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Reid Bigland, Chrysler sales and Dodge chief, launched the 2014 Dodge Durango today in New York. Though it shares an assembly line and core design with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the two differ in length, suspension design, and interior and exterior design; Durango goes so far as to use a completely different transmission shifter (the Ram’s knob rather than Grand Cherokee’s/300C’s/Charger’s semi-traditional console unit). Mr. Bigland first went over Chrysler’s sales successes, noting that retail sales went up 23% in 2012 (over 2011), and were up 13% in January-February 2013 over the same months in 2012. He then went into full size SUV and crossover sales, which total 10% of the American new-vehicle market, or around 1.5 million vehicles per year. An introductory video played homage to the Dodge Brothers and various Dodge cars and trucks over the years.

According to Mr. Bigland, Durango buyers are ten years..

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Phew... for a minute I thought they were bringing back those horrible trim level names of old. Durango Uptown, Downtown, Mainstreet... /shudder
 

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All nice...I reviewed all the upgrades, but one thing I think they needed to address is the narrow 3rd row.
I think they could have picked up some shopping points over the competition with a wider 3rd row seat. I noted that Toyota widened the 3rd row in the 2014 Highlander compared to the 2013 model.
In the end, families who are shopping 3rd row vehicles usually because they have 3 or more kids, like a wider 3rd row so you're not sitting right on top of each other.
That and I would like to have the 2nd row captain chairs to be adjustable fore and aft for additonal leg room.

This does move to the top of the shopping list for me with the good looks, features, storage for trips and range.
 

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Chase300 said:
All nice...I reviewed all the upgrades, but one thing I think they needed to address is the narrow 3rd row.
I think they could have picked up some shopping points over the competition with a wider 3rd row seat. I noted that Toyota widened the 3rd row in the 2014 Highlander compared to the 2013 model.
In the end, families who are shopping 3rd row vehicles usually because they have 3 or more kids, like a wider 3rd row so you're not sitting right on top of each other.
That and I would like to have the 2nd row captain chairs to be adjustable fore and aft for additonal leg room.

This does move to the top of the shopping list for me with the good looks, features, storage for trips and range.
I see this as the only major flaw left. But I also don't believe they could have cost effectively or easily addressed it.
 

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bumonbox said:
I see this as the only major flaw left. But I also don't believe they could have cost effectively or easily addressed it.
Well I hope they are with the Jeep GW version or sales will not be as good as they can be.
 

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I watched it, and he was better than the monotone guy who introduced the Cherokee.

A Durango Citadel with the V8 and RWD weighs 5,200 pounds! Eight speed or not, there is no way the mileage will be better than my 4,531 pound 2006 Ford Explorer V8 RWD, and it may well be worse. Given the sky-high prices of the Jeep Grand Cherokee as an indication of how the Durango will be priced, I've got very little enthusiasm for doing anything but keeping my Explorer, despite the 151,000 miles on it.
 

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FStephenMasek said:
A Durango Citadel with the V8 and RWD weighs 5,200 pounds! Eight speed or not, there is no way the mileage will be better than my 4,531 pound 2006 Ford Explorer V8 RWD, and it may well be worse.
Actually, last year's Durango (and this year's Grand Cherokee) already offer better mileage than your Explorer...

2006 Ford Explorer (4.6L V8/6auto): 13/19(15)
2013 Dodge Durango (5.7L V8/6auto): 14/20(16)
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee (5.7L V8/8auto): 14/22(17)
 

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Chase300 said:
Well I hope they are with the Jeep GW version or sales will not be as good as they can be.
I don't think it's a huge deal breaker. The thing about the GW is it may well be up market. Therefor not a direct competitor to this segment.
I was looking at a Durango, trying to figure out how to deep the wheel well actually is. It SEEMS like there should be less interior intrusion, and that they could possibly free up more space. But then again, if it were that easy, they would probably have done it. I am curious as to what the limitations are.
 

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If you moved the 3rd row forward, you compromise 3rd row legroom. If you move the 3rd row backward, you compromise cargo space when the 3rd row is in use. I would imagine that weight distribution has something to do with it as well.

It's 7-passenger seating - not necessarily "7-adult-passenger seating."
 

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Chase300 said:
Well I hope they are with the Jeep GW version or sales will not be as good as they can be.
It should be noted, that in the Grand Wagoneers heyday, it sat only 5. Families were larger then, but that wasn't the purpose of the Grand Wagoneer.
Strat probably has the real numbers, but it's 1990 price tag of $25,000, is likely the $50,000 of today.
It's not intended to be a people mover and a luxurious 4, or 6 seater, is all that needed, if it is needed.
Remember, there was no Jeeper ground swell for a new Grand Wagoneer, this popped out of Marchionne's head.
Jeeper Ground swell is for an XJ replacement, a pickup, and other Jeeps. Not a Grand Wagoneer, KL, Compass, or whatever else they can slap a Jeep nameplate upon.
 

