Few three-row SUVs ooze machismo in the same way the 2022 Dodge Durango. Its optional V-8 engine gives it the muscle to back up its image. A V-6 is standard but it, too, offers decent power, and the Durango boasts a towing capacity higher than most rivals. Three rows of seats mean there’s room for the whole family, although kids will be the only ones who find the rearmost accommodating. Dodge packs the Durango with enough modern infotainment tech to win the hearts of the Geek Squad but those seeking driver-assistance features will find they have to pay extra for those features, unlike in rivals such as the Kia Telluride and the Toyota Highlander where they’re standard. Those crossovers don’t have the same muscle-car mystique as the Durango though, which makes the Dodge a unique choice in this class.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, the base Durango SXT gains blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, rear parking sensors, roof rails, and the previously optional third row of seats as standard. The GT model adds remote start, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power-operated rear liftgate. The GT Plus now comes with memory settings for the driver, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a scuff plate for the rear cargo area, leather-and-suede upholstery, and heated rear seats. Going with the top-spec R/T Plus trim adds nappa leather with contrast stitching, a sunroof, an advanced automated emergency braking system, and a Harman/Kardon stereo system, among other items. The GT and R/T models with the optional Blacktop package now receive the vented hood from the Durango SRT 392.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-range GT model is the best value of the bunch, and we’d stick with the standard V-6 over the thirstier V-8 engine. After all, if you’re looking for a performance SUV, the Durango SRT or the limited-edition Durango SRT Hellcat (both reviewed separately) are more likely to please. We’d be interested in upgrading from the standard 8.4-inch infotainment system to the new 10.1-inch unit, though, and that costs $995 on the GT model and also adds in-dash navigation, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Durango’s optional 360-hp V-8 provides a significant boost in towing capacity (up to 8700 pounds), while the 295-hp V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission are a more efficient pairing. The Durango’s fuel economy doesn’t beat that of its four-cylinder rivals, of course, but the trade-off for the more entertaining V-8 and its burly towing capacity might be worth it for some buyers. We tested both the V-6 and V-8 engines with the standard eight-speed automatic and optional all-wheel drive. The Durango with the V-6 managed a 7.4-second zero-to-60-mph run; the V-8 did it in 6.2 seconds. The Dodge’s suspension walks the fine line between sport and comfort, but the steering feel and braking performance remind you that you’re driving an SUV. Although it’s not overtly sporty, the Durango’s rear-wheel-drive platform lends an athletic feel to the Durango, and its muscle-car persona shines through in everyday use. It still manages to deliver a comfortable ride, making it a family-friendly SUV that’s both fun to drive and easy to live with.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Crossovers with a four-cylinder under the hood are more fuel-efficient, but the Durango’s V-6 is still competitive with other V-6–powered rivals. The EPA estimates the V-6 model will earn up to 19 mpg city and 26 highway. The V-8 version tops out at 14 mpg city and 22 highway. In our highway fuel-economy test, the 2020 V-8–powered Durango R/T surprised us by outperforming its EPA rating (and even its own V-6–powered variant) as well as the lighter and more modern GMC Acadia V-6. The V-8–powered Durango managed 23 mpg while the V-6 matched its EPA rating with a 22-mpg result. For more information about the Durango’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Every manufacturer uses a combination of materials that range from cheap to high quality, but some designs such as the Durango’s are better executed than others. Designers prioritized ergonomics, material quality, and overall comfort, but other rivals offer more second- and third-row passenger space. A set of gauges featuring red and white on a black background faces the driver. The steering wheel features a thick, leather-wrapped rim and handsome metal-look trim. On our R/T test vehicle, paddle shifters mounted behind the wheel operated with a satisfying click. We were able to fit 30 carry-on suitcases inside the Durango’s cabin with all of its seats folded flat, but we only fit four behind the third row with all seats in place. That’s two more than the Acadia managed in both measurements.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Durango has one of the best infotainment systems on the market perched atop its sculpted dashboard. Base SXT and mid-range GT models come with an 8.4-inch display while a 10.1-inch screen is optional on the GT and standard on the Citadel and R/T. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with both screens. A rear-seat entertainment system, also optional, adds dual screens and provides HDMI and RCA ports to connect even more devices. We noted good audio quality for Bluetooth phone calls, and one caller even commented that she could hear the V-8 engine’s sonorous rumble.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Optional automated emergency braking adds an extra layer of protection and its standard backup camera helps with safely reversing the big beast. For more information about the Durango’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Dodge offers a typical warranty with all new Durangos; extended warranties are available for purchase through dealerships. The Hyundai Palisade offers a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is the best in the industry. Most other competitors offer roughly the same coverage as the Durango. GMC and Toyota provide two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, but Durango buyers will have to pay separately for such services.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance