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2007 Dodge Durango SLT 4x4 Hemi Bookmark

The Good :)  Useful and roomy.  Lots of interior features available.  Quiet interior sound levels. 

The Bad :(  Sits too high for a comfortable ride.  Back seat is bouncy due to single axle rear suspension.  Needs better gas mileage.

Engine                         V8, 5.7 Liters
Output                          335 hp / 370 lb-ft
Towing Capacity      8,950 pounds
Fuel Economy 14 city / 20 Highway
Weight                         5168 lbs
Price As Tested           $37,170

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            For 2007 the new Durango grows yet again with greater performance and improved styling inside and out.  As global climate change becomes more evident and high gas prices make daily driving very expensive, many Americans have decided not to buy a large vehicle.  However, for people with more than 2 children a large car is a necessity.  The Dodge Durango is a vehicle with plenty of room at a low price point packed with more useful feature because after all usability is what counts when buying a utility vehicle. 

            "With a long track record of distinguishing itself from the crowd, the new 2007 Dodge Durango takes it a step further with a bold, sleek design and a new level of convenience and standard safety features," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President - Global Brand Marketing, Chrysler Group. "Dodge Durango's right-size package offers many features that are not typical in a full-size SUV, such as two V-8 engines - each with fuel-saving technologies - best-in-class interior space and superior ride comfort."

            The Dodge Durango is offered in 5 different trim levels.  The SXT, SLT, Adventurer, Night Runner and top of the line Limited round out all the various forms of a Durango.  All models are available in a 4x2 or 4x4 versions.  You also have the choice of a V6 engine, or a V8 flex-fuel Ethanol E-85 engine or the V8 HEMI powered Durango that can shut off four cylinders when cruising to save on fuel economy.

            Exterior styling is large and bold.  On the Durango new front and rear fascias are seamless offering an updated smoother appearance with a new front grille, fenders, hood and headlamps.  The large chrome crosshair grill in chrome is appealing and quite bold.  Body-side painted moldings also help the Durango achieve a more refined appearance.  Large glass panels all around with a deep dark tinting in the rear offer a higher end look to the Durango and goes well with the Mineral Gray metallic exterior paint.  Another enhancement that Dodge has also included is larger rear view mirrors, measuring in at 6 inches by 9 inches.  Large wheel arches with flared fenders signal a durable and powerful stance.  Our Durango was fitted with 18 inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 265/60R 18 On/Off-Road tires. 

            At the rear, the new Durango offers nicely styled tail lamps rounded at the sides of the body like thrusters on a jet.  A power lift gate makes putting things inside easier when your hands are full.  Optional is a class IV hitch receiver with a 7-and-4 pin wiring harness which was on our model.  For more room, there are the roof racks which can help you carry even more cargo.

            "Bold styling and a powerful presence make Dodge Durango clearly stand out from the crowd," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President - Design, Chrysler Group. "The new 2007 Dodge Durango's design characteristics retain and further enhance its unique presence compared with other competitive SUVs. Durango's new grille and body-mounted front and rear fascias feature chiseled, sharp angles and new rectangular headlamps that prominently wrap the corners of the vehicle, providing a distinctive, confident, high-quality appearance."

            Interior styling is bold like the exterior of the Durango.  The use of plastic trim is abundant yet it does have a leather grain look in most places, which is a plus.  Seat trim in our SLT model is a fabric coated with a material that Dodge says is stain, odor and static resistant.  We did not find it to stick to pet hair, which is a dream come true for any pet owner. 

            The instrument cluster is simple with a large speedometer and two smaller gauges to the right and left.  Use of painted silver trim dials looks quite nice.  The color used at night is a glowing bluish hue; check our night photos for more on this.  The steering wheel is a bit large with a truck like feel and a recessed center portion.  It is leather wrapped which was an option but one that is necessary.  Most parts such as dials and air vents feel good and are of better than normal quality.  The central console is trimmed in a good-looking synthetic burl wood.  The large gear shift lever to the right of the steering wheel was very truck-like and could be changed to a more car like button system.  The standard climate control system is a non-automatic system and has nicely ribbed dials for temperature, direction, and fan speed.  Rear passengers can also control temperature and fan speed which is a very good feature to have.  A console up near the rearview mirror shows fuel economy, compass direction, outside temperature, as well as a full trim computer. 

            The doors on the Durango are very large and Dodge has made the rear door open about 90 degrees for easy entry and exit.  However, we found that the front door could have opened a bit wider as well.  Another downside we found was that the door hinges are not very good.  They let the door open fully easily but then bounce back and hit you as you get out instead of staying open.  However this does not detract from the full usefulness of the Durango very much. 

