By Patrick Rall
The EPA has announced the official fuel economy ratings for the refreshed 2014 Dodge Durango with the new 8-speed automatic transmission and thanks to this new gearbox – the 2014 Durango is now the most efficient base V6 and V8 option in the full size SUV segment. Most importantly, the 2014 Durango is more efficient than the Chevrolet Traverse and the Ford Explorer in similar trimlines while also offering the most power with the 5.7L Hemi.
First off, the 2014 Dodge Durango powered by the 5.7L Hemi V8 and the 8-speed automatic transmission in a rear drive configuration offers 14 miles per gallon around town, 23mpg on the highway and a combined figure of 17mpg. The Chevrolet Equinox is not offered with a premium engine option and the Ford Explorer – which makes use of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 for its premium engine – is not offered in anything but all wheel drive so the RWD, Hemi-powered 2014 Durango is in a league of its own among the top American large SUVs.
The 2014 Durango when fitted with the Hemi and all wheel drive offers 14mpg around town, 22 on the highway and 16 combined and while the combined and city numbers are below that of the Ford Explorer Sport with the EcoBoost engine – the Hemi AWD Durango offers the same 22mpg as the EcoBoosted Explorer.
When you get to the higher volume but less powerful models, the 2014 Dodge Durango really shines over the competition. The rear wheel drive Pentastar-powered Durango with the new 8-speed transmission offers 18mpg in the city, 25mpg on the highway and 20mpg combined – the Durango beats the base V6 Explorer and the Traverse in every category. This makes the Durango the most fuel efficient non-hybrid large SUV on the market today while also packing more power than the competition. Adding all wheel drive knocks the Durango MPGs down a bit to figures of 17 around town, 24 on the highway and 19 combined. The base Explorer with AWD also offers the same city and combined fuel economy but the Dodge offers 1mpg better on the highway and when compared to the AWD Traverse – the Durango leads in every category.