2013 Dodge durango

300-dodgeBy Steve Kursar –

The 2013 Dodge Durango is the kind of large crossover that looks more like a rugged SUV, ready to take on the Piney Woods and then some. It still proudly bears tough styling that’s starting to disappear from the SUV landscape since more and more smoothly refined crossovers are starting to dominate the road. But don’t let the Durango’s looks deceive you; it also delivers a ride that is smooth and refined with an interior to match.

Now that car-based crossovers are all the rage, most vehicles in the category concentrate on delivering better fuel economy as opposed to off-road performance. Some crossovers advertise suspensions that can go through mud, snow and sand with the turn of a dial, but if I were you, I would avoid those conditions as much as you can.  Some looks can be deceiving. And, though I wouldn’t take the Durango to North Africa if I were planning to cross the Sahara, I would be more comfortable driving the ranch in the Durango than I would with some other large crossover.

The Durango is also at the head of its class when it comes to towing regardless of the engine you decide to choose.  For a starting MSRP of $29,495, you get the standard 290 hp, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine which delivers EPA-estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.  Mated to the standard five speed transmission, the V6 is capable of towing 6,200 lbs.  Want a Hemi? Then choose the 360 hp, 5.7-liter Hemi which combined with a six-speed automatic transmission gets you 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway and can tow up to 7,400 pounds.

If you’re willing to add $10,000 to the base Durango, you can get the top-of-the-line Citadel which brings true luxury to this large SUV.  This package includes 20-inch wheels, ventilated Nappa leather-trimmed front seats and heated front and rear seats, xenon headlights, chrome grille insert, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and a navigation system with UConnect 730N to help you stay connected while you are away from home.

As gas prices continue to escalate, Americans accelerate their migration to smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. But Texans will always need the capability that only large SUVs can deliver so it’s a good thing that the good people at Dodge have done such a beautiful job with the 2013 Durango.

Follow Steve Kursur at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.