test drives: Lexus GX 460 vs Dodge Durango (with the V8) - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-29-2017, 02:08 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 1,247
Lightbulb test drives: Lexus GX 460 vs Dodge Durango (with the V8)

test drives: Lexus GX 460 vs Dodge Durango (with the V8)

Hi all

We are in no rush to upgrade our current tug, but I wanted to have a good sense of what we might get, down the road, when the time comes (or if our tug was stolen, or totaled in an accident)

We tow our 2017 21’ with our 2011 Acura MDX
with factory tow package. 5,000 towing capacity, 500 tongue weight, 273 lbs torque, 300 HP.

It does fine, but I would like more torque for merging onto freeways, and for climbing big hills. I’d also like a slightly more stable setup… and a slightly bigger and heavier tug would give us this.

Tonight I test drove both a Lexus GX 460
(6,500 lbs capacity, 329 lb-ft torque, 300 hp.)


vs Dodge Durango “R/T” (with the V8)
(7400 lbs towing capacity with bigger engine on R/T) (390 lb-ft torque, 360 hp…. wow!)

… back to back.


I’m posting this here, just in case anyone else is curious.

Lexus GX 460
pros:
super quiet
nice interior!
smooth engine and shifting
high up view. it feels quite high up. I liked this.
A survey of many many owners determined that this is a very reliable vehicle. (Consumer Reports says so)
6,500 towing capacity


cons:
the stupid antiquated barn door rear door - could not be opened with hooked up, I’m pretty sure.
the ride is somewhat jiggly over uneven pavement in the city
high up view. it feels quite high up, and I think my wife would dislike this.
even more expensive than the Durango.

Dodge Durango (with the V8)
pros:
holy cow it has smooth power! wow! transmission & V8 is a marriage made in heaven. (AZ Jack wasn’t kidding!)
Torque for days!
less jiggly drive than the Lexus GX 460.
In some ways it handled better than the Lexus (!)
My wife would prefer the lower to the ground, more car like view
Significantly cheaper than the Lexus.
Power for days. Able to tow even more weight than the Lexus, so more safety margin, in a way….
Longer wheelbase than the Lexus, so one might conclude that it is more stable, in a way.
Tried and true engine. Been around a long time, I’m told.

cons:
Interior isn’t quite as luxurious as the Lexus, at a glance. (this is an issue with my wife)
I didn’t have time to really look at the Durango interior….
Didn't seem as quiet as the Lexus. Still.... pretty quiet.
A survey of many, many owners determined that this is has quite a few reliability issues. (Consumer Reports says so)
Longer and slightly wider than the Lexus, so might be a little tougher to park.
My hunch is side and rear visibility isn’t quite as good as the Lexus…. (although by the time we get around to owning a new SUV, I’m hoping that more safety stuff will me included as standard, such as blind spot monitoring, etc.)

So there you go….. FWIIW

p.s.... just announced is the insanely powerful Durango SRT. Holy cow!!!

details here:

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/dodge...t-look-review/

cheers

John
__________________

Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 06:12 AM   #2
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,692
John,
You can always purchase an extended warranty for the Dodge as part of the price differential. I have the same motor/trans in my Ram truck, have had no issues and it tows wonderfully. It is nice to pull away from the slow people when necessary. I feel with the bigger engine set up it is working less vs the Lexus set up.
__________________

__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 08:37 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
azjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tucson, AZ, Arizona
Trailer: gone, 19 and 21 & now we have 17B
Posts: 598
Durango

I do like it but after a year I still haven't found out how to work everything. In Q-zite I discovered that I could not back up with the trailer, the brakes would be applied thinking(?) something was behind me. The lights and noise to tell me not to change lanes is nice and I'm starting to use them as a back up for a 74 year old driver. I''ll never own a new car again without the rear camera. I still have not tested the auto stop feature if someone is too close in front, I hope to not test it. Couple more weeks and we head North, see you all then.
Jack and Nancy
azjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 10:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 1,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
John,
You can always purchase an extended warranty for the Dodge as part of the price differential. I have the same motor/trans in my Ram truck, have had no issues and it tows wonderfully. It is nice to pull away from the slow people when necessary. I feel with the bigger engine set up it is working less vs the Lexus set up.
Thanks Jim - great point.

It is funny - during the Durango video road test on Consumers Reports (subscriber) website the usual car test engineer is shown towing a BIG modern Airstream and he is saying how much he likes towing with the Durango and he says "see that big trailer behind me? I know how well this Durango tows... because that is my trailer back there"

Yeah the engine was stunning. I can tell it would tow super well.

Oh well - time will tell.

:-)

John
Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 05:10 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 1,247
Jack - what did you have to do to be able to back up while hitched?

Put it in tow mode, or something?

sounds as if you have a "date" with the owners manual, all 700+ pages I bet.



John


Quote:
Originally Posted by azjack View Post
I do like it but after a year I still haven't found out how to work everything. In Q-zite I discovered that I could not back up with the trailer, the brakes would be applied thinking(?) something was behind me. The lights and noise to tell me not to change lanes is nice and I'm starting to use them as a back up for a 74 year old driver. I''ll never own a new car again without the rear camera. I still have not tested the auto stop feature if someone is too close in front, I hope to not test it. Couple more weeks and we head North, see you all then.
Jack and Nancy
Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 05:36 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Posts: 74
back up sensors

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee. If it works the same, to back up with the trailer, just push the button to turn off the backup sensors (on your center console). Note that at the right angle on uneven ground, the sensors can also pick up your weight distributing hitch ball and do the same thing even without the trailer. It can be startling!
Mountain_gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 05:57 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 1,247
I'm very curious - does anyone happier to know

Do the Durango lane change warning sensors consider if you are towing?

Can they see 20' back?

If towing a 21' Escape. For example.

John.
Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2017, 06:05 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North of Hertel, Wisconsin
Trailer: TBD
Posts: 2,148
The Hemi V8 coupled with the 8 speed ZF transmission is a great combination and one of the reasons I purchased my Ram truck .
The Hemi engine has won several Ward automotive awards in their ten best engine competition and the ZF 8 speed transmission is a time proven tranny both in the USA and Europe.
__________________

steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×