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Old 11th February 2016, 12:33   #1
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Default Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi V8 - My Red Bull is home


This is my very first post on the Team BHP forum, thanks to admin and mods for the permission to allow creating an account and post. The access came after many failed attempts .

I have been a fan of Team BHP for quite some time now and it’s an excellent source of information on the Car scene in India. Though the ownership review here is not related to Cars available in India, I really wanted to share my experience of owning a fiery V8.

I have been blessed and had the privilege of fulfilling a childhood dream of owning a powerful American muscle car. Like every boy I have been a fan of cars from very young age, I remember my mom telling me that whenever she goes to get the milk (fresh from the Doodhwala) I would tag along with her and rub my hands around the white ambassador parked outside the collector’s office. In those years (1980’s) it was such a privilege not to be missed.

I bought my first car a Hyundai i10 Magna in 2009 as we were expecting our first child and I was of the clear opinion that my child won’t travel on a bike. I moved to Dubai 5 years back and by God’s grace owned a Nissan Altima (known as Teana in India) for close to three years and really loved it. It was a value for money car and powerful with 170 horses. But deep inside always wanted to own a powerful SUV as had to compromise on my first purchase due to budget constraints in the initial years and ended up buying the Altima.

Cars considered:

Finally made up my mood and set up a budget (180k AED) and started zeroing in on the cars I would like to purchase. Top on the list was Land Cruiser Prado, followed closely by Ford Explorer. Other American cars was not on the list either coz of high maintenance or the price (value for money).
Earlier I was just following my head to go for a low maintenance car with a good resale value, but soon realized that if the brain rules the joy will be missing.

Prado have some serious stability issues, have a very high body roll and feels like it will roll over if you take a sharp curve, plus the wind noise is too much. Similar feedback from a friend who recently bought it, ruled it out of the picture.

Ford explorer was a good option, but the stock clearance and discounts were over by the time I made up my mood to purchase.

Finally after deliberating for few months, I thought forget it and stopped the search for a new car. And then came an email from the dealer with offer on Dodge which I earlier test driven and obviously loved it, but was out of my budget (Dodge Durango Citadel 200K AED). The offer gave me a 20k AED discount and there you go. To compliment it a real good financial jugaad worked out and I settled with a Dodge Durango 5.7L V8 Hemi engine with the Limited trim. It’s fully loaded minus the Blind spot, 20” wheels and Adaptive cruise control, which are good to have but are not a deal breaker.
I always wanted a V8 as if I needed to buy a V6 I would have waited and opted for Ford Explorer.

And then we brought our Red Bull home. As it’s a HEMI and American car I was serious on some mods to the Truck, though dealer approved and legal mods. Like a Mopar Cold Air Intake and Borla Cat Back Exhaust system to enhance that aggressive growl of the HEMI by manifolds.

Initial Review:


I am just totally in love with the truck, the muscular exterior, rugged looks and the stance of the truck is amazing. It has an excellent road presence and others happily give way to me on the highways . The cross hair shaped chrome grills in the front really add character to the Truck. And the full running race track LED tail lamp, 192 individual LEDs are blended to form one seamless ribbon of glowing red light adds uniqueness. Cargo and towing capacity (3.3 Tons) is best in the class.

The best things in spite of being so big and heavy then its other class competitors, the 50-50 weight distribution makes the handling unbelievably smooth and stable. In-fact I find it better than my previous sedan car. They have scored big time here when compared to the competition.

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The interior of the vehicle beats hands down to any BMW or Mercedes cars, it’s really amazing and very practical. I have personally opted for Black Leather interiors with Deep Cherry Red, which gives an awesome feel inside the Truck. However being black its gets dirty and feels a little lack of space. Plus I got a 50% window tinting so with all the black there is a perceived feeling of lack of room in the cabin. Many of my frens commented on that, but that’s not the case in reality.

I personally love the center console 8” touch screen control panel, which is very functional and practical with LED cabin lighting.

