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Old 10-17-2013, 07:57 PM
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Deep Cherry Red Limited - Initial Impressions

A little more than a month and a half ago we placed an order for our 2014 Durango through Century Dodge in Mount Airy, MD.

We ordered as follows:
Limited AWD V6 (the Hemi was never a consideration. We have a Yukon XL that can handle heavier duty jobs/towing)
Trailer Tow Package
Power Sunroof
Navigation/Liftgate
Safety, Security and Convenience
2nd Row Captains
2nd Row Console
Subwoofer/Audio upgrade (didn't want, but had to take due to SSC)
Light Frost/Black interior

We could have taken the Limited's premium group and gotten much of that equipment at a slight discount, but we specifically did not want the 20" wheels. I'm in a minority there, but decided to trade some ride comfort for whatever additional handling advantage there might be with the optional wheels/tires. I'm glad I stuck with the decision. I think the standard wheels look great. I think they're a solid, good looking design with just enough flair not to look ordinary. I like the contrast of the alternating grey pockets.

I was pointed to this dealership by fireman, and was down to them or ordering from Koons in Virginia. Both of them were far more responsive/receptive to ordering a 2014 than any dealer I could find in my area of NJ or nearby PA.

I wound up going with Century because they were a touch more responsive to my questions/need for additional information than I found with Koons (this is not a knock on Koons, just preference on my part). The decision was solidified based on the trade value they gave me for our 2005 Odyssey.

I don't know if my wife was entirely convinced that ordering from out of state would be any better than our local experience, but all fears were assuaged from the minute we walked into the dealership. I have never had a smoother, more pleasant experience with completing a deal on a car.

We spent about three hours at the dealership, but not a moment of this time was due to "games" or other "problems" with the deal. Part of it was having to redo the paperwork, rerun the credit application under my wife instead of me (since it was going to be registered/titled to her). That was my fault for not making it more clear upfront. My wife spent about 15 minutes signing paperwork, they checked over the van and we were done. Then Logan spent at least an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes going over the vehicle with us A solid 45 minutes of this was going over the entire UConnect system, and dash display options. My wife was impressed by his level of knowledge, as was I. Its rare to meet a salesman who knows at least as much about the vehicle as we sometimes do as customers of "enthusiast" forums. For example, he was aware of the spare compartment under the driver's seat...

That time also included the service manager giving me a run through on how to remove trim and the cargo bin to remove the sub-woofer and drop in the full size storage bin when it arrives in a week or two.

To me, one of the positives of buying a car out of state - our 150 mile drive home has us halfway to the recommended 300 mile break-in period. Nothing like miles of easy highway to help run the engine in. My wife took it easy for the first 50 miles or so, and then did some harder acceleration (while underway and from a standstill) as recommended in the manual.

Ok, a long introduction, now for some impressions.
- My wife, who didn't know, loves the black carpeting and the contrast between the black and light frost on the dash/door panels. She thinks the wood trim is a little "hokey", but not so much that we'll make any changes to it

- She really likes the customization offered by the instrument cluster take a shine to the digital version of the speedometer and loved the pop up turn instructions from the nav system. She did report that it wasn't working this afternoon, so I need to go check those settings all of which were done yesterday with the engine running.

- UConnect is great - so far its speedy, and once you learn where the various controls are should be a cinch to operate. We're already using the steering wheel for many functions (did some VR to tune the radio, make a phone call, and used the buttons behind the wheel for volume, etc.

- The one phone call we had we were a little surprised how much we had to turn up the volume to hear them, bit it could be how they were holding their phone. No reports of issues hearing us.

- NAV traffic popped up warnings about traffic in our local area as we got closer to home which was nice, but not on our final route due to a stop we didn't factor in when we programmed the end point.

- My wife isn't sure what to make of the rotary knob for the transmission. She kept reaching for a column shifter, but I think she will get used to it and does appreciate the openness it affords. She felt like the stalk for the turn signals was a bit of a stretch for her hand size, and thought the paddle shifters were a little silly, but knows I'll use them

- Power seat, steering wheel and memory - all big thumbs up. She really likes the easy exit feature and the mirror tilt in reverse.

- The vehicle is quiet on the highway with a serene ride even over some less then fantastic pavement that used to send the van crashing around (even when it wasn't 8 years old). I did note that it feels a bit pokey off the line, but that could be a combination of ECO mode and not wanting to really punch it on the new engine. Time and getting used to the drive characteristics I think will change this opinion. There was no hesitation from the transmission when accelerating once at speed - it kicked down several gears at once. The paddles made it easy for me to summon ample torque without a big jump in gears, so its a nice alternative.

- I was very comfortable in both seats, and easily found a good position for driving or riding. My wife set the seat, wheels and mirror once and didn't touch them again. The seats to me are a nice balance between comfort and firmness. I'm hoping the stiffness means they'll stay that way more as the years go by. I was hoping for that instant feeling of comfort, and I think we got it.

- We averaged (according to the computer) about 24mpg for the drive home, and that included all the idle time at the dealership going through all the electronics and settings.

- My wife today was decrying the lack of interior spots to put things compared to the van, but she's finding ways to accommodate all the stuff she likes to keep with her.

Issues/problems:
- One tire was low on air. It was noticed on the electronics tour, but then we forgot to add air. Took care of it this morning.

- We have the same paint problem under the hood, but it doesn't seem as bad as some others have found. We're going to leave it alone.

