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I am looking at purchasing a 2014 Durango with the Hemi V8 and the 8 speed AWD trans (two speed transfer case) to replace a 2001 Tahoe. I'm trying to get an understanding of how the Durango Low 4WD setting compares with my current Tahoe's Low 4WD system. In the Tahoe, in Low 4WD I have been told that all the wheels are locked (I get axle binding if I try to make a tight turn in Low 4WD, so it is a fairly basic system) so the torque is evenly split between all 4 wheels whereas I am being told that the Durango has a variable torque split capability in Low 4WD between the front and rear axles that does not lock up all 4 wheels but can lock the wheels on each axle and apportion torque between the axles within designed parameters. My understanding is that in the normal AWD setting, the Durango operates normally in RWD but automatically goes into AWD at a fixed 50:50 apportioned split between the rear and front axles when it detects slippage. The dealer sales personnel telling me all this about the Durango are not sure they are correct about this so that is why I'm asking in this forum. My reason for the question is that I have a 13-15% grade driveway that is 500 ft long. In winter (in northern Michigan) with winter tires, I have found that using my Tahoe in Low 4WD setting is the only reliable way to get up and down the drive; AWD crossovers like the GM Enclave/Traverse, Acura MDX, Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer have had issues getting up the driveway. I need space for up to 7 people so that is the reason why I have not looked at the Grand Cherokee with Quadra Trak. I would appreciate any additional information about the Durango two speed transfer case system and how it mechanically operates versus a conventional (old style) 4WD system.
 

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All I could find was:

Traction:

4x4 on-demand (full time active all-wheel drive, variable torque split) 2.72/1 transfer case MP 3022

It appears to be a very excellent vehicle, in both features and quality.
If the system is anything similar to Jeep's version, the AWD system operates seamlessly, combining variable torque to the axle which needs traction and the ABS/Traction control prevents wheel spin and sends power to the wheel under load.
I would not envision any difficulties negotiating your driveway and it is a far superior system to the one found in the Tahoe.
Good luck with your purchase!

Found a little more technical info. The MP3022 case was developed in 2008, to replace the NV242 ( my personal favorite) if it operates half as well as the 242, it's a great case.


Transfer Case: MP 3022 SELEC-Trac II®
Availability Optional all 4WD models
Type Full-time active, electronic shift
Operating Ranges 2WD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Low, Neutral
Torque Split, F/R 42/58
Low Range Ratio 2.72:1
 

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You're welcome!
While my preference is the 242, since it's obsolete, I'd have no issues running the 3022
 

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I was also wondering about the AWD system of the Durango. I currently have an 03 Liberty Renegade with the Command Trac part time system. I am in the market for something newer and larger because we now have kids, so I would really like something with 3 rows. Unfortunately I have a job where no matter what it's doing outside, I have to go in. Rain, blizzard, hurricane...doesn't matter. My Liberty has gotten me through all of it, and I would like something at least as capable if possible. I have an hour commute that isn't so fun when it's nasty out. I should say I lived in Central NY state for 12 years, most of it with a Ford Escort, so I have a pretty good idea how to drive in just about anything...I just like the added capability of 4x4 to compliment good common sense! Lol

We've been looking at the Durango, the Explorer, and the Enclave. It appears the Durango's system is the most similar to what I have already, but the 2 speed transfer case is only available in the RT it appears. It is my understanding that the single speed transfer case in the Durango is similar to what is available in the Explorer and the Enclave? My wife wants the Explorer or the Enclave, so I probably know who will win this, but I want some more ammunition for the battle. Any advice/input is helpful!
 

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Durango has gotten good reviews, even from Consumer Reports.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...go-20142015-review/14684583001/2924997372001/
It is comfortable, roomy and great in the snow. I think that the new ones are being built better and more carefully than they ever have been. I would drive all 3 and select the one both of you like best.
Thanks for the info. The Durango certainly appears to be a very nice ride. I would prefer to get one with a v6 merely for gas mileage purposes, but it appears they only have the single speed transfer case available which makes them, IMO, less capable in the snow, but similar in set up to the Explorer or the Enclave (or most other SUV/CUV's on the market).

I wish Jeep would come out with the Wagoneer already, but I don't think we can wait that long. I love my Liberty in that even in deep snow I've never had a problem...just hate to give her up after all these years. We live in Delaware, not exactly snow country, but it seems every night it does snow/rain/darn hurricane I have to work. Lol

Like you said, I'll gave to drive all three to see which works best.
 

