2015 Dodge Durango
We cannot exactly call the Durango a crossover; neither would we rank it as an SUV capable of off-roading. It is, however, a utility vehicle that has some rough capabilities and yet flaunts very impressive road manners.
We think that the Durango is a vehicle situated between crossovers and SUVs as it strikes a balance between features of vehicles from both classes.
The 2015 Durango is an excellent choice if you are looking for a mid-sized SUV with three-row seating, a soothing interior, and good cargo space. The vehicle houses multiple tech features and comfortable seating for all passengers.
The first thing that catches our attention on the front of the vehicle is Dodge's signature plus-shaped grille. This large grille is partially responsible for giving the vehicle that rugged and muscular look and its aggressive stance.
Stretching outboard from the grille are large headlights with LED daytime running lamps built inside them. For some reason, the DRLs look like hockey sticks but match the contour of the bumper underneath.
The body of the Durango is designed so it looks bulgy and aggressive from one angle and slightly toned down from another. For example, the Durango does not look bulgy or aggressive from the rear. But standing out bright on its rear is Dodge's LED racetrack tail light, which forms a ribbon across the tailgate.
Once you step inside, you forget all about the truck and SUV look found on the exterior. The cabin features a smooth and luxuriant feel with leather upholstery, red stitching, and red woven inserts. Overall, nothing in the cabin makes the Durango feel like a budget-oriented vehicle; rather, it flaunts an impression of a luxury SUV.
The instrument cluster does not have any gauges but features a seven-inch screen that can be configured to display different information and gauge designs. Towards the center of the dash is a slot for the instrument panel, which can be a five-inch on base variant or an 8.4-inch on higher variants.
There are two engine options on the 2015 Dodge Durango; a V6 and a V8. Both engines are coupled with the same eight-speed automatic transmission.
If you need to use the car for hauling people mostly and do not usually go around with thousands of pound heavy trailers, you will be quite happy with the 3.6-liter V6. This engine can produce 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
It is strong, quick, and responsive and delivers a smoother acceleration from the previous models. The engine is coupled with the standard eight-speed automatic, operated by rotary control, which we find to be a luxuriant touch.
For those who think the V6 is underpowered or need to haul along trailers, there is an option with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8. This engine produces 360 hp and an impressive 390 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled with the same automatic but is quite thirsty in terms of fuel economy.
Unless you have fallen in love at first sight with the engine or actually need to tow heavy loads of up to 7,000 pounds, we would recommend sticking to the V6, as the V8 can be quite a sting in terms of fuel bills.
The fancy knob-controlled transmission is also equipped with paddle shifters in some variants. These paddles can take some time to get used to. Most cars automatically shift back to automatic mode, but the Durango remains in the manual mode until you pull and hold the shift paddle for at least three seconds.
The steering response on the Durango is quite impressive, and the vehicle handles and maneuvers nimbly, even at low speeds. The ride quality can be considered a little firm but is well-damped by the shocks and suspension.
Overall, the Durango is smooth and fun to drive. Thanks to its independent suspension, powerful engine, big brakes, and crisp steering response, the Durango delivers performance without compromising comfort or driving pleasure.
Quality and Comfort
The Dodge Durango lies between larger crossovers like the Ford Explorer and large SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe, Lincoln Navigator, and Ford Expedition. But unlike the larger SUVs, the Durango is not truck-like. Instead, it is toned down and shares its design with Mercedes M Class and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
For the 2015 model, Dodge upgraded Durango's interior, pushing it towards a more luxurious and premium outlook. Even on the previous models, the materials were high-quality, and this model was built on them to give an even more premium feel. The cabin seems sealed shut from external noises, making Durango one of the quietest vehicles in its class.
The driving position on the Durango is excellent. It provides adequate space in all directions, and there is a wide range of adjustments in the steering wheel and the driver's seat. All seats are well-bolstered and offer ample back and side support to individuals of all sizes.
The second-row bench seat can easily accommodate three adults without cramming too much. Some variants of the Durango came with optional bucket seats for the second row. However, they are a hard find these days. With the bucket seats, the second row gets its own center console, which houses cup holders and USB and 12-volt charging ports in some variants.
The third-row seats are a little tight and can be difficult to get into and out of. The third row on the Durango does not fold away and disappears to reveal a flat floor. Instead, they fold and just stay there. If you are looking for cargo space of more than 85 cubic feet, you will need to look elsewhere.
The 2015 Dodge Durango is equipped with several active and passive safety features. Among the advanced safety features are:
- Antilock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. This system ensures that the right amount of pressure is exerted on each wheel. The ABS prevents wheels from locking up in case of hard braking.