            We liked the 110v power outlet located in the center console for the 2nd row of passengers.  It is finally time to get rid of the 12-volt outlet all together.  Also useful was the Bluetooth hands free cell phone connection called U Connect that works wonderfully and responds to spoken commands with ease.  The 276 watt stereo system is a satellite radio equipped system with 8-Alpine speakers and a 6-Disc CD/MP3 player built into the dash.  At maximum volume the sound is crisp but not as loud as we expected.  The Sirius satellite radio worked well and was intergraded into the entire unit for ease of use.  Behind the steering wheel are controls for easy adjustment of the stereo. 

            Front seats are comfortable with a powered driver's seat that is also quite long on the bottom cushion offering more leg support.  The front passenger seat does not fold so it's hard to fit anything long such as a patio umbrella.  The second row folds down 40/20/40 and the third row folds down in a straight bench.  The third row seat is somewhat comfortable.  There is adequate legroom, but the seat bottoms are not very wide.  The second row should have been adjustable since it lacks enough legroom.  We have tested many cars with sliding second row seats, and this would have worked well in the Durango.  In all rows ventilation and large windows make it comfortable and non-claustrophobic.

            Most of the useful features come from the options that were on our test vehicle.  Without things like a dimming rear view mirror, automatic headlamps, a powerful stereo with good speakers and a power liftgate, the Durango would be rather plain.  Some options that you can also add are things like the rear seat video system for $1,295.  And heated front and second rows of seats.  For a more comfortable second row, there is an option of two bucket seats instead of the 40/20/40 folding bench style of seat. 

            The 2007 Dodge Durango's standard powertrain is the 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 engine that develops 210 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque.  The 235-horsepower E-85-compatible FFV, 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 engine is standard on all four-wheel-drive Dodge Durango vehicles.  With 305 lb.-ft. of torque, the 4.7-liter provides smooth and responsive performance and offers customers the adaptability of operating their Durango on ethanol, gasoline or a mixture of the two. 

            Our test cars Hemi V8 is a 5.7 liter engine which delivers 335 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 370 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm.  The Hemi engine is powerful and quick off the line making the Durango feel light on its feet.  On the highway it is also very quiet and smooth, with a MDS system which cuts off 4 cylinders when not needed giving you better fuel economy.  The Durango is a full time four-wheel drive vehicle yet there is no extra noise through the floor and you would never notice the system in normal driving.  With this engine you get 8,950 pounds of towing capacity which is the most in its class. 

            Dodge Durango's rear suspension is configured with coil springs and a solid rear axle which is like that found on most trucks.  A Watt linkage system is fitted to the rear axle, centering the axle and reducing rear-end skate over rough surfaces.  Though you will feel the difference in a solid rear axle system and a four wheel independent suspension setup, you do end up paying for it with your pocket books.  Going over bumps causes some uneasiness especially near the rear end due to the single rear axle. 

            On the road the Durango feels big yet is quiet enough inside to offer a comfortable ride.  You sit very high inside offering a good view of the road ahead but putting you in league with tractor-trailers.  The Durango offers good steering input and low wind noise for a great highway vehicle.  The one touch side blinker stalk blinks 3-times for each touch you give it is a very useful feature which has been available on German cars for a long time now, we are glad to see it here in this Durango.  Also very useful is the rear parking assist sensors, which beep when you get too close and show visual lights in your rear view mirror.  With a vehicle this big you need this feature to make driving easier. 

            There are numerous safety features that come standard on the 2007 model.  One of the most important features is the Electronic Stability Program with aids the driver in maintaining vehicle direction during abrupt steering changes.  There are also Front multistage airbags and side curtain air bags for all rows. The Dodge Durango was awarded a five-star frontal-impact rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2005. 

            Right now Dodge is offering $5,500 cash off the price of the Durango.  A substantial price break that makes you think how much this vehicle really costs Dodge to make.  The total price on our vehicle was $37,170.  This included the Gray Metallic paint for $150, Customer Preferred Package for $1655, Trailer Tow Group for $455, Power Convenience Group for $655, Floor Mats for $30, 5.7 Liter Hemi Engine for $1190 and the UConnect Hands-Free Communication for $360.  Destination charge was $745.  The 2007 Dodge Durango comes with a 3-year or 36,000 mile Basic Limited Warranty.  During this period towing assistance is included. 