It has Three-zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) allows the driver and passenger to select and maintain their ideal comfort level. However the problem is if the temperature is too cold and you increase the temperature it starts blowing hot air to quickly adjust the temperature in the cabin, which I really hate.

The voice commands are perfect and it actually understands the desi accent and follows the command with 90% success rate. Love the paddle shifters on the steering wheel to switch to manual Tip Tronic mode and is very responsive.

The Durango has a new 8 speed automatic transmission with an electronic rotary shifter, instead of the conventional stick shift, just like the RR Evoque. Initially I did not like it as I would prefer to rest my hand on it while driving. Now am used to it and is not a big miss.

All your vehicle controls are available in one central location with added hardware keys for climate and volume. The cluster display and Vehicle Information Centre is again a full color 7” TFT screen which is programmable and you can customize it. Like for e.g. you can switch between normal speedo to digital like one in Honda Civic, really cool and neat.

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Stock Air Intake

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Mopar Cold Air Intake, getting installed.

Design highlights

• 18-inch polished aluminum wheels with mineral gray pockets
• Power "6x9-inch" heated power exterior mirrors with supplemental signals
• Auto-dimming driver’s side mirror
• LED daytime running lamps
• Bright front door scuff pads and cargo area scuff pads
• Bright exhaust tip
• Premium Capri leather-trimmed seats
• Eight-way power driver’s seat with four-way power lumbar adjust and memory feature
• Six-way power front passenger seat with four-way power lumbar adjust
• Leather-wrapped steering wheel
• Leather-wrapped shift knob
• Auto-dimming rearview mirror with microphone

Technology highlights

• Remote Start System
• Keyless Enter 'n Go™
• Memory system for on power driver’s seat, exterior mirrors and radio presets
• Uconnect® 8.4A System with 8.4-inch touchscreen and integrated Voice Command with Bluetooth®
• Bluetooth® Streaming Audio
• Dual remote USB charging ports
• 115-volt auxiliary power outlet
• Alpine premium sound system
• Dual-screen rear 9” Blu Ray and DVD entertainment system
• Tire pressure monitoring sensors

Performance Highlights

• 5.7L HEMI® V8 petrol engine with fuel saver technology and eight-speed automatic transmission
• 370 HP (266 KW) | 369 LB-FT (527 NM) OF TORQUE
• All-Wheel-Drive (AWD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) traction control
• ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System+
• ParkView® Rear Back Up Camera
• Multi-Displacement System (MDS) - Four-cylinder mode
• Dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT)
• Dual ignition
• Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
• Interactive Decel Fuel Shut-off – turns off the flow of fuel during deceleration, increasing the length of time the engine can operate without the need for more fuel
• Variable valve timing
• Cylinder deactivation feature (runs on 4 cylinder in cruise)

Safety and Security Highlights

• Advanced multistage driver and front passenger airbags
• Supplemental side-curtain airbags
• Supplemental front seat-mounted side airbags
• Driver’s side knee blocker airbag
• Active front head restraints
• The Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System

When it comes to performance nothing can match a 5.7L HEMI, you can feel yourself being pushed back in the seat when you accelerate. And surprisingly thanks to the cylinder deactivation feature (when running in Eco mode) it actually gives an impressive average of 8-10 Kmpl.


• VKool 50% window tinting
• Diamond Brite paint and interior protection (Excellent, highly recommended)
• HEMI 5.7L V8 Chrome Emblem in the rear
• Hemi Logo chrome tire Valve caps
• MGP Dodge logo Red gloss caliper covers
MGP® - Dodge Durango 2014 Caliper Covers with Dodge Engraving


• Mopar OEM Cold Air Intake System Mopar Performance 77070041, Mopar Performance Cold Air Intake Systems - Jeep | Mopar Performance
• Borla Cat Back Exhuast . It’s my most loved mod. Durango 2011-2015 Cat-Back Exhaust part # 140449

