Scott, New York

The Dodge Durango R/T and new-for-2013 Ford Explorer Sport are the most appealing performance models among three-row SUVs.

2013_durango

The Durango R/T comes with a 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8, a firm suspension, and 20-inch wheels and tires. It is available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and base prices range from roughly $36,000 to $39,000.

The Explorer Sport packs a 365-hp, turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 and has a stiffer chassis than other Explorers with sport suspension and steering, larger brakes, and 20-inch wheels and tires. Base price is $40,780 and includes all-wheel drive.

We have not had an opportunity to compare the two in a side-by-side test, though you can do an electronic faceoff using the Cars.com Compare feature, here. Our educated guess is that the Explorer would win a drag race between the two, and we also think the Explorer would be the more appealing daily driver because of its better ride quality. In its favor, the Durango is less expensive and runs on cheaper regular gas (the Explorer requires premium).

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Answered by Rick Popely on April 9, 2013 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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