            The Durango has many positive selling points and is a comfortable full-size vehicle for large family.  We don't know how many people will go for a full-size SUV now that gas prices are approaching $4 in many parts of the country.  City gas mileage is not very good, we managed around 14 mpg.  The market for the Durango is limited to someone with a growing family that wants room for 3-4 kids plus storage capacity for long trips or just weekend sports gear for the kids.  Women may have trouble getting into the Durango unless you get the optional side step.  The plus side is that the vehicle sits high, so the view of the road ahead is unobstructed.  The Durango has a stylish exterior and a straightforward interior.  Overall we were quite happy spending time behind the wheel and came out with hardly any complaints.  With the future of Chrysler now win the hands of a private equity company, we hopefully will see much more from Dodge.

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$29,382

$32,210

Destination

$745

$745

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 Dodge Durango
SXT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
SS 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
2007 Ford Explorer
XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A)
2007 Volkswagen Touareg
V6 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Toyota 4Runner
Sport Edition 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
Pricing Durango TrailBlazer Explorer Touareg 4Runner
MSRP $29,360 $33,620 $28,960 $38,110 $33,630
Invoice $26,845 $31,435 $27,333 $35,035 $29,940
Destination Charge $745 $735 $735 $680 $645
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Roadside 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. /
Rust 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V6 V8
Base Engine Displacement 4.7 liters 6.0 liters 4.6 liters 3.6 liters 4.7 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 235 hp @ 4600 rpm 395 hp @ 5400 rpm 292 hp @ 5750 rpm 276 hp @ 6200 rpm 260 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque 300 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm 400 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 300 ft-lbs. @ 3950 rpm 266 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 306 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm
Driven Wheels four wheel drive all wheel drive four wheel drive all wheel drive four wheel drive
4WD Type on demand   on demand Not Available full time
Tires P245/70R17
all terrain
P255/50R20 V
all season
P235/70R16
all season
255/60R17 H
all season
P265/65R17
all season
Total Seating Capacity 5 5 5 5 5
Front Seat Type bucket bucket bucket bucket bucket
Upholstery Type cloth premium cloth cloth leatherette cloth
Rear Seat Type 40-20-40 split bench 40-60 split bench 40-60 split bench 40-60 split bench 40-60 split bench
Rear Seat Folding split folding split folding split folding split folding split folding
Rear Center Armrest folding Not Available Not Available folding with storage folding with storage
Steering Adjustment tilt-adjustable tilt-adjustable tilt-adjustable tilt and telescopic tilt and telescopic
Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror Not Available electrochromatic electrochromatic - Optional electrochromatic electrochromatic - Optional
Reading Lights front reading lights front reading lights front reading lights front and rear reading lights front and rear reading lights
Vanity Mirrors passenger vanity mirror dual vanity mirrors dual vanity mirrors dual illuminated vanity mirrors dual vanity mirrors
Front Floor Mats Standard Standard Standard Standard Optional
Rear Floor Mats Standard Standard Standard Standard Optional
Cargo Area Floor Mats Not Available Not Available Not Available Optional Optional
Cargo Area Trunk Lights Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Xenon Headlights Not Available Not Available Not Available Optional Not Available
Satellite Radio Sirius - Optional XM Sirius - Optional Not Available Not Available
Turning Circle 39.9 ft. 36.8 ft. 38.1 ft. 37.4 ft.
Max. Cargo Capacity 102 cu. ft. 80 cu. ft. 86 cu. ft. 71 cu. ft.  
Max. Payload Capacity 1770 lbs. 1338 lbs. 1510 lbs. 1325 lbs.
City 14 mpg. 14 mpg. 14 mpg. 16 mpg. 16 mpg.
Highway 18 mpg. 17 mpg. 20 mpg. 20 mpg. 19 mpg.
Length 200.8 in. 191.8 in. 193.4 in. 187.2 in. 189.2 in.
Width 76 in. 74.7 in. 73.7 in. 75.9 in. 75.2 in.
Height 74.3 in. 67.8 in. 72.8 in. 68 in. 71.3 in.
Weight 4932 lbs. 4663 lbs. 4706 lbs. 5168 lbs.
Wheel Base 119.2 in. 113 in. 113.7 in. 112.4 in. 109.8 in.
Ground Clearance 8.7 in. 7.8 in. 8.2 in. 8.7 in. 9.1 in.
Interior
Front Headroom 40.8 in. 40.2 in. 39.8 in. 38.7 in. 39.7 in.
Rear Headroom 39.3 in. 39.6 in. 38.7 in. 38.3 in. 39.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room 59.4 in. 58.5 in. 59 in. 57.7 in. 58 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 59.6 in. 58.5 in. 59 in. 57.4 in. 57.2 in.
Front Leg Room 41.4 in. 46.9 in. 42.4 in. 41.3 in. 41.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 37.4 in. 37 in. 36.9 in. 35.6 in. 34.6 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 68.4 cu.ft. 43.7 cu.ft. 45.1 cu.ft. 31 cu.ft. 42.1 cu.ft.

 

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