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We've had 2 Grand Cherokees, the 98 with Selec Trac and the 07 with QDII. Used in many winter storms. Never needed or used 4-low on road in winter conditions. If you want the best traction add a set of winter tires. I use General Altimax tires with studs. There are also very good stud less tires out there now. 4-Low can actually apply too much power in slippery conditions. The only time I would ever need it is off road beach driving and only to pull a stuck vehicle out. Never needed it in the deepest sand.
 
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We've had 2 Grand Cherokees, the 98 with Selec Trac and the 07 with QDII. Used in many winter storms. Never needed or used 4-low on road in winter conditions. If you want the best traction add a set of winter tires. I use General Altimax tires with studs. There are also very good stud less tires out there now. 4-Low can actually apply too much power in slippery conditions. The only time I would ever need it is off road beach driving and only to pull a stuck vehicle out. Never needed it in the deepest sand.
I've never had a problem in my Liberty, and actually have never used 4-lo either in the snow, except when I was playing around to see what it would do in deep snow. I just don't know enough about the AWD systems that these other vehicles have to make a comparison to what I have already. I like to collect info and opinions from others who know more than me so I can make an informed decision.

I learned to drive in snow with a Ford Escort with all-season tires in Central NY winters, so I figure I could probably ride a bicycle at this point and still make it through...lol. Although in later years I did switch to winter tires with studs...just haven't needed them since then with my Liberty...not that its perfect by any stretch, I just am used to it. I just wish I could get something similar to what I have already, because I know exactly what it can/can't do in certain situations, but the options are limited anymore. I guess its just a situation of I want what I want (or think I want), and might not be able to get it.
 

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Thanks for the info. The Durango certainly appears to be a very nice ride. I would prefer to get one with a v6 merely for gas mileage purposes, but it appears they only have the single speed transfer case available which makes them, IMO, less capable in the snow, but similar in set up to the Explorer or the Enclave (or most other SUV/CUV's on the market).

I wish Jeep would come out with the Wagoneer already, but I don't think we can wait that long. I love my Liberty in that even in deep snow I've never had a problem...just hate to give her up after all these years. We live in Delaware, not exactly snow country, but it seems every night it does snow/rain/darn hurricane I have to work. Lol

Like you said, I'll gave to drive all three to see which works best.
FWIW, my Durango Citadel does great in the snow. It is a v6 8 spd. No problem up to 6 inches.
 

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FWIW, my Durango Citadel does great in the snow. It is a v6 8 spd. No problem up to 6 inches.
That is good to know. I really like the citadel trim level too. I would like the v6 mainly because I have an hour commute...better a bit on mileage.
 

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I guess mainly what I am trying to understand, and forgive my ignorance, is how does an AWD system of the Durango or Explorer match up with a traditional 4WD set-up like my Command Trac in real-world performance. Since I have rarely used the 4-Lo setting, for my needs it's not a deal breaker. What I am wondering is how does a AWD system compare to 4-Hi as far as distribution of power to the four wheels. I know AWD systems are not all the same, but in general. I have done a lot of research on this, and it seems a little confusing at times because everyone has an opinion and they sometimes conflict...like most things in life I guess. :)
 

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The AWD transfer case itself is basically (for practical purposes) a "4-hi". The difference with a Jeep is some have locking axles. The Durango uses the brakes to create an "external" locking effect at the wheels rather than the diff. In the slick stuff, I have played a little bit and have been impressed by its ability to stop straight and accelerate straight on a slick hill here near us (way out in the country) when snow covered it is pretty slick. That said, my old Grand Wagoneer would do mud better, but.....
 

