Ace of Base: 2019 Dodge Durango SXT RWD
America. It’s generally thought of as the country where everything is bigger and customers get a lot more for a lot less. Take the price of fuel, for example, or the portions at any all-you-can-eat buffet.
Viewed in that light, this base model Durango should have an American flag on the hood and pictures of bald eagles stitched into the seats. This is a lot of truck for less than $30,000.
First things first – just like the rest of Dodge’s lineup, this thing is older than Methuselah. Appearing in the last Ice Age 2011, the current Durango showed up a couple of years after Chrysler’s embarrassing sojourn through bankruptcy. Built alongside the Grand Cherokee in Detroit’s Jefferson North plant, this is a big machine. Dodge says it measures 201.2 inches in length, standing about 76 inches wide and 71 inches tall.
For comparison, the present Ford Explorer is about three inches shorter and a couple thousand bucks more expensive. It is also based on a front-drive platform, and front-wheel drive is for the feeble. The next Explorer will be rear-drive, of course, just like the Durango shown here.
The 2019 Durango is a five-passenger affair at its base price of $29,995. A third row of seats can be added to the SXT trim for an extra charge, but most buyers are better off using that back-back space for cargo, anyway. From a practicality standpoint, the Durango’s centre console and storage cubbies are more useful and logically laid out than in its GC brother. My sole complaint is the low-rent 7-inch Uconnect screen. Thanks to economies of scale, however, even the base model gets tri-zone climate control
Externally, the Durango looks every bit an SUV, not some sort of anemic crossover. Base SXTs still receive fog lights and a chrome cow-catcher gunsight grille standing in front of the cheap-to-maintain Pentastar V6. Racetrack-style taillights adorn the rear and look just as good on the Durango as they do on my Charger. The color shown here, Octane Red, is a no-charge option. So’s a purpley In-Violet hue, if you’re so inclined.
Big portions, bold styling, small price. Sounds like America to me.
[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.
The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.
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- Kwik_Shift I like, because I don't have to look at them. Just by feel and location while driving.
- Dwford This is the last time we are making these, so you better hurry up and buy (until the next time we make them, that is)
- FreedMike @Tim: "...about 40 percent of us Yanks don't live in a single-family home."Keep in mind that this only describes single family **detached** homes. But plenty of other house types offer a garage you can use to charge up in - attached single family homes (townhouses, primarily), or duplex/triplex/four-plexes. Plus, lots of condos have garages built in. Add those types of housing in and that 40% figure drops by a lot. Regardless, this points out what I've been thinking for a while now - EV ownership is great if you have a garage, and inconvenient (and more expensive) if you don't. The good news if you're looking for more EV sales is that there are literally hundreds of millions of Americans who have garages. If I had one, I'd be looking very closely at buying electric next time around.
- Matthew N Fanetti I bought a Silver1985 Corolla GTS Hatchback used in 1989 with 80k miles for $5000. I was kin struggling student and I had no idea how good the car really was. All I knew was on the test drive I got to 80 faster than I expected from a Corolla. Slowly I figured out how special it was. It handled like nothing I had driven before, tearing up backroads at speeds that were downright crazy. On the highway I had it to about 128mph on two occasions, though it took some time to get there, it just kept going until I chickened out. I was an irresponsible kids doing donuts in parking lots and coming of corners sideways. I really drove it hard, but it never needed engine repair even to the day I sold it in 1999 with 225000 miles on it, still running well - but rusty and things were beginning to crap out (Like AC, etc.). I smoked a same year Mustang GT - off the line - by revving up and dumping the clutch. Started to go sideways, but nothing broke or even needed attention. Daily driving, only needed the clutch into first. It was that smooth and well-synced. Super tight, but drivable LSD. Just awesome from daily chores to super-fun.To this day I wish I had kept it, because now I have the money to fix it. It is hard to explain how amazing this car was back in the day - and available to people with limited money - and still the highest quality.
- Cprescott Well, duh. You will pay more to charge a golf cart than an ICE of the same size if you charge externally. Plus when you factor in the lost time, you will pay through the nose more than an ICE on lost opportunity costs. Golf car ownership savings is pure myth.
I rented a Durango GT on a recent trip and was pleasantly surprised. I would love to try the RT and of course the SRT, but I do agree the V6 was 'good enough'. In terms of features, content, and looks, the GT trim is the sweet spot for me. Hopefully, the good thing about it being on an old platform means they've worked out any big problem or issues.
I wish the Australian market got the Durango over the "Holden" Arcadia.