- I found what I think is a small scratch on the racetrack tail light, but it might have been the early morning light. I need to take another look, but you'd only ever notice it from a few inches away

- Found some grease on the passenger A pillar, and one of the passenger seat bolsters. A few seconds with a magic eraser took care of them

- We did not have any issues with other interior trim not being installed properly, or noticed color differences between different areas of the A pillar. If there were color differnences between the A-pillar/roof and the seats dash we didn't notice them. To be honest, I didn't even think about it till now.

- The one real problem I've found (so far) is that the trailing edge of the front, outside passenger door handle is not snapped all the way into to body panel (see pictures). I emailed pictures to Century to see if they had any thoughts about fixing it (without a trip to a dealer). I don't think there is a way for water to intrude until its fixed, but I am concerned if its not addressed it could come loose as we operate the handle through normal use.

I think that's it for now. If anyone has questions or would like specific pictures, please let me know.
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2013, 08:00 PM
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Re: Deep Cherry Red Limited - Initial Impressions

Here are pictures of the wonky door handle, and one of the driver's side for comparison. I need to look at the sunroof seal tomorrow, and then go back and review the other items folks have found.
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File Type: jpg Door Handles 002.jpg (392.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:39 PM
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Re: Deep Cherry Red Limited - Initial Impressions

Great write-up, davewg! Will give me a few more items to look-over upon delivery of mine in a couple weeks.

The limited trim looks sharp...sharp....SHARP in cherry red!

I think we're all going to keep each other busy with tips / tricks / glitches / quicks with the Uconnect system as we delve into it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:40 PM
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So happy you have it, have to say I LOVE LOVE that color, and I adjusted quicker than I thought I would to the rotary knob shifter. I can see your petite wife enjoying being able to raise her seat height for an optimal view. Glad mostly so far so good. Your initial impressions were well organized and helpful. Keep them coming.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:05 PM
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Re: Deep Cherry Red Limited - Initial Impressions

Looks great. If I had a choice I would gone with the 18s too. Here's my 2 cents:

For break-in you were not supposed to do hard accelerations from standstill, only from cruising speed. I really debated on mentioning this as what's done is done but for other folks info this is what the manual says:

"After the initial 60 miles, speeds up to 50 or 55 mph are desirable. While cruising, brief full-throttle acceleration within the limits of local traffic laws contributes to a good break-in. Wide-open throttle acceleration in low gear can be detrimental and should be avoided."

Pretty sure that door handle needs to be tightened down, but any local dealer can handle that under warranty.

The sunroof seal sticking up a little bit on the rear is normal best I can tell looking at other durangos at the dealer. Still curious if yours is like that.

I think I've had 'navigation in cluster' uncheck itself once early on but has stuck since.

I'm jealous of your fake wood, I gotta work real hard with vinyl to get that look
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertrkr View Post
Here's my 2 cents: For break-in you were not supposed to do hard accelerations from standstill, only from cruising speed.
To clarify, the hard acceleration was from a cruising speed. Any acceleration from standstill was/is a gradual increase in velocity. I read the manual to my wife as we left the parking lot from lunch. She punched it a bit harder from cruising then I might have (after the initial 60 miles), and only for short bursts, but I'm not one to criticize. I think what we/she did matches the intent of the manual.

Agreed that hard accel from a standstill when new is NOT a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vertrkr View Post
Pretty sure that door handle needs to be tightened down, but any local dealer can handle that under warranty. The sunroof seal sticking up a little bit on the rear is normal best I can tell looking at other durangos at the dealer. Still curious if yours is like that. I think I've had 'navigation in cluster' uncheck itself once early on but has stuck since.
Agreed. I'm hoping to get an idea from Century if the inner panel needs to be removed or not. Not thrilled about having to pick a local dealer yet.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertrkr View Post
The sunroof seal sticking up a little bit on the rear is normal best I can tell looking at other durangos at the dealer. Still curious if yours is like that. I think I've had 'navigation in cluster' uncheck itself once early on but has stuck since. I'm jealous of your fake wood, I gotta work real hard with vinyl to get that look
Will check the roof in the morning, and the Nav setting.

I happen to like the fake wood. It's much more realistic then the 'Zebra' wood grain plastic trim in the Yukon. I think she'll grow to like it.

I'm sure your vinyl will turn out great. Pics when done of course.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyD View Post
Great write-up, davewg! Will give me a few more items to look-over upon delivery of mine in a couple weeks. The limited trim looks sharp...sharp....SHARP in cherry red! I think we're all going to keep each other busy with tips / tricks / glitches / quicks with the Uconnect system as we delve into it.
Thanks, Joey. I for one love the red. Very glad we did that over the True Blue and that it was available when we ordered. Good to see your Ds finally making progress, and well before that trip.

Oh, and I love the picture you've chosen for your profile. Ron Burgundy..it's perfect.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:34 PM
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I second the dread of dealing with a local dealer. They still haven't even seen a 2014 in these parts, except when I've driven by. Have noticed my in cluster nav has turned itself off twice. Also having issues with the USB port on the dash...freezes with any device plugged in. Don't have an aux device to try, so will attempt to put music on an SD card tomorrow and test. What UConnect version do you have? I'm still attributing some of my challenges to operator error
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by davewg View Post

Oh, and I love the picture you've chosen for your profile. Ron Burgundy..it's perfect.
Hilarious!
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:42 PM
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Re: Deep Cherry Red Limited - Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by davewg View Post
Oh, and I love the picture you've chosen for your profile. Ron Burgundy..it's perfect.
Now you just need a Milous srt cap
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:50 PM
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Re: Deep Cherry Red Limited - Initial Impressions

Nice! Clashes with the suit though.
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