With one flip of a screen, two middle schoolers barely noticed a two-hour drive home in heavy traffic. That’s because I was testing a 2016 Dodge Durango Citadel that has two 9-inch screens for people seated in the middle row. More importantly, the screens also have an HDMI port located right on the side of the front seats for an easy connection.
For the trip, we brought along an Xbox One S (the new version that supports 4K) and mostly stuck with sports games like NBA 2K17. With two controllers, the two kids were able to play against each other (both wanted to use the Golden State Warriors, of course) and, amazingly, the surround sound makes it seem like you’re playing the game through a home theater system.
The 9-inch screens can be synced together, so they can display from one source. I’ve tested this before with the Chrysler Pacifica and also with a Dodge minivan a few years ago, but the Citadel has better speakers than either of those vehicles to my ears with more powerful bass.
The Citadel also lets you play a Blu-Ray movie from the front entertainment center, although no current model car supports 4K movies yet as far as I’ve seen. And, even though the Xbox One S supports 4K for movies and games, the rear screens are only compatible with HD 1080p video.
The Durango also has a power outlet for the Xbox One S, and we never had any issues with shorting out the system. The only slight issue has to do with dangling cables. When we went for that drive to a major metro area and stopped for food, you sort of have to climb over the cables. Next time we use an Xbox, I might use some tie-downs or run the cables along the side of the front seat and adhere them somehow so no one gets tripped up. At least the controllers were wireless so that helped, even if we had to charge up one of them once.
Fortunately, because the screens are a bit bigger and more colorful than some of the smaller displays I’ve seen in cars, the sports games were more playable and engaging. We also tried EA Sports NHL 17 and didn’t have any trouble seeing the puck or the vicious checks into the boards. These kids were too young for shooters like Call of Duty or Resident Evil 7, but it did make me wonder if the constant hallway running and jumps in a game like Call of Duty would cause problems in a moving vehicle in terms of motion sickness. For the sports titles, we had no trouble, and the kids played during the entire car ride.
I’d bring another game console along next time and maybe even try using a different one for each screen. It made the long car ride more bearable for all of us.