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Old 09-24-2013, 04:07 PM
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2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

WARNING...REVIEW THAT FOLLOWS WRITTEN BY A FEMALE. That means it should be less wordy and more technical. But it isn't. Bummer.

Where do I begin? The journey to Houston was a saga of its own, but I won't bore you with the details. I will say this about that.... variations of Murphy's Law dogged us every step of the way. We arrived later than desired in Houston after driving nearly 5 hours from Dallas in a thunderstorm. My iphone had already blasted a couple of flash flood warnings, and we were contacted by family in Houston warning of street flooding also. We discovered the dealership was located in downtown Houston, and we encountered lots of traffic, congestion and city buses as we tried to make our way into the dealer's parking lot. It was about 3 in the afternoon, on a Friday, nearly dark as night and raining sideways. Perfect weather for test driving and inspecting our new vehicle.

Mark, our salesperson, was out for the day and we dealt with a counterpart of his who was nice, but not overly invested in our experience. He took us out to a covered parking area to look over the vehicle, and we found a few minor things right off the bat:
--scratch on left rear taillight
--scuffs in various locations in the interior
--a few minor hiccups in the paint, which we had to look hard to find, and none of which we thought warranted attention (fear of making things worse)

We were then sent out the back way for a test drive, and we were told the roads were really bumpy so we would get a good idea of the "feel" in adverse conditions. My concerns were mostly about not sideswiping other large vehicles on the city streets of Houston, and operating the wipers. Too bad we didn't arrive with some good Weathertec or Husky floor mats, as the paper variety shred pretty quickly when wet. However, we enjoyed the test drive as much as possible and started to get kind of excited.

Upon our return we were told to wait inside until the finance guy was available, and they would see if they could swap the taillight and clean up the scuffs. Dodged the raindrops to go inside, only to find the few chairs available all occupied by young, bored employees (most fiddling with their phones, one playing with an action figure). We shared a backless bench until we were led to finance by a young woman obviously bored with her job, but we soon forgot about those less professional after our time with Luke (finance guy). Polite, straightforward, and helped us shave a small % off of our loan rate by making biweekly payments. Rate dropped from 1.99% to 1.59%. Every little bit helps. We were informed of extended warranty options, but there was no pressure whatsoever to buy from them, just a reminder that this was our chance to roll the cost into our financing, and that if we wanted to purchase at a later date we could contact him.

So now it was on to a rainy review of the interior features of the vehicle. It was cursory at best, and this has, and will continue to be, a bit of "learn as you go" supplemented by the superior knowledge and experience of those in this forum.

So now we are responsible for this thing that looks as big as a bus, and I'm on my own because my husband has comandeered our rental vehicle. Trial by fire, so to speak. We are headed to Sugar Land to visit relatives for the evening, the nav doesn't recognize their address of 27 years, so we resort to cell phone GPS and off we go. (I, of course, with a death grip on the wheel, a prayer in my head, and a few choice words on the tip of my tongue...none of which would be permissable in this forum).

I'll skip over the dilemma of where to park at our crowded hotel in order to avoid door dings and scrapes, but we managed to escape unscathed. Next morning there are still thunderstorms and we have to dump our rental car at the least convenient of all the Houston airports, but this is all part of the adventure. Once we are down to just the Durango, we make another attempt to use the navigation, and it is off to Dallas on the first leg of our journey north. After we spent about 20 minutes in what appeared to be a run down barrio comprised mostly of uneven train tracks, all thanks to that crack navigation system, still in driving rain of course, we found an entrance to I 45 north. Then the nav tried to tell us to EXIT the highway EVERY time we passed an exit. After her 10th request, we turned the navigation off. We are assuming there is a setting for routes that keep one OFF major highways, but we haven't looked into that yet.

We made our way to Dallas, and when the rains finally ended the dreaded SPLAT began as the bugs lost their encounter with the windshield.

Initial Impressions:
--very comfortable highway ride
--plenty of power, in eco mode nearly the entire time
--love ACC, and will likely use it often for highway driving
--blind spot monitoring is extremely helpful
--rain sensing wipers worked well and adjusted appropriately in downpours
--like the EVIC, all the choices, and the interior appearance overall
--seats not the softest, nor the worst I've encountered
--navigation (and operator) need work
--rotary shifter will be fine.....after I stop reaching for the gearshift lever for the 100th time
--first fueling after 350 miles (and less than 24 hours...eesh)
--combined city, highway, train track average 17.6 mpg, speeds not exceeding about 60 mph

Sunday's journey was about 13 hours through parts of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Could have shaved off some time if we had been willing to up our driving speed....and if I hadn't prohibited meals on the go. I'll be over that by next weekend, but I'd like the new car smell and light interior to remain intact awhile longer. Our initial impressions remain the same. The Durango was easy and comfortable to drive, and it never struggled at all. Not too stiff and not too floaty. The few times we took it out of eco mode and accelerated ever so gently, it was exhilarating. We have no buyer's remorse, and we are looking forward to enjoying the heck out of it.

Second fueling after 208 miles, our average mpg increased to 20.9. Third fueling after 374.2 miles, a slightly higher sustained mph on the highway, and our average mpg was 21. We are down not quite half a tank, so I'll report back on our next combined city/highway average mpg.

We really put our Durango through some endurance training those first 36 hours and 1000+ miles. She didn't disappoint, but she was a mess. Yesterday, she got a thorough but gentle debugging, wash, wheel and tire treatment, and a little wax on the front end. Thankfully, no road rash, and that IS a miracle. She's recuperating in the garage, while we wait for the current threat of rain to pass, and because we want to lower her miles/days owned to something more reasonable.

Vertrkr's review was far less wordy and more to the point....and I agree with nearly all of it. Until I really sit and play with the Uconnect and its settings, I don't think it is fair for me to complain about it. That may come. I haven't registered it and I don't even know what software version I have.

Like his, my sunroof gasket/seal is a bit raised, but not uniformly so. We gave it EVERY opportunity to leak but it did NOT.

My steering wheel is also off center, slightly to the right.

I thought I was starting to detect some slight wind noise in the driver's window, so I will keep an eye on that in various conditions.

I did enjoy the bluetooth pairing of my phone, and the interesting pronunciations of names in my phonebook. We called alot of people to help pass the time of the long drive Sunday. They all sounded clear, one reported that they heard a tremendous amount of background noise. We were probably traveling about 60 mph during that call.

We did notice some inconsistency in the seats, or rather seat construction, which the salesperson stand-in predictably blamed on natural hide variations. More like seat assembly variations, and have to look again to see how much it bothers me. A panel on the front passenger door is dimpled, and that DOES bother me, but I didn't notice it until I was a passenger for a couple of hours. I'm underwhelmed with the feel of the nappa leather, and it feels and looks of lesser quality than the leather in our old Acura Legend and my 4Runner Ltd. Seems dry already, and I will have to look into how to properly care for and condition it in the hot dry Dallas summer weather.

Lastly.....I thought the vehicle might have a Hemi badge but it does not. Perhaps it is better if I just let people wonder

I hope to add a picture or two later this evening. I also hope to take a look at the DVD that came with the vehicle.

I also noticed what appears to be a thumb print on the driver's visor that I don't recall before the interior touch-ups. Anybody know how to safely remove that from the light frost beige fabric on the visors?

I look forward to reading additional reviews as more in this group pick up their Durangos.

Geez.....notice a pattern in the garage? We will take a small, medium and large....all in some shade of silver, please! (I swear we sold a red Mazda RX7 convertible and a dark red Acura, both of which used to reside in this garage not so long ago)
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:40 PM
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Although it was a Jeep I bought, my purchase and delivery was just as cheezy. Of all the cars I've bought in my life, this experience was at the bottom in terms of customer care and all that term implies. I didn't expect white glove treatment from a Jeep dealership, but I've been in more comfortable motor vehicle departments that the showroom and customer area of my local Jeep Chrysler dealer
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:40 PM
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Re: 2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

