By KBB.com Editors
Despite all the banter about the coming "crossover" SUV revolution, for those with serious towing and off-road adventure needs there is just no substitute for a full-blown, body-on-frame SUV. At the top of the power and comfort category is the Dodge Durango, a seven-passenger transportation system with a rugged and distinctive style, a fairly plush interior and the option of a HEMI V8 under the hood. Although not as large as a full-size Chevrolet Suburban, the Durango has grown large enough to compete head-on with such heavyweights as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. Dodge's MDS (Multiple-Displacement System) technology helps lessen the pain at the pump, and alternative fuel fans will find a friend in the new 4.7-liter Flex Fuel V8 that can run on either gasoline or E85.You'll Like This Car If...
If you need a roomy SUV but the thought of a full-size Suburban turns you off, check out the Durango. It offers seating for seven and still has a fair amount of room for cargo behind the third-row seat. Power freaks will love the optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine.You May Not Like This Car If...
The Durango isn't big like a Chevrolet Suburban, but it's still big and thirsty on gas. The Durango's bold styling may not be everyone's cup of tea and may grow old fast.What's Significant About This Car?
The Durango's exterior freshening features a noticeable gap reduction between the front fascia and the vehicle's body. Other new standard features include larger, heated exterior mirrors, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and side-curtain airbags covering all three rows. An available 4.7-liter V8 is E85-compatible in 45 states.Driving It Driving Impressions
On the road, the new Durango delivers a noticeably smoother ride than its predecessor and several others in the class. The quieter interior is free from the intrusive wind and tire noise of the first generation. The steering is pretty impressive for a vehicle of this size, with good response and feedback that allow the driver to make exact lane changes and easily negotiate tight turns. Power for the base Durango is supplied by a sturdy 3.7-liter V6, with the 4.7-liter Magnum and the mighty 5.7-liter HEMI V8s as options. The base Durango is rear-wheel drive and offers the option of on-demand four-wheel drive. V8-powered Durangos also come with a tow/haul transmission setting that reduces gear searching by remaining in a lower gear for better pulling power.Favorite Features
The legendary HEMI engine returns and adds less than a thousand dollars to the price tag.
The standard side-curtain airbags cover all three seating rows.
The split-folding third-row seats can be folded flush, and a flip-and-tumble second-row seat greatly aids entry and exit for rear passengers. The handsome dash is clean, simple and easy to use, with controls well within the driver's reach and logically arranged. Low-back rear seats won't block the driver's rearward view and feature headrests that can extend far enough to accommodate the tallest passengers. New for 2007 is the heated quad bucket seat package available on the SLT and Limited trim levels.Exterior
The Durango's styling may be new, but it's no less bold than the 2006 version. The Durango's new look basically exaggerates the original model's popular styling by enlarging the grille and front headlamps and employing the rear end of the Power Wagon concept vehicle. Larger six-by-nine-inch side mirrors improve driver visibility, while optional 20-inch chrome wheels are sure to increase the Durango's ability to get noticed. Total up all the little changes and the effect is one strikingly imposing vehicle that looks every bit as tough as it claims to be.Notable Standard Equipment
The Durango features a V6 engine, dual-zone manual air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear defroster, power locks, express up/down front windows, power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, speed control, side-curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Program, traction control, tilt wheel, 17-inch cast aluminum wheels and a rear wiper/washer.Notable Optional Equipment
Options include a 4.7-liter V8 or a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, rear-seat DVD entertainment, six-disc CD/MP3 in-dash changer, leather seats, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, third-row seat, navigation, heated front and rear quad bucket seating, power rear liftgate, ParkSense rear park assist, Remote Start, electronic transfer case, aluminum wheels, power sunroof, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and power-adjustable pedals.Under the Hood
Although the V6 looks impressive on paper, the Durango's newfound weight makes for slow going with the base engine. The 4.7-liter V8 is a better choice for shoppers trying to balance cost with performance. Of course, if you can afford an extra $1,000, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is the way to go.
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21
235 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of toque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A (E85), 14/19 (2WD Gasoline), 14/18 (4WD Gasoline)
5.7-liter V8 HEMI
335 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
370 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD), 13/18 (4WD)
The entry-level V6-powered Durango SXT has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $27,025, while a loaded four-wheel-drive Limited with the HEMI V8 tops out just over $43,000. Although the Durango is as big as the Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe, it's priced at thousands less, even with the V8 engine. Before you set out to buy, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price page, which shows the typical transaction price for a Durango in your area. You may also want to check the incentives listed on the optional equipment page. As for resale, Kelley Blue Book expects the Durango to hold an average projected residual value on par with the Ford Expedition but well below the Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia.