It's been a long road but I finally picked up my Durango on Thursday.
Durango Limited AWD V6
Safety security, and convenience group
I give a HUGE thanks to the crew at Century Dodge in Mount Airy MD for making this happen when other dealers wouldn't even talk to me. (Traci, Johnny, Mike, and Evan)
I saw on the MOTS tracking page here that my Durango was out for delivery on Wednesday. I was taking my wife out to dinner for her birthday later so I knew I couldn't pick it up but I thought I'd stop by Century Dodge on my way home from work to see if it was there. Johnny surely knew I was anxious and he coincidentally texted me a few pictures while I was on my way. The sales manager... typically the elusive guy in the booth did this... unheard of! I drove up and saw it right out front. I walked in to see my salesman and before long, many of the staff were out front looking at the arrival of Century's first 2014. It was sharp. The more we looked at it, the more we discovered things. Overall reaction was all were impressed with the design and features. Before I left, Johnny offered to put dealer tags on it and let me take it home. I was floored but had to decline... it was my wife's birthday and I wanted that to be my priority. I didn't think about it for a second all night either.
Fast forward to my pick up day. If you remember, the ordering system accepted my order but Dodge called a few days after the order was in and said I had to have premium audio to get the safety, security, and convenience group. Century called and told me about it... and said they were eating the cost due to the system error. I tried to at least split the cost with them when I picked it up and they would have no parts of it. Picking it up took a little longer than I expected but it was well worth it. They were able to work up an absolutely amazing finance plan. I did get the $1000 rebate. I put the finance guy through the ringer (unintentionally) but like everybody at Century, he really pulled through. I have to apologize - this is not a dealer ad but they went so over and beyond that I have to mention these things. They're not a huge dealer and it shows... in customer care.
Enough of that, let's get to the review!
I'm coming off my 3rd Nissan Murano. The Murano has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and I have about 400,000 miles combined on that tranny. It's not a 5spd automatic, or 8spd, or any other number. It's infinite (that's the variable part)... you'll never feel it shift. Having said that, this 8spd Durango is smooth! Not CVT smooth but not like the old days where you feel that surge between gears. That's saying a lot coming from a CVT! What I don't like... reverse. Being a volunteer firefighter, I back into the garage so I can get out quickly when needed. I've tried in both Eco mode and normal and have trouble finessing this in reverse. This thing wants to move... fast... in reverse. I don't know much about transmissions but I suspect it isn't a good gear ratio for me... or I just need to get used to the feel. I fear blowing through the wall. Sure, the backup sensors chime but you need to be on your toes if using reverse to back into a parking spot or into the garage.
The steering feels just a little nervous. Maybe I just need to get used to it.
The gauges are great. Using the controls on the left side of the steering wheel, you can use the up and down arrows to change what shows up on the console. There are about 6 options. Traditional speedometer, digital readout, MPG, trip, radio, etc. Using the left and right arrows, some displays have additional options and you can select tire pressure, oil pressure, oil life, you can even modify what shows up in the top corners of the display (outside temp, compass, and a few other things).
I have brought up navigation on that huge center display but I have yet to use it to navigate somewhere so I can't comment on that.
UConnect - I haven't set this up yet so I can't comment on that. Can't imagine what in the world else this thing can do so that should prove interesting.
The Bluetooth works fine with my iPhone. I haven't tried any of the voice stuff yet. This thing even picks up music I have on my phone. I can select and listen to that without even touching the phone.
Speaking of touching... the touch screen works well. There are plenty of options. I like the lady that comes on and tells me I'm driving too fast. I have it set to warn at 10 over. It can be disabled or adjusted but I'm trying it out and it's not obnoxious.
What I find odd is the lack of an AWD selector. Short of paying extra and seeing the AWD emblem on the back, I have no options. I guess it just comes on as it sees fit. I believe the V8 has a selector with low range but apparently, the V6 has nothing of the sort. I tow in the Winter, typically on snowy roads so I hope it works well.
Since I back into the garage, having both side mirrors tilt down is fantastic! The rearview camera is great for showing what is behind me but those tilting side mirrors show me what's on my side. Love it!
Although few and far between so far, I have to throw in another dislike. the blind spot detection triangle light in the side view mirror. That is nice at night but during the day, it's almost impossible to see the light and depending on my surroundings during the day, it gets lost in the colors of whatever is in the mirror. It does warn if I have my turn signal on and I'm about to merge into somebody but it merely lights up if I'm driving straight. From driving emergency vehicles and that training, I am always aware of my surroundings and certainly don't need the light but I think it would be much more functional all of the time if it was moved inside to the A post (corner of front door and windshield).
One more dislike - the roof rails. Not a huge fan and they added a chrome strip the full length of the base. Personal preference but I don't care much for it.
Another thing I love is the turn signals. Just tap it up or down and it blinks 3 times. It's a nice feature because it takes so much effort to push it that extra 1/2 inch (just kidding
). I think I'm the one remaining guy that uses turn signals and I actually find that feature highly useful.
Some of you found a paint imperfection on the passenger side under the hood. Mine has it too. It seems to be consistent across all the 2014 Durango's. I think mine is actually 2 spots in that area but it's under the hood and the paint seems to fully protect it. I don't think I'm worried about this.
The wheels aren't as bad as I was expecting. I have the 18's and although I love the look of the optional 20's, I can live with these. Each spoke bay alternates between polished aluminum and mineral gray. It's hard to see in pics but I'll try to show a good one.
The rotary gear selector isn't bad. I'm pretty much used to it although I do find myself trying to change the radio volume instead at times.
I did find a ding? on the rear hatch, just above and to the passenger side of the hatch handle. It looks like it was created on the inside, pushing out. I can only see it at certain angles but if you catch it just right, it is extremely obvious. The dealer has a dent guy come in and do work once or twice a week and they offered to have him take a look at it.
That's all I can think of so far. Not much in red here. I'm having fun with it and love it (so do the guys at the station - we all sat in it for an hour on Friday night!)
Late edit... the window sticker shows bi-xenon headlights. I thought for sure this was supposed to have xenon low beams and halogen high beams. Sure looks like bi-xenon to me though which is a wonderful surprise.
Enjoy the pictures - it got a thorough detail last night. I don't blame Vertrkr one bit for paying to have his detailed. Parts of me that I never knew existed are sore today! However, the benefit is I know I did a thorough job and used the products I wanted. Using all Blackfire products, I washed it, ran a clay bar over every inch, added a gloss enhancing polish, and used a polymer sealant. It was foggy this morning so I couldn't get good pictures. By the time the sun came out, it was a little harsh for my photo style.
Sorry I didn't have time to write more.
I know a lot of you are still waiting and there aren't great pictures out there so I hope this helps.