2014 Dodge Durango Citadel Review

The moment I got behind the wheel of the 2014 Dodge Durango I immediately fell in love. Comfortable surroundings, plenty of gadgets, Hemi power under the hood, and all four wheels working for me: what more could I ask for?

Room for six or seven on board and more handling abilities than I’d expect from a vehicle its size, the Durango truly did impress. Add to that the fact that I was piloting the top-line Citadel and it was a recipe for a very good week indeed.

What is a Dodge Durango?
The Durango appeared in ’98 as a midsize SUV and only with 4WD. A year later, 2WD models were made available as well as a new smaller engine. Since then, the Dodge Durango has seen a few more generations, engine setups, drivetrains and even a Chrysler twin, the Aspen.

Now in its third generation, the Dodge Durango is built alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee and shares many components including powertrain and chassis parts. For 2014, the Durango features a sportier exterior look as well as Chrysler’s 8-speed transmission.

2014 Dodge Durango Citadel Price and Specs
If there’s one thing I love about the Americans, it’s that they are never short on choice and trim levels. With five Durango models to choose from as well as two engines and two drivetrains in a wide price range, the Durango is your oyster, so to speak.

In terms of engines, the 2014 Dodge Durango offers up a potent 3.6L Pentastar V6 available only on the SXT, Limited and Citadel models. It produces 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 6,200lb. Then there’s the 360-horsepower 5.7L HEMI V8 available exclusively with the R/T model and as an option on the Citadel and Limited. The HEMI’s 390 torques also mean it can two up to 7,200lb. Both are coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Let’s focus on my particular tester, which was the top-of-the-line Citadel version. With a base price of $52,594 it sits quite a bit above the base SXT ($39,995). Add to that the fact that my Durango sported the HEMI ($2,300), as well as second-row captain chairs, rear DVD entertainment system, and a tech package that included all the fancy front-crash warning and lane-departure alert gizmos and my final tally hit over $60k.

That’s a lot of coin, but it’s also a lot of car.

Driving the 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel
Despite its beefed-up minivan-like appearance, this particular people carrier does not drive like one at all. In fact, its responsiveness was almost shocking, as was its steering feel.

With plenty of snow on the ground and AWD at my disposal as well as the HEMI V8, there was definitely some fun to be had with the Dodge Durango. While surefooted and capable with all traction control systems on, it’s also a blast when systems are alleviated of their arduous tasks.

Steering is precise and surprisingly connected for a vehicle of this size. I never felt like I was hauling around a three-rowed vehicle, especially not when the throttle was hammered and acceleration ensued. Power is potent and gear changes are swift. The 8-speed is hyper aware of where it needs to be and never left searching for the right gear to be in. I dare say the 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel is sporty…

Add to that the four-wheel independent suspension that handles road unevenness as well as cornering with equal finesse, and the 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel really is a joy to drive.

Oh, and let’s not forget the sound of the HEMI V8 roaring to life when throttle pressure is applied. There’s something to be said for American muscle, it gets me every time. As it roars though, it will guzzle some fuel. I averaged 16.5L/100km throughout the week, which ain’t great.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel
If I was a young guy with a budding new family or with a wife pregnant with twins or more multiples (I feel panicked thinking about it), I’d head straight to a Chrysler showroom. Why? Because the Dodge Durango Citadel offers all the manliness you’d ever want from a people carrier without stripping your masculinity by forcing you to drive a minivan.

Alright, so it doesn’t have sliding side doors, but it as a boatload of interior space, uber comfy seats in all three rows, available rear entertainment to keep the children from driving you mental on long trips, and a V8. Done and done.

As far as exterior looks go, this is one handsome SUV. Big and beefy, the Durango’s bull-ish mug with new LED headlights, and modern rear taillights give it a distinguished look on the road that’s also rather athletic. And inside that distinguished look continues with the Citadel-trim Nappa leather.

Comparing the 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel
I recently drove one of the Durango’s main competitors, the Chevrolet Tahoe. In terms of American muscle, the Durango comes out on top for drive and performance. If it’s American you want, you can also look to Ford’s Expedition. However, the 2014 Dodge Durango really does toe the line in terms of performance and practicality, and toes it quite well.

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