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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Thought I'd start a new thread to share my (and wife's) thoughts about our drives yesterday in both the '16 Pilot and '15 Durango

Pilot:

We were looking to drive a Touring (second from the "top of the line) but they did not have on in stock, so we drove the EX-L.

The interior is fine; standard Honda fare. We liked the center bin between the seats, but it is not an arm rest - instead each front seat has a thin ratcheting arm rest. There are *many* buttons on the steering wheel to control various functions, to the point where I think we'd need to be looking down to see what we're pressing. Maybe, maybe not. The standard leather seating surfaces were fairly soft, unlike the hard plastic trim that covered both the doors and third row arm rests. I mean, hard.

The new center panel - a horror show. I can't believe they put this in the car. There are no knobs, only a highly reflective glossy surface. So, for example, to turn the volume on the radio up, you drag your finger up. It is more of a fingerprint magnet than any mobile phone I've ever used, and is far less intuitive than the much-maligned idrive in my BMW. A near deal-breaker for both of us. Oh - there is only a digital speedometer display for the driver.

The driving experience is competent. The engine is sufficient and makes nice noises. The steering is light and mostly non-communicative. The brakes are responsive. The suspension is adequate, but transmits more road imperfections into the cabin - especially the second row - than expected. Wind noise at highway speed is noticeable, but the Touring and Elite have laminated windows that should reduce it.

Honda claims three can fit in the third row, I'm not buying what they're selling.

The exterior design is basic, intended to offend the fewest buyers possible, and makes the vehicle nearly indistinguishable from a CRV or Odyssey.

Durango:

We drove an SXT and Limited with Rallye packages, and an R/T with the Blacktop package.

We found the interior to be very comfortable. For the size of the center tunnel and with a rotary shifter it seems like there should be even more storage space. We found we prefer all leather surfaces over the suede inserts of the SXT with Rallye package. The Rallye package - which I prefer, along with the blacktop - seem to require a black interior, resulting in a bit of a sober, business-like experience. It would be nice if they could have broken up the dash a bit more with some contrasting colors and textures. The R/T contrast stitching really helps break it up a bit (and I'm sure the Redline would).

Unlike the Honda center screen, we found the Dodge version to be very well implemented. It's at a better angle with a matte finish, so no glare, no fingerprints. The menu quickly responds to touch, and the dedicated, simple controls for radio and HVAC are as they should be. The driver's gauge cluster is its equal - just super.

The driving experience in the vehicles equipped with V6, standard suspension, and 20" rims was far better than I ever expected. Quiet, confident, responsive while muting most road imperfections. Just a super set-up. The six cylinder with the 8 speed moves the D along quite smartly. Negligible wind noise at 65MPH.

The driving experience in the R/T was... surprising. The V8 and exhaust makes great noises, but didn't seem *that* much "faster" than the V6 - I'm probably way off base on this.

As for the suspension, I was shocked to find that I didn't like it, as it felt somewhat nervous - to me - over minor road imperfections that the standard suspension did not transmit to the cabin. As a reminder, I drive a 530xi, so I prefer a firm, "sporty" ride. Maybe it was just this one R/T, but unfortunately - I was pretty into it - the suspension seems like it's not for us.

The exterior design is clean, yet interesting. While it certainly reflects the Dodge corporate design, it doesn't look like other vehicles in their product line. It looks like a Durango.

All in all, the Durango is the next vehicle for us. After driving an '88 Taurus SHO, I swore I'd never buy another American-made vehicle, but here we are.

We could go with either the six or eight cylinder engine - seems to be a difference of about $12 per tank fill, which we can swing. We'd like the Limited with Blacktop or Rallye along with the Beats premium group - I'd really prefer a Citadel for the vented seats, but it doesn't seem to be available with the blacktop or rallye packs.

Opinions are like you-know-whats; everyone's got one. None of the above are intended to offend anyone who feels differently; it's all good!

Apologies in advance for the lengthy post - no one made you read it :p
 

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Great, thanks for the write-up. Love to hear any and all real world comparisons from real people.

Now, I won't drive a Pilot because I'm 100% on a Durango if I ever do pull the trigger, so I ask you... Are these 2 vehicles in the same class, in your opinion? Not 'officially', of course, but in your opinion. Are they a fair comparison to make?

Here's the thing about the 3.6 vs. the 5.7... They may have a similar initial seat feel (not to me though), but the HEMI has a ton of mods and upgrades available that turn it into an all out beast. The performance upgrade edge for the V8 is undeniable.
 

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TOLD YA! lol

Welcome to the family.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great, thanks for the write-up. Love to hear any and all real world comparisons from real people.

Are these 2 vehicles in the same class, in your opinion? Not 'officially', of course, but in your opinion. Are they a fair comparison to make?

Here's the thing about the 3.6 vs. the 5.7... They may have a similar initial seat feel (not to me though), but the HEMI has a ton of mods and upgrades available that turn it into an all out beast. The performance upgrade edge for the V8 is undeniable.
I believe they are a fair comparison to make from the point of view that they have similar transmissions (at least in the Pilot Touring and Elite), similar seating and cargo capcity, and similar engines (V6). To my wife and I - and she's driven two Accords, and my first manual tranny was an '88 Honda Accord coupe - the overall Durango package is superior to the Pilot.

