2016 Dodge Durango Limited RWD Rental Review
February 26, 2016
There sure has been a lot of talk about crossovers around here lately, hasn’t there? Regardless of your opinion on owning a CUV, it’s hard to deny the functionality that a three-row CUV offers the business and/or pleasure rental customer. The ability to carry an entire sales team to a meeting, as well as some presentation materials and suitcases? Useful. The capability to take a family of five to the beach, including assorted coolers and pool toys? Valuable.
Therefore, gents, if you absolutely must have a crossover for your rental or personal needs, well, you might as well have the manliest damn crossover money can buy. That honor goes to the 2016 Dodge Durango. Ladies, I have a feeling that you’ll enjoy the big D, too. Allow me to share my thoughts with you from the week I spent in the ATL with FCA’s entry in the hotly-contested three-row segment.
If you’re anything like me (and really, who isn’t?), you probably have a hard time remembering what the hell all of the various Dodge trim levels mean. My Durango was of the Limited RWD variety, meaning that it sits squarely in the middle of the lineup — below the pimpin-pimpin’ Citadel and HEMI-powered R/T, but above the SXT and SXT Plus. Except for the R/T, all Durangos are gifted with FCA’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which dishes out an impressive 290 horsepower in this particular application. You also get the placidly smooth eight-speed 845RE automatic transmission in all non-R/T models, which helps make the Pentastar even more delightful to pilot.
Stepping up to the Limited gets you a whole host of upgrades, including the uConnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, standard leather-trimmed heated seats in the first and second rows, a rearview camera, and the option to add a DVD entertainment system for your offspring. You also get a blingy badge that says “LIMITED” because Dodge just doesn’t employ a single designer that desires understated details.
The uConnect 8.4 is reason enough to bump up those monthly payments a bit. While it’s not particularly user-friendly for the rental customer trying to figure out exactly how to lower the headrests in the third-row seats, the interface moves quickly and smoothly through the various menus. Nearly everything that you’d want to control as the driver — from music to climate controls — is handled through the uConnect interface. The Durango will even recognize cold exterior and interior temperatures upon start-up and immediately offer you the option to turn on the heated driver and passenger seats, as well as the heated steering wheel. That’s a feature I appreciated greatly during the unseasonably cold Atlanta mornings.