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I am 6'2" and I can fit in the 3rd row of the Durango. I wouldn't want to sit back there for 6 hours or anything, but it isn't an awful place to be and better than the majority of 3 row SUV/CUV's.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
If you moved the 3rd row forward, you compromise 3rd row legroom. If you move the 3rd row backward, you compromise cargo space when the 3rd row is in use. I would imagine that weight distribution has something to do with it as well.

It's 7-passenger seating - not necessarily "7-adult-passenger seating."
I wasn't referring to moving it front of back, I was referring to what seems like is a lot of dead space for the interior intrusion for the rear wheel wells. Is it possible there is space to trim there? The rear is unusually narrow. It's also worth noting that there is a sizable gap between the seats and the "hump" for the wheel well. It seems like it *MIGHT* have been possible to draw in several inches on each side for a small 3rd seat.
NOW, in all fairness to the Durango, most crossovers only really have seating for 2.5 people in the 3rd seat. It will comfortably fit 3 kids, or uncomfortable fit 3 adults. This is also true of the minivans for that matter.

Having climbed into the rear of the Durango, I found it quite comfortable, I could easily and comfortable share it with another adult for a sizable drive (I too, am a big guy) So, in response to your comment strat, the Durango, IMO is 7-adult-passenger seating, where a Chevy Traverse with captains chairs is more of a 6.5 adult seating. Or really 6, making it more on par with a Durango with Captains chairs. The issue though. is that most adults drive, there for most peoples' extra passengers are more likely to be kids.

Whatever the case, I think it's a fair bet that the narrow rear seat drives away some customers, and while I am not thrilled about that aspect, I wouldn't think it to be a high number. I would think a pretty small number of customers really have an issue with it. Maybe one of the resident dealers can chime in with how many complaints, if any, they've gotten about it. The Durango's issue lay elsewhere. Inefficient marketing, it doesn't seem like they have been aggressive in selling it. It's a Dodge, fewer loyal than Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Honda, which means it has to top the class in more aspects. It's v6 fuel economy has been at the bottom tier. Not far behind, but a little behind. I have heard that some people found the V6 to be sluggish.

So I repeat my refrain, they have the ingredients for a much more successful vehicle with this update. Now it's time to see if they can bake it right.
 

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MoparNorm said:
It should be noted, that in the Grand Wagoneers heyday, it sat only 5. Families were larger then, but that wasn't the purpose of the Grand Wagoneer.
Strat probably has the real numbers, but it's 1990 price tag of $25,000, is likely the $50,000 of today.
It's not intended to be a people mover and a luxurious 4, or 6 seater, is all that needed, if it is needed.
Remember, there was no Jeeper ground swell for a new Grand Wagoneer, this popped out of Marchionne's head.
Jeeper Ground swell is for an XJ replacement, a pickup, and other Jeeps. Not a Grand Wagoneer, KL, Compass, or whatever else they can slap a Jeep nameplate upon.
Norm, I will give it to you... If you are anything, it is definitely consistent... lol.

I want your opinion on a theory (not just for Norm, all can answer)... Is it possible that Jeep heard the cry of the purists and gave us the four door wrangler. Thinking that those that were wanting an XJ replacement ie. a four door, Jeep-capable truck would opt for the 4dr Wrangler??? If so, in your (and other's) opinion, why does the 4dr Wrangler not fill that slot.

(Disclaimer: I know that Norm is a gentleman and will answer respectfully and with knowledge. To all others, please temper your responses and let's try not to turn this into another DOJ thread.)

So again, why does the 4dr Wrangler not fill the slot of a 4door Jeep-capable SUV?


@ Strat - I had to chuckle at your response... Owner loyalty vs. Reality is hilarious.
 

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It doesn't fit what they are looking for because it is NOT a fixed roof vehicle, it doesn't really have the same utility as the XJ, and it is MUCH larger than the XJ. They want a small fixed roof Jeep, with the off roading possibility the XJ had, with the same utility and footprint.
 

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Bajanbuoy said:
Norm, I will give it to you... If you are anything, it is definitely consistent... lol.

I want your opinion on a theory (not just for Norm, all can answer)... Is it possible that Jeep heard the cry of the purists and gave us the four door wrangler. Thinking that those that were wanting an XJ replacement ie. a four door, Jeep-capable truck would opt for the 4dr Wrangler??? If so, in your (and other's) opinion, why does the 4dr Wrangler not fill that slot.

(Disclaimer: I know that Norm is a gentleman and will answer respectfully and with knowledge. To all others, please temper your responses and let's try not to turn this into another DOJ thread.)

