$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: What the Judges Said

Chris Woodyard and Joe Bruzek

Here are our judges for this Challenge:

  • Joe Bruzek, Road Test Editor, Cars.com
  • Jennifer Geiger, Assistant Managing Editor, Cars.com
  • Kelsey Mays, Consumer Affairs Editor, Cars.com
  • Chris Woodyard, L.A. Bureau Chief, USA Today
  • Brian Robinson, Producer, "MotorWeek"
  • LadyAnn and Ed Sabalburo, a Southern California couple with a young daughter and a second child on the way; they own an Acura MDX currently and are thinking about moving up to a bigger SUV.

We set a maximum price of $40,000, including a destination charge, and a minimum EPA combined city/highway mileage rating of 19 mpg. There were eight SUVs that met our criteria:

By Patrick Olsen | April 6, 2014 | Comments (7)

2014 Dodge Durango Photo Gallery

2014DodgeDurango

The 2014 Dodge Durango finished second in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "The Durango combines brash styling with an entertaining ride-handling mix and the best multimedia setup in this group," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Durango's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango

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Vehicles Affected: About 644,354 model-year 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs manufactured from Jan. 5, 2010, through Sept. 8, 2013.

The Problem: A brake booster's center shell may corrode and allow water to get inside, which could freeze and limit the braking ability of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting in May, and dealers will add a water diverter shield to the booster after the booster has been tested to confirm that it can hold an acceptable amount of vacuum pressure. If the booster inspection confirms an unacceptable loss of vacuum pressure, the booster will be replaced for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

More Recalls

Manufacturer photo

By Matt Schmitz | April 2, 2014 | Comments (7)

2014 Dodge Durango Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the updated-for-2014 Dodge Durango strikes a nice balance between drivability and utility. With subtle, if not scant, exterior-styling updates, most of this large three-row crossover's obvious changes are inside, led by a successful redo of the center controls featuring Chrysler's user-friendly Uconnect multimedia system. Rear legroom and headroom impress, while max cargo space simply blows the competition out of the water. That's in addition to an amply powerful drivetrain, surprising maneuverability, comfortable ride quality and formidable towing capabilities. Watch the video above.

2014 Dodge Durango Expert Review

By Matt Schmitz | March 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2012 Dodge Charger

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Vehicles Affected: About 43,450 model-year 2011-2012 Dodge Charger sedans equipped with halogen headlamps.

The Problem: Jumper harnesses and other headlamp components could overheat. Chrysler said the recall is similar to a 2012 recall of police vehicles for the same issue. The automaker said it is not aware of any injuries or accidents related to the previous recall or the current one, and it learned of the latest issue through customer-service data.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace headlamp jumper harnesses and bulbs or headlamp assemblies for free. The automaker has not specified a timeframe for notification.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call the automaker at 800-853-1403 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

More Recalls

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By Matt Schmitz | March 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Dodge To Offer V-6, AWD on Journey SE Trim

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What do you do when you have a decent midsize crossover that's a little long in the tooth, but generally underrated when compared to its competitors? You generate some interest in it however you can, and Dodge is trying to do just that by introducing new variants and trim levels of its Journey crossover.

Research the 2014 Dodge Journey

We've already seen Dodge introduce the new Journey Crossroad variant at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show; it's little more than an appearance package designed to make the Journey look more off-road-worthy. But this latest variant is perhaps more interesting: You can now get the Pentastar V-6 and all-wheel drive on the least expensive Journey, the SE trim level.

By Aaron Bragman | March 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2012-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango

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Vehicles Affected: About 18,700 model-year 2012-13 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs

The Problem: Chrysler received complaints about the performance of a component that accommodates Ready Alert Braking, a safety system that primes the brakes for optimal response when making a sudden stop. An investigation found brake-fluid flow was being overly restricted. "Brake function was neither lost nor out of compliance with regulation, but pedal feel was not consistent with customer expectations," the automaker said in a statement, noting that no injuries or crashes have been reported.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update software to optimize brake-fluid flow and restore appropriate brake-pedal feel. The automaker has not specified a timeline for the recall notification.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

More Recalls

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By Matt Schmitz | March 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Dodge Durango Delivers Useful Rear Cargo Space

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I've been smitten with the 2014 Dodge Durango's under-floor compartment ever since I discovered that gifts for sneaky children could be hidden there, undiscovered for weeks or even months. My curious children have scoped out every possible gift-hiding space in my house, but secret car compartments are not even on their radar, thereby allowing me to maintain some surprise in their lives.

2014 Dodge Durango Review

However, hiding things is not the only reason I like this three-row crossover's under-floor compartment. It's also useful for the simple fact that it creates more cargo room where there is often a dearth of space: behind the third row. Three-row crossovers excel at hauling larger families, but often fall down when it comes to hauling all of that family's stuff.

The Durango has a 17.2-cubic-foot cargo area behind the third-row seats, and it also has the magical under-floor compartment. The compartment comes in two sizes, depending on your audio preferences, says Chrysler spokesman Patrick Hespen. With a subwoofer added to the audio system, the compartment is 2.45 cubic feet, and without the subwoofer, it's 3.8 cubic feet. Using both the under-floor storage and the rear cargo area means there's 21 cubic feet of space to stuff shopping bags or groceries. As a point of reference, consider that 3.8 cubic feet is the size of a standard washing machine that fits a king-sized comforter or two baskets of laundry. 

By Courtney Messenbaugh | February 27, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Dodge Durango Review

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It's a fool's errand to try being all things to all people, but no foolin', the 2014 Dodge Durango comes close. Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela says the SUV is as good a commuter vehicle as it is a people and cargo mover — and even brings the thrills of a muscle car if you opt for the Hemi V-8. The exterior has a toned-down masculinity, while the interior is more luxurious than its price — though second-row entertainment features may mean never hearing about your kids' day at school. Read Varela's review.

2014 Dodge Durango Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | February 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

Chrysler Extends Fuel-Tank Warranty on 2006 V-8 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Magnum

Hemi_2006

Following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler will extend fuel-tank warranties on 153,817 V-8 cars from the 2006 model year. The extension applies 5.7- and 6.1-liter versions of the Chrysler 300 and its Dodge Charger sibling, plus the now-defunct Dodge Magnum wagon. Dodge, like Ram and Jeep, is one of Chrysler's brands. After receiving hundreds of reports that after refueling the V-8s in all three cars may stall at low speeds or when stopped, NHTSA opened the investigation. 

2013 Chrysler 300: Family Review Checklist

The agency found that when you put in higher-ethanol gas, a malfunctioning shut-off float in the cars' 19-gallon fuel tanks could swell into a stuck-open position and allow fuel to enter what's called a "purge line," NHTSA said via the Detroit News. That, in turn, could make the cars stall shortly after you refuel. You can restart the car after it stalls, and NHTSA said the problem never represented a serious safety threat. Chrysler addressed the conditions with a new fuel shut-off valve that's more resistant to changing shape, spokesman Eric Mayne told us. NHTSA deemed the solution adequate, the Detroit News said. The agency closed the investigation today, and Chrysler said it will extend fuel-tank warranties on the vehicles involved to a lifetime provision.

Our friends at the Detroit News have more; read it here.

By Kelsey Mays | February 14, 2014 | Comments (16)

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