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• Am currently considering an engine tuning mod from Hemifever tuning, however this will void my warranty for the drive train so not really keen on it. But to get the best out of other mods this is the must. All these three will take the Horse power figure to well over 400 horses. Dodge, Jeep & Chrysler Tuning | Jeep Chip | Dodge Programmer & More

The Good and the Bad bit:

Well when you drive a ride like this everything you find is only good. For me V8 Hemi was enough to buy the Truck, everything else is just a bonus for me. So I find everything to be really good and in love with the Truck.
There is a couple of things which I prefer should be better, one is the braking as the Truck is really heavy it take a little longer to stop more powerful or bigger discs would have been better. Another similar is the Truck moves in with the foot parking brake on my previous sedan won’t move if the parking brake is on. But with Durango you don’t even realize it’s on unless the system starts beeping. Later I realized I was not pushing the pedal hard enough, this is sorted out now.

Another thing I hate is the side rear view mirrors, which are actually a planar mirrors unlike the concave mirrors in all other Trucks. This really limits your field of view and blind spot check becomes a challenge. I already had two close shaves, while changing the lanes. This is actually coz of US regulation of putting planar mirrors. I spent some 200 Rs and bought a couple of small circular plastic blind spot mirrors and it completely solved the problem. Cheaper than the Blind Spot technology kit after all :P. Also getting inside the Truck is a little difficult as coz of sports seat edges are higher so your head hit the roof while climbing and am not a tall guy. To fix this am getting a side running/stepping board, which is insanely expensive (~70k INR).

And here is the video I made for the Borla exhaust, watch it with your woofers on and you will love it. Beats the roar of a Jaguar F Type or a Ferrari hands down. The Borla and Durango HEMI V8 combination is simply amazing and am not able to hear the same quality roar from any other vehicle.
Guess this is enough for now guys. Hope you enjoy reading the post, will update this as and when more thing happens.


Last edited by aah78 : 11th February 2016 at 19:24. Reason: Pictures fixed.
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Old 11th February 2016, 15:05   #2
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Default re: Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi V8 - My Red Bull is home

Congratulations for the truck. And thats one sweet sounding exhaust,was hooked up to the video for the last 30 minutes listening to just the exhaust note. Just for my info and the typical mango man question-Kitna deti Hai .
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Old 11th February 2016, 15:43   #3
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Default re: Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi V8 - My Red Bull is home

Ha ha ha!! Rakesh the beast has a very efficient cylinder deactivation technology. So while the vehicle is cruising it only runs on 4 cylinders (eco mode). Also it cuts the fuel supply to the engine when you decelerate. I end up getting a surprising 8-10 kmpl. Same as many of my V6 owner frens.

Though now I dont use the eco mode. As fuel is quite cheap here 98 Octane @ 1.58 aed per liter.

And trust me the Borla sounds much better in person. :P

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Old 11th February 2016, 16:19   #4
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Default re: Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi V8 - My Red Bull is home

Congratulations on your car!
And welcome to the forum!

We don't get to see reviews of cars from abroad very frequently, so thanks for taking time out in writing one and making us drool on the power of the machine!

Originally Posted by cybeh View Post
I bought my first car a Hyundai i10 Magna in 2009 as we were expecting our first child and I was of the clear opinion that my child won’t travel on a bike.
I can sympathize on this one mate, I bought my Alto in a hurry for the very same reason running on my head.

So, you seem to have bought your first car out of necessity, and then moved on to a V8 to satisfy the cravings? Interesting!
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Old 11th February 2016, 16:22   #5
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Default re: Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi V8 - My Red Bull is home

That's one awesome truck inside out. Congratulations Cybeh. The grill is unique indeed. I couldn't find the video though.
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Old 11th February 2016, 17:36   #6
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Default re: Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi V8 - My Red Bull is home

Originally Posted by Enobarbus View Post
That's one awesome truck inside out. Congratulations Cybeh. The grill is unique indeed. I couldn't find the video though.
Thanks dear. The video is right there in the post scroll to the end. Its a youtube link.

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