So again, why does the 4dr Wrangler not fill the slot of a 4door Jeep-capable SUV?


@ Strat - I had to chuckle at your response... Owner loyalty vs. Reality is hilarious.
Well first, thanks for the kind words!

If Jeep thought they were replacing XJ by adding more doors, to the Wrangler, they really didn't understand their customer base.
There are several reasons why a 4 door Wrangler isn't a suitable XJ replacement.
One, it's huge. My JKU rivals an F250 in size and weight.
Body on Frame vs. Unitbody
Open vs closed top, even the hard top Wrangler has a great deal more road noise and temperature swings than a steel topped XJ.
Wrangler is less refined for comfort and pavement ride, than even the 11 year gone, 2001 XJ.
Ride height, loading height, ease of egress, all suffer in Wrangler, compared to XJ.
Smaller compact package, favors XJ, when parking and garaging.
Even though XJ was smaller, it had a 5,000 towing rating.


NVH, XJ wins.
Creature comforts, XJ wins.
Size, XJ wins.
Ease of loading and accessibility, XJ wins.
Towing, XJ wins.

Wrangler is near perfect for its intended use, Cherokee was very good for its intended use, the fact that it was nearly as capable as Wrangler, when both are in stock form, was a huge bonus, for XJ.
 
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MoparNorm said:
Wrangler is near perfect for its intended use, Cherokee was very good for its intended use, the fact that it was nearly as capable as Wrangler, when both are in stock form, was a huge bonus, for XJ.
No such thing as one size fits all, after all. Wrangler is indeed a fantastic vehicle. But, a talking point you and Bob have had about the XJ, it simply fit the customer's needs, plain and simple.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Well first, thanks for the kind words!

If Jeep thought they were replacing XJ by adding more doors, to the Wrangler, they really didn't understand their customer base.
There are several reasons why a 4 door Wrangler isn't a suitable XJ replacement.
One, it's huge. My JKU rivals an F250 in size and weight.
Body on Frame vs. Unitbody
Open vs closed top, even the hard top Wrangler has a great deal more road noise and temperature swings than a steel topped XJ.
Wrangler is less refined for comfort and pavement ride, than even the 11 year gone, 2001 XJ.
Ride height, loading height, ease of egress, all suffer in Wrangler, compared to XJ.
Smaller compact package, favors XJ, when parking and garaging.
Even though XJ was smaller, it had a 5,000 towing rating.


NVH, XJ wins.
Creature comforts, XJ wins.
Size, XJ wins.
Ease of loading and accessibility, XJ wins.
Towing, XJ wins.

Wrangler is near perfect for its intended use, Cherokee was very good for its intended use, the fact that it was nearly as capable as Wrangler, when both are in stock form, was a huge bonus, for XJ.
Okay, thanks to JRS200X and Norm, for their quick yet concise analysis...

Now another question... What concessions, are you as a customer, willing to make in terms of the new Cherokee (not regarding styling)?

If the new Cherokee had the same approach, breakover, and departure angles as the XJ and performed similarly, but everything else remained the same as it is now, would it still be unacceptable because of the platform it rides on and where it came from? In short, if the performance of the Cherokee is identical to the XJ, regardless of how it achieves it (platforms, suspensions, tires, electro-nannies or whatever), is it still not a worthy replacement?

Strat - This is the last question,... Didn't mean to Hijack the thread, lol.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
Actually, last year's Durango (and this year's Grand Cherokee) already offer better mileage than your Explorer...

2006 Ford Explorer (4.6L V8/6auto): 13/19(15)
2013 Dodge Durango (5.7L V8/6auto): 14/20(16)
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee (5.7L V8/8auto): 14/22(17)
My Explorer is rated 15/21 MPG, as it has rear wheel drive, not four wheel drive. I just drove to Fresno and back, and reset the mileage computer on the freeway to see what it was doing. Even flowing with traffic, it achieves 21MPG on the freeway. With stop and go and city traffic and such, it averages 17.6 or so. It also uses regular, not the mid-grade Chrysler specifies for their V8.

In my case, I'd like to see a third seat delete option on the 2014 Durango. I'd prefer storage space to seats which would never be used. My Explorer does not have the third row. I know I'll probably not find anything close to as good a deal as it was anytime soon - $29,442.53 out the door, which includes sales tax. The only repairs I've paid for in 151,000 miles have been a door lock motor (I lock and unlock much more than average), a radiator, a thermostat, spark plugs, and some spark coils, plus various fluids, filters, tires, and brakes.
 

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If the current Durango only had to meet 2006 motor vehicle standards it could be lighter as well, so that's really not a valid comparison.
And the Hemi runs fine on regular gas, mid grade is recommended but I sure could not tell the difference in regular driving in other Hemi equipped vehicles.
 
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