Thanks Laurel!
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YjagetaJeep View Post
Although it was a Jeep I bought, my purchase and delivery was just as cheezy. Of all the cars I've bought in my life, this experience was at the bottom in terms of customer care and all that term implies. I didn't expect white glove treatment from a Jeep dealership, but I've been in more comfortable motor vehicle departments that the showroom and customer area of my local Jeep Chrysler dealer
I tried to manage my expectations before going inside the dealership, but it was still disappointing. Even little things like us asking about an owner's manual. The sales person stand-in said it was on a shelf above the glove box and he couldn't seem to pry it out. When we did, it was all encased in plastic, nothing inserted in the binder, and no business cards in the slots. Can't wait to go for service . I realize that the way a sales or service manager runs their business can make a huge difference....but, sadly, stereotypes exist for a reason.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:05 PM
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Re: 2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

Laurel,

Thanks indeed. All of the wordyness is appreciated as it gives us a good feel of the vehicle from your perspective as an owner.

Not surprised at the cheese factor at the dealer - some of these franchisees still haven't found the 21st century. Its disheartening, but all you need now is a solid service department. Hopefully those are easier to find.

Keep the impressions coming as the days roll by....and enjoy it
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:07 PM
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Laurel,

Keep the impressions coming as the days roll by....and enjoy it
I will happily do both!
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:26 PM
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Re: 2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

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Originally Posted by Laureljoke View Post
I'm underwhelmed with the feel of the nappa leather, and it feels and looks of lesser quality than the leather in our old Acura Legend and my 4Runner Ltd. Seems dry already, and I will have to look into how to properly care for and condition it in the hot dry Dallas summer weather.
Thanks for the comprehensive write-up! I actually appreciate more of the subjective views than the technical merits / drawbacks. (I think everyone here pretty much knows everything we can technically about the D at this point!)

I'm a little bummed about the seats, only because it seems to be a commonly mentioned theme among those here who have given their views, and even the formal reviews that are hitting the web. I would have hoped that the "Nappa" leather would have more of a true luxury feel to it...dare I say "Corinthian" like.

I can only hope what it lacks in luxury feeling, it will make up for in durability though.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:24 PM
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Re: 2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

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Originally Posted by Laureljoke View Post
WARNING...REVIEW THAT FOLLOWS WRITTEN BY A FEMALE. That means it should be less wordy and more technical. But it isn't. Bummer.
Thanks for that review Laurel. Sorry to hear about those travails. I hope now that the long journey's over, you can enjoy the vehicle. I was curious about your impression of the Silver Billet color overall as well as its match up with the chrome Citadel grill. Is it to your satisfaction?
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmitsou View Post

Thanks for that review Laurel. Sorry to hear about those travails. I hope now that the long journey's over, you can enjoy the vehicle. I was curious about your impression of the Silver Billet color overall as well as its match up with the chrome Citadel grill. Is it to your satisfaction?
The travels weren't so bad, thanks to our overall comfort in the Durango. We will be laughing about some of it....eventually.

Overall, we are satisfied with the Billet color and how it looks with the chrome. When we first saw the car in the rain it looked an awful lot like the grey skies all around us. Thought it might even be a little ho hum. Once we saw it all cleaned up again in the bright sun we were pleased with our choice. There is less contrast with the Billet and the chrome than with most other colors, but we are okay with that too. They seem to compliment one another nicely. Our goal was something that wouldn't show much dirt and road wear, and that might not bake in the TX sun.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:57 PM
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Regarding your not so good mileage....I My mileage started improving once I got the engine broken in....Went from under 10 to about 12.5 mostly city driving in a hilly area.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:29 AM
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Re: 2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureljoke View Post

Geez.....notice a pattern in the garage? We will take a small, medium and large....all in some shade of silver, please! (I swear we sold a red Mazda RX7 convertible and a dark red Acura, both of which used to reside in this garage not so long ago)
A good friend's dad thought all cars should be a shade of blue. Nothing wrong with having all of them the same color. Good looking garage there

Thanks again for the thoughts on the D and keep them coming. Those of us still waiting have to live vicariously through the rest of you.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:58 AM
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Re: 2014 Durango Citadel AWD 5.7L Initial Impressions

Glad to hear you made it back to familiar territory.

A thousand miles and that's all you have to say about the Durango????

Very much appreciate the report. Wow, what an ordeal but I'm glad your wait is finally over. It looks great.

What I'm a little shocked (and worried) over, is your garage picture. The Durango makes the Toyota look very small.
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