2020 Chevrolet Tahoe vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Tahoe are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Dodge Durango doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

Both the Tahoe and Durango have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Tahoe has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Durango’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Tahoe are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Durango doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Tahoe has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Durango doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Tahoe and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Tahoe is safer than the Dodge Durango:

Tahoe

Durango

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

33%

34%

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/244 lbs.

427/350 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Tahoe is safer than the Dodge Durango:

Tahoe

Durango

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

23

28

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

107 G’s

112 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

26 G’s

33 G’s

Hip Force

208 lbs.

542 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Tahoe’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and 40,000 miles longer than the Durango’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/60,000).

There are over 25 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Tahoe’s warranty.

Reliability

The Tahoe has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Durango doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Tahoe’s reliability 31 points higher than the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tahoe first among large SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Durango isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 8th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

Engine

The Tahoe has more powerful engines than the Durango:

Horsepower

Torque

Tahoe 5.3 V8

355 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Tahoe 6.2 V8

420 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Durango 3.6 DOHC V6

293 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3 V8 is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6:

Tahoe

Durango

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

86.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Tahoe RWD with its standard V8 gets better fuel mileage than the Durango RWD V8 (15 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).

The Tahoe has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Durango (26 vs. 24.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Tahoe EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Durango.

Brakes and Stopping

The Tahoe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Durango V6 are solid, not vented.

The Tahoe stops much shorter than the Durango:

Tahoe

Durango

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Tahoe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Durango (285/45R22 vs. 265/60R18).

The Tahoe’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Durango’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tahoe offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Durango’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The Chevrolet Tahoe’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Dodge Durango only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Tahoe has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Durango doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Tahoe has a standard full size spare so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare costs extra on the Durango Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Tahoe offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Tahoe is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Tahoe Premier 4x4 handles at .79 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Tahoe LT executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (27.9 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Tahoe’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Durango’s (39 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The front grille of the Tahoe uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Durango doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Tahoe Premier 4x4 is quieter than the Durango GT 4x4:

Tahoe

Durango

Full-Throttle

71 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

The Tahoe offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Durango can only carry up to 7.

The Tahoe has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 5 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front hip room, 6.3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom, 4.8 inches more rear hip room, 7.4 inches more rear shoulder room, .3 inches more third row headroom, 6.9 inches more third row hip room and 12.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

Cargo Capacity

The Tahoe’s cargo area provides more volume than the Durango.

Tahoe

Durango

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

43.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

85.1 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Tahoe’s optional second and third row seats (not available on LS), to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Tahoe’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Durango’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Tahoe’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Durango doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Payload and Towing

The Tahoe’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Durango’s (6400 vs. 6200 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Durango is only 7400 pounds. The Tahoe offers up to a 8600 lbs. towing capacity.

The Tahoe has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Durango (1670 vs. 1380 lbs.).

The Tahoe has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Durango (1720 vs. 1460 lbs.).

Ergonomics

The Tahoe Premier offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Durango doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Tahoe’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Durango’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Tahoe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tahoe will cost $620 to $1935 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tahoe is less expensive to operate than the Durango because typical repairs cost much less on the Tahoe than the Durango, including $21 less for front brake pads, $160 less for a starter, $221 less for front struts and $240 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Tahoe outsold the Dodge Durango by 58% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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