2017 Dodge Durango GT Blacktop

The 2017 Dodge Durango GT Blacktop just might be the best looking SUV from traditional American brands.

The $600 Blacktop package is a good value, adding special blacked-out trim and heated outside mirrors along with gorgeous 20-inch gloss black wheels. Our review vehicle is the mid-equipped GT model with all-wheel drive.

It’s been about six years since a Durango redesign, but Dodge has consistently refreshed the interior. Choose the $2,400 premium group to add 506-watt BeatsAudio and large screen navigation with Dodge’s excellent Uconnect system.

A rotary selector links with the 8-speed automatic. Electronic driver aids like blind spot and cross traffic alert are optional. My only interior complaint is poor placement of the memory settings button that I kept hitting with my knee.

Roomy row two has optional captain’s chairs. The nicely integrated Blu-ray video system with many inputs and power points is a $2,000 option. Access to an adult-sized row three is good. Because row two seats tumble forward, even with row three in use there is still usable cargo space. Small cubbies are found on the sides and a deep compartment is under the floor.

The base 3.0-liter V6 has 290 horsepower, not much for such a heavy vehicle. Choose the optional V8 for towing.

The Durango drives much smaller than it is. With good road feel and a quiet ride, long trips will be a snap.

So, for the 2017 Dodge Durango GT Blacktop, I say thumbs up to the roomy interior, quiet comfort and great styling; thumbs down to the poor placement of the memory settings button.

I averaged about 20 miles per gallon. The as-tested sticker price is $49,360.



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