Review: The Magical Dodge Durango Citadel

At first sight, I was confident that the 2015 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD was simply black, but the paperwork stated that it was Black Forest Green Pearl. How rich in color can it be? Based on the wording, it appeared that green could be the dominant color. I made it my mission on this test drive to take photos that captured the true color of this luxury “black” SUV. The task consumed me.

Images of the sophisticated seven-seater, featuring a powerful 3.6 liter V6 24-Valve VVT engine, proved to be evasive. My skepticism fueled a pre-drive routine where I would creep up to the four-door SUV and slowly tilt my head this way and that way. I saw flashes of green. I think. I recruited family and friends to do the same. No firm answers. We were a hilarious bunch with our serious faces.

Now back to reality.
Before I’m ready to hit the road I usually adjust the seating, but the eight-way driver’s seat with memory settings and lumbar support, was just right. My second-row seat passengers, who joined me later in my test drive, also enjoyed the Lux leather-trimmed bucket seating while they took advantage of the video entertainment. Power outlets were conveniently located on the inside shoulder of the front seats. They compared the ride to luxury vehicles, not realizing its status as Durango’s luxury option, reminiscent of Mercedes engineering or better.Convenience and comfort reign supreme in this ride, from the intuitive touchscreen display, to the air condition with three-zone automatic temperature control, to illuminated cup holders and glove box. The 60-40 fold and tumble seat made the roomy interior more flexible for storage. If the weather conditions had been at either extreme, I could have taken advantage of the heated front seats and steering wheel or ventilated front seats and rain sensing windshield wipers.

 I was pleasantly surprised by the bug deflector screen integrated into the power sunroof, and decided that I would gladly tip the car wash service to take extra care in cleaning it.

The adaptive cruise control and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, boasting up to eight speeds, made for a smooth ride in the park or on the highways. With the cruise control, I could use my thumb to adjust the beeping alerts based on my distance from vehicles around me. At one point, I needed to swerve to avoid something on the ground while on the highway. The Citadel rocked side to side a couple of times, but stabilized almost immediately.

Navigating the touchscreen display was so easy, down to reading the font of the words, but the remote fold button for the third-row seat headrests was unexpected. At the touch of this button, the headrests fold for improved visibility when backing up. But the fold was more of a snap. Exclamation point. It’s good to know that this button is at the front of the vehicle on the touchscreen display where the driver should have all control.

I digress… After nearly 150 photos, I am comfortable saying the color is Black Forest Green. So this just leaves a question about the color “pearl”…

The 2015 Dodge Durango Citadel base price: $43,595. Combined city/highway MPG: 19.