We’re past the two-month mark, and this Durango has yet to be stolen. We have, however, had our first two tiny warranty issues. The left rear seat belt refused to release a tether we’ve used to latch our dog, Snickers, into hundreds of press cars. A new latch was ordered and installed, and my tether was safely extracted from the defective one. Our right rear outboard taillight lens somehow became foggy. Both parts were ordered and arrived the next day. Installation was estimated to take an hour, but 20 minutes in I was notified it would be two hours or more, and I was offered a shuttle ride back to my office. When completed, the dealer shuttled me back to pick up my washed and vacuumed Durango 4. #SatisfiedCustomer.
Another anomaly: on the “fall back” time-change night, we left a party at 11 p.m. and noticed the clock reading 12 (the spring-forward time). By the next morning, it had correctly fallen back to the appropriate time. We’ll try to observe its behavior around the spring time change.
Our Durango R/T racked up its first road trip over Thanksgiving. Highlights included a stop on Kentucky’s bourbon trail at the Wild Turkey distillery, dinner at the Markus family homestead outside Memphis, Tennessee, and touring Civil War battlefield sites in historic Vicksburg, Mississippi. Snickers liked looking out the windows from her cage, secured to the cargo area hooks while carrying two or four adults, and she LOVED riding on the laps of her 11-year-old twin cousins’ in the third row while seven of us comfortably toured Vicksburg. In total we logged 2,173 miles in 37.6 hours, averaging 57.8 mph overall at a much improved 18.9 mpg—a figure that the onboard computer optimistically self-reported at 20.6 mpg. Our overall average is up to 16.9 mpg.
Other trip observations: With subfreezing temperatures outside, a 70-degree interior setting left our feet cold but 72 kept them warm without frying our upper bodies. I appreciate that FCA offers a choice of regular or adaptive cruise control so that when snow obscures the radar sensor, normal cruise still works. I also appreciate having four following distances. The closest is usually ideal, but the four-bar distance feels right for following police cars, and toggling down from four bars to one gradually slows the vehicle for a rolling roadblock instead of roaring up to it and braking. The nav screen conveniently displays services available at upcoming exits and shows the current speed limit with a black or white background when traveling at or below it, or a red background when you’re above it. A recommendation: color the background yellow within 10 mph above the limit. One last observation: two months and 5,000 miles in, I still haven’t learned that the power-tailgate switch is on the side of the cargo hold (nearly everybody else seems to put it on the gate). Maybe by next update …