2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Traverse’s middle 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 seat belts.

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 Traverse 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 Traverse 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.

The Traverse (except L/LS) offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Durango only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Traverse and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 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 Traverse is safer than the Dodge Durango:

Traverse

Durango

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

15.6%

34%

Neck Stress

198 lbs.

251 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Dodge Durango:

Traverse

Durango

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

554 lbs.

666 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Traverse’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 Traverse’s warranty.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Traverse has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Traverse has a 170-amp alternator. The Durango’s standard 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 17 more horsepower (310 vs. 293) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 260) than the Durango’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (310 vs. 295) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 260) than the Durango Dual Exhaust’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Traverse is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6:

Traverse

Durango

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.3 sec

20.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

117 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Traverse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Durango with the 5.7 V8 engine requires mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The Traverse has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Durango doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Traverse higher (6 out of 10) than the Dodge Durango (3 to 5). This means the Traverse produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Durango every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Traverse, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Durango.

Brakes and Stopping

The Traverse stops much shorter than the Durango:

Traverse

Durango

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Chevrolet Traverse’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 Traverse 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.

Suspension and Handling

The Traverse has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Traverse flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Durango (120.9 inches vs. 119.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Traverse is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Traverse RS handles at .84 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Traverse RS AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

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

Chassis

The Chevrolet Traverse may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

The front grille of the Traverse 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.

The Traverse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Durango doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Durango can only carry up to 7.

The Traverse has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear hip room, 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room, .4 inches more third row headroom, 6.1 inches more third row hip room and 7.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

Cargo Capacity

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

Traverse

Durango

Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

17.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

43.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

85.1 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Traverse High Country’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Traverse Premier/High Country’s 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.

Ergonomics

The Traverse’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Durango’s parking brake has to released manually.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Durango doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $470 to $2570 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the Durango because typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the Durango, including $11 less for a muffler, $85 less for a starter, $273 less for front struts and $138 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Dodge Durango by over two to one during 2018.

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

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