2014 Toyota 4Runner or Dodge Durago

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Apr 18, 2011
New Jersey, USA
I narrowed down my search for a new vehicle to these two:
Toyota 4Runner Limited
Dodge Durango Citadel

What I plan on using the vehicles for:
* Haul *stuff* in the trunk and on top of the vehicle (fire wood, general boxes, tree branches, etc..)
* Bicycles, skis, hockey equipment x2
* Towing only 1,000 lbs - tow hitch often used for bicycles x4
* Light off roading (nothing crazy, just muddy dirt/gravel roads on occasion)
* The occasional tail gate
* Snow, snow, and more snow

I understand the 4Runner is body-on-frame (truck) and the Durango is uni-body construction. And understand the 4Runner Limited is using a Torsen AWD system which is highly appealing over the Haldex system, I am not sure what the Durango is using. Both test drove very well and had very different handing characteristics as expected. I can list pros and cons for both, for example the Durango uses the Audi 7-speed transmission where as the Toyota is using only a 5-speed which gives it lower fuel mileage on the highway 24mpg vs 21mpg.

I am looking for feedback to current and past drivers/owners. I understand the 4Runner has outstanding reliability, but what about the Dodge? The newer design appears to be on the relative recent side so I am concerned about the past spotty history from the older models the Durango has had. Looking for opinions between the two as a family hauler for an active family.

The significant other recently purchased the 2014 Honda Pilot EX and it has proven to be a major disappointment when not on dry pavement. It truly is a dressed up front-wheel drive only mini-van that looks like an SUV. The Haldex AWD in the Pilot engages way too late in loss of traction for it to be useful, it is truly a delayed-reactionary system with not much power behind the rear wheels.
I would choose the 4Runner, reliability is #1 in my book. I like the looks of the Durango though. But an Audi tranny? It wont be long before they start having issues Im sure.
Both can do what you describe easily. Both are pretty reliable.

But assuming there isn't a major price difference or that is not a major factor, I'd be getting a 4Runner and the Durango wouldn't even be in the running.

The 4Runner, despite it's increasingly cartoonish new-Toyota appearance, is a true body on frame SUV. Real t-case, real frame, pretty off road capable out of the box. If I am going to buy a sport utility vehicle, it will be an off road capable utility vehicle, not a large aggressive mommy wagon that is neither sporting in any form or utilitarian.
IDK about the late model T4R but my 97 T4R, SR5 has over 250K and I still take it off road, when the conditions and situations permit. I've owned it since new. The 3rd Gen 97, T4R, SR5, made in Japan, just keeps on truckin.....
Originally Posted By: 147_Grain
Go for the higher quality of the 4-Runner.

^^ This. There is a reason Chrysler products (including Dodge) score at the bottom of the vast majority of reliability and dependability surveys.

Also there will be no more Durango after 2016 so parts may be hard to come by.


Not to mention should you not like it, the resale should be a lot better on a Toyota vs a Dodge.
Personally, I like the Durango better. The ZF 8-speed transmission is state of the art, with incredibly smooth shifts and wide gear spacing from lowest to highest gear.
We just went through this.
We bought a 14 durango and here's why;
If you compare it right down to what you get for your money, it's not even close. The durango wins hands down. Much better options and tech for the money. The 4 runner and actually most of toyota is about 5 years behind on tech.
Now if you are talking strictly reliability, sure I agree 4 runner hands down. But I do think dodge has improved a lot recently. The durango is basically the same chassis as the Mercedes GL. Granted, I'm sure dodge used cheaper bolt ons than Mercedes.
Dodge has better warranty, and you can buy lifetime bumper to bumper warranty for $2315. The 8 sp is a great trans so far, but time will tell.
The cargo room is better on the durango. The durango has better passenger room.
Now IMO I think the dodge interior is much much better than the Toyotas. I think the suspension is also way better on the durango.

But if off roading where any slight ground clearance issues come about, the durango will catch the front valance. I'll go on gravel roads, but a even slightly rutted dirt road I'll skip.

So there are some facts and some of my opinions.

If a street driver with mild gravel roads are it, along with better bang for your buck, I'd go dodge.
If more hardcore off-roading and almost given reliability, and not so much worried about daily driving manners or comfort, I'd go 4 runner.
Dodge has said that the durango is scheduled for a full make over in 2017. It should be around for awhile.
Lol. look at the date for that article above. It was posted on Jun 5th 2012. The Dodge brand is going to be around for alot longer then 2016.
I'm a former ASE Master Tech. I still have lots of friends and acquaintances in the consumer car repair business.

I don't know of any of them that would choose a Dodge over a Toyota. Especially one that is legendarily reliable, like the 4Runner.

If you work on other peoples cars for a living, the last thing you want to have to do, is work on your own vehicles for free.
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