Dodge Durango
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Dodge’s popular seven-seat SUV gets even more trim customization.

Powertrain
A 3.6-liter V6, found in most Chrysler-brand vehicles, makes 290 horsepower, while a 360-horsepower 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8 is the obvious choice when towing and heavy hauling are called for; eight-speed automatic transmissions for all.

After four years on the market, the Durango received the up-to-date details its competitors have. Its macho exterior still leaves the impression that it dines on Ford Explorers or Chevrolet Traverses anytime it wants, and features Dodge’s LED “racetrack” taillights that successfully debuted on the Dodge Charger and Dart. The highly regarded 290-horsepower V6 — standard in the SXT and Crew models — as well as the optional 360-horsepower V8 installed in the R/T and range-topping Citadel models carry over unchanged. The “Hemi” features a variable-displacement system that reduces fuel consumption by shutting down half of the engine’s eight cylinders under light-load conditions. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board, which doesn’t negatively affect tow ratings; V8 Durangos can still lug up to 7,400 pounds (6,200 pounds for the V6) and can also carry up to seven passengers when using all three rows of seats, although second-row twin high-back bucket seats can also be specified. Dodge also brags that the Durango’s big fuel tank allows you to travel up to 600 miles without making a pit stop . . . for fuel, that is, thanks to the fuel efficiency in V6 models. Since the same designers who penned the GC’s interior also created the Durango’s interior, comfort and roominess are also first rate. Neat touches include a rotary-dial gearshift mounted on the center console, the Uconnect system with a 8.4-inch touch screen and available steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Along with four-wheel-drive, Durango options include a system that signals you when another vehicle is about to overtake or is traveling in your blind spot(s). Another system alerts you when cross traffic is approaching from behind as you’re backing up. For 2015, the Durango is available with the Blacktop package, with gloss-black detailing inside and out, including 20-inch wheels. Additionally, a two new Beats audio systems are available on the R/T and Citadel.