The Dodge Ball!

So I’ve told you I am in the market for a new SUV for my family. I am still even toying with the idea of the PERFECT minivan. In my last post, I described some of the features that I’m looking for in my next vehicle.
The only logical thing to do next is to test these requirements out in the real world. Sure a test drive at the dealership is great, but I need to see how a vehicle stands up to my family of 6. I need to make sure the kids can comfortably get in and out of the third row. Not to mention that third row needs to be roomy! My kids are growing by leaps and bounds. From age 1 to age 16, my next car needs to be really versatile.
Since I’ve also been toying with the idea of buying used, I tried out a 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel. I’ll have to admit, I’m quite smitten!!
I know you may be thinking, a 3 year old car!? No way. Well this car only had 19k miles on it and was FULLY loaded. It actually had everything on my list of must haves which is quite impressive. So for the sake of trying something different I decided to go with my gut and see how this baby performed.
We took this midsize SUV to the Eastern Shore. The kids wanted to go to the beach, so we all hopped in…..OK…not necessarily hopped. My husband packed the truck up, keeping in mind that we’d need at least one of the third row seats folded down to pack the cooler and beach bags. The seats have similar functionality like our Nissan Pathfinder, meaning they were easy to fold flat manually.
Our drive along the eastern shore was beautiful. The trip was even more enjoyable because the kids were all being entertained and not asking how much longer. My middle two were enjoying the headrest DVD system that allowed them to either watch the same movie simultaneously or if they wanted they could utilize the HDMI port to watch different shows or play games. The baby was sleep in the back and my oldest had the third row to herself and played on her cell the entire trip. My husband even caught a few Zzzz’s in the front! He mentioned that his knees didn’t feel cramped against the glove compartment box.
We used the navigation to get us to beach, and it helped that not only did it display on the large 8.4” touch screen infotainment center, but it also showed the navigation on the dash.
This model came with a lot of other features including tri-climate control heating and cooling, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
While I loved it all, there were a few things I missed having. The biggest miss was my birds eye view camera when parking. Once you get used to that type of technology, it’s hard to function any other way. I know it sounds crazy, but I felt super confident parking in my Pathfinder. I looked a bit and didn’t see this feature in any newer models.
The gas mileage was pretty good on our trip. We went about 305 miles round trip and didn’t even reach half tank. I was super impressed with that. I did notice that city mileage isn’t as good with an estimated average 18 mpg vs it’s 25 mpg highway.
Overall, I’m impressed. I really like the way it drives and I LOVE how I look behind the wheel. I had a ball in this SUV!

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