- Traction and stability control keep watch on the performance of the vehicle. If it notices the vehicle nearing its limits, the system can slow down the vehicle by controlling the engine and braking to ensure that the driver maintains control.
- A Blindspot warning system can detect and warn the driver if there is an obstacle in the blind spot of the vehicle.
- A Rearview camera with parking sensors makes parking the large vehicle easy.
- The forward collision warning and prevention system can apply the brakes to keep the vehicle from colliding with any obstacle in its way.
- Adaptive cruise control can maintain the speed of the leading vehicle without the need for driver input. Once the slower vehicle is out of the way, the system takes the car back to the set speed.
The 2015 Durango has received four stars for overall safety rating from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The federal testing agency awards Durango four stars for frontal crash and rollover. For side impacts, the vehicle gets five stars.
From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Durango receives a "Good" rating for crashworthiness in all areas, except a small overlap front. The optional crash prevention system is also rated as "Advanced."
For the 2015 Durango, you will find four variants, SXT, Limited, R/T, and Citadel. Many optional and customization packages were available for the Durango, which allowed buyers with further personalization.
The base trim, SXT, is equipped with many advanced features, including:
- Power door locks, mirrors, and windows
- Tilting and telescoping steering wheel
- Three-row seating
- Five-inch touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth connectivity
- Remote start
- Optional features include smartphone connectivity to the audio system, heated seats, and steering wheel
Take one step up, and you arrive at the Limited trim, which adds on the following:
- Power adjustable front seats
- Heated first and second-row seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Rear parking sensors
- Rearview camera
- 110 v AC outlet
Among the options on the Limited trim are:
- Second-row bucket seats
- Power tailgate
- Navigation system
- Alpine audio system
- Hemi V8 Engine
The sporty looking R/T trim builds on the Limited trim with:
- Synthetic leather upholstery
- Premium audio system
- Sporty-tuned suspension
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- 5.7-liter V8 Hemi as standard
The top-of-the-line Citadel trim features ventilated front seats with Nappa leather. It also has a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel, while sunroof and navigation come standard.
For those who wanted to steer clear of the V8 but still required the features of the R/T trim, Dodge had the Rallye Appearance Package. This package added a monochromatic appearance to the regular SXT or Limited trims. It also added an extra exhaust pipe, jacking up the horsepower of the V6 by five to 295 hp.
Another package, Blacktop, worked on the exterior components like badging, alloy wheels, and grill to make them glossy black. This package was available for all trims except Citadel.
The 2015 Durango does not want to compromise performance for fuel economy. This renders even the V6 as a thirsty drinker.
The 3.6-liter V6 can achieve 18 miles per gallon during city driving, 25 miles per gallon on highways, and 20 miles per gallon for combined driving. Mount on the optional all-wheel-drive, and the numbers drop to 17 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on highways, and 19 mpg for combined driving.
The larger 5.7-liter V8 gets EPA ratings of 14 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 17 mpg combined for rear-wheel drive. The numbers change to 14 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined for all-wheel drive.
Price Range of 2015 Dodge Durango
For the 2015 model, Dodge Durango's price lies between $21,000 and $34,000. The average price sits at around $27,500. However, it is important to note that many factors influence the prices of used vehicles, including location, mileage, trim level, options installed, and vehicle condition.
Running Costs of 2015 Dodge Durango
The estimated annual amount spent on the Dodge Durango is around $5,500, accounting for fuel, routine maintenance, insurance, and repairs. This figure translates to a five-year cost of around $27,500, which is in the higher tier among other mid-sized SUVs.
Why is 2015 the Best Year Dodge Durango?
The 2015 model is part of the third generation of the Durango, which began in 2011. However, the generation was refreshed in 2014 and received better aesthetics and advanced features. The refresh also introduced the modern eight-speed automatic transmission, which was more responsive and came with a loveable knob style shifter.
Reliability of 2015 Dodge Durango
J.D Power rates the reliability of the 2015 Dodge Durango as "About Average." If you have been a Dodge user before, you know that most Dodges do not shine in terms of reliability ratings, and this is not much of a bother for Dodge owners.
About The Author
Working as a restoration tech on exclusively Mopar offerings of the late 60’s and early 70’s honed the skills to build what I consider the most prestigious make of American cars of that era. The iconic slant six, behemoth 426 Hemi and everything in between shaped my view on the automotive world. I’ve translated those skills towards vehicles that “everyman” has access to enjoy and Mopar influence still plays a significant role.Read More About Tyler Herndon