The new Durango competes in the full-size SUV segment, which with 900,000 units sold in 2012, has jumped 82 percent since 2009. With its standard three rows of seats and interior seating flexibility, Durango also appeals to shoppers looking for a full-size crossover. The two segments combined are up 48 percent since 2009, outpacing the industry. And of those full-size SUV and crossover sales, approximately 60 percent are three-row vehicles, placing Durango squarely in the heart of the market.
Durango customers are tech-savvy, youthful and full-of-life, with one of the youngest demographics in the segment. Their active lifestyles keep them on the run, and they depend on technology to keep them connected. The Durango delivers with the latest Uconnect Access technology and connectivity in an agile, flexible vehicle that is spacious with versatile three-row seating for passengers and their gear.
When the Dodge Durango debuted in 2011, it had a distinct advantage over the competition as an SUV designed to deliver performance, without compromising fuel economy. With the addition of the new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters standard across the lineup, Durango ups the ante delivering improved efficiency, as well as a more refined and engaging driving experience.
The 2014 Durango offers a host of premium features, such as high-end interiors, the latest infotainment technology and impressive powertrain options, along with the exterior design that is distinctively Dodge.
Feature highlights on the 2014 Dodge Durango include:
High-tech exterior look
The Dodge Design team went to work to create a new exterior that conveys how advanced the Durango is, while maintaining the muscular body and confident personality customers expect from Dodge.
The new face of Durango is still distinctly Dodge and features a new, slimmer "split crosshair" grille with mesh textures unique to each trim level. Combined with the redesigned projector-beam headlamps and a raised front bumper, the 2014 Dodge Durango has an even more sinister look than the previous model. Durango's sculpted hood and grille complete the unique to Dodge forward-leaning profile that continues through the deeply browed headlamps.
For a more monochromatic appearance, the Rallye and R/T are equipped with dark-tinted headlamp bezels, body-color front and rear lower fascias, wheel flares, grille and sill moldings, all unique to the these packages. The R/T's ride height has also been lowered by 20 mm, further enhancing its sporty appearance and driving dynamics.
The 2014 Dodge Durango now features projector beam headlamps, with LED daytime running lamps on Rallye, Limited, RT and Citadel. The LED lamps run horizontally along the bottom edge of the headlamp and form a unique "hockey-stick" shape. Bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps are standard on R/T and Citadel, turning the night into day. Auto-leveling technology adjusts headlight beam aim for slight changes in elevation.
The new front-end design features new projector fog lamps and fog lamp surrounds and matching crosshair grille texture. Combined with the taller front bumper, the new lower fascia gives the 2014 Dodge Durango a wider and more aggressive look.
In line with Dodge Charger, the side profile of the Durango maintains its powerful shape, accented by muscular fender arches and curves that flow back in through the doors, resembling the iconic shape of a coke bottle. The greenhouse of the new Durango blends seamlessly into the body, and a body-color rear spoiler significantly reduces drag while adding visual drama to the side profile.
The 2014 Dodge Durango receives all-new 18- and 20-inch aluminum wheel designs for every trim level, and feature finishes ranging from silver painted to polished aluminum to class-exclusive Hyper Black. In total, there are seven wheel designs and finishes to select from.
The rear of the Durango sees the addition of the dramatic LED racetrack tail lamp design inspired by the Dodge Charger and all-new Dart. Still immediately recognizable as a Durango, this latest evolution of the racetrack design features a new technology that blends the individual LEDs into one seamless looking ribbon of light. In total, there are 192 LEDs in the new tail lamp assembly that give Durango a presence on the street and make it instantly recognizable as a Dodge.
The rear fascia has been re-sculpted to fully integrate the trailer hitch. This gives Dodge Durango a cleaner, more premium look. Large 3.5-inch dual exhaust tips are standard on V-8-equipped vehicles, including the R/T, along with the Rallye; other V-6 powered Durango models have a 3-inch single tip.
A driver's three-row SUV
The new 2014 Durango continues to deliver excitement and refinement with world-class suspension and performance. Benchmarked against premium performance SUV's in the market, Durango delivers modernized refinement with electronics, suspension and structural characteristics that are usually found at much higher price points.
The unibody structure is built with a selection of high-strength and ultra-high strength steels that improve driving dynamics by integrating the suspension with the body â€” reducing flex and weight when compared with body-on-frame designs.
The short/long arm front suspension and isolated multi-link rear suspension features isolated front and rear cradles to deliver precise on-road handling and comfort. The four-wheel independent suspension, combined with the Durango's nearly 50/50 weight distribution, transmits to a solid driving feel and fun-to-drive characteristics.
Dodge Durango delivers on the pavement with aggressive shock and spring rates and large sway bars to handle body roll in hard turning maneuvers. Electro-hydraulic power steering, unique caster and camber settings along with standard electronic stability control also contribute to maintain tire grip and vehicle stability.
The 2014 Dodge Durango's rear-wheel-drive-based drivetrain is the foundation for its outstanding on-road driving performance. Available all-wheel drive (AWD) further enhances driver confidence by leveraging the SUV's 50/50 weight distribution.
The Durango's two AWD systems - one for the HEMIÂ® V-8 and one for Pentastar V-6-powered models - greatly enhance the vehicle's traction and handling by delivering a smooth driving experience on a wide range of road conditions.
While competitors have switched to front-wheel-drive car-based platforms, the HEMI-powered AWD Durango features a low-range transfer case with a neutral position. Low range improves light off-road performance and helps ease maneuvers, such as pulling a boat up a steep launch or backing up with a trailer. The neutral position in the transfer case allows the vehicle to be flat-towed without damaging powertrain components.
A robust structure, impressive braking and unexpected stability also contribute to the Durango's best-in-class trailer tow capability. On models equipped with the Pentastar V-6 engine, the Durango can tow up to 6,200 pounds. When coupled with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the new 2014 Dodge Durango offers trailer tow capability of up to 7,400 pounds - more weight than a 24-foot boat and trailer, and up to 65 percent more than the competition.
All-new class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission
The new 2014 Dodge Durango now features Chrysler Group's new eight-speed automatic transmission with rotary shifter and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as standard equipment on all models. This state-of-the-art transmission improves fuel economy up to 9 percent, along with enhanced performance and smoother shifts. All these attributes perfectly enhance Durango's fun-to-drive nature.
Fully electronic, the eight-speed automatic features on-the-fly shift map changing, with manual shifting capability using steering-wheel paddle controls. More than 40 individual shift maps for specific conditions optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software is attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving demand.
The transmission efficiency and wide ratio spread provide the best possible fuel economy by operating at a lower engine rpm in both city and highway environments. The addition of more gear ratios also helps reduce the gaps normally associated with upshifting and downshifting.
Gear changes are nearly imperceptible due to the evenly spaced gear steps between each gear ratio. Internally, the transmission has four gear sets and five shift elements (multi-disc clutches and brakes). Only two shift elements are open at any time. With fewer open shift elements, drag losses due to multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced, improving fuel efficiency.