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If you want the V6, DO NOT try the Hemi because you will never be happy with the V6 esp if you grew up in the heavy metal muscle car era (late 60s early 70s) as I did. I drove 4 different used WK Grand Cherokees with the Hemi before I found one in good enough shape to make it a good buy (5 years later still has been very good). The first one I pulled out of the dealer on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Long Island and came to the first light. Light turns green and no traffic, I think lets see what this has....gave it 3/4 throttle and and it nearly pushed me into the rear seat. Instantly hooked. Bought the 4th one I looked at @ 2.5 years old it had 25,000 miles then, now has about 80,000. This was in 2009. In late 2010 the WKII came out. Tried the first one they got (3.6 Pentastar). Nice but no throw you in the back seat feeling. Either way it will do fine in snow.
Keep in mind....
most 4x4s do not need snow tires so much for going forward or climbing hills. Where they make a big difference is stopping (my WK very rarely engages the anti lock brakes with the studded snows) and turing on off camber turns where you can slide off the road 4x4 or not.
The WK with QD-II used an automatically engaging transfer case and electronically engaged locking diffs in the rear and in the front. In addition, there is also the electronic skid control and ABS of course.
The Durango will have the same automatically engaging transfer case, without the low range. I am not sure how the rear diff works, if limited slip is standard or an option but for sure it has electronic skid control and ABS.
As I said you do not need 4-low for normal driving in snow. It is nice because it locks the rear and front driveshafts together and there is no slip needed at the rear to sent more power up front but as I said I never used 4 low in snow with either Jeep. Off road you might want it if doing a snow off road trip but that's a whole nother story.
I drove the '98 ZJ Grand in many northeast winters with nothing more than the Selectrac 4x4 usually in full time, very rarely I used part time and it had open diffs, no skid control. But I did use snow tires, the best being the Nokian Hakka SUV studded tires and the current General Altimax Arctic studded tires (can't beat em for the price)......

One more data point, my wife's vehicle is a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback, it has Subaru's electronic 4x4 system which sends power to the rear wheels if it senses front wheel spin and has open diffs, ABS, no skid control. It is as good as either Jeep in most winter conditions. Studded snows as well. Subaru has the best 4x4 system of all the cross over type vehicles.....
 
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If you want the V6, DO NOT try the Hemi because you will never be happy with the V6 esp if you grew up in the heavy metal muscle car era (late 60s early 70s) as I did. I drove 4 different used WK Grand Cherokees with the Hemi before I found one in good enough shape to make it a good buy (5 years later still has been very good). The first one I pulled out of the dealer on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Long Island and came to the first light. Light turns green and no traffic, I think lets see what this has....gave it 3/4 throttle and and it nearly pushed me into the rear seat. Instantly hooked. Bought the 4th one I looked at @ 2.5 years old it had 25,000 miles then, now has about 80,000. This was in 2009. In late 2010 the WKII came out. Tried the first one they got (3.6 Pentastar). Nice but no throw you in the back seat feeling. Either way it will do fine in snow.
Keep in mind....
most 4x4s do not need snow tires so much for going forward or climbing hills. Where they make a big difference is stopping (my WK very rarely engages the anti lock brakes with the studded snows) and turing on off camber turns where you can slide off the road 4x4 or not.
The WK with QD-II used an automatically engaging transfer case and electronically engaged locking diffs in the rear and in the front. In addition, there is also the electronic skid control and ABS of course.
The Durango will have the same automatically engaging transfer case, without the low range. I am not sure how the rear diff works, if limited slip is standard or an option but for sure it has electronic skid control and ABS.
As I said you do not need 4-low for normal driving in snow. It is nice because it locks the rear and front driveshafts together and there is no slip needed at the rear to sent more power up front but as I said I never used 4 low in snow with either Jeep. Off road you might want it if doing a snow off road trip but that's a whole nother story.
I drove the '98 ZJ Grand in many northeast winters with nothing more than the Selectrac 4x4 usually in full time, very rarely I used part time and it had open diffs, no skid control. But I did use snow tires, the best being the Nokian Hakka SUV studded tires and the current General Altimax Arctic studded tires (can't beat em for the price)......

One more data point, my wife's vehicle is a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback, it has Subaru's electronic 4x4 system which sends power to the rear wheels if it senses front wheel spin and has open diffs, ABS, no skid control. It is as good as either Jeep in most winter conditions. Studded snows as well. Subaru has the best 4x4 system of all the cross over type vehicles.....


Definitely some useful information. It sounds like the Durango is a good choice for what I'm looking for. Although I'll probably stick with the v6...not what I want, but more what I need. I appreciate the advice!
 

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While driving to work last night in the snow and ice, I realized one very important fact. No matter if you have 4WD or AWD, traction control, or very good snow tires with studs. None of it can counteract the sheer stupidity of all the other idiots on the road. The truck/SUV that can do that will get my money hands-down.
 
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While driving to work last night in the snow and ice, I realized one very important fact. No matter if you have 4WD or AWD, traction control, or very good snow tires with studs. None of it can counteract the sheer stupidity of all the other idiots on the road. The truck/SUV that can do that will get my money hands-down.
 
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Of course this would be nice too! Although if it is a stick, operating the passenger-side mount might be problematic! ;-)
Jeep J8.jpg
 
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