Hemi mods you say? I wish you hadn't. :thumbsup:
 

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great post. I've never driven the pentastar version of the durango but I know that engine was quite quick in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and that was on the 5speed transmission. The vented seats are great and I'm very glad I have them on hot days. Interesting points about the R/T suspension. I know it's valved stiffer and has slightly less travel so I assume that's where the feedback is coming from. Hard to compare it to BMW group suspension as they seem to get it right with a nice flat firm planted ride without a lot of jitters or uneasiness. Good luck with your decision.
 

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The driving experience in the vehicles equipped with V6, standard suspension, and 20" rims was far better than I ever expected.
Totally agree. I rented a Limited yesterday for a long-term test drive (I'll have it through the weekend) and have, coincidentally, five family members visiting this weekend. We'll have my wife and I, three adult children (two 300+lbs), a 10 year old and a 3 year old) so I'll be able to report back on my impressions of the D as a family-truckster as well as a daily driver.

As for the suspension, I was shocked to find that I didn't like it, as it felt somewhat nervous - to me - over minor road imperfections that the standard suspension did not transmit to the cabin.
I drove an R/T back to back with a Limited and to me the R/T seemed to be a lot tighter, maybe even too tight. Do you mean the R/T was nervous as compared to the standard? I noticed that this Limited, which has 18" rims, handles surprising well given it's size and weight, but it does feel a bit wiggly which I am attributing to the taller, and presumably less-stiff, sidewalls

...I swore I'd never buy another American-made vehicle...
Yeah. Me too. I am VERY impressed overall with Dodge, well really most most American cars these days.

Apologies in advance for the lengthy post - no one made you read it :p
No apologies needed. Great post!
 

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I think the '15 still has break-in mode on the 5.7L.

After some number of miles (300?) it is set free.. so if your demo had less than 300 miles it might not have felt like it will later..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I drove an R/T back to back with a Limited and to me the R/T seemed to be a lot tighter, maybe even too tight. Do you mean the R/T was nervous as compared to the standard? I noticed that this Limited, which has 18" rims, handles surprising well given it's size and weight, but it does feel a bit wiggly which I am attributing to the taller, and presumably less-stiff, sidewalls

Yeah. Me too. I am VERY impressed overall with Dodge, well really most most American cars these days.
Yes, to me the R/T suspension was a bit nervous over small, repeated road imperfections, such as on the highway where the asphalt isn't laid smoothly.

And tomk - a break-in mode?! Wow, didn't know such a thing existed!
 

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V6 has 3.45 rear vs the Hemi's 3.09 so off the line they don't feel much different or around town driving.
On the highway where the Hemi can stretch its legs is where it shines.
That and towing.
 

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I think the '15 still has break-in mode on the 5.7L.

After some number of miles (300?) it is set free.. so if your demo had less than 300 miles it might not have felt like it will later..
Elaborate please?
 

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I've never heard of any "break-in" mode, and have been on several Hemi forums. It has toque management -- which doesn't disappear over time. The MPG definitely increases after 5000+ miles, but that's typically the case with any new ride. The Hemi is not going to unleash an additional 30 HP after 300 mi.

Thanks for the review OP. C&D recently tested a Pilot 0-60 in 6.1s -- which would put it well ahead of the Hemi D! So, it's not really that fast? They must have had a factory-freak.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I've never heard of any "break-in" mode, and have been on several Hemi forums. It has toque management -- which doesn't disappear over time. The MPG definitely increases after 5000+ miles, but that's typically the case with any new ride. The Hemi is not going to unleash an additional 30 HP after 300 mi.

Thanks for the review OP. C&D recently tested a Pilot 0-60 in 6.1s -- which would put it well ahead of the Hemi D! So, it's not really that fast? They must have had a factory-freak.
The Pilot engine felt quite nice, but to my dyno butt not super torquey (a new word?). Could it be faster 0-60? Sure, I suppose... Honda does build excellent engines. As we were driving with the respective Honda and Dodge sales folks we were reluctant to really stand on either (the accelerator, not the salesperson) - though the Dodge sales guy was encouraging me to do so.
 

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Elaborate please?
My '07 definitely woke up after 300 miles.. when I was test driving I didn't feel a lot of difference between the 4.7 and the 5.7, but after the first week there was a definite difference..

On the various Hemi forums people seem to think the mode either definitely does or definitely does not exist.. my salesguy says in his experience it definitely does..
 

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Keep in mind that the tranny learns/adapts to your driving habits as well from day 1, so it will change the way the truck responds over time
 

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Keep in mind that the tranny learns/adapts to your driving habits as well from day 1, so it will change the way the truck responds over time
also true!
 

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I agree with the other members that posted in here, the Hemi definitely has major reduction in HP during breakin. Also, adding a Tune will wake up the trans and engine. there is some torque management that can be eliminated with a good tune.


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I was originally looking at the V6. Then I made the mistake of driving the R/T. The MPG penalty is almost negligible and the Hemi gives you that sweet exhaust tone, more towing capacity should you ever need it, and, something I don't think you mentioned, a real 4WD system vs the AWD system with the V6.
 

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I agree with the other members that posted in here, the Hemi definitely has major reduction in HP during breakin. Also, adding a Tune will wake up the trans and engine. there is some torque management that can be eliminated with a good tune.


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That's a bit miss conceiving though since their isn't a tune for the 15's yet.

Also the OP mentioned no vented seats in the R/T i Bellerive if you get the napa pkg the seats are vented correct?

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