2017 Dodge Durango Citadel Test Drive

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“2017 Dodge Durango Citadel Anodized Platinum AWD”
Versatile Durango Delivers Performance with Attitude
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The Dodge Durango first appeared as a full size SUV focused on the brand’s foundation of performance, style and innovation in 1998. The Durango line was discontinued for a time and following its hiatus was reintroduced in 2011 displaying a combination of sleek, muscular lines, comfortable three-row seating, large cargo volume, class-leading power, driving range and towing capability and overall driving pleasure unlike anything seen before in the SUV segment.

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The latest 2017 Dodge Durango represents a continual evolutionary progression and is now available in four models: the base SXT; the new GT which replaces the Limited; the Citadel with a new Anodized Platinum AWD package; and the performance oriented R/T. There are also new available appearance packages.
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Power sources include Durango’s standard eight-speed automatic transmission, which is paired with either: the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with Engine Stop/Start rated at 290 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, while delivering up to 26 miles per gallon and best in-class towing capability of 6,200 pounds; or the classic 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that pumps out a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque and class-leading towing capability of 7,400 pounds.

The Durango’s standard drivetrain is rear-wheel-drive-based, enhancing its on road performance, while available All-Wheel Drive further enhances driver confidence by leveraging the 50/50 weight distribution. There are actually two available AWD systems – one for the Pentastar V-6, and one for the HEMI V-8 powered models – both of which improve traction and handling characteristics. the HEMI®-powered all-wheel drive Durango features a low-range transfer case with a neutral position. Low range improves light off-road performance and helps ease towing maneuvers. The neutral position in the transfer case allows the vehicle to be flat-towed without damaging powertrain components.
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With standard five-passenger seating, optional seven-passenger seating and second-row captain’s chairs available on all models, the seats in the 2017 Dodge Durango can be converted to as many as 50 different configurations. The third-row seat features a 50/50 split and may be easily folded from the rear of the vehicle. For added utility, both the second- and third-row seats fold to provide a flat load floor, and a switch in the instrument panel remotely lowers third-row headrests when not in use.

The Dodge Design team’s goal was to create an exterior that conveyed the advancement of the Durango, while maintaining the muscular body expected by Dodge loyalists. The new face is still distinctly Dodge, but featuring a, slimmer “split crosshair” grille with styling treatments unique to each trim level. Combined with the projector-beam headlamps and raised front bumper, the new Durango has a more sinister look than previous models. Durango’s sculpted hood and grille complete the unique Dodge forward-leaning profile that continues through the deeply browed headlamps.
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My 2017 Dodge Durango was the Citadel model in the AWD configuration, featuring the new Anodized Platinum appearance package, an upgraded interior for 2017 and includes: Black and sepia two-tone Nappa leather seats with silver accent stitching, Hand-wrapped instrument panel features soft-touch surface with silver accent Anodized Gunmetal trim featured on the steering wheel and the front and rear door speakers and tweeters. Platinum Chrome trim is featured on the 7-inch thin-film transistor customizable gauge cluster, center stack and both front and rear console. Platinum Chrome exterior accents include grille surround, fog lamp bezels, door handles, exterior badging and lower sills. The exterior paint finish was Graphite metallic Clear Coat, with the interior done in Black. The base price was set at $43,995., while options and the Destination charge raised the final sticker to $57,865. Options included: the Technology Group; Premium Entertainment Group, second row console with armrest and storage, and the 5.7-liter HEMI® V8.
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SUMMARY: The 2017 Dodge Durango Citadel definitely makes no compromises, particularly in the AWD configuration, but if you’re not intending to seriously journey off-road under challenging conditions, RWD is all you will really need.
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The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 features an Eco mode which optimizes the new 8-speed transmission’s shift schedule and throttle sensitivity as well as employing Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder deactivation. The Technology also manages interactive deceleration fuel shut-off when coasting.
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The rotary knob shifter, in addition to being unique, is easy and intuitive to use. Acceleration is brisk on demand when nailing the throttle, and smooth and refined when in cylinder deactivation – where the operation is seamless.

The ride quality is civilized and quite comfortable, and the handling through the rack and pinion steering is spot on. The Dodge Durango holds the road well, with surprising stability, considering its overall mass, which is in excess of two tons.
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This latest Dodge Durango displays a most stylish look with an aggressive stance. It is considerably more attractive than ever before, especially with its stylish grille and taillamp designs. Safety and security features abound, with more than 60 delivering confidence and peace of mind while protecting vehicle occupants. With all of its build combinations, the new Durango appears to offer something for anyone who’s shopping for a full sized SUV with three seating rows. Connectivity and Infotainment are both abundant and impressive.
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Bottom line, the Durango Citadel is a driver’s SUV with good looks, loads of versatility and functionality, and satisfying performance attributes. Think of it as the Dodge Charger of SUVs.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Dodge Durango Citadel Anodized Platinum AWD

Base Price: $43,995.
Price as Tested: $57,865.
Engine Type and Size: 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 with MDS and VVT pushrod-operated OHV, 16 valves, eight deactivating and eight conventional hydraulic lifters, all with roller followers. Sequential multiport, electronic, returnless.

Horsepower (bhp): 360 @ 5,150 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 390 @ 4,250 rpm

Transmission: 8HP70 Torqueflite eight–speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / AWD with two-speed electronically operated transfer case – AWD Low (lock), Neutral, full-time active AWD.

Suspension: Front – Independent Short and Long Arm, coil springs, gas-charged, twin-tube coil-over shock absorbers, steel upper and aluminum lower control arms, aluminum and stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-Link, coil spring, twin tube shocks (including load leveling for towing), aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber) plus a separate toe link.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, ESC, BA, all-speed traction control.

Tires: Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus 265/50 R20 102T M&S mounted on 5-stylized-spoke silver painted alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 119.8 inches
Length Overall: 201.2 inches
Width: 85.5 inches with mirrors.
Height: 72.7 inches
Curb Weight: 5,397 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.1 ft.
Approach Angle: 16.3 degrees
Ramp Breakover Angle: 18.1 degrees
Departure Angle: 21.5 degrees
Fuel Capacity: 24.6 gallons
Ground Clearance: 8.1 inches w/ 3.6-liter engine and P265/60 R18 tires.
EPA Mileage Estimates: 14 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.35
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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