By Patrick Rall
As expected, the Chrysler Group rolled out the refreshed 2014 Dodge Durango this week at the 2013 New York Auto Show. While the 2014 Durango looks a great deal like the current model, the refreshed SUV sports a revised front fascia, new headlights, a new rear end (with new tail lights), a high tech interior refresh and a new 8-speed automatic transmission that will likely make the brawny Dodge SUV a bit quicker and a bit more fuel efficient. We should note that the new Durango shown in the images on this page (along with the Durango that rolled onto the stage at the New York Auto Show) was the R/T package. The current Durango R/T is a bit sportier than the other trimlines so there is a chance that the other trimlines could vary a bit but from what we can see so far – the new Durango looks great with these subtle changes.
The basic shape of the 2014 Dodge Durango has remained the same as the 2013 model year Durango but a host of revisions similar to those seen back in January on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. This begins up front, where the headlight shapes have remained the same but a new assembly layout brings an HID projection low beam flanking a traditional high beam with the entire lower edge of the headlight lens trimmed in bright white LEDs. Where the front end of the 2014 Durango really differs from the current models is in the lower front fascia, where a very similar style to that seen on the new Grand Cherokee replaces the previous design. This includes a large central grille opening with smaller openings on the outside holding cooling vents for the braking system.
Out back, the 2014 Dodge Durango has a lower fascia that is a bit different than that seen on the 2013 Durango but the big news for the new full sized SUV is the awesome racetrack taillight. This full width lighting unit mimics what we have seen (and loved) on the Dodge Charger and Dodge Dart. Like the sporty sedans, the new Durango taillight relies on a great many LEDs located around the perimeter of the massive taillight lens but unlike the Charger, which clearly shows each LED, the Durango has a smoother, more consistent light source. That aside, this design looks awesome on the new Durango and it is a far more fitting rear end for this sporty ute.
The inside of the 2014 Dodge Durango R/T features a big, bright thin film transistor (TFT) display that is similar to what is offered in the new Dodge Dart while being pretty much identical to what is found in the new Grand Cherokee. This cluster offers a wide variety of different readout options with the ability for the driver to customize the layout to his or her own tastes. Also, the big infotainment touch screen that has been featured in the Dodge Charger SRT fills the upper area of the center stack – completing the high tech refresh of this sporty interior.
Finally, while the 2014 Dodge Durango R/T is powered by the same 5.7L Hemi V8 with 360 horsepower and 390lb-ft of torque but the big drivetrain news is the addition of the new 8-speed automatic. This new transmission allows for stronger low end acceleration, better fuel economy on the highway and better control of the gears by means of the unique rotary gear shift dial on the center console and the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
There has been speculation that 2014 could be the final model year for the Dodge Durango but should that be the case – the Chrysler Group is making sure that the sporty Durango goes out with a great new look, improved